Macbook Best Buy sale and purchase advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by XTheLancerX, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. XTheLancerX macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    NY, USA
    #1
    I'm a junior in high school, and I do not have a computer of my own. I'm going to be getting into computer science/information sciences/technologies for college.

    I've come across this sale on bestbuy that is $250 off the baseline non-touch bar 2016 MacBook Pro, and am very interested. There's also a $350 off sale on the Core M5 512GB 12" Retina MacBook but I'm fairly decided on the Pro for the extra power, port, better screen, faster SSD, etc. Both are $1249.

    As of now I do not require a lot of power, but I do want/need a computer that's mine and I can use for school the next few years. Definitely a MacBook, no question about it. I'm taking online CS classes and have to use the Office suite pretty often (especially next year, taking a class where's I will be writing 2+ papers a week). I'm currently scraping by with a school-assigned computer but it's awful and it's more of a burden than anything.

    I have computer access at home but it's all shared with the family. We have an old 2011 gaming rig and a crappy 17" Acer laptop that's incredibly slow (if I go to switch to my user it takes 5-10 minutes sometimes and even after it finally switches it is so impossibly slow I can barely even use it) and doesn't even last 45 minutes on a charge. It's extremely cumbersome and I have to have it plugged in where I'm working and it's terrible. It also gets very hot and loud for no reason.

    I don't require hardly any power and don't see myself gaming at all unless it's something very light like Minecraft, Terraria, don't starve, etc. I just might need to run VMs for college. That's where it might be problematic. But even then it should at least run (many colleges recommend a minimum of a dual core i5 and 8GB of RAM for CS courses, this computer meets that) and I plan on selling this honestly if I need to at that point. That's a couple years down the road, too.

    What do you recommend I do? Should I take the plunge or scrape by this year and get a job for the summer and get a better computer this fall? (The extra power with a better Mac won't even be utilized next year and may or may not even be necessary for college)
     
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #2
    What you suggest about waiting until you need more power to buy more power makes sense to me. Sounds like the model you're looking at will be plenty for your present needs, and into the beginning of college.

    You might also want to check out the open-box specials at Best Buy for additional savings. They come with the normal warranty and return policies. You can get them either in store or online.
     
  3. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #3
    I have a late 2013 rMBP 2.6/8/256 13" and I love it. Works great.
     
  4. ZapNZs, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #4
    For your usage and current situation (and especially if money is an issue) I think going for economy and portability over power is probably the best bet. You can always add on a more powerful machine later, and Windows computers are better for certain applications (some due to price and some to suitability, such as gaming.)

    If it were me, I would make an effort to buy refurbished, because you save more over a student discount, and you are buying a machine with the same warranty as new models, in the same cosmetic & functional condition, and it has undergone a strenuous quality assurance check that is likely even more stringent than the QA testing done with new machines.

    The 2015 MacBook Pro is IMO a much better value than the 2016, as things currently stand. You can get a refurb 13-inch 2015 MBP for $1,000-1,100 with a one year warranty, and it:
    • comes with a 2.7 GHz i5 CPU that is roughly comparable in capability to the i5 CPU in the entry level 2016,
    • uses 8GB of RAM that is the same speed (and amount) as the base-version 2016-13in,
    • has a very fast SSD (the 2015s can read/write over 1GBs/700MBs and the 2016 is something like 2.5GBs/1.5GBs depending upon SSD size...these speeds are so fast that the difference for most normal usage will not be noticed),
    • has very good integrated graphics,
    • unlike the 2016, it has a SD card slot, so you can purchase a flush adapter and store a microSD card inside the computer acting as a secondary hard drive, adding up to 200 GB of internal storage (so if you purchase the smaller SSD on a 2015, you have better expandability options),
    • uses MagSafe, which for on-the-go usage I find a blessing in preventing accidental damage to the computer (the 2016 uses USB-C and has stopped using MagSafe),
    • has a Force Touch trackpad,
    • (something like this would be able to easily virtualize common Windows/Linux OS'.)
    Be advised...These sell stupid fast.
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/F...-27ghz-dual-core-intel-i5-with-retina-display

    Another even lower cost option is the MacBook Air: I've seen them as low as $750 new, in a configuration of an i5, 8GB RAM, and 128 SSD. With this model, you don't get the retina screen, but the standard screen is still excellent, and the computer overall is an outstanding design. I've even seen the 2.0 GHz i7/8GB RAM/256SSD option for as little as $1,050 refurbished. I was considering a MacBook but I use VMs regularly -- upon getting the chance to use both, I found a HUGE difference between the Air and MacBook in regards to processing capability. The Air with 8GB of RAM and the i7 can easily virtualize just like the 13-inch MBP, where as the Air with the i5 was noticeably slower, and the MacBook with the m5 was snail speed. Additionally, the Air uses the older style keyboard (which many people like over the newer) and the older style trackpad with clickable buttons (as opposed to the simulated clicking sensation done by Force Touch.) As the model is being discontinued, I expect to see even bigger discounts soon.

    A final option you might want to check out is a Chromebook. I got my Asus Flip for something like under $200, and it is a touchscreen, has a good quality display, and uses an aluminum body like the MacBook Pro. It's nowhere nearly refined as the MBP, but for the money it is an outstanding value and it is capable of fulfilling most school-related roles required. A less expensive Chromebook now could give you a year or two to save up for the MacBook Pro, where you could then purchase out a specced up model should you decide you want a more powerful computer.
    http://store.asus.com/us/item/201609AM240000006
     
  5. XTheLancerX thread starter macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    NY, USA
    #5
    I'm only considering the baseline 2016 MBP right now because it is $250 off at Best Buy. For $1250 I'm very willing to and able to purchase it. $150 savings for a year old (now about two year old) machine with half the storage doesn't sound favorable to me.

