No Mac laptop left to buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by colickyboy, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. colickyboy macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I was thisclose to buying a prev gen MBP (my first ever Mac) but then start reading about the 8600 video card problem and how it essentially makes the machine a ticking time bomb. I also read on these forums how some Geniuses are telling owners that the logic board problem on their MBPs aren't due to the 8600 issue and thus telling owners they have to pay to fix the problem. Throw on top of that the hassle of having to relinquish your MBP for who knows how long for the Apple Store to fix it (it took the Store over a month just to replace my iPod), and whether that introduces new problems, and I'm done looking at older MBPs.

    But I can't get the unibody MBP b/c they're too expensive and they have the glossy screen (except for the 17" model, which is again way too expensive).

    And I can't get the unibody MacBook b/c I need the FireWire port and again I dislike the glossy screen.

    [Being previously undecided, I checked out the matte screen and glossy screen at the Store for myself and found the matte screen was excellent in various lighting situations while the glossy screen was constantly displaying glare (much more in sunlight than in indoor light). While I didn't experience eyestrain, I did think the reflectiveness was quite distracting. Trying to tilt the glossy screen, as Jobs suggested, reduced the optimum view of colors. So I've conclusively decided that glossy is unacceptable for a laptop.]

    My needs are:
    - FW port(s)
    - cost under $1600
    - matte screen

    Does that mean I have no further options for Mac laptops???

    Or should I still get a prev gen MBP b/c the AS fix stories I've read are rare and not representative when the GPU dies?

    I never thought I'd get shut out of getting a Mac laptop! :mad:
  2. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    The refurb unibody MBP is around 1699 but they are not in stock but you should get the refurb classic MBP and get applecare.

  3. Solemony macrumors 6502


    Nov 26, 2008
    How about the previous gen. MBP they work great!
  4. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Just get the previous gen refurb and buy AppleCare. If it fails within 3 years you get a replacement. If it doesn't then its not likely to. If it does you will probably have replaced it by then or sold it anyway.

    Alternatively get the old 2.16 or 2.33 Core 2 Macbook Pro. This shipped with an ATI graphics card that is not prone to failure.
  5. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    That's an interesting suggestion. Is the hardware on those MBPs able to do video and photo editing without slowing down? Aren't those 1GB RAM systems?
  6. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
  7. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    The AppleCare is something I hadn't thanks for that, nick9191 and ChrisN. Just curious, though... how many people had their 8600 card in the prev gen MBP die after AppleCare expired? I saw a thread on the 8600 issue but it's 45 pages long :eek: and I didn't have time to wade through all that.
  8. petermcphee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    The previous generation MBP seems like the best option for your criteria.
  9. MacHappytjg macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2008
    assuming your from the us your apple stores really must suck, a month to replace an ipod my brother sent his out and got it back in a few days. :eek: no fighting or anything. and we had to send it.
  10. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    What various lighting situations are available in your typical Apple store?
  11. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Three at the store I was at:
    - sunlight coming through the windows
    - florescent lighting directly above
    - general room lighting
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Glossy is not unacceptable. Are you going to be in bright sunlight, florescent light, and general room lighting all in the same time; and be using the notebook in that environment (bad environment btw) for a very long time? Doubt it. If you get eyestrain, it happens with both matte and glossy. Stop using the computer for a bit, it's what my optometrist recommends. vAnyway a MBP will set you back $1300 for the refurbished models. Higher spec models get more pricey. You don't need AppleCare imho. If you spill liquid on it, Apple will make you pay a fortune regardless of AppleCare. If you drop it, same stuff applies. If there is a defect, chances are, it will happen within one year. In one year, you will probably use the hardware plenty enough to show it's defects if there any. And Apple will replace the 8600GT nVidia card should there be any defect. It only starts showing the defect when you use it heavily for an extended period of time.
  13. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    Buy a plastic macbook and replace the glossy screen with a matte 13.3" screen (buy from ebay). people have done this it
  14. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Just get a previous gen MBP. Or even the gen before previous (they had very similar specs).

