MacBook replacement

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MrFusion, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. MrFusion macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    My first gen MacBook just died. The system went spinning on the beach, froze completely (hour watch) and showed a flashing folder after a hard manual reboot. Now it is just making clicking sounds and showing a white screen on startup. I hope the hard reset didn't kill it. :(

    Ah well, the dvd drive is dead as well and the casing is cracking. I wanted to replace more than a year ago but decided to see it through to the bitter end. It lasted longer than expected.

    Almost no data was lost, since I have backups and time machine.

    More annoyingly is that I will have a new job after the summer, but I need a computer at my current job and I don't want to use an old windows PC lying around the office somewhere in the remaining time. I am the only mac user so far, although the iPhones and iPads are making a good impression on my colleagues. Also annoying is that refreshes are expected in the next few weeks. Not sure I can hold out that long.

    So, now what to replace my MacBook with?

    Here is my computer usage:
    I have an iMac at home (whose hard drive is also sometimes producing clicking sounds). The MacBook was used only at work, where I am mostly sitting behind a desk. A few times a year I give a presentation and visit a conference. The presentation are usually prepared well in advance, but are regularly adapted up to the day itself. I don't expect this usage to change that much at my new job, but you never know.

    Software usage:
    Scientific simulations, which took days to run on my macbook.
    VMWare for some windows only science programs.
    Xcode to program replacements for the above. :D
    adobe illustrator on occasion.
    everything else is fairly regular.

    Given my iMac, the iPad and the lifespan of batteries, I wasn't planning on buying another personal laptop anymore. My experience so far is that batteries die after 2 years.
    I also don't like the current iMac screen sizes that much as I saw them in the shop. 21" is too small, 27" too big. What happened to the 24"?

    My options:
    1) now: new MacBook air or MacBook pro.
    2) now: new iMac for my current work + iPad 2. Later: Buy a company laptop at new job and sell my old iMac.
    3) now: new mac mini (server) for my current work + iPad 2. Later: Buy a company laptop at new job and connect mac mini to my TV. Use the iMac and mac mini for playing around with distributing computing.
    4) one of the above, but in a few weeks after the next expected refresh round and suffer at the hands of windows in the mean time. Sandy bridge is expected, or not?

    I don't want to spend more than ~1500 euro of my own money on this replacement.

    Your advice?
  2. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    #4 if you can actually deal with it. However, 2-3 weeks might turn into a couple of months.
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    If you really don't want a personal laptop, I'd probably say go with the Mac mini and a 24" or so screen, since you liked that size, and get the iPad 2 for your mobility when it comes out.

    One thing I'll note, though, is that you mentioned that batteries lasted about 2 years for you. That's about average for the previous models, but all the new Mac laptops come with batteries that should last longer, 4-5 years expected with the same type of usage you're dealing with. That may factor into your decision.

  4. walterwhite macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2011
    South Central PA
    Your macbook might have a recall/Quality Program on the HD... take it to an apple store (with a genius bar appt) and ask... they replace it with a 160GB and will reinstall the OS for you... also just tell them you had 10.6 and ilife 11 on it and they will drop it right on.
  5. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    There are no Apple stores in my country. Only independent resellers.
  6. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    Forgot to mention that I already have an external screen at work. So, that is in favour of a mac mini.

    That is interesting to know. 4+ years is about the lifetime I want to get out of my computers, these days.
  7. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    You sound like a grad student who actually has a hope of a job on the horizon.

    Getting a new laptop now would be a waste of money, and getting a new desktop paid by yourself for work purposes would be even worse. I'd suggest taking the existing laptop to a repair shop and getting it repaired. It might be as simple as needing a new hard disk or battery.

    Otherwise, use that old pc that's lying around for your work and conferences.
  8. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2005
    There are plenty of jobs in applied physics. I am not worried that much about finding a job.

    Anyhow, the local computer store had a sale. I bought a macbook pro 13" with a nice 15% discount. I figured the discount would be worth more to me than the upcoming update.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

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