New and Wanting Information

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by NinaPooh, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. NinaPooh macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Hello all, I'm new to this site. I actually came across this site because I was trying to find more information about macs. I've been really wanting to switch over to macs for quite some time now, and I finally might get that chance. Like some PC users, I'm still a little reluctant to switch. I will be heading off to college August 20, so my decision needs to come quickly. Right now I'm deciding between two PCs and an ibook. My parents are giving me $1200 to spend for a laptop, and the only macs I found in that range was the 12" ibook for $999 (with educational discount), which isn't really bad. The two other computers I'm looking at is a toshiba around $900 and a compaq around $1200. The reason I thinking about making the switch is I'm kind of really tired of PCs and all the technical problems I've had with them and for doing simple things on my computer. The only thing I really use my computer for is mainly internet surfing, email, and writing papers for class. I don't play computer games, except for a few on yahoo, or doing any type of complicated computer graphics things. I'm just a simple computer user. Would you all recommend the apple ibook over these PCs that I mentioned? Here are the specs on the ibook I want: 256MB, 30GB, Combo drive, 12", 1GHz PowerPC G4. If you want the specs on the two notebooks, go to and click on notebooks and the first toshiba and second compaq computer you see is the one I'm mentioning. Also If I do get the ibook, is there any software or things that I should get (bluetooth, applecare protection plan, etc.) Sorry for the long post, just want to do my research. Thanks in advance.
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Seeing as you are not a power user in anyway, I'd go with the iBook. Chances are the wintel notebooks are actually faster but the Mac will be less work to keep running smooth. One thing though, with 256MB RAM the iBook may be a bit disappointing, grab another 512MB DIMM from and slap it in there, and you're ready to go!

    Also if you can afford to get a larger hard disk, do, it's amazing how quickly you'll get through that 30GB drive. But even if you can't, you can always just get an external firewire drive later on, so it's hardly the end of the world.
  3. zyuzin4 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Eugene, OR
    the ibook can take more punishment likely to be seen in a dorm area with lots of hyperactive males. Based on my experiences with a PC laptop, and Windows in general, I don't know if I would trust a 20 page term paper with a Windows machine. When i went off to school in 2002, I brought the PC laptop I got for graduation. By Christmas the screen was cracked and it was just plain unusable. I bought my iBook in February and still have it and love it. Good luck in whatever you choose

    oh my PC laptop was a Compaq by the way

    also if you have a lot of software already for the PC platform like Microsoft Office, you would have to buy that all over again for the Mac side
  4. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Thanks all for the recommendations. The only thing that would be bad about getting an ibook from what I see is that I purchased Microsoft Office for student and teachers for my PC, and I won't be able to use that but that's the only software I would need to replace. I just bought a multifuctional printer that is Mac compatiable and a digital camara that is Mac compatiable also so I don't think it'll be that big of a problem to get some new software. I can just leave it here for my sister to use on the home computer. I probably will follow your advice and upgrade the memory, but I might just leave the 30GB alone. The computer I'm on now, I've had for four years and haven't used half of the 20GB that's come with it (that's how simple of a user I am :) ). I pretty sure I'm getting the ibook, just have to talk my parents into ordering one off the internet since they seem to be much cheaper with the educational discounts.
  5. ozone macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't wait too long. The iBook I ordered for my research group is expected to take a month to get to me. You might want to check with Apple as to what's going on with their build and delivery times. Hopefully your's will be quick.
  6. KevRC4130 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2004
    Keep in mind Apple retail stores give identical pricing and [student] discounts, so if you are keeping it with stock specs, it would probably be in your best interest to buy it in person.
  7. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Here's what I would get:

    From Apple order:
    • 256MB DDR266 SDRAM built-in
    • 40GB Ultra ATA drive <--$22 extra. Add $45 more if you want 60GB instead
    • Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • AirPort Extreme Card <--This will probably come in handy around campus
    • Keyboard/Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • 12-inch TFT XGA display
    • 1GHz PowerPC G4
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 w/ 32MB DDR video memory
    Subtotal $1,092.00 <-- plus tax, unfortunately
    Apple estimated ship date of 1-3 business days

    From Crucial:
    256MB for $52.99 OR
    512 MB for $137.99
    Choose based on your budget, but I recommend a minimum of 512MB total memory for your iBook.

