Is it the right time to buy a $799 MacBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davidw, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. davidw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    I currently have a 24" 2.8 GHz iMac (2007 edition) with 4 gigs of RAM and a 1 TB HD.

    I like the large screen and definitely want to keep a desktop computer. I would upgrade to an 27" i7 iMac, but I need something portable and my budget doesn't allow for me to buy a portable computer and upgrade to an i7.

    For a while, I debated whether or not to get a MacBook at $799 (about $870 with taxes) at MicroCenter or to get a 64 gig iPad 3G. The cost would be approximately the same, but the capabilities of each machine are different. My debate ended when I realized that I could have a larger screen for media consumption and a vastly superior production computer for the same price.

    Therefore, my only question is: should I get that $799 MacBook now, or should I be waiting for something? The buyers guide would have me wait, but seeing as how the new MacBook Pro 13 didn't improve much, what exactly would I be waiting for?

    The low end 13" MacBook Pro doesn't look that appealing to me. For about $300 more than the MacBook at MicroCenter, taxes included, I would be getting 2 gigs more of RAM and an aluminum shell. That doesn't make much sense to me!

    Please help.
     
  2. TiberiusXavier macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    The MacBook Pro would give you:
    • Aluminum (preference over Polycarbonate)
    • Double RAM (4GB > 2GB)
    • Faster CPU (2.66GHz/2.4GHz > 2.26 GHz)
    • Longer Battery Life (10 hours > 7 hours)
    • Faster GPU (330M > 9400M both using shared memory)
    • Larger HDD (320GB/500GB > 250GB)
    • SD Slot (may or may not be useful)
    • Firewire 800 (may or may not be useful)

    Is it worth $300 more? If you plan on working mobile without AC power, the longer battery life is very nice. More storage is great, but you can always upgrade the HDD later. Combined with the increase in memory, I think you will find greater utility from the 4GB. The MacBook Pro may be easier to sell later.
     
  3. davidw thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    New York City
    #3
    The cheapest 13" MacBook Pro has a 250 GB HD, not 320. So therefore the capacity is the same. As for the difference in CPU, 2.66 vs. 2.4, the difference is negligible. It's not like an upgrade from a Core 2 Duo to an i5 or an i7. The Firewire 800 is nice, but it's hardly necessary. The SD slot is not really useful.

    The EDU cost of a MacBook Pro 13" with zero add-ons with tax is $1193.79, shipping free.

    The cost of the MacBook 13" with zero add-ons with tax is $869.03, pickup today.

    That's a $325 difference, or over 37% more than the cost of the MacBook, for aluminum and 2 more gigs of RAM. That's enough of a difference for me for it not to be worth it. The only question is: is it worth waiting for an updated MacBook, and what do you think will be included in it?
     
  4. o'malley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #4
    Sounds like the MB is the right pick for you, but if you love the aluminum or something there's always the refurb 13" MBP...older generation but in the MB's ballpark and is selling for $929 right now.

    As for MB updates, you might get some good guesses on dates and specs, and some might even turn out to be correct in the end, but they'd still be just that: guesses.

    If you need a Macbook now, I'd say just buy it. New ones might be out in June...or they may not. No one really knows, despite what they may say.
     
  5. EasyJW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #5
    i would say so[​IMG] new ones came out just before christmas, so it will be a while before new new ones come out, and for your needs, the lower end mbp is not at all worth the extra $300
     
  6. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    #6
    I think you will be happy with your purchase. You're saving up some money and still are getting a great machine that will last you for years. If you don't mind the lack of features (and trust me people are always hung up on what their laptop means for them as far as a status symbol and not really features) then you will be alright.
     
  7. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #7
    If you don't have to have it right now and can deal with a rebate to get a great deal, you can get the new 13" MBP for $1049 (no tax in a lot of places) from Macconnection.com. I just got mine on Monday and I LOVE it. My wife has a white Macbook (not the unibody one, though) and its nice, but this thing is a whole different league of machine.

