I have many questions about the MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Imprezive, May 3, 2014.

  1. Imprezive macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2014
    I haven't used an apple desktop/laptop in 14 years (a desktop). It didn't break but my parents just switched over to windows and I've been a windows guy every since. I was hesitant to switch from wp to iphone but that's been great.

    Now that my laptop's hard drive failed, I figured this would be the best time to switch if I was ever gonna switch operating systems.

    I have questions though:

    What is the failure rate on MacBook Pro? I'm thinking of getting the 13 in. model w/ retina display, but I keep seeing reports of logic board failure or other hardware problems. I'm not sure if it's an issue with apple laptops or user error.

    Is a refurbished older macbook any good?

    Is Microsoft office necessary on a mac?

    Is it better to buy from best buy or apple (or some other retailer).

    My main question is the failure rate though. I don't want to spend 500+ for a refurb older mac or 1100+ for a new mac and have hardware failure within a months or a year or two. I asked about user error because when I ask people in person, they say if I can get over paying for certain windows programs I might want, the mac will last; but when reading up online, many claim to have logic board failure.

    Sorry for the long post. Thanks for any replies.
  2. Macforcollege macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2013
    1. The reason you here so many failure rates is because typically no one goes online to say their computer hasn't failed. I have a 15' from mid 2013 and it still runs great. If you are worried about the failure rate then I would recommend buying applecare for the peace of mind.

    2. A certified refurbished Mac runs good as new.

    3. You don't need Microsoft office unless you specifically use the programs for work. The apple replacements are very good at what they do.

    4. I think you will be very safe with purchasing a new macbook. If you can pick it up at the store and boot it up there. You'll be able to examine it for any errors in the hardware or shell of the device. If there are any, apple will replace it on the spot.
  3. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    What is the failure rate on MacBook Pro? I'm thinking of getting the 13 in. model w/ retina display, but I keep seeing reports of logic board failure or other hardware problems. I'm not sure if it's an issue with apple laptops or user error.

    ANSWER: It is high. I would recommend AppleCare.

    Is a refurbished older macbook any good?

    ANSWER: Yes, same as new!

    Is Microsoft office necessary on a mac?

    ANSWER: I would get it. You can open word documents though I don't think you can send Word documents.

    Is it better to buy from best buy or apple (or some other retailer).

  4. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    1) The only logic board failures I've seen from MacBooks as a computer technician that worked in the industry for nearly 6 years was from spilled water over the keyboard. Boy if I had $100 for every failed logic board from water damage, I'd... Still not have enough money to repair those broken computers in labor alone. Don't drink an open container of water next to your $1500 machine and you'll be fine. Also, reliability with Mac is very paramount.

    2) Refurbished machines are great! You're being environmentally conscious and making a sound choice to take a machine that is in every way perfect but was most likely chosen to be returned by the owner. Refurbished from Apple have the full Apple warranty, are eligible for Apple Care + and in immaculate condition. They come with all accessories and some times come with the original box!

    3) A lot of people here will tell you it isn't. I haven't had any issues with my "black flag ship at sea" endeavors but I will tell you this: my productivity as an engineering student went up by nearly double as a result of using the Apple OSX version of Microsoft Office. The notebook layout with audio notes and all the templates they come with, if you're going to a university, you will be hard pressed to find a professor that doesn't consider Office Suite a necessity. If you buy a new Mac now, I think you still get iWork for free which is acceptable because Pages is pretty much as good as Word. However, even as a die hard Mac Fan, I can tell you that I have never felt like Numbers was an acceptable replacement to Excel. This is especially true in finance or science.

    4) No matter where you buy, if you buy "new", you will be taken care of at an Apple store. Now that being said, there are "advantages" to buying at another retailer. Are you in California? You can get the education discount without even being a student by making a trip to a University of California book store. They are authorized third party retailers but they apply the student discount on the standard price. I got my Retina 13 for $100 off and I didn't even have to show them my ID. Best Buy? Their "Open Box" Apple computers can be purchased for as much as $250-300 off and are considered "new" to Apple when you register the warranty since they technically never left Best Buy's inventory. Back in 2009 when I worked at Best Buy, I sold an aluminum MacBook unibody (Non-pro) for $350 under MSRP because the new Macs just released and my manager was eager to dump them. But if you're buying "refurbished", go Apple store refurbished or NOT at all. Only APPLE refurbished machines are considered "new" and come with Apple's full warranty. Amazon/Overstock/etc refurbished machines are third party refurbished and only come with warranty coverage from that retailer which involves shipping it out or sending it to their service center.

    If you're smart and careful, an Apple machine will definitely last you YEARS longer than a PC does. Right now I'm using 10.9.2 on a Mid-2010 MacBook Pro and the machine feels as powerful as the 2012 Ivy Bridge MacBook I was using before. Almost no difference in performance. Whereas, the 2010 Windows laptop my brother in law is using, runs like utter crap.

