Mac Nebiw, What Should I Buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by keystone, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. keystone macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    Hi All,

    In an attempt to make myself a more rounded tech guy I want to make my foray back in the world of Apple. I'm looking at buying a used/refurbished iBook as I don't have a ton of money to throw at this right now, and it wont likely take over my Windows Laptop for sometime as I just got a new one for Christmas.

    I've been looking on eBay and I've set my max price at around $700, might go higher but would prefer to go lower. I know this limits what I can and cannot buy, after all this is just a learning machine. Most of the ones I've found are G3 500/600/700Mhz with anywhere from 128MB to 640MB of RAM. I'm not too worried about having DVD or CDRW but would be a plus. I would like the ability to add an Airport card and use the latest OS from Apple.

    As for usage I'll be doing basic things like email, web surfing, and maybe some word processing. Should I fall head over heels in love then I'll likely buy another Apple down the road.

    What do you suggest I get as a minimum to do what I've mentioned? Also what is the likelihood of having issues with it, as I've seen where some people have had issues with G3 iBook's going deed on them due to the logic board.

    Any advice, recommendations, and/or suggestions you might have would be greatly helpful. Also any sites that you might know of where I can get a good deal on a decent iBook would be great as well.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. dschwab macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2004
    I was in a similar situaion as you about a year ago. I get paid to support Windows servers, but wanted to learn about the Mac and OS X that everyone was always raving about. I picked up a G3 700mhz iBook back then and fell in love with it. It's a good low-end machine for cutting your teeth on. Boost the RAM up above 256MB to make it usable and you have yourself a good machine for surfing, email, word processing. This spec machine will run 10.3 just fine, although don't expect blazing performance from iMovie and the higher-end apps (doesn't sound like you're into those yet anyways).

    I did have the logic board issue with my G3 though (before it was a well-known problem), but since it was still in the warranty period, Apple replaced it fairly quickly. If you're concerned about this, get a machine that's still under warranty.

    I've since owned several other Macs as well, slowly moving up the ladder as my needs increase. I'm running a 15" TiBook for my light-use Mac and a 867mhz PowerMac on the desktop for photo and video editing, which I'm getting into thanks to the awesome apps on the Mac. I'll be moving to a G5 once the speed bumps happen soon. The nice thing about the Mac platform is that the hardware holds its value very well, so you can easily resell something when you outgrow it for very little loss. Heck, I sold one of my Macs after using it for a few months for $200 more than I had paid for it, and I expect to break even on my current PowerMac when I sell it.

    For price-checking resources, and are good places to visit. You can also check the classified boards here at or as prices there are typically below eBay prices, especially on lower-end Macs. And the Special Deals section of the Apple Store is a good place for factory-direct refurbs.
  3. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    You can get a good used or refurbished from places like and for pretty decent prices. Check Apple's special deals section, too. I'd trust them more than eBay. Good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy your "new" Mac.

    My Mom's got an older 500 MHz iBook, and it works fine, even with 10.2 (though I might suggest upgrading to 10.3).
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    You might also consider an eMac as they are $799 new. I'm sure you could get a decent one for around $700 used. Depends on if you need a laptop or not. An eMac at $700 would probably be faster (and better long term) than a $700 iBook.
  5. keystone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    I appreciate all the responses. It gives me quite a bit of information that I didn't have. I had thought about maybe getting an eMac or IMac, but I do need to portability as I'm on the move quite often. That and I've got way too many desktop systems in my home office.

    I'm thinking I wont be going on eBay to get my iBook as I've just never liked buying computer parts on there. Especially since I do want a warranty, while I've seen some that are still under warranty I think I's rather buy elsewhere.

    Thanks again! If there is any more advice feel free to keep it coming.
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Re: Mac Nebiw, What Should I Buy?

    Get yourself over to right away.

    I got a G3/900 iBook for $601. Advertised as used but it was brand new. One happy camper here.

    There are currently 2 iBooks and 1 PowerBook for auction, prices are all still pretty low. One auction ends in 2 hours and 2 tomorrow.

    Good luck!

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