Need buying advice for a student, now or holdout?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by yippy, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    OK, here is the deal. This fall I am going off to college as a mechanical engineer and I need a computer. I have already decided that I am getting a laptop so here are my options:

    a) Buy now, the current lines look good and I would be able to play with/set up my computer over the summer.

    b) Wait for the next update and buy whatever it is, as long as it is not to long after school starts. I don't realy need it till then anyway.

    c) Hold out for a G5 powerbook and use my PM6500 and campus computers untill then (cant take the family MDD :(.

    Then of course I need to decide what model (leaning twords 15 inch PowerBook)

    That said, here is what I am looking for. First of all, i don't want an iBook, I think the 12 powerbook is much better and only slightly more expensive. I need a computer that will last. Being that I will be a poor college student I want this computer to last me 5 years or so, which is why I am thinking of waiting for a G5, I think the 64 bit may be overkill now but could add years to its life. Also I am one of those people who suffers from the need for the latest and greatest (I know I don't need that but I think I run my computers pretty hard). Bassicly it all comes down to the best for my money in the long run.

    Before you say get an iBook (someone always does), here is what I will be using it for. Obviously the basics, any new computer can do that, but preferably all at the same time (I like to have all my basic apps open at once). I would like to learn how to program soon, so some basics of that. I am very interested in aviation and am thinking of buying X-Plane, a very realistic (and high system demand) game. That last one is probably the most taxing thing I will use for a while. Oh, and did I mention it needs to last a while.

    Alot of this depends on when the next updates might be, so any insight would be apreciated.

    Thanks for your advice/thoughts. Sorry for the long post but I have learned that it is better to give too much info than not enough.
  2. Nny macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2004
    If you want a Powerbook I say get it now. They were just updated, so it will be another 6-9 months before you see a refresh most likely.
  3. xray macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2004
    Get the Powerbook now. Fresh updates make it a good buy that will keep its value
  4. rockandrepublic macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2004
    is it a likely possibility that apple will offer a student bundle/discount as the product line gets older? or maybe to entice college students to buy powerbooks this summer? for example, last summer i think apple offered a printer and an iPod with the purchase of any laptop for something like $200 more. will they do it again this year?
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Last summer they did that to get rid of the old stock. If you wait, you'll have the option of getting a bundle....but really you'll be saying forget the bundle - word is that new products will be released soon. [Evil cyclical pattern]

    Whew! That JUST happened!!! BUY NOW!!

    If you wait for end of cycle bundles, you'll get an old product and be disappointed when new ones come out two weeks later. Or, you'll have waited for a new product when kickass laptops were JUST updated. BUY NOW!! :D
  6. thirteen1031 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2004
    Buy NOW!

    Dude! Buy now!

    Yes, I know you want that G5 powerbook--but you've got to remember what happened when they upgraded to the powerbook G4 from the G3...bugs and problems! Remember all those burning heat issues? Latch and warp problems? And the dreaded white spots of the new 15"? Maybe Apple will get lucky and the first G5's off the assembly line will be flawless--but I don't think you want to bet on that.

    The G5 will need to be a whole new design (last word, they were talking about a liquid cooling system!). That means a whole new set of problems to iron out. So if it were to come out in, say, 6 months (an optimistic estimate), you'd still want to wait a year, at least, for all the problems to be found out and ironed out--and maybe for a drop in price. That's 18 months you're going to be computerless.

    Buy now. You can get a rock solid G4, either the new upgraded ones or a beautifully refurbished one. You say it has to last you 5 years--and it will. My old Clamshell did--but you don't know what the future holds. May in 3 years, you'll come into some cash, be able to sell that G4 at good resale value, and buy a rock-solid G5.

    In short, now's the time. As for which to get--get the best you can afford. A 15" with 1.5gb processer should last you and satisfy your needs as they grow and change. Nice screen for gaming, too. Have you checked the powerbooks out, by the by--in person and up close? That's really the best way to tell which one you want/need. A sweet, little portable like the 12" or the more comfortable screen size of the 15".
  7. rfenik macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2003
    A week after I got mine they updated the powerbook line from 867 to a gig.

    It's always going to be like that... if you want it now get it now.
  8. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Hey soon as the g5 Powerbooks are reliable with revision B, they are going to be talking about the g6 desktop, and people on macrumors are going to be waiting for the g6 powerbook-saying that the g5 powerbook will be obsolete. If you need it, you should buy it- the 15". If your computer is doing the trick for you...then I would wait. All colleges have computer labs anyway.
  9. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    get the laptop now. you will enjoy playing with it, and you will get more use from it by having it those extra few months. if you want to wait for a g5 laptop, you're just going to be disappointed.
  10. cmx08 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2004
    Canada, GMA
    kid, i say u wait for back to school season

    apple gets some nice bundles at that time and most resellers will also. Therefore, getting it during that time season will get you lot of things and the price will be cheaper.

    Although, if you use student discount, the price will the all the same, but you might get free stuff from resellers who offer the student discount

    if you can wait until october, i say to you, wait. you don't need a laptop in the summer, you want one.

    spend the time working and saving and doing some research on mac products with your current computer.
  11. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Agreed. You can get some really good deals near the end of summer. I got $200 dollars off an iPod (which was 269) when I bought my PB. An iPod for $69, that is one heck of a deal. Also got a free printer too. Very good deal in my opinon. Although the PB did get updated a few months later, it didn't really bother me at all.

    and btw, if you are going to wait for the PB G5, your going to be waiting for a while. So I would say wait for summer deals.

    and not to be critical, but expecting a computer to last you five years seems like a bit of a stretch, esp if it is a laptop. IMO.
  12. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    I wouldn't wait for the G5 powerbook, but if I were you I'd wait until just before you leave for school. Odds are Apple will have some sort of promotion. Also, refurb'd powerbooks may be cheaper than the educational discount by that time. A lot can happen in 5 months.

    That said, if you have the money and would like to use the powerbook, might as well go for it. Your time may be worth more than any discounts or promotions Apple will give you closer to the start of classes.
  13. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
  14. rockandrepublic macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2004
    i've made my decision...

    i'm going to buy it as soon as i buy a student adc membership and get approved to buy the powerbook.

    my discount will allow me to also buy a printer and iPod for about the same price as if i used the bundle. plus, i get the powerbook soon instead of waiting for the bundle offer to come out if it ever does. correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think you are allowed to use the student adc discount along with the bundle rebate, right?

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