Need advice on a used first Mac!

iShater

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
6,999
409
Chicagoland
Howdy folks,

I was at a CompUSA today talking to a salesperson. They had a few discontinued systems that they wanted to move, and he gave me the following quotes. I am not sure what would be the best "bang for the buck", so any help in making the decision would be great. This would be my first Mac if I go for them! :D

1) PowerBook floor model - $1899.99
800 Mhz
512MB
? HD (i don't remember)
Combo drive
Airport card
3yr Apple Care
3 year Screen Protection

2) PowerBook New in Box - $1799 (might be able to get an open box)
667 Mhz
256MB
? HD
Combo drive
3yr Apple Care
3 year Screen Protection

3) iBook open box - $999
Last generation (identical to current entry level??)
700 Mhz
128MB
20GB
Combo drive
Includes AppleCare


So, thoughts? as I said this would be my first Mac, and I am not sure if I should go for the fastest or the cheapest. Money is a big issue, but i can get the 6mo 0% financing with this purchase. I have never bought an open box or floor model system (only refurbished before), so any experience with such systems would be greatly appreciated.

Also, is the free Apple care they are offering me a good deal?

Thanks a lot!

:D

[Edit]
Figured I should add what I will be using the machine for:
- to replace a PC 400Mhz Celeron laptop that has a dead battery and is as stable as an elephant standing on a matchstick!
- Word processing, web serfing, playing with OSX!
- iMovie (to finally make movies out of miniDV tapes)
- Some games (actually Warcraft 3 is all I am planning to get any time soon).
- Mobile DVD player!

I will be starting my thesis for my MA soon, so I need a laptop I can take to the library to type the paper.

Does the software that comes with the iBook also tip the scales in favor of the iBook?

[/EDIT]
 

mnkeybsness

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2001
2,511
0
Moneyapolis, Minnesota
take that $1899 powerbook and RUN with it!

you will be saving about $500

don't get the ibook...that's full price for it, and you will be more satisfied with a powerbook in the long run, the hardware will last you longer because it is using the G4, not the G3...(i got a feeling someone will disagree...this is very arguable, but it's really just a toss-up)

the powerbook should have a 40gb hard drive....and by the way...are you sure it is 800mhz? and not 867mhz?

free applecare? TAKE IT...there should always be a 1-year included applecare plan...i've used it twice already on my powermac in 6 months (actually i only used it on the keyboard and mouse) come on though, really, who doesn't like free stuff? if anything goes wrong...apple will fix it for free.
 

mmoin

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2001
138
0
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
take that $1899 powerbook and RUN with it!

you will be saving about $500

don't get the ibook...that's full price for it, and you will be more satisfied with a powerbook in the long run, the hardware will last you longer because it is using the G4, not the G3...(i got a feeling someone will disagree...this is very arguable, but it's really just a toss-up)

the powerbook should have a 40gb hard drive....and by the way...are you sure it is 800mhz? and not 867mhz?

free applecare? TAKE IT...there should always be a 1-year included applecare plan...i've used it twice already on my powermac in 6 months (actually i only used it on the keyboard and mouse) come on though, really, who doesn't like free stuff? if anything goes wrong...apple will fix it for free.
First, have you seen what the floor models at CompUSA are like? Not pretty.

Also, the iBook the original poster has been offered is different from the current low-end iBook in that the current low-end iBook has a CD-Rom drive instead of the combo drive.

I'd recommend taking the iBook, especially with money being a major consideration.
 

Kid Red

macrumors 65816
Dec 14, 2001
1,385
91
If the $1800 pBook is in good condition I'd take that. If not, Id take the 667 pBook.

I would NOT get a G3 iBook after owning one and 3 G4s. The G3 does not do X very well. Get the G4, if the top is in good shape get it.
 

Kid Red

macrumors 65816
Dec 14, 2001
1,385
91
You get what you pay for- cheap will not last you as long as the fastest meaning your investment $ saved is wasted as you would have to upgrade sooner and for a lot more than you would've saved now. Get the G4.
 

mmoin

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2001
138
0
Originally posted by Kid Red
You get what you pay for- cheap will not last you as long as the fastest meaning your investment $ saved is wasted as you would have to upgrade sooner and for a lot more than you would've saved now. Get the G4.
There's more to it than that- first of all the guy said money is an issue, and second of all, depreciation-wise, the iBook would probably hold its value pretty well- I'd figure the $999 iBook would still be worth $550-650 in a year to 18 months, thus buying the iBook would probably allow for more upgrades.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
6,999
409
Chicagoland
Re: Get what you need

Originally posted by MontanaMacster
decide what you need the computer to do. I would suggest getting an Apple Loan and buying new from Apple.
Looking at the prices I have been quoted, new would be very expensive! Just to get the DVD drive in the iBook I would have to upgrade to the mid-range machine, 1,299 instead of 999.

