Ready for a Mac!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zackkmac, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Okay, so I'm done with Dell. I've had nothing but faulty chargers to burning laptops with NO help from them, and I've been dying to get a Mac. I'm not even able to use my Inspiron 1520 anymore.

    Honestly, I have no idea what to buy. I have $2250 to spend so far, so I'm sure I have a pretty good range of options. I'm 15, so I don't think I need anything extreme.

    I'm not interested in the MacBook Air, but I'm stuck between the other 2 MacBook lines and an iMac. I could really get speed and storage out of an iMac, but no portability whatsoever. I love my cousin's G5 iMac, so with the new design of the Intel ones I'd love it even more, especially since it would help keep the minimalist design to my new room. :D

    But like I said, I may need portability. So I could either get a baseline MacBook Pro [love the metal finish], or I could get a well-equipped black MacBook, which I think is extremely amazing.

    Or, I could get a base iMac and a base MacBook, which I could later upgrade to fit my needs, but I'd love to have a SuperDrive and 2GB RAM on the MacBook. I have 2x1GB RAM sticks from my Inspiron, will that work in a MacBook?

    I know this was a little long, but please help me because I'm craving an Apple ;)
  2. The Hammer macrumors 6502

    The Hammer

    Jun 19, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    Ready for a Mac!

    Base line Mac Pro I say.:cool: More future proof.
  3. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I was considering it but I don't have enough for it yet, plus I lack a screen :eek:

    My XPS 410 has a 20" Samsung LCD but my mom says if I buy a Mac, she gets to use the screen.
  4. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    My suggestion ... while the imac is the most bang for your buck, if you really think you will need portability (and since you seem to be used to it) I'd go with the macbook.

    There are possible design changes on the horizon, so if you could wait, wait for a bit, but if not, not a big deal...

    However, you are 15, might want to game a bit etc and aren't eligible for the student discount (lame i know) ... so since you are considering a macbook, multitouch isn't huge... what I would do is...

    Get a 2.2 refurb macbook pro (1449 before tax.. so around 1550 total). That will give you a graphics card, decent dedicated speed, only one iteration back, a great LED screen (better then the macbooks) cheaper, 2 gig ram stock, and a 120 gig harddrive...

    For the same price as a blackbook you get pretty much the same power, and some other perks like the screen and graphics.

    I would then invest in a nice external harddrive if you are worried about storage, this will give you not only a backup with timemachine but also extra storage (howeve ryou decide to partition.. or you could get a time machine drive and another one.. they are pretty cheap now... someone could give you better options for that)

    I would go that route, since it's money concious, the laptop will last for a long time, give you possible gaming ability and future proof a bit, beautiful led screen AND backup off your current computer, but with everything still on one computer - 2 computers can be a pain.

    1550 + external drive (320 or 500gb or whatever you want, or two smaller ones... ) 100 + so say 1650 or 1700 depending on the type of drive you get ... that leaves you with 500 dollars to SAVE SAVE SAVE since that's always good at your age, or, if you need it down the line, a nice external keyboard and mouse and 20 or 24inch monitor - which can be found online for easily undr that extra amount. I personally LOVE that set up when you need extra screen space that a imac would provide you have the desktop experience but portability when you need it... but it really depends what you do on your computer, so save that money away for accessories and a monitor and such down the line if you need it.

    Oh, and get a nice bag or sleeve atleast for your laptop (you probably already have a bag from your dell but still a nice fitted sleeve to protect the aluminum from scratchs is good)

    oh, and the ram is probably different though i may be wrong. You will get 2 X1 in a macbook pro if you go that route, which should be fine, but if you choose to upgrade down the line, you will want to get 2 X2gb sticks for 4gb max, since there are only 2 ram slots... that set can be found online for under 80 bucks now though.

    ENJOY whatever you get :) You'll LOVE it.

    P.S. i am not sure if you already planned on this, but remember, even though your dell may be useless to you, you can probably fetch some money on ebay or craigslist for it if YOU have the right to sell it (perhaps your parents bought it and will sell it) you/ they could get some money for it and help ease the cost of a new purchase.
  5. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008

    Yes, the iMac would probably be best for what money I have, I could even go for a 24" :D

    Portability...ehh, it's not my main concern. I never really take my laptop away from home, but it is nice to be able to move it between the office, my room, living room, etc. It wouldn't be a pain for me NOT to have portability, but it would be great.

    And I can wait, a few weeks max [if the upcoming changes are worth it].

    I like your refurb idea, however it's the word "refurb" that really gets to me. My cousin [the one with the iMac] bought a refurb Mac Mini from Apple, and though she got a different one than she paid for, a much better one at that, it had problems down the road. Plus she said it didn't come in the retail box, and I loveee the retail boxes [you should see my phone box collection :rolleyes: ].

    Also, I have a Western Digital 300GB external that I could use, but only if I don't have to use Time Machine. As I understand, you have to format the external in order for Time Machine to use it, and my WD already has TONS of backups from my XPS and my mom's HP laptop already on it.

    Do you think buying new ones off eBay/eBay Express would be fine? If they're new, and I can save money, maybe I can still get both an iMac and a MacBook, and they both could be higher equipped than baseline from Apple.

