Is the MacBook a good buy?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by eBrooker, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. eBrooker macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2008
    Hi all, new here so please be gentle :p

    I'm considering getting a new macbook, and am wondering what the reasons are to get it over a PC laptop given that you seem to get much better spec for the same price (more ram, bigger hard disk etc).

    While I've seen macs and have them at work, I've never owned one myself but guess I'd get used to the OS if I bought one. But I do like the idea of giving OSX a good go as all you mac fans seem to love it, and I'm not one to knock it until I've tried it :D

    I'm not really bothered by the 'style' aspect mind, to me the nuts n bolts are more important than anything pretentious. Value too - I don't mind paying for quality but I don't like being ripped off! Which does bring me to something that worries me...

    Why do Apple charge over the odds for relatively 'cheap' things? I was shocked to hear that they charged itouch users $20 for a firmware update! There'd be uproar if say a company like Sony charged for firmware updates to something like the PS3 (firmware updates have significantly increased the functionality of the machine). Same with any other manufacturer - in fact I don't think I've ever heard of any others charge for firmware updates. So why do Apple do it and more importantly why do you let them get away with it?

    Additionally, why do they charge £20 for a mini-display port > dvi adaptor? Surely one should be in the box as standard? After all they decided to go for a non standard connector (yeah I know it was to reduce footprint, but even so the difference is minimal). When I bought an Asus motherboard it had a number of connectors, cables and adaptors in the box, many of which I haven't even used. If they must charge why aren't they selling at a reasonable price? Such adaptors probably cost less than 20p to manufacture. Even £4.99 would be acceptable despite that giving then 2500% mark-up.

    So I do have some reservations about the way Apple seem to 'rip-off' their customers but am open to being persuaded otherwise and take the plunge for myself.

    Very keen to hear everyone else's views :cool:
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    As you said, you will like the OS. Reasons to get a Mac vary from: not having any viruses, to not crashing at all. Also, they retain the retail value over the years.

    As for adapters, yes, Apple is like that; unlikely they don't include any adapters (besides the AC one). All are sold separately.

    Software updates, Apple does not charge for updates to OS X. iPod Touch users get charged because of how different they account for costs in relation to the iPhone.

    Apple charges for these relatively 'cheap' things because you pay (or at least in one point) quality and a new experience of 'it just works'. Besides, you pay a quality costumer service.

    Need more? Post!
  3. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    Agreed. My main point about Apple computers costing more is that they do actually hold their value outstandingly (sometimes absurdly) well. Consider a G4 iMac is still selling for around $400 depending on the specs, thats insane! The G4 is a snail to say the least compared with new systems, so no matter what you will get a decent amount for the computer well into the future. They are also more "future proof" compared with windows counterparts. Older Macs (5 years old) still perform quite nicely.
  4. Jake381 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2008
    I can testify to this. I had one of the old Clamshell ibooks up until recently and it was working perfectly fine. I have an ibook also that I use on occasions when it is needed and it also works fine.

    They are great computers to work on, and a MacBook 2.0 GHz Alluminum would be a great starting point for using macs.
  5. holysmoke macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2008
    Sony charges you for the updates. Its not direct, they make the money off the games. Similarly, apples makes money off the carrier for the iphone. For the touch, its a different scenario altogether. Hope this helps...
  6. groovdudeyo macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2008
    Vista Ultimate is just as good as leopard except the dashboard looks better.
  7. eBrooker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2008
    Thanks All.

    Will it perform as well as this Dell that is roughly the same price?

    Dell XPS M1330
    • Intel® Core 2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.40 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 3 MB L2 cache)
    • 4096MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x2048]
    • 500GB Serial ATA (5400RPM) Hard Drive
    • 128MB nVidia® GeForce® 8400M GS
    • 13.3" UltraSharp™ WXGA (1280x800) White-LED Display (300 nits) with TrueLife™
    • Primary 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (85 WHr)

    Main uses will be Photoshop, Reason, then general web browsing etc
  8. Jake381 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2008
    If you upgrade the Ram and Harddisk on a 2.4 GHz model, then yes it will outperform the Dell. You will pay a bit more, but your graphics will be significantly better.

    The question you need to ask is whether the extra 300 pounds (estimate on cost of RAM and harddisk expansion) is worth the better graphics and far superior design. 250 gig hard disk should fulfil your needs though.
  9. ahmad123456789 macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2008

    the aluminum macbook is one of the best laptops apple has launched until now!:) everyone is saying that the lack of firewire was not a good idea... but i have heard that a company is creating a usb-firewire cable. see the link
    also the macbook will be better when snow leopard arrives which is going to make what you have now better in the future...
  10. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    The USB to firewire cable will work for the physical connection, but USB-2 still cannot sustain the transfer speeds of FW-400.

    Anyway, I agree that the upgraded MacBook will outperform the Windows notebook you were looking at simply because Leopard takes better advantage of the hardware. You could always put Vista or XP on it as well as I do. I have Vista enterprise on my MacBook 2.1GHz (from this August) and it runs very nicely.