I am *tempted* by the TiPB, because I think that is the best looking laptop/screen I have ever seen. I don't want this fascination to be the only reason I pick a laptop. I figured Mac users who have experience with both can better judge if the deal for the performance is really worth it.
 

primalman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2002
619
3
at the end of the hall
Re: Get what you need

Originally posted by MontanaMacster
decide what you need the computer to do. I would suggest getting an Apple Loan and buying new from Apple.
DON"T GET THE APPLE LOAN!!!!!!!!!! You will pay upwards of 9-12% interest. Better idea is to use an intro credit card rate and pay 4-8%. You also get the flexibilty to pay more or less per month. And since the loans are for 4 or 5 years [48-60 payments], you will still be paying for it when the computer is way out of date and you want/need a new one.

BTW, the #1 PowerBook would be the best deal, as long as you are getting the regular Apple 1 year warranty. If so, go ahead and spend the extra and get the AppleCare Protection Plan. You will pay about $250 for it, but you get a total of 3 years of hardware warranty protection and replacement and 3 full years of telephone technical support, up from 90 days!! It is really worth it, especially for a laptop, they take much more wear than a desktop.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
6,999
409
Chicagoland
Re: Re: Get what you need

Originally posted by primalman


DON"T GET THE APPLE LOAN!!!!!!!!!! You will pay upwards of 9-12% interest. Better idea is to use an intro credit card rate and pay 4-8%. You also get the flexibilty to pay more or less per month. And since the loans are for 4 or 5 years [48-60 payments], you will still be paying for it when the computer is way out of date and you want/need a new one.

BTW, the #1 PowerBook would be the best deal, as long as you are getting the regular Apple 1 year warranty. If so, go ahead and spend the extra and get the AppleCare Protection Plan. You will pay about $250 for it, but you get a total of 3 years of hardware warranty protection and replacement and 3 full years of telephone technical support, up from 90 days!! It is really worth it, especially for a laptop, they take much more wear than a desktop.
Actually they are offering me AppleCare free with all three purchases. But my understanding is that the PowerBooks don't come with any software (AppleWorks, Quicken, etc.) and I a thinking that would be bad.

The Apple loan has 6 months 0%, so I would have to pay it off in 6 months.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,132
167
Lard
The PowerBook 800 at that price looks great to me. I wouldn't buy the 667 but would consider the iBook just because of price.

I've had two floor models from CompUSA and have had great luck with them both. However, I saw them every two weeks or so and knew what had happened to them.

Free AppleCare is great since it's got to cover the LCD and that's a lot more than the $250-$350 that it would cost anyway.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
6,999
409
Chicagoland
Originally posted by bousozoku
The PowerBook 800 at that price looks great to me. I wouldn't buy the 667 but would consider the iBook just because of price.

I've had two floor models from CompUSA and have had great luck with them both. However, I saw them every two weeks or so and knew what had happened to them.

Free AppleCare is great since it's got to cover the LCD and that's a lot more than the $250-$350 that it would cost anyway.
Thanks for the info. I havn't had the chance to stop by the store again, so the deals are pretty much gone. I would have to negotiate again :rolleyes:

but I found another CompUSA, so two stores to prowl! :D
 

MacUser1

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2001
334
0
CT
true

Originally posted by vjv
You should get a 12" AiBook
1799 and is new and faster than the 800
I don't exactly know how much you would like to spend, but buying the new 12" AlBook would not be a bad idea. For $100 more from the price of the 800 MHz TiBook, you can get a SuperDrive, 867 MHz G4, DDR SDRAM, Bluetooth, AirPort Extreme Antenna and a GeForce 420 Go (with 32 MB of DDR video memory). Not a bad deal, compared to the 800 MHz TiBook.
 

neonart

macrumors 65816
Sep 4, 2002
1,065
30
Near a Mac since 1993.
I think the 667 is a good deal. (If it's new and has those included warranties.)
It'll do everything you need to do for years without issues. Besides, sometimes you can't have everything you want- get the best you can without killing your budget. If you actually think the iBook would be ok, then a G4 tibook would be great. (Also, I don't know if that iBook was Quartz capable)
I would really consider the new 12" AlBook, but you will be losing the larger screen. (But it's so damn sweet and tiny!)
Any of these will be awesome compared to your old PC laptop. You'll love the battery time you get too!
 

voicegy

macrumors 65816
Re: Re: Get what you need

Originally posted by iShater

I am *tempted* by the TiPB, because I think that is the best looking laptop/screen I have ever seen. I don't want this fascination to be the only reason I pick a laptop....
It is. Why not? :p

Gotta remember, part of the Apple experience is getting your hands on what attracts you. Fascination won't be the only reason for your ultimate choice, I'm sure...but it holds quite a sway on the decision, doesn't it?;)
 
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