    They hold their age really well if they're taken care of. And due to the popularity, there's a TON of resources online when you DO have issues because everyone that's on this OS is using some variation of the same hardware.
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    1. You can't tell that from a forum, Macs do sometimes have issues but there are plenty (as in overwhelming majority), of Macs that don't ever experience any significant issues.
    2. Refurb's are as supported by Apple as new, not sure you will find many truly "older" Macs as refurb though, they tend to be 1-2yrs old, depends on your definition of "older".
    3. You don't need Msoft Office, there are Apple and Open-source (Open Office for example). If you regularly swap docs with Msoft Office users then it may be worth it for the last bit of compatibility but otherwise you could probably run with Open Office and save the $$$
    4. Depends on spec, price and whether you get the same aftersale support....
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Neither. Unless you have an Education discount at Apple and it is the fall going back to school tax free weekend in your state. The exception is a refurbed model from Apple which comes with warranty and is eligible for AppleCare. You can save up to $500 on a refurbed unit.

    If those don't apply, you can do much better at MacMall, B&H, and others. BTW, B&H has the best prices on Apple Care. Always check the AppleInsider price list before purchasing a Mac.
  7. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Macs in general are extremely reliable. It is quite common to hear about people with 5, 6, 7 year old Macs still running great—sometimes even older. Most people upgrade because technology has progressed to the point that a new computer is vastly superior to their old machine, not from the computer failing.

    In fact the vibrant resale market for Macs is itself a testament to their durability and reliability. It is fairly common for people to upgrade to a new Mac after 2 or 3 years, and sell the old one at only a relatively small loss.

    You’re better off with a refurbished new one. For example, the 13.3″ retina MacBook Pro with a 2.4 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD is $1,269 on Apple’s site. That is a phenomenal amount of proverbial bang for your actual buck.

    Depends what you’re doing. If you regularly collaborate on Office documents with other people, then yes it is necessary. If you just need to create documents, spreadsheets, and/or slideshows, then it is probably not necessary. There are a number of alternatives, including Apple’s iWork suite which comes free with new Macs, or the open source LibreOffice, or a bunch of other programs you can investigate at your leisure.

    For relatively simple documents, you might find something like Bean quite elegant, and it is also free. For complex / dynamical spreadsheets however, Excel is still the cock of the roost. I’d suggest you try seeing how you get along without Office, and when Office 2014 comes out this year you can decide whether to get it.

    Wherever you get the best price.

    The failure rate is minuscule. Plus, Apple has a 14-day no-questions-asked return policy, and 1 year of free AppleCare. You can wait until the first year is almost up before deciding whether to purchase 2 more years of AppleCare.

    I know some people swear by it, but I have never bought AppleCare. It adds several hundred dollars to the price, and with machines having such a high reliability, only a tiny number of people will ever get their money’s worth from it. Certainly on average, in the aggregate, AppleCare (just like most extended warranties) is a waste of money.
  8. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    As some background about me in regards to my response, I just upgraded to a 13" rMBP from a Late 2010 17" MBP. Prior to that, I was pretty much a Dell guy.

    1.) Do Macs have problems? Yes, it is an electronic device. Are failure rates higher than a Windows based machine? No, and I can tell you this from experience. I had one issue in the 3+ years with my 17" MBP. It was a graphics card issue. Apple resolved it under warranty. I learned to always purchase the in-home support for my Dell machines. The local tech and I knew each other by name in public. That was how often I had him at my house. Granted, I have 4 Windows machines at the time, but still. Each one had some sort of repair once to twice per year.

    2.) Yes, I would buy refurbished is the price if the right configuration was available. I did not buy refurb because a) I wanted it right away and b) my EPP discount brought it less than a refurb (by about $10 :D )

    3.) I found that I, personally, need it. I work in an environment where Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are needed. A conversion back and forth between iWork apps would not be efficient for me. I have an two Office 365 subscriptions -- a University version which offers 2 computers for 5 years and a Home version which covers 5 computers on an annual basis.

    4.) Buy wherever you feel most comfortable and get the best price.

    Oh, and why did I upgrade you may ask? Portability and weight. My work is offering a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option. Lugging a 17" around to and from work and to customer locations would be a PITA. The BYOD uses VMware View. This is not a virtual machine in the sense that I have a second operating system installed local. I access a virtual Windows 7 desktop on a remote server.

    I upgraded my 17" to a 512GB SSD. It runs very smooth and fast! If it was not so darn heavy (probably close to 9 pounds with accessories), I would have kept it as my go to laptop. For now, it is collecting dust until I can figure out what to do with it. Options are to sell it, repurpose it, or give it to a family member to use.


    And you have a full year to decide on AppleCare.
  9. Imprezive thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2014
    Thank you for all of the responses everyone. I definitely hadn't looked into those other options to buy from.

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