    The graphics problem is not as widespread as wide-spread as tech help forum may make you think
  15. hhlee macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    just get applecare no matter what and keep your data backed up daily. if the 8600 truly is such a huge problem, there will be a recall one day.
  16. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    +1 on this if you are really that opposed to a last-gen MBP and *require* a matte screen. Definitely comes in at less than 1600 too.
  17. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    None, because AppleCare has not expired on any of those machines yet. The machines with 8600 cards began shipping in June 2007. AppleCare on those first machines won't expire until June 2010.

    If you're that opposed to the glossy, just get the previous MBP and call it a day.
  18. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2006
    Mt Brook, AL
    ColickyBoy, do you worry that you car might have a problem after the warranty has expired? Do you believe everything you read? The problems you seem to be in fear of are not occuring on every MBP. However, everyone who has had the problem has whined long and loud about it on these forums. That makes the problem seems worse than it truly is. My wife has the last gen 15" MBP that replaced and original 17" PB she had for almost six years. Not a bit of trouble from either machine. Buy the machine you want, don't waste a bunch of time worrying about what some asshat says is a universal problem. Buy Applecare and enjoy your machine. Remember, the name of this site is Mac RUMORS, not always Mac FACTS.
    Happy New Year to one and all...
  19. G.T. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2008
    I'd say get the 2.33 GHz 15" MacBook Pro with the ATI card it would still be a great laptop and you could get it cheap because it is an older generation. It doesn't have the ticking time bomb.
  20. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    I would definitely stick with the 2.16/2.33 Macbook Pro.

    The 2.16 came with 1gb, the 2.33 came with 2gb. But the RAM is as cheap as chips and easy to replace. If you buy 4gb you should get about 3.3gb out of it (it uses an older chipset that maxes out at that).

    Also the 2.16/2.33 didn't come with an LED screen (who cares).

    Find one on ebay with AppleCare and you should be fine.|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318|301:0|293:1|294:50

    Even better, heres one from Apple and that will come with 1 year warranty. It's $200 more than you want, but you get a free printer which you can sell on ebay.
  21. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    Once heard some mechanic talk about bmws having bad cupholders..decided not to buy.

    Once heard some guy tell me ipods might break down once i buy them...decided not to buy..

    luckily...i am joking...but in all seriousness why would you base a purchase off of complaints you heard on message boards or rumors? Apple has sold millions of its you are implying every one of those people just didnt understand all of the "problems"?

    Also...i still dont get this whole screen issue. Are people just really picky when it comes to screens? Are you seriously trying to use a laptop on the beach or something? Or do you have spotlight lamps pointed directly at the screen? In a normal room, with normal good lighting, the screen is a non-issue.
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    As a number of posters have suggested, get the previous generation MBP, or get a MBP refurb, and add Applecare. That way, you will have an excellent machine, which has been tested and tried, has great performance and an excellent screen, comes at a competitive price, and has Apple's warranty for one year, to which I recommend that you add Applecare, which will cover you should anything break down. I have a MBP which I bought last April and I'm very happy with it.

    Cheers and good luck
  23. colickyboy thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Thanks to all the replies. I particularly appreciate those of you who summarized the 8600 video card issue as overblown by "loud" and persistent posters in these forums. From reading a few of the many related threads on that issue, it seemed like every single MBP was destined for screen failure...and that Apple would fight tooth-and-nail with every owner about whether it really is covered. Definitely a doom-and-gloom outlook painted by such posters.

    And yes, adding AppleCare makes sense, particularly in light of some of those comments about haggling with Apple over coverage. Hadn't considered AppleCare before since I'm not normally one who buys extended warranties, but this is definitely a situation where it is worth the cost.

    Appreciate the counsel, everyone.
  24. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It's ridiculous to say not to buy the 8600 because it will eventually fail, all video card will fail sooner or later; the 8600 is just somewhat more likely to do so. Secondly, Apple Stores are a hit or miss type thing, call up AppleCare and request a box if you need one, Apple Stores send them in anyway.

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