Need to buy a used MBP/MBA/MB.... but what?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iMpathetic, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #1
    What's up guys.

    I have a battered iBook G4 that is currently my only real computer, down from about 30 a year ago. :p

    It unfortunately decides to shut down randomly and not turn back on unless it's in the right mood. It happens to work today, which is why I can type this.

    I have decided to sell my mountain bike to pay for a replacement. I have put a feeler thread in the Marketplace to see what I can get for $1000 or less, but I have mainly been offered iMacs. The problem is, there's nowhere to put a desk at my mom's house, which is mainly where the computer would get used.

    Because of this, I have decided to pick up a used, faster Intel Mac. All of the MacBook models are somewhat enticing:

    - MacBook: Reasonably small, cheap, decent performance.
    - MBP: Bigger screen, can be had under $1k from time to time, better graphics.
    - MBA: Thin and light. Sleek.

    At this point, I am mainly torn between the Air and Pro. I don't game, I'm not a designer, but I do know my way around a computer fairly well. I would love to use the Air, provided I can get one cheaply enough and it is fast enough to do some moderate multitasking in Leopard. HDD space is not a problem, I have 7 gigs of music and am only using 25 of my 40GB on the iBook.

    The Pro is obviously more powerful and expandable, but it's kinda big. I also worry about being able to find a cheap C2D model for $1000 or so.... can it be done?

    Battery life is also rather important.

    Long-winded post, I'm sorry. Just wanted to see what y'all think.

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #2
    I would certainly check out the refurbished section on Apple's website. You will not get an earth shattering price but the one year warranty with the chance of purchasing Applecare within the first year will be worth it.
     
  3. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #3
    I suppose you're right. They do have the white 2.1GHz MB for $849.

    They also have the 1.6GHz MBA for $999.

    My dad is a professor at a university.... can I get a discount on refurbs through him?
     
  4. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #4
    I would definitely go with just a MacBook. To be honest, I'm still not quite sold with the Air and a MacBook Pro would just be overkill for what you're planning to do on it.
     
  5. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    If your Dad orders it through the University Network, then he will get quite a big discount (Around 15% i think) but it doesnt apply to Refurb Models.
     
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    Yeah, if I remember correctly, there are no discounts for refurbished models.
     
  7. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    the island
    #7
    I definitely recommend the MacBook. I've found mine to be quite powerful- much more than some would lead you to believe. I feel like my 2.4 Uni is the best compromise of all the MacBooks- it's very robust and strong, has plenty of power, and is quite light and portable. Great for school and for me, it's perfect for work. I do quite a bit of Photoshop, Aperture, GarageBand, and Logic work on here, and it is quite capable of handling all I throw at it.

    Unless you absolutely have to have a discrete GPU or the 15" screen, I say go for the MB.

    And I'm fairly certain your dad can get an educational discount.
     
  8. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #8
    Thanks for your thoughtful replies, everyone.

    As far as power goes, I'm really not a 'power user', but I like to have overkill if I can afford it. I really am a fan of bigger screens and higher resolutions, but I'm also big on portability... unfortunately, the MB is the same screen size as the MBA but not as portable... so it doesn't seem to make much sense.

    I am also looking at the iMac.... anyone have any input on them? I can get a 20" 2.4GHz model with 4GB RAM and a 320GB HDD for $850 if I want to.... but I don't know how well they'll fit in small spaces.

    I had a 2.2GHz blackbook once, I loved it, but for some reason, I only held onto it for three weeks.
     
  9. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #9
    If you can find a MBP that would be my choice, after trying a white 2.4ghz macbook, then a Rev B 1.8/SSD MBA I now landed on a MBP 17".

    Macbook served me well and other than the limited Intel intergrated graphics was a great machine. 160HDD was a bit small but knew I could upgrade but instead I caught the MBA bug...

    1.8/SSD Macbook Air was a very fast machine for it's spec's. The Rev B's are alot faster than the originals for many reasons. L2 Cache, DDR3 memory, Nivida 9400M graphics etc... The downfall for me is I use my laptop for watching alot of online video such as Hulu and Netflix. It did ok but sound is bad and it did struggle a bit with HD.

    MBP 17" is simply the best laptop I've ever used. I"m only a few days into it but amazed at the power, smooth video playback and screen quality/brightness. I have a 320gig HDD but plan on going to a SSD once prices drop but even stock 5400 RPM runs pretty well.

    For $1000 bucks I would look at a MBP from 2008. Whilie 15" maybe bigger then you like it will last longer, more upgradable and do anything you ask of it.

    The MBA is a VERY COOL machine but I found after a couple months the limited 128gig SSD, one usb port just wasn't for me. I wish I could afford a MBP and the MBA because for some things it is the BEST machine, I loved surfing, doing email, and any web related tasks outside of video. I honeslty dont' see how anyone could only have 80gigs of HDD or 64gig SSD on the Rev A and use it as a primary machine. I know it's possible with externals but the whole idea of portable's is not to have to carry a bunch of exteranal parts (usb HDD, Superdrive etc)

    If you are down to MB vs MBA Rev A I would almost say go MBA just because it's so damn cool and fun to use lol, but if your a video watching junkie as I am probably not the way to go.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find the one that is right for you!
     
  10. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #10
    Thank you SOOO much for your post. I will have to dissect it. :D

    I am not a very creative person. I store music and wallpaper on my HDD.

    I have no need for more than 80GB of space....

    However, if I could find a SR MBP I would totally jump on it. I don't know if they can be had that cheaply.
     

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