    I'm also going to be majoring in CS/IT and may need to run VMs, so. If this computer proved to be not capable enough for that, I'll sell it on swappa or something and get a new one.

    I like the new keyboard style and overall look of the machine as well as the baseline 256GB it comes with.

    The improved display is really nice, I compared the 2015 and 2016 MacBook so and the 2016 one was way brighter and more vibrant.

    I've never used and doubt I will ever need to use an sd card slot. If I do need it, I'm honestly okay with getting adapters. I would love MagSafe but I do want to be on the cutting edge and have USB-C and thunderbolt 3, that's where the market is going.

    Even when sold from third parties, apple products have their manufacture warranty and will still be serviced and supported just the same right? As long as they're bought new and not tampered with? Wondering because I will be purchasing from Best Buy.
     
  6. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    Yes, they have the same Apple warranty when brought from any authorized dealer, including Best Buy.
     
  7. dhc921 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #7
    I have both machines both are good but I do favor the MacBook 12 for carrying around. 512GB is a good storage option. You won't feel any difference in performance for browsing/office apps but if you are going to do video editing 13 pro is probably better.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #8
    If you have no such need, since this will be something for college why not wait?
     
  9. XTheLancerX thread starter macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    NY, USA
    #9
    Well I kind of need it now and especially senior year, I don't have a computer of my own and doing online class work and writing papers is very cumbersome at the moment as a result.
     
  10. infernoguy macrumors regular

    infernoguy

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #10
    Can you explain how you use both? I'm trying to justify having the MacBook and nTB MacBook Pro (so I can take advantage of this sale).
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    $250 off is a very good price on a ntbMBPro.

    I suggest you stop by BestBuy, and try BOTH the 2016 MBPro and the 2015 model side-by-side.
    Give special consideration to the feel of the keyboard (open a blank Pages doc on both, and type for a few minutes).
    Also take a few moments and evaluate your "port needs". Do you like the legacy ports on the 2015, or would you rather have the two USB-c ports (and have to carry around some dongles)?

    Then... make a decision.
     
  12. Tazoawake2016 macrumors member

    Tazoawake2016

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Location:
    Deep Space 9
    #12
    Best Buy has that model on sale right now for $1000 plus tax. I think this is the lowest price I've ever seen for a brand new 2015 13-inch MBP. The baseline 13-inch MBA is also on sale for $750.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/promo/save-on-macbook-evn22967

    I believe this sale will end on Monday midnight.
     
  13. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #13

    Best Buy is direct with Apple & an Authorized Service Provider, so you would be fine with the warranty, and can have it serviced by Best Buy, Apple directly, or through any other Authorized Service Provider.

    The baseline 2016 Pro-13 should be able to run a VM very well without issues (since the 2015 MBP-13 can, which has similar overall performance.) It's a nice computer and I think you will like it (especially at the deal you are getting.)

    I am guessing you already know this, but you may also be eligible for a further discount as a student (which IIRC ranges between 10-15%.)
     
  14. XTheLancerX, Feb 18, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017

    XTheLancerX thread starter macrumors 68000

    XTheLancerX

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    NY, USA
    #14
    Oh yeah..! How would I go about applying that discount to a purchase at bestbuy (if I'm eligible.. not sure if I will be since I'm still in high school...)? Particularly if I'm shopping online, because that's what I was probably going to do; have it shipped in, or order online and do in store pickup.

    Edit: Looked into it and I have to be in college to get the offer. Not there yet, so..
     
  15. ladytonya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #15
    I bought an early 2011 MBP when I was in college and had access to funds for the purchase of a computer. I am still using the same computer with just some upgrades. I am now in a totally different financial situation and no way could I afford to buy a new MacBook. i am glad that I bought the most power I could afford back in 2011. I just installed a new battery, went from 4 GB to 8 GB of RAM, and installed a SSD drive. It's like a whole new computer and I am still as much in love with it as I was the day I bought it! So, to make a long story short, you don't know what's going to happen in the future. Buy the most power you can buy now, it's way easier to upgrade internals than to buy a whole new computer.
     
  16. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    Land of Smiles
    #16
    Whilst I appreciate the 2 options you presented make it a more desirable to opt for the higher spec MBP you should not simply swipe the rMB to the side so easily IMO. The portability and overall usage for day to day carrying around stuffing in to you backpack/handbag etc is only appreciated in reality not on paper :)

    For your usage your unlikely to notice many of the potential higher performance and even the better screen on the MBP you will be using it at <40% brightness most of the time to get your battery endurance. The rMB has 512gb SSD not 256GB on the MBP where storage is highly desirable for long term use IMO

    All my sons used 11" MBA for their Uni days and my eldest now a PHD Uni lecturer uses a 2015 rMB M5 and it is ok for light casual gaming even WOW on low settings

    If you really want a good $ to spec ratio then you should be looking in the windows world but that's an even bigger choice of options :D
     
  17. dhc921 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #17
    I have sold my MacBook Pro 13 without touch bar. They are too similar but the MacBook goes with me everywhere when I am outside the house. I use it mainly to email/office/web browsing.

    I have gotten a 15 MacBook Pro for using at home. If u just want 1 laptop maybe the MacBook Pro 13 is a more balanced solution.
     
  18. infernoguy macrumors regular

    infernoguy

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #18
    Funny you replied to this now because my situation has changed. I ended up getting an iMac 4k in place of my MacBook Pro nTB 13 and a 2016 Space Gray MacBook. Both work splendidly together much like your MacBook Pro 15/MacBook Combo... The iMac for me does all the heavy lifting I need (even with a quad core i5) and the MacBook is my travel companion.
     

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