Possible Macbook purchase

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GoKyu, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Hey all, my dad's laptop is pretty much on its last legs (~3 year old HP Pavilion), and I just recommended that he get a Macbook today.

    I think the Apple price point might freak him out a bit - he likes going for the cheap machines, and I told him today that it's just not worth the hassle. He has 512 megs of RAM in his current system and when we had to reboot to clear the print queue, the reboot took SIX minutes!

    The computer is horrendously slow right now, and I keep encouraging him to defrag, but he never seems to do it. I told him that this level of slowness on his laptop isn't normal, and he said "Well it is for me." "Well, right, but it *shouldn't* be normal...."

    I just don't want him switching to Vista and having it slow down even worse...

    He's never touched a Mac before, but on the other side of things, he really doesn't know anything about Windows either. He just double-clicks his Firefox icon and does what he wants to do. He was trying to print from Firefox today because he told me, "Well, I don't know any other way to print anything." (He typed up an agenda in his Yahoo email because he didn't know that Wordpad existed. Of course I printed it out correctly for him.)

    Anyway, I think a Mac is exactly what he needs. He's had some trouble in the past with a few viruses (nothing major, thankfully), but I think his overall computing experience will be better with a Macbook (he uses a laptop exclusively.)

    Here's what he does: Loads of websurfing (a LOT of eBay selling/buying), some email, and maybe printing an occasional document (he does print a lot of eBay auction pages to keep for his records.) He tends to keep 3+ browsers open at the same time (the whole 'tab interface' confuses him - I've already tried explaining it...)

    That's about it. I can get a bit of a discount (around $100 off) from the Apple Store online and it seems like the intro level Macbook would be perfect for him. He doesn't burn DVDs, so having a mid or uplevel model really shouldn't be necessary.

    With this info, do you think the one gig will be enough for him, or just put up the extra $50 to get an extra gig from OWC?

    Also, any good tips on why a Mac would be better for him for his particular case would be great. I'm gonna tell him about Applecare, but he's always very hesitant about extended warranties - he thinks the company is just "out to get your money"...

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    Get the low end MacBook but then go out and max out the memory. You can easily buy 4GB of ram for under $100.

    Like your Dad, when I was using Windows computers, I refused to use tabbed browsing and always had multiple IE windows open. That all changed when I got my first Mac last summer and I wouldn't dream of not using tabs.

    As far as Apple Care, I would wait till the one year warranty is just about up and see how well the laptop is working. My MBP will be a year old in July and today Apple sent me a letter letting me know my warranty was about to expire. I have not had one problem with the MBP so I think I am going to pass on Apple Care. Besides, I have four Macs all together and that would be a huge amount of money that I just don't have. I have never had a computer fail on me since 1993 when I got my first Packard Bell computer. Never needed any extended warranty.
  3. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    For your dad's use I don't think he needs 4 gigs of RAM. It is probably fine just as it is. It will have 1 gig in it (2x512mb modules). I would suggest getting a 1GB or a 2GB module and replacing one of the 512's. The RAM modules do not have to be matched, although there is a very minor performance increase if they are. It is very easy to do - but you do need a Phillips 00 screwdriver (a bit unusual size). Now if you dad decides to install Windows or get into Photoshop - then max out the RAM. I have both an iMac and a MacBook. When I upgraded my iMac to 4GB RAM I took the 1 GB module that was in the iMac and replaced one of the 512's in my MacBook (giving me 1.5GB). It worked fine but I did recently upgrade the other 512 to a 1GB when I came across a good deal on another 1GB module.
  4. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Buy a refurb BMB for $1049, add 4GB RAM:eek::eek: for $118 from crucial.com, give him a hand with the learning curve for a day or so, and that goofy smile he will be wearing on his face will be there forever.
    Been into PC's since Windoze 3.1, built over 40 systems for others, the time was right for me NOW with the switch to Intel from Motorola, I'm never looking back:rolleyes::cool::apple::apple::apple:
  5. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    AppleCare not really worth it

    If you purchase your computer with a gold or platinum credit card, most of these double a manufacturer's warranty. So Apple's 1-year warranty becomes a two-year warranty (and you'd have only gotten one extra year beyond that with AppleCare). If a problem doesn't manifest itself in 2 years, it's unlikely to in that third year.
    Be sure and check your credit card agreement before relying on this (a few years ago my G4 power supply burned up a WEEK after the Apple warranty expired, and my Visa warranty completely covered the cost of the machine)
  6. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Buy a MB for sure. Get the 4GB of ram from OWC for around $95.

    I'd buy through Amazon and get the rebate. Your call whether 2.1 or
  7. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    You do not need 4GB RAM to perform the tasks outlined in the original post. 1GB will be more than sufficient.
  8. hellrider macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2008
    I would wait until August or so when Apple refreshes the MacBook line.
  9. ozmerelda macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Sarasota, FL
    I think the Apple price point might freak him out a bit !

    Since it's important to you may I suggest that you ask your Dad to find the laptop he wants and then offer to pay the difference between what you want and what he wants. Then if he really likes it ask him if he will further split the difference.

    Anyone can make money. Just remember there are awful jobs no one wants to do and offer to do them at a reasonable price.

    If you are a student then the present free iTouch and printer are terrific with a new MB. You essentially get them for free and you can recoup your money by selling them on EBay! Right up your Dad's alley.:)

    Refurbs have the same warranty that new ones have if you are not eligible!

    Good luck,


    refurb MBP 2.16 iPhone 8G and iMac 2.33 24"
  10. rmtoberman macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    If you are a student, buy the Macbook and get a $300 iPod for you!!!
  11. GoKyu thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the replies so far - no, I'm not a student, and unfortunately, no I really can't "split the difference" with him right now either (I have enough bills of my own, unfortunately.) He *has* the money for it, but I'll see what his reaction will be to the price in a day or so.

    Even though I think 1 gig would be ok for him, I'd rather get the 2 gigs for $50 (*that* I'd be willing to pay for) to make sure he won't be starving for RAM.

    I can get the basic macbook through my NAPP membership discount for about $1033 - ok, it's not much less than the $1099, but you can't get 'em much cheaper than retail anywhere else anyway, right?

    I checked OWC's video about changing out RAM in a Macbook, and it's very thorough - they talked about the special phillips 00....can I get one of those at any local hardware store?

    Thanks for the comments so far!

  12. tuxtpenguin macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
    You should be able to get that screwdriver at a hardware store or at a computer store such as Fry's electronics if there is one close to you.

Share This Page