    Upgrading your hard drive was a very simple task on the older plastic models, I have no experience with the new aluminum 'books. But I do highly recommend putting a 7200 RPM drive in it, I have been needing to do that. It seems to be the only real bottleneck on my MacBook. Even then it is not like its slow.
  11. econoline06 macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2008
    "Good" is a relative term based on ones experiences, though I have been using Vista enterprise for awhile and find it decent. There are definitely more things that personally bother me a whole heck of a lot more than things in Leopard...either way it is not a bad OS IMO, I'm still a die-hard Mac guy though :), I'd never use it as my main OS.
  12. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    - Processor: MacBook uses Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3M L2) Much faster than Dell's T8300
    - MacBook supports officially up to 4GB (DDR3 1066MHz), that is way faster and newer technology going into your Dell.
    - HDD: macBook has a lower capacity 250GB 5400rpm (but you cane asily upgrade this if needed)
    - MacBook uses the 9400M nVidia chipset which has 16 cores of parallel graphics processing.
    - Screen wise, read the comments on the screen, no need to repeat them.

    Personal endorsement: Get a MacBook, better technology.
  13. Ironic macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2008
    In my MBA!
  14. PresentACat macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008

    I bought the new Macbook, my first, and it locked up when doing the first update. Clean install, nothing else running, no hardware faults, and it locked up.

    I have never had BSOD or crashing on my Vista machines and I'm not lying, so saying "No crashes" is a lie.
  15. PresentACat macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008
    Except DDR3 does NOTHING for performance unless you couple it with newer architectures like that currently being introduced with Nehalem.

    Read some technical reports, DDR3 is expensive but not useful.
  16. PresentACat macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2008

    That particular dell is due an update but is a good machine. You will see the tech that is in the new Macbooks for that money some time soon.

    If you need to run Windows via bootcamp on your new Macbook, be aware that the trackpad drivers are truly awful (doesnt respond to clicks, gestures all ruined etc).

    Dell will have a nicer screen (the one on the Macbook has terrible viewing angles and doesnt produce good blacks, at least no evenly across the screen.)
  17. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    This is a joke right? Why anyone would buy a Dell is beyond me.
  18. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Well, its still a new technology (DDR3). Still, it has a faster FSB than the Dell. The MacBook is also being built on newer technology so that you build your updates on top of that. (like Apple adding Nehalem in the future)

    It is bound to happen, 1/1,000,000,000 will lock up eventually. Mine hasn't to date.
  19. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Everything about the Mac OS is more intuitive.

    The Dashboard is better, you press one key built into the keyboard and it shows all your widgets. This means you can have far more widgets, and means you don't need to minimise your apps to view it.

    Spaces, huge productivity increase. Been on Linux for years, but comes to the Mac with style.

    Stacks, huge productivity increase to be able to view your desktop this way instead of minimising all your apps to get to the desktop.

    Expose, far better than Flip 3D. Doesn't look as nice as Flip 3D, but Flip 3D is completely pointless when you have more than a few windows open. You need to scroll to see each window, not so with Expose. And being able to press alt and view the titles of all windows.

    Quicklook, this is like none other to be able to view documents and slideshows and movies without opening them. Again, huge productivity increase.

    The Mac OS is about ease of use, productivity, simplicity yet feature-full. The Windows GUI is about eye candy.
  20. eBrooker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2008
    Many of you have mentioned Nehalem - when will these make it into the new macbooks? I should wait for them right? (I'm in no rush, my desktop is actually only a few months old and works very well!).
  21. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008
    The Dell 1330 will be replaced within 2 weeks by a new model, if rumors are correct. (check engadget for details)

    Dell 1330 has a higher quality LED display the Macbooks. The Dell 13" LED is closer to the MBA screen.

    No, just buy when you need it or want to.

    In computer technology it happens often that people believe the next big thing will be much better than the current thing. When the next big thing comes it is usually disappointing in what it really delivers. Same thing happened with Montevina over Santa Rosa.

    I'm not saying Nehalem won't be good, I'm saying buy when you need it/want to.
  22. groovdudeyo macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2008
    Never I reapeat Never buy a dell laptop they are cheap but they suck. It may be hard to believe but if you want the best deal for what you get then look at sony vaio computers. they are well built, cost less and look like a million bucks. just go to the sony website and look at them. the best deal is the FW.
  23. fatefulwhisper macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT BUY THAT LAPTOP!!! I've owned that laptop for 9 months before I had to get rid of it because it was giving me so many problems. Mine was a bit of an older model, but they're using the same nVidia chip in there and it has a major flaw and Dell refuses to admit. Do a google search right now for "m1330 nvidia issues" and you will see why this is just a complete waste of money. There's a lot of youtube videos that demonstrate the video flaw. Save your money and get a Mac instead. I will never buy from Dell again.
  24. phobic99 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2008
    While this forum is obviously Apple/Macbook biased, I've owned several laptops by Dell and I've never had a problem with them. The only reason I have a macbook now is because I wanted to try something different.

    The last Dell I owned was a fully loaded Dell M1210 XPS and I had it for 2 years with absolutely 0 problems.

    Honestly, I'd wait until Dell's new Studio XPS 13" laptop is released (next week apparently) before I'd buy a laptop if you're considering one. I'd say that it will be very similar to the new macbook in terms of specs with some extras such as an HDMI port, blu-ray drive, hybrid sli graphics (on a 13" laptop too), E-SATA port, and fingerprint reader + webcam with facial recognition.

    The "nvidia problem" affects more than just this Dell. Have you not seen the news about the affected Macbook Pros? I guess not.
  25. vorkorsigan macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2008
    Inside the hardware does the same thing effectively.

    The question is twofold ....

    What OS ... OS X vs Windows vs LINUX

    Do you want some design.

    For me a early 2008 macbook pro wins on all counts. It's your choice though, as there are some good looking windows laptops out there. For OS i would choose OS X followed by XP or LINUX, forget Vista it will annoy the hell out of you!


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