    If I decide to buy a Mac from Apple, not online somewhere, we'll be driving to the Apple Store in Memphis. But, I know that they don't offer many flexible options, so is there a way to check what they stock?
  6. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Get yourself a refurbed macbook pro. Refurbed are just as good as brand new - Apple tests them.
  7. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    i agree with the refurb. remember, you get the full 1 year warranty, just like you bought it new
  8. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I may do that, I'm considering it now. Anywhere I can get a good deal for a 17" MBP? Or somehow be able to get an iMac and a MacBook for $2250?
  9. DarkRevenant macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    if youre just 15 i dont really see a need for 2 computers. at that age, it seems like youd need a really really good reason to be owning two computers. keep in mind that it would be a pain in the ass to keep them updated and such. think about what you really do with your computer, and is there a task a macbook couldnt handle? i just feel like if youre 15 a macbook should be more than enough...
  10. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2008
  11. hood macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2006
    I would recommend going the refurb route with whichever machine you decide, I picked up a refurb mini and is perfect. In addition, like others have said, it comes with the same 1 year warranty and opportunity to purchase applecare.
  12. hewcardpacklet macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Montreal Canada
    Coincidentally, I had the same budget limit - I bought a new entry level 20' imac (1200) and then a Black MacBook (refurbished) for 1100 - total $2300

    The MacBook was actually new and had more processing power, HD and memory than listed - a new would have been $1700.

    After a while, I bought more memory, applecare, .mac, etc. for both machines.

    So, why not buy both an iMac and a MacBook?
  13. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    I have an iMac and a MacBook combo and I use them both equally.
    MacBook for the road if needed to and iMac for the more "heavy" stuff. :D
    Zack, go for the MacBook/iMac combo. You won't regret it.
  14. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks for your help guys :)

    I was really hoping to go for the iMac/MacBook combo, however my mom thinks that since I'm not even out of high school I won't need 2 computers. It would be better to buy a well-equipped laptop and still have a bit of money leftover for AppleCare or something like Logic Express.

    What I think I'm going to do, is if I can't find a new 17" MBP for less than $2266 online somewhere, I'll buy it from the Apple Store refurbished. I played with my aunt's 17" MBP and it was extraordinary. Plus I won't be needing anything ultraportable so I can handle carrying something that big around.
  15. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Wow, your only 15? I'm starting to think I am way too old to post on MR.:D I wish I was able to buy a nice computer at 15. I think your choice to go with a MBP 17" is a great choice. It's in between a portable and a desktop replacement plus you may want to hang out at a coffee shop and have internet with you so the notebook would be a great choice.
  16. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I think it's a good choice too, I'd love to have one.

    I just wish I could get a refurb in an actual Apple Store :(
    Now I just have to wait for time to slowly pass for it to arrive.
  17. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Another question, should I save an extra few hundred and go with a hi-res 17"? Is it worth it?

    Also, would it be worth waiting a few weeks for the Montevina update?

    With my luck I'll order one, then the next day the MBP's will have a phenomenal update/change. :eek:
  18. DabisBarg macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2008
    Hi! Another Mac Newbie here
    and this is my personal opinion,

    If your mom will take that monitor, get Hi-Res.
    Hi-Res gives you more space, but if you have another monitor next to you, you will have more space to work with.

    And for the Montevina Update,
    as others said to me, If you can wait, wait, but if you really need computer right now, get it NOW.
    But whenever Montevina MBP's come out, I think you have to pay the price for new MBP instead of Refurb. (I think Refurb. Montevina MBP will come out later than new ones)

    Again, this is from my small brain.
    So, go with your instinct!

    P.S. if anyone finds error on this, please, let me know :D
  19. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    if you have the cash to spare, the high res is always nice.. but not necessary. as for updates, who knows when they'll come, but if you get a refurb and the price drops in the 14 day period, you can get a refund. price matching would only work with a refurb since the new model will be replaced, but the refurb still exists, just at a lower price.
  20. tompon1923 macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2008
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
    Make your Dell XPS an Hackintosh!!
    It is a great computer, good graphics, you already got a screen.
    why not try it?
  21. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I already tried, something about the hard drive wouldn't let it load :eek:
    But I got my Inspiron to work as a Hackintosh [with Leopard], just needs wireless and it'd be perfect :D
  22. amusiccale macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    One additional thing to think about -- refurbs aren't eligible for the warranty extension on Platinum/Gold credit cards that gives you an extra year of warranty past Apple's one year if you don't buy AppleCare.
  23. zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Wow! Thanks for the info. My mom would probably use her Platinum MasterCard, which if I remember right has the extra warranty. So you're saying that if I want AppleCare for it [with that card], I'd have to buy it at the same time as my MBP?
  24. amusiccale macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    No--sorry about the misunderstanding. To my knowledge, Refurbs are equally applecare eligible: you can get applecare anytime in the first year before the warranty expires. If you buy it new, however, without applecare (depending on your credit card terms), you may get an extra year of warranty past the 1 year anyway. It won't double the 3 years to 6 years, for instance, but will turn the 1 into 2. You won't get the same kind of service that you would with AppleCare (this might be good or bad depending on past experiences) but you might get some money towards repairs in the second year.
  25. Chandler Adaway macrumors 6502a

    Chandler Adaway

    Jun 29, 2008
    Beaumont, TX
    Hey there!
    I'm also 15 and about to buy a Mac (or two), so I understand what your going through.
    I see that you got the 17in?
    Atleast that's what your signature says.

    I'm stuck in-between the three options as well.

    1. iMac/ Macbook combo.
    (This could actually be useful as I carry around a laptop alot and when I need power, I can resort to the iMac)

    2. High End iMac
    (I have a 15in HP dv6000 when I need to be mobile)

    3. 15in Macbook Pro with 23in ACD.

    It's alot of money for me to spend, so I want to make sure I get the right thing.

    It's a stressful choice!!

    Congrats on your purchase. ;)

Share This Page