    But then again, you're still talking almost $200 difference ($867 to $1049)... I think its worth it - but do you?

    Keep in mind that 4GB of RAM is really the sweet spot - and that's a $100 upgrade, making the difference even less.

    Either way, they're great machines and you'll be nicely satisfied.
     
  8. Staindsoul macrumors 6502

    Staindsoul

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Dang I ordered from macconnection and mine still says backordered.

    Oh well, $1050 for the newest model is a great deal. Well worth it over the previous models IMHO.
     
  9. davidw thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    New York City
    #9
    Well you guys have made a lot of good points and now I'm just considering whether or not the MacConnection MBP deal is worth it. I guess it's just a matter of how many dollars I can devote to a mobile computer.

    As for the MacBook itself, it seems you all have made a consensus that Apple will not be updating it soon, and that when they do it won't be much of an upgrade, and certainly not worth waiting for given the $799 price.
     
  10. andrew8404 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Loma Linda, Ca
    #10
    I just purchashed a 799 Macbook from Microcenter a week and half ago and I couldn't be more happy. I had a 13'' Pro that was stolen and I don't notice any difference at all. I'm actually starting to like the white Macbook more now that I fixed it up a bit with black keys and and black speck hardcase. Go buy it now while the deal lasts. You can't beat it! And even if you do decide to sell it later on you won't be losing much since you already got it for 200 off!
     
  11. Shanewilliams macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #11
    I fought with this decision all day yesterday as well. What I finally did was go to my local apple store and put my hands on both machines. It definately helped me decide. I was originally trying to decide between the previous generation mbp and the new mbp and ultimately decided on the MacBook itself. I'm making the jump from a iBook g4 with 768mb ram that I run adobe cs4 and just general web surfing so after much thought I couldn't justify the extra $325 for an aluminum case and 2gb more ram. If I can do what I want with a g4 and 768 then 2gb will be plenty for me. I guess my biggest deciding factor was I have to go to Atlanta next week anyways so I'm going to pick mine up for $799 while I'm there. Plus I can pay cash for it and not have to finance it due to an extra $325 or so! Yes, the mbp with it's aluminum unibody is really nice, but is it $325 nice? To me that was an easy question to answer!
     
  12. breathesrain macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #12
    I called macconnection, and they said the shipment of the 13"s will be in on the 30th, if anyone cares :)
     
  13. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    #13
    The macbook unibody is a great machine. It's definitely worth it. I think it actually looks better than the pro version, but that's just my opinion. The extra 2 GB ram and other features in the pro doesn't justify the extra $300 to be. I actually bought the macbook with the intention to upgrade to 8 gb ram, but it's plenty fast so far, i might not even upgrade to 4 gb for some years.
     
  14. Kingcodez macrumors 6502

    Kingcodez

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Location:
    China
    #14
    Why not a uMB? You should be able to find an old 2.4 with 4 gigs of ram, for around the $800 mark. That way you get the unibody, the 2.4, the 4gigs of ram, and the backlit keys...
     
  15. newmacboyoutube macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    Nooooooo!

    Get a MacBook Pro 13" Base Model, or even an iPad and save ALOT of money....

    If you want want want the MacBook for no good reason what so ever, than wait until they update it, their average life cycle is almost up, then you can buy the new one, or buy the current one, which will be the old one then for a much cheaper price.
     
  16. davidw thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    New York City
    #16
    OK guys, here's an update:

    I did splurge and go for the MacBook Pro 13" base model. I purchased it from MacConnection, since they had the best price. Although it's not really a total necessity, 4 GB of RAM will definitely enhance the length of time that this machine is usable.

    Thanks for all the advice. Now I just need to find myself a mini displayport to hdmi cable that's good and I'll be all set.
     
  17. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #17
    Be careful with that... I've read reports that several of the mini displayport to HDMI adapters won't pass sound, and since the new MBP does pass sound over its port, I'm sure you'd rather use one cable than two! :D I haven't tried this yet, however...

    Congrats on your purchase! I LOVE mine!
     

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