    Plus, don't forget the Cram and Jam Promotion so you can get a 4G 20GB iPod for only $69. (You'll pay $269 up front plus tax, but get a $200 mail-in rebate.)

    Of course the iPod is purely optional, but I think it is a pretty good deal. However, as I have things above you will end up going over your $1200 budget when including taxes, so something is going to have to give.

    Except you will have to pay the difference between the state sales tax rate, and the local sales tax rate at the store. This may or may not be significant (especially depending on where you live), but is something to consider.
  8. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    I would love to get an mac in person, but we don't have an apple store near where I live. I just heard that Office Depot has become an official reseller, but I don't know if they will be selling them in the stores; I need to check it out, but I don't think they would give an educational discount like they would online, but I could be wrong. I'm gonna talk to my parents and see if they can transfer the $1200 to my bank account that way I'll pay for anything that goes over, which I hope it's that much. Okay, thanks to everyone. You all have been really helpful.
  9. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    All I can say is, you'll be so happy you switched, iBook is the perfect college laptop. Tell us what happens and good luck with your purchase!
  10. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Okay guys and girls, I'm 100% sure I'm getting the ibook; if I don't order it this weekend, I'll have it ordered on Monday or Tuesday, but I have another question. Do you all think the apple care protection plan is worth the extra $180? Everytime I've bought electronics, I've always got the extended warrenty with it, and I've never once had to use it, which basically means I've thrown away money, but then again if something would have happened, I would have saved money, but I guess it's just one of those things that you never know will happen. Do you have to buy the protection plan as soon as you buy the notebook or can you just wait until the warrenty that comes with it is about to expire. That way, I won't be going over my budget too much and also, how long does it take for the ibook to ship, as stated before I'm leaving on August 20 so I wanted to make sure it comes before I leave. Sorry for all the questions, just trying to find more information before I take the leap.
  11. zyuzin4 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Eugene, OR
    you can buy applecare up until the point at which your 1 year coverage expires. Buying Applecare then will extend your warranty to the full 3 years.

    If you add the ibook you want to your shopping cart, it will list the time it will take to ship
  12. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    if you decide to get applecare now, then register it as soon as you get it i know someone whos dorm got broken in to at uni and she hadn't registered applecare. The guy stole her iBook and the applecare box. He could have sold the applecare or used it for his own mac because it wasn't registered. Harsh times! anyway..... pre-emptive congrats on the iBook!

    If it were me i'd upgrade the hard drive a little, get some ram from crucial and then in 10 months time get the applecare. ;)
  13. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Before you buy new software for your future mac, check if your college has a free software agreement with for example microsoft. I will get my version of office for "free" from my college.

    Where you going to college?
  14. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    okay everyone, I just got finished with my purchase; I got the ibook I mentioned earlier except I upgraded it the memory to 512MB and the hard drive to 60GB. I went a little over my budget after taxes, only $30 but I don't think my mom will make me pay for it. I did just shell out $160 for Microsoft Office Teacher and Student edition for my new ibook. I've been doing searches and things if my school had any promotions or anything with apple and couldn't find anything except a how to get by with a mac on campus guide, which might come in handy. I'm going to Mississippi University for Women by the way. Thanks for all the help folks. I'll let you know how it goes when my ibook arrives. :)
  15. upperblue79 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    Little Rock, AR
    You do have within the next year to buy applecare, and I would consider it. Without it, you get 1 year technical support and 90 days phone support. After your 90 days are up you pay $50 per call. And after your one year is up it can cost over $100 per repair. Applecare gives you 3 years of phone and technical support, and since apple makes the hardware and the software you won't get the runaround you would get on the pc. I never make an apple purchase without getting it.
  16. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    hey upperblue, I do plan on getting the applecare protection plan, but not just at this moment. Money is very tight right now with getting ready to go to school. I'm actually going to be a junior when I start because I went to a community college prior to going to my current school, and I've never had to spend this type of money. :eek: I'm just waiting until I get all my other things in order before I make any more purchases, and I know I will be able to purchase the applecare protection plan way before the three months of phone service is over with. Thanks very much for the tip though. I'm new to macs (except for in elementary schools when we used the very very old macs with black screens and green print for playing games) and need all the advice I can get. :eek:
  17. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Hey guys, I was just checking out my credit card account to see the total balance of what I owe, and it also shows charges that I've made recently. Like I stated before, I bought the Microsoft Office with my own money, and I'm not understanding the charges. There's a charge for Microsoft Office that should be $160 and some change after taxes and it's showing $162 and some change, and there's also two seperate $1.00 charges. It a temporary charge so it might go away, but should I call apple and see what's up since I wasn't informed about these charges? Also does the ibook come with an ethernet cord or do I have to buy this myself. Sorry about all these questions.
  18. kant macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2004
    When I looked the upgrade to the 60gb drive was $75. After which you have a 60gb drive.

