Need a laptop for two months

freebird

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 1, 2004
71
0
Hi all,
I'm leaving for Japan on October 6th and staying for two months. Originally I had been planning to buy a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and holding on to that indefinitely but there aren't here. Bummer. I don't actually need a new computer until mid-2007, and it's a poor investment to get a MacBook Pro now. Anyone who's taken an Economics class would agree with me. I have very little money and that's basically throwing a couple hundred down the drain, as the value of an old MBP would drop significantly following an upgrade.

Anyhow, now I'm looking at getting a mac to hold me for two months, and then reselling it when I return on December 20th. Should I go for a used G4 iBook? a MacBook? Something refurbished? What will best hold value?

There are refurbished iBooks and Powerbooks (12 inch!) on the Apple Store that look nice, but the shipping times may be prohibitive. Of course, since there are no more 12 inch notebooks, the market may remain pretty much the same for those...

The built-in iSight on MacBooks would be nice, but isn't a must-have. I want something quick and reliable, and I'll be using it mostly for iPhoto, web, and word processing.

Please let me know what you think.

edit: Of course, I could also wait until next tuesday, the 3rd, just three days before I leave, in hope of seeing those elusive MBPs...
 

extraextra

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2006
1,758
0
California
I would say shoot for an iBook since you're not doing too much, but then you asked about which one will hold the better value, and that'd be the Macbook. I think you can get a used 12" iBook for around $500 if you're lucky, the new ones at my school sell for $800 though.

I guess since you're selling it when you come back, get a refurbished 1.83Ghz Macbook. You probably wouldn't lose too much (assuming they don't get Merom before then :eek: )
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
Well, even if the MBPs are released next Tuesday, they might not be immediately shipping or immediately available in stores, so I wouldn't count on that. What you should get depends on your needs. If anything will suit you, a used computer will suit you well. New computers (such as the MB) will lose value (a) when you first take it out of the box, and (b) after the first rev. Seeing as the MB will update during your trip, it'll probably lose value a lot quicker than a G4 iBook.

The iBook's already lost a lot of value, and will be losing it a lot slower. No "out of the box depreciation", no price shock from a PPC -> intel switch, and any future buyer for your used iBook won't be looking for top specs; i.e. if you hold it for two months, a potential buyer won't be comparing the iBook's speed vs. current MB; he'll more likely be looking at the condition of your iBook.
 

extraextra

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2006
1,758
0
California
freebird said:
edit: nevermind.

How bout a 12 inch PowerBook compared to an iBook?

I bought one, personally I just threw money away. 12" PB's will go from $500-$1200 depending on specs, condition, and where/who you buy from. The iBook is a far better deal.

The price for the iBooks/PB's isn't going to drop rapidly, I agree, but the market for people willing to buy the old 12" PB's and iBook's gets smaller.
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
1,403
0
CO
If you're considering a Macbook purchase (which would be my recommendation), you should purchase one in-store, as there is a pretty substantial wait for online orders and you might not even receive it before you leave...
 

ZoomZoomZoom

macrumors 6502a
May 2, 2005
767
0
I don't know about the iBook, but the 12'' PB is about $700. (Newest model.)

You'll get a better system, but you won't get as great of a resale value. May or may not be worth it for you. Then again, the value of those machines won't be dropping much any time soon. Also, some people specifically want 12'' PBs, because there's no 12'' MBP.
 

freebird

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 1, 2004
71
0
AvSRoCkCO1067 said:
If you're considering a Macbook purchase (which would be my recommendation), you should purchase one in-store, as there is a pretty substantial wait for online orders and you might not even receive it before you leave...
Right, I'd definitely do that. Thanks for the suggestion.

I've been looking around on eBay and it seems like the market for iBooks is pretty volatile, and the older the computer gets the more volatile the market is.

The iMac, for example, has only lost maybe $100 value since Core 2 Duo. That makes me lean towards a MacBook.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
If resale value is important then get the Macbook. I don't think the Macbooks are going to be updated until January anyways, and I definitely don't think Merom will be put in the Macbooks at the same time they are put in the Macbook Pro.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,378
110
Location Location Location
extraextra said:
I bought one, personally I just threw money away. 12" PB's will go from $500-$1200 depending on specs, condition, and where/who you buy from. The iBook is a far better deal.

Agreed. For a while, the iBooks were essentially PowerBooks, but with a FSB that was 33MHz slower (no difference), and with a CPU that was like 1 GHz slower. Again, no difference.


I'd go for the 12" iBook G4. Any speed.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
1
freebird said:
Hi all,
Anyone who's taken an Economics class would agree with me. I have very little money and that's basically throwing a couple hundred down the drain, as the value of an old MBP would drop significantly following an upgrade.
i see a computer purchase as as sunk cost anyway

what kinda business are you in? will the latest and greatest really make or break your productivity?

there have been some really great suggestions in this thread already so if you decide with an old model to "tie you over" for two months, the other members have given some great advice you can follow.

But will the current top of the line stop working all of a sudden when the new top of the line comes out?

questions to ask i think
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,378
110
Location Location Location
You're right, and while I would normally suggest just buying whatever you need, whenever you need it, I don't think I'd buy now either if I could wait.....


The C2Ds have been released, are available, and Apple is using them already in the iMac. They'll definitely be updated shortly, and since a computer is a "once every three years" type of purchase for me, I'd rather wait and get the better product by waiting the few weeks it'll take to get it.