Thinking about buying a Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mywouldbesaviou, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. mywouldbesaviou macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    Just the basic one: for under 700

    Product Description: Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 2 GHz - 13.3" TFT
    Dimensions (WxDxH): 32.5 cm x 22.7 cm x 2.8 cm
    Weight: 2.3 kg
    Localisation: English / United Kingdom
    System Type: Notebook
    Built-in Devices: Stereo speakers, wireless LAN aerial, camera, Bluetooth aerial
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz ( Dual-Core )
    Cache Memory: 4 MB - L2 Cache
    RAM: 1 GB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR II SDRAM - 667 MHz - PC2-5300 ( 2 x 512 MB )
    Hard Drive: 80 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
    Optical Storage: CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - integrated
    Display: 13.3" TFT active matrix 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
    Graphics Controller: Intel GMA 950
    Audio Output: Sound card
    Networking: Network adapter - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n (draft), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR
    Notebook Camera: Integrated
    Input Device: Keyboard, trackpad
    Power: AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
    Battery: Lithium polymer
    Run Time (Up To): 6 hour(s)
    Operating System: Apple MacOS X 10.4 - English
    Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

    Now is this worth the money or am i better off say getting an Acer vista laptop which is nearly double the spec for the same price? Never had a mac before so only know Windows XP performance on a fairly old laptop.

    Will mostly be using it for multimedia performance, university work and i wouldnt mind the ability to play games on it but ive heared thats quite tricky depending on the title you want: Eg, no medieval 2. Anyone got any pointers for me? cant afford anything over 700 to be honest as im a student so looking at the basic one at a push.
  2. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    I've never used a windows machine, so I can't really compare OS X to XP. But as for the hardware, yes the ACER's specs may be twice as good to begin with, but in my experience Mac will last 5-10 years, running like the day you got them. I don't think ACER's reliability is that good.

    you can also add more RAM later when you have the cash.

    Be careful though !!!! Once you go Mac, you'll never go back :D
  3. Souljas macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    wow, never ever?
  4. mywouldbesaviou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    yeah i am hearing the reliability factor is a plus. is the gaming non existent then? i dont need that function but i was just interested in whether it could manage windows based games with the right software?

    also spec wise: the basic macbook can only go up to a max ram of 2 gig whereas an acer can be upgraded to 4. now im sure the macbooks can handle everything thats thrown at them except for maybe gaming.

    any pro's/cons that owners of the macbook can let me know? Dont personally know a macbook user myself and ive never had a play at one.
  5. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    2 points to think about

    1. You get a discount as a student
    2. The back to School offer usually begins around this time of year, so you might get a free iPod which I'm sure some people have sold to cut the cost ;), and a free printer on top of the educational discount.
  6. mywouldbesaviou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    did not know about this. where do the student deals spring up? (im in the uk) is it from the apple store itself? do you get a discount on the macbook or just bits thrown in aswell like the ipod?
  7. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    I'm a recent switcher so I'll try to help.

    About gaming - new games surely won't work, but older stuff works decently. I often take my Macbook to lanparties and I can play games like Warcraft III, Quake 3, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Unreal Tournament without much trouble. I also played WoW for some time, it wasn't perfect, but it was playable. All of this on Windows, of course. Even though most of the games i named have Mac versions, they unfortunately work much better on Windows. That's the only reason i have it installed.

    You are only half right about ram. You can't put 4 gigabytes in a Macbook, but the official 2 GB barrier also isn't true. You can use about 3.3 gigabytes. If you get 2x2GB sticks, about 700 megabytes get ignored, 2GB + 1GB works normally, but without dual channel. If you buy the Macbook, i suggest getting more RAM, not that you would need it urgently, but it is dirt cheap ATM, at least here in Slovenia (i payed 70 euros for two 1GB sticks 2 months ago) and it will only go up from here.

    And as far pros and cons are concerned, most of my compliments go to the operating system. While it does have a couple of annoyances, it is generally much better than Windows. You will also get more juice out of the battery in the Macbook then a comparable Acer(ish) laptop. Most of the downsides were already mentioned - price/performance ratio, bad graphics, perhaps i could add the glossy screen (i don't mind actually, but some people hate it), lack of USB ports (only 2 available, too close together) and Mini-DVI.

    All in all - I'm satisfied with the MacBook. You really start loving the user friendliness once you get used to the peculiarities of the operating system.

    If you have any specific questions, go ahead and ask ;).

    EDIT: I just checked the online store. In USA the discount comes in shape of a free iPod. You get $100 for buying a MacBook/iMac and $200 for buying a MacBook Pro/Mac Pro, but you have to spend it on an iPod (any). I could't find this "Back To School" discount in the UK apple store, but they seem to have the standard student discounts. You can get the 700 pound MacBook for about 650.
  8. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    It depends. For one, I'm always a bit suspicious of people saying things like "double the specs for the same price". What exactly are the specs of the Acer? For example, I seriously doubt the CPU is better than Core 2 Duo 2 GHz. Is it 2GB RAM and 160GB HD? How big/heavy is it? How much would you have to spend on the Apple store to match the RAM/HD specs?