    My suggestion would be to go external. You can get an external usb2 or firewire enclosure for $26+"*+AND+"CASE"*&cr=3.5"+firewire+ENCLOSURE

    and a 160gb samsung (only drive maker still offering a 3 year warranty) hard drive for $88.99 from Newegg:

    so, for an outlay of ~$125 you have a 30gb internal and a 160gb external drive.

    much better deal than the 60gb for $75.

    Hmm. 60gb internal is good as well. If you find that you need more, you still have the external option.
  19. zachhale macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2004
    Everett, WA
    I'm heading off to college late september and I just purchased myself a used 12" iBook g3 900mhz with a 40gb drive, 256mb ram, dvd/cdrw drive. I know I could have upgraded more, but I'm purchasing the thing on my own. You won't lack any in performance for what you're doing. The truth is that nobody needs a blazing machine, especially for college. These iBooks are small and durable and will suit you way better than any pc laptop will do.

    All of my friends have frowned on my purchase until I go into great deal about how great it is and they let up and realize that it's actually not that bad of an idea.

    Enjoy your new laptop when you get it!

    Oh, by the way, what college are you going to?
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    ^^Hey Zach, how did you get your iBook? You were asking/begging for donations or internet-type work 2 days ago, and now you found the money to buy it?

    @Nina: I hope you didn't buy your RAM from Apple directly. Sorry, but I couldn't determine if you did from what you wrote. And if you go to the Crucial, make sure you delete your cookies in your browser by going to the settings, and erasing them. Crucial has dynamic pricing, so the price is different every time you go back there, unless they put cookies on your machine which keeps the price constant. Ripoff, I say, but if you get a good price, it's great RAM. :)

    Also, Apple doesn't normally charge you until they begin delivering your order, and even then, it doesn't show up on your credit card account for a day. Since they wouldn't have begun delivering your iBook so quickly, and since you checked your credit card account 5 hours after you bought your iBook, the $162 charge may not be related to your computer purchase. :confused:

    Anyway, good luck and have fun. If you have any questions, just drop by. :)
  21. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Hey Zach, I'm going to Mississippi University for Women as a junior this fall. Abstract, I did in fact buy my memory straight from Apple. I've never opened up a computer and did anything to the inside, so call me chicken, but I didn't want to crack open a brand new computer and not know what I'm doing. The $162 charge is for Microsoft Office software. I always check my credit card a few hours after purchasing it to make sure that things are correct. It's down as a temporary charge and when I get my stuff here, they'll take it off the temporary charge. I think they do this just in case you have a dispute over a charge. The charge is from apple; but if those $1 charges don't go away, I'm calling them up. The ibook is on my mom's credit card because she agreed to pay for that. I was worried at first that I wasn't going to be able to get my ibook. Her first card didn't go through, and I was like I just used that card yesterday, so we had to use another card. Come to find out, you have to call ahead on the first card when you make big purchases or they will deney it, which is stupid to me. I think they lose money that way. If I have two credit cards and one is declined, and I know it shouldn't be; I'll use the other card than call when I get home. Okay, sorry for the short rant. I'm still just waiting for my ibook and ready to test it out. Let you all know how it goes. :)
  22. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I can understand why she didn't go to crucial for memory. It's a lot less scary to pay a few extra dollars than it is to open up a $1100 computer and tinker around. I remember the first time I opened up my PC to put a TV card in there, I was scared out of my wits that I might hurt a.... microchip or something.

    Congrats on your buy. The "Search" button up there will be able to answer pretty much any of your questions. This is a great community and we'll be happy to help you through OSX.
  23. NinaPooh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2004
    Thanks Kingsnapped. I'm finding a lot of useful information on here. The price and newness (is that a word :rolleyes: ) of the computer is exactly why I didn't want to open my ibook up; I can just imagine the "what the heck are you doing" look on my parents' face if I tried to open it. If later on I feel a need to add more memory, I might try and do it myself, but I might just try and find someone on campus who knows about these types of things, unlike me.

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