Really need help on what to get with $900

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
Hello all. I posted here before on whether I should get an ibook or powerbook and got great replies. Well it seems my budget is a lot tighter than I thought it would be. I can only spend $900. Obviously my choices are very limited and I need the machine that can last me the longest since I can't wait for an intel mac. My main priority is the ability to use Garageband to record one instrument at a time. Speed isn't an issue. I don't mind waiting an extra 30 secs or anything like that. I just don't want to crash and would like to be able to perform the tasks I need done. I will be using a microphone and a keyboard to record and such. My question is what kind of system can handle what I need? I was thinking of a 867 Mhz powerbook from ebay might meet my budget or a refurbished current stock ibook for $850. I am a little worried of how long my 'book will last me if I get it on ebay since I probably couldn't purchase a warranty later on. Another thing I need to know is if I buy the refurbished ibook, would it come with Tiger and ilife '05? Thanks all
 

thehuncamunca

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2003
447
0
NJ
wait several weeks to see what the educational deals are and if the ibooks are updated
based on your budget, a 12" ibook is the way to go
i'd go with a brand new one-that way you have the fastest processor, built in AE, the latest software, and a 1yr warranty
the educational deals can make buying a laptop cheaper if you have some cash to temporary part with (like last year, the deal was 200 off an ipod-if you sell the ipod it makes buying the laptop cheaper but you have to have the extra money for the ipod and wait for the rebate and to sell the ipod)
the cheapest place you can currently get the ibook is amazon for 1000-100 rebate no tax or shipping
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
Yup, The iBooks are due for a revision.

I'd put that $900 back in the bank and try to add a bit more while you're waiting.

That way you'll have either a great new revision or a fantastic deal on the existing models when they go on sale.
 

Macky-Mac

macrumors 68030
May 18, 2004
2,589
1,142
look at the refurbished ibooks at the Apple store, they've some great deals recently
 

ricgnzlzcr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 7, 2005
802
0
Thanks all. I've been waiting for I don't know how many weeks now for ibook updates so that I can have my first mac. I'm just getting a little impatient with the updates. My main priority is definately garageband. The apple store is selling refurbished 12 inch ibooks for $850. I was thinking of jumping on that and buying 512 megs of ram third party. Well, if I find any good deals I'll let you all know
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,759
2
Do you absolutely need the portability? I only ask because you might want to check out the eMac
and wait until the MacTels come out with a laptop.


$799.00 (with in budget!)


17-inch flat CRT display
1.42GHz PowerPC G4
256MB DDR333 SDRAM
80GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo drive
ATI Radeon 9600
64MB video memory
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,759
2
actually for the education store, the prices are $749 for the combo, and $899 for the superdrive:
17-inch flat CRT display
1.42GHz PowerPC G4
512MB DDR333 SDRAM
160GB Ultra ATA drive
8x SuperDrive (double-layer)
ATI Radeon 9600
64MB video memory
56k internal modem
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
I was on a very similar budget when I got my iBook.

My advice would be to try to save up just a little bit more, and then get 14" iBook with the educational discount.

Then you should have enough left over to get a gig of ram ($130) and a sleeve/bag ($60).
 

anubis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2003
937
50
Why exactly do you need a portable? For $900 you can get a Mac mini and a 20-inch dell widescreen LCD. It would seem to be that if all you're going to mainly do with the computer is record instruments then a Desktop would be a better choice.

Not sure if the mini has sound in; too lazy to check. Maybe an eMac? Maybe a refurbished or used iMac G4? Or, your best bet might be a Powermac G4 in the single 1GHz area.
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
jared_kipe said:
I wouldn't recommend the 14" over the 12" if your eyes are ok, they have the same resolution.
Although they have the same resolution, it is much less 'cramped' on a 14".

I was debating myself over the 12" and 14", and now that I have a 14" there's no way I would be happy with a 12" at all.

1024x768 on a 12" screen is crazy.

Just because the resolutions are the same, doesn't mean the screens appear the same.

1024x768 is the typical resolution of a 19" CRT. Cramming it down to 12" is just way too much. Things get way too small to be usable.
 

wheezy

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2005
1,280
1
Alpine, UT
There is a refurb 14" iBook 1.2 Ghz in the Save store right now for $899.00.

***Does the iBook have the right input you need for recording in garageband? I've never used GBand before, so I don't know if you plug your stuff in via USB, audio in, etc.
 

jared_kipe

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
2,967
1
Seattle
Josh said:
Although they have the same resolution, it is much less 'cramped' on a 14".

I was debating myself over the 12" and 14", and now that I have a 14" there's no way I would be happy with a 12" at all.

1024x768 on a 12" screen is crazy.

Just because the resolutions are the same, doesn't mean the screens appear the same.

1024x768 is the typical resolution of a 19" CRT. Cramming it down to 12" is just way too much. Things get way too small to be usable.
They are just as cramped, a itunes window will have the exact same information open, one is just bigger. Andy 1024x768 is not the typical resolution on a 19" CRT, my CRT can do something in the 1900x range, but I keep it in 1600x1200 unless I'm gaming. If nothing else, the 12" 1024x768 will actually look crisper than the 14" because of the smaller dot pitch.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,333
384
Boston, MA
if your budget is only $900 it is not wise to spend it all on a computer. especially no an ibook. mobility is expensive and you seem not to need it.

you wouldn't be able to afford apple care for a mobile mac, so going to your limit means that you won't be able to afford a repair in 13 month from now.

unless you absolutely need the mac NOW i wouldn't buy until you have enough money to cover your bases.

either pick up a used mini and a used monitor for far less than $900 (i don't know if the mini is good enough for garage band though) or try to save more money.

if you absolutely need the mac try to save a little more money and try to get a rev. a imac g5 1.6GHz. you might be able to get one for $1000 - $1100. it would fit your profile far better in cpu power and screen. it is also a little more future proof than a g4 machine (although that is hard to predict now with the intel switch).

i really believe it's better not to make huge compromises because of your budget. wait, save and get what you really need.
 

wPod

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2003
1,654
0
Denver, CO
have you considered the mini? for 900 you could have a really good set up. mini (500) ram(100 (for 1 GB)) flat pannel monitor (200 for dell or someone else) then 100 left over for iMic from grifin techonlogies (for audio in) and keyboard/mouse that would very much out preform an iBook. but then again i havent seen your reason for wanting portable, maybe you really really need a portable device.
 

Coca-Cola

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2002
446
0
WA
14-inch refurbished iBook!

14-inch refurbished iBook!

Get one now. I have a powerbook, but I love my wife's iBook. The 14-inch iBook would be even better.
 

Manzana

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2004
605
8
Orange County, CA
it seems like you want a portable, i would go with the refurb ibook, they have some in the apple store for 800 sans ae card, if you need one with wireless it's 850. i think this is the best compromise for now until we go mactel.

you could ebay for one, but at least the refurb ibooks come with one year warranty, that is good peace of mind. and for what you will be doing they have plenty of power, free shipping also so you could buy a $50 ram module to boot.