I'm so confused, trying to decide on a machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ZachsMacDaddy, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    So until a month ago I had a decent white Macbook 1.83 C2D and a Mac Mini 1.83 C2D. I sold both and bought a single white Macbook 2.1 from the refurb store. I had to send that one back because of some annoying problems with the screen and keyboard. I then bought one of the new white Macbooks 2 weeks ago and had to return it this week because of 5 different issues (they documented it as DOA).

    One of the worst things is that I had bought Applecare off ebay and registered it (I know, I should have waited). I didn't want to swap out for another white Macbook yet, so now I have a registered Applecare plan with no Macbook. Apple cannot refund it because I am not the original purchaser and do not have the original receipt for it. They said it will sit in my name and if I get another Macbook they will transfer it to that unit.

    So now I have no Macs at all. In fact, my computer desk has no computer on it at all. I have a server and a Vista box in the basement, but that's it. When upstairs I have to share my wife's PC and she hates that.

    I guess I should add a little about what I do on these computers. I use them for email, web surfing, web development (iWeb), photo editing, computer checkbook stuff... I sometimes go into Windows with Fusion and do some VBA work in Excel. I want to edit some home videos eventually (I'll convert my old video from MiniDV on a Windows box if I end up with the Macbook). I don't game. We are thinking of picking up a Wii for playing some games at home, but we are in no way computer gamers.

    I've been flip flopping on different ideas and I'm just getting confused.

    If I don't get another Macbook I'm out $120 for the Applecare plan unless I find a friend with a Macbook who wants to register it under my plan and then I can transfer the plan to them.

    Here are my ideas:

    1 - Take a 3rd stab at this and buy a refurbed Unibody Macbook 2.0GHz. This will let me keep my Applecare plan and give me a nice laptop. I'm a little worried about the screen. All that glass scares me. I was paranoid as it was just carrying the Macbook in my bag (Timbuk2 Commute). How durable is the glass on the Macbook screen? What are the odds that I'll get a THIRD bad computer from Apple in a row???

    2 - Buy another Mac Mini (now if I can find one on the refurb page somehow, or later in a month or two if they refresh them, ha!) and then get a netbook like the MSI Wind or Samsung NC10 as a handy little portable for email and surfing.

    3 - Get a 20" iMac from the refurb store and get a netbook for portability. I'd sell my 23" HP LCD since I wouldn't need it with an iMac and the money would help out with the netbook.

    I keep flip flopping all over the place on this one.
     
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #2
    Nothing will touch the glass on the Macbook screen, as long as you close the MacBook before you put it into your bag (hard to imagine how you would do anything else). And everyone carries them around. I never used a bag for my MacBook, and it is still fine after 2 1/2 years.

    I don't know what exactly the failure rate for new Macs is, but the thing with probabilities is that they are not affected by previous events. Your chances of getting a defective MacBook are the same as mine and everyone elses. Two in a row is bad luck, but it will happen to some people. A bit less likely than getting three numbers right in the lottery, but a lot more likely than four numbers.
     
  3. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #3
    If when you had your macbook you didnt take it out the house often, you might like an iMac. iMacs are more powerful than macbooks so if you dont plan on replacing your computer often, it shouldn't feel too out dated in 3-4 years from now. You could probably keep it for 5-6 years before you want to upgrade, because the things you say you will use it for arent very intensive

    However, a laptop is more flexible even if you will mainly use it in the house. You arent tied to a desk, you can use it in the lounge or on the bed. You might like that flexibility, plus when you travel you can take it along.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #4
    If you already have a desktop display, consider a new MacBook to go with it. As you mentioned, you've already spent the $120 on Applecare for it, and it's a more powerful machine than the old white models.

    I would still recommend getting a case of some sort if you plan on carrying it around. I bought an incase neoprene sleeve for mine, and use that with a rolling briefcase (which is made to transport a laptop - it has a removable small padded case with handles inside), and I've never had any damage (over 2 years old).
     
  5. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    You have basically focused on the fundamental pieces of my decision. I would like to be able to take a portable unit around. It would be nice if it were the same machine that has all my data so I can update web sites on the go and have access to all my stuff.

    My fear has always been what *may* happen to an expensive laptop like a Macbook while out and about. That's why I'm still considering the netbook for portability and the iMac for primary use at home. But I really really like the Mac OS experience (more than dealing with Windows 9 hours a day as Corporate IT) and while you can get it running on a netbook, it would be kludgy and to some unethical.

    My bag is very well padded, so I'm not as concerned about it while traveling in the bag, but more so about its well being while being used all over the place and around some people who don't care what happens to your stuff. $1100 + tax is a lot of money to carry around in a single piece of hardware.

    The Mac Mini is really more like a distant option right now.
     
  6. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #6
    I have a nice bag with lots of padding. If I change to my other backpack I'd definitely get something like a sleeve case from Waterfield Designs (I've used their stuff for other Apple laptops in the past).

    I would likely also get something like the Speck Satin or the new Incase hardshell to add a layer of protection to the finish. While some compare that to plastic on a couch, I see it as a little extra protection for the laptop and my own sanity.

    I'm going to have to add another $29 for the mini display port to DVI adapter to be able to use my LCD. $29 isn't too bad. I'll get part of that back selling my mini-DVI adapter.

    And yes, a huge selling point of the Unibody decision is not walking away from $120 already spent that cannot be recovered any other way.
     
  7. jmdilley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    #7
    For what it's worth, I have the same setup that you used to, with just different specs...Mac Mini with a white Macbook, and I really like it. The mini is my "always on" computer that hosts media (movies and music) for my house. I also use it for Java Web Development as well as the typical stuff (email, pictures, surfing). The Macbook is a faster machine with more RAM, so I get a bit better performance, but I use it for all of the same work that I do on the Mini.

    I have a Ubuntu server at home with a CVS repository, so that I can sync all of my work to it from one machine and pull it down on another, i.e. I can develop something on the Mini, yet suck it over to the Macbook to take with me when I leave home.

    Don't give up on the Mac, even though it is frustrating to get bad machines. Give Apple a chance to make it right, I think you'll be glad you did.
     
  8. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    I don't want to give up on the Mac. I just need to decide between using a netbook and an iMac or using a new Macbook.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #9
    Get the new MB; they are a lovely machine and you should really enjoy using it. Computers are designed to be used, as long as they are looked after using a modicum of common sense. Personally, I like the portability of a laptop, even at home, as one can easily move it from location to location.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #10
    Don't count out the lenovo s10 if you're going for a hackbook air! Solid little machine, and everything works under 10.5.6 except for the ethernet port.
     
  11. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #12
    I tried the Lenovo S10 last week and I couldn't use the keyboard. I tried the MSI Wind and I could use it, but the Lenovo keys seemed smaller/tighter and I was mistyping all over the place.

    It looked nice, but I wouldn't buy one. It just wasn't a good fit for me.
     
  12. ZachsMacDaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13
    Well, I went ahead and gave Apple a 3rd chance. I just ordered a Unibody Macbook 2.0GHz from the refurb store. They just put some more up this afternoon. I wasn't expecting them to be there until tonight or tomorrow at best. I should have it in 2 to 3 days depending on when they ship it.

    I considered the iMac and netbook, but I figure I'd still rather not have to have too many places where things are and end up being out and about and without something I need.

    Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions/opinions. I hope this time goes better than the last 2. :eek:
     

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