Talk me into a Macbook for my mom

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SoonerChris, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. SoonerChris macrumors member


    Nov 4, 2008
    First off let me say that I really like Apple products. I'm on my second Mac, a 15" uMBP but I need some advise. My mom, who is, let's say, not the most computer savvy (i.e. struggles with Windows), will be getting a laptop from my dad for Christmas. So, as the IT pro in the family, I have been tasked with finding a laptop. Help me decide if a Macbook @ $999 is the best decision for them. Really, the only things she will be doing with it are surfing and email. And of course if I teach her, working with pictures will be something else she will use it for.

    I'm just trying to justify (and I want to) spending $1000 on a computer that a $500 computer will do.

    BTW, she doesn't have the best eyes, therefore I need something with a good, clear screen. Hense the reason I thought of a Macbook in the first place.
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Well, due to her eyes, I wouldn't reccomend a netbook. And the displays on the Apple Range are very crisp so would be perfect for her.

    If there's a budget, then go for a $500 Dell or something. If it doesn't matter, and you'd rather get quality for her, go for the Macbook. The new design is rather cool too! :)
  3. uuaschbaer macrumors regular


    Aug 31, 2009
    You could show your dad a Macbook and tell him that its simplicity is worth the money, or indeed spend $500 or $1000 on a Dell with a bigger screen. Problem with the bigger screen plan is that larger screens have a higher resolution accordingly and it can be hard to adjust Windows' appearance to suit the less-than-perfectly sighted. Maybe the brightness of the backlighting is more important than that, which could or could not be justification for purchasing the Macbook. Or perhaps contrast is, who knows?
  4. dbwie macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
  5. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Well since she's not that computer savvy, she won't need the power of a Pro and a regular macbook would be just fine? right?
  6. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    In this only slowly outgoing age of fixed-pixel-size user interfaces, some folks with poor eyesight tend to have problems with screens that have a high or even average pixel density. You will often see older people claiming they need a very large screen when what they really want is large UI elements. Many 'regular' people aren't familiar with the concept that screens have differing pixel densities with UI elements being displayed at a constant pixel size.

    My parents' previous computer was a Windows machine that had a crappy 14" screen with a resolution of only 1024x768. The display was clearly sub-par, but I've never heard them complain. They are now using a Macbook, which, like most modern computers, has a much higher pixel density. This unfortunately leads to my mom sometimes 'complaining' that everything is so small on the screen.

    What people like us would consider a good or even great screen can well be unsuitable for our parents. Just something to keep in mind...

    Of course all of this wouldn't be a problem if Apple had hurried a bit more in the execution of their plans for Resolution Independence.
  7. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    The MacBook has a fairly standard 13" Screen Res, probably wont find lower, most Laptops have a higher res than MacBook/Pro's now, and of course, the UI Converts well into a smaller res.
  8. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    I think you're mainly looking at the high-end market there. With a bit of research, you should still be able to find 15.4" screens with a resolution of 1280x800, especially in cheaper laptops. That comes out to 98.02 ppi vs. the Macbook's 113.49 .

    I'm not saying I don't vastly prefer Apple laptops for myself as well as for my parents, in their case partly out of self-interest even, but Apple clearly restricts choice in a lot of matters and the OP should at least be conscious of that, so that he doesn't overlook possibly more suitable alternatives that are out there and that might have the added advantage of being more cost-efficient at that.
  9. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD

    If she ever does anything like online banking, the added security is reason enough. I'm facing a similar situation with my folks. I like the idea of not having to worry about security or anti virus or anti spyware stuff (cuz they're coming to me when it breaks).
  10. SoonerChris thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 4, 2008
    Thanks everyone for your input. Although I would love more than anything for her to have a Macbook it's just too expensive to justify for just browsing the internet and email.

    With that said (and I know this is an Apple forum) can someone suggest a $500 - $700 Windows laptop with the highest pixel density?
  11. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    You can get a refurb MacBook from Apple for $750 now.
  12. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    Also. just to add to this refurbs look very new and sometimes come with silent upgrades and cto software.
  13. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
  14. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    My great depression (v1.0) surviving 75 year old dad bought a g4 iBook for the same purposes, and is happy with it. He spent $200.

    Try going on CL on looking for a used macbook in good shape for $500 or less. I doubt your parents will be using the machine to run cs4 or play CoD4.

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