New to Macs but trying to buy for a friend

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by livinirie84, May 6, 2008.

  1. livinirie84 macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2008
    I need some guidance. I am basically new to Macs but my friend is about to buy her first computer EVER and she has decided to go with a Mac which I think is a great choice for a first computer.
    Anyways, since it is her first computer you can guess she is clueless as to what she needs. I am going to go shopping with her since I have at least bought a computer before. I need some advice for what I should be looking out for when it comes to buying a Mac laptop.
    Does the OS come with Macs when you buy them at the store?
    Are there some things that come with some models that I may not need that could save us money if we opt out?
    I just need some general info and advice, I'll even take suggestions on what to buy.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Laptop or desktop?

    Either way the lowest end iMac or Macbook seems perfect

    The OS comes with the Macs along with iLife
  3. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    For a first computer, a MacBook would be a great choice. A refurbished one would be even better in terms of price. Get any RAM upgrade from an online reseller like OWC ( Comes with everything you need for a new user, except perhaps an external backup drive and an internet connection/router (AirPort Express would make a good router). Or, for even more simplicity, replace the router and backup drive with Time Capsule (unfortunately, also a more expensive option).
  4. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    give us a little more info. whats her budget? what will she mostly be using the computer for?

    I doubt your friend is a proffesional video editor or graphics editor or you would have mentioned it.

    just walk in and pick up a macbook if she has $1499 to spend get the top of the line black macbook, otherwise get the mid level white macbook which is 1299 i beleive.

    everything she needs comes in the box and installed on the computer the OS, ilife, and a host of apps which will be useful to her for everyday computing needs ie. websurfing, chatting, photo viewing and editing, dvd and cd burning etc......

    other than that the only thing they may want to sell you extra is apple care which extends the warranty to 3 years instead of just one which comes with the purchase. so its up to her if she just wants 1 year warranty which is free or wants to extend it 3 years.

    other than that its pretty straight-forward. there arent a million configurations and extra add ons to choose from and confuse you like windows PC's.
  5. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    The 'it is her first computer' should have given that away ;)

    I'd take an entry level Macbook or iMac. If you want to upgrade the RAM, as mentioned earlier, then yes go third party, but be prepared to install it yourself. Best to wait and see if you need it first.
  6. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
  7. livinirie84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2008
    Thanks for the response

    Yes, she does need something very basic. And, from what you all are saying, it sounds like she can get that right off the shelf. Does the macbook come with wireless internet capabilities installed or do you have to get a card or something?
  8. mark2288 macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    Airport card comes with all models so she'll be good to go with getting on wireless networks.
  9. livinirie84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2008
    what about battery life?

    I was wondering if there is a special way to get the most out of the macbook battery. Is there something we should do when we first buy it to prolong the battery life? How long does the battery that comes with the macbook usually last? Thanks in advance.
  10. livinirie84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2008
    also...word processors?

    I know when I bought my pc laptop it came with Microsoft Office. What is the equivalent for Macs and does it come with the macbook or do we need to buy something else? Thanks again.
  11. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    Well, to answer your first question: Calibration is what is needed for your battery. To do it [1/Month], let your laptop run on battery until it's drained and your laptop goes to sleep. Then charge it fully...

    Second question: iWorks '08, MS Office 2008 Mac, or for free you can get NeoOffice or similar...
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The Computer come set up for wireless out of the box but she will need to buy a router so that her internet connection is broadcast al through the house. Wireless of course only works if there is a router nearby. But if she is only going to be useing the computer at school, work or in a public libray then she does not need her own router

    Of course a length of wire is much cheaper and easier to set up then a wireless connection. If she will only be using the computer from one desk at home then a simple wire is the best because she will likely have the computer on AC power anyways so it is not big deal to plug in the network as well and save $100.

    The mac will only come with "text edit" which is very basic. Only as advanced is the editor built into this forum but Text Edit can open MS Word documents.

    You can may MS Word for the Mac. It is not bad and price for the student version is about $90.

    Apple sels "iWork" wich you might like better for aabout $80

    OpenOffice and Neo Office are both free. these are big programs that act abit like Office 2000.

    Google has a free on-line office suite too but it is very feature-limited, but free.

    If you go to any Apple store you can try out both iWord and MS Office 98.

    Battery conditioning has gone the way of the flopy disk, off to the computer museum or the land fill. New technology batteries don't have "memory".

    Run time varies based of what you do and your power managment setting. Figure between 5 and 2 hours.
  13. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    apple battery calibration

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