    I do still look around at PCs occasionally and hardly ever find anything that matches a Mac in specs for a lot less. I'm willing to pay extra for OS X, since it suits me almost completely (apart from a few small annoyances) and the knowledge that it's unlikely to be any incompatibilities between hardware and software. When I first caught the Mac bug, the "Apple Tax" was about 20%. It's a lot less now and sometimes a Mac is even cheaper. It depends on when you buy usually. If you buy immediately after an update, there's a much smaller difference in price.

    Anyway, I can't imagine ever buying another Windows PC (and I've used them since 1987). But as for recommending a Mac over a PC: Although I say everyone should be open minded and give the Mac a try, there are circumstances where it may be better to get a PC. You may just not like the OS (but you can put Windows on it) or if you already have a lot of Windows software or need some particular Windows application, it might be better to get a PC (but again, you can get OEM copy of XP and put it on the Mac).

    If you want to play games, then even with Windows, the MacBook isn't going to be good enough for the latest 3D games.
  9. mywouldbesaviou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    This spec is for £560 so its quite abit cheaper.

    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
    Memory: 2 x 1024MB RAM
    Hard Drive: 120GB Hard Disk Drive
    Graphics Card: Shared Graphics
    Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti, CD/DVD reader/writer for all types of CD/DVD discs
    Connectivity: Wireless LAN, 3 x USB 2.0 Ports, 5 in 1 Card Reader
    Operating System: Windows® Vista Home Premium: Additional Software: Acer Empowering Technology, Acer Arcade, Norton Internet Security, Adobe Reader, NTI CD Maker
    Display Size: 15.4" WXGA TFT Display with Acer CrystalBrite technology

    (i think its 1.66ghz)

    Only thing concerning me currently is for the extra money being paid on a macbook, im not able to play games like medieval 2. space isnt a worry as ive got two external hardrives and a usb four way adapter. for a similar price: £650 you can get
    intel dual core processor @ 1.70 ghz
    160 gb hd
    125mb Geforce card with turbocache of 500mb
    and 2 gig of ram.

    Right on the fence at the moment to be honest.
    whats the main problems with the macbook?
  10. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    I would steer clear of the Acer IMHO, yes this is a Mac forum and you will be recommended a Mac, I'm recommending you get the Macbook but for:

    A Few Reasons

    1. I have had the pleasure of using one quite often the last year as my flat mate has one. We are both in Uni so know your situation!!! He is delighted with it and I can see why, its solid, reliable, looks great and he powers through his work on it because he can depend on it working.

    2. It can run windows (for anything maybe that you need to run on that side)

    3. From a gaming point of view ok, not so hot but get into the Mac gaming scene see what takes your fancy!!!

    4. The Acer IMHO are pretty ugly, there is a reason why some of them are very cheap indeed!! Probably many happy Acer users out there but definately if you have the choice you will not regret getting the Mac!

    5. They are a bit different from what everyone else usually has, around the uni you see loads of Dells and HP and all that but very few Macs. My flatmate has a lot of fun showing of his mac to people and has a great time showing them what a different machine it is to the norm!!

    Hope that helps and you decide in the end to get the Mac!!!

    Out of interest what are you going to be studying? :)
  11. TheScavenger macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2007
    Kansas City, MO
    As a recent switcher from windows and a recent purchaser of the 2.0GHz MacBook I would say definitely go for it. You will not be disappointed!

  12. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    Yeah, never. I've had a Mac since I was 6. My elementary / high schools and universities always had Macs avaiable, and I've had Mac laptops in my backpack for the last 10 years too.

    Just never saw / had the need for windows.
  13. nre999 macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2007
    As far as laptops go I have owned several Acers and several Macs so here is my take on the subject.

    First, if you want to just play a new 3D game then sure the Acer may run it (I say may because most 3D games have to be tweaked to run within Acer specs).

    So you will not see any advantage either way with 3D gaming between the low-end Acer laptops and the MacBook (while they would be similar in price).

    The second issue is software. If you do not have MS Office or another program package that you like to use then this is a wash. One disadvantage for the Mac platform is that NeoOffice and OpenOffice are not quite as mature as the equivalents for Windows. If you are not set on an office suite, then get iWork and Bean with your mack and you will be set.

    Third is Windows Vista - with the Home edition and a low-end laptop you will not get the "benefits" of Aero and the advanced imaging stuff. And Vista tends to be a resource hog which means that if you want to game on a Vista machine you will have to run everything in Windows XP mode. And if you are going to do that, you might as well get a laptop with XP Professional isntalled on it and download the Zune desktop theme which makes it look Vista-esque.

    But with any computer purchase you need to ask yourself two questions. Why do I need it, and what are the features that are Non-Negotiables for you. Whichever systems meets all of your non-negotiables and most of your desireables get it.

    And trust me when I say this - I have had many Acers and many Macs - they are both good machines (I actually switched from Mac back to PC because of an Acer laptop I had - it was that good - but now I am back), but you get what you pay for.
  14. vicious7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2007
    Jacked into the net...
    My last notebook was a two year old Acer Travelmate that I picked up new for 600 CAD. I was good for typical Office stuff but anything beyond that...:mad:

    Now that I've switched to Macs, there's no turning back for me. OSX, alone, makes the purchase worthwhile.
  15. glide macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2007
    I say go for it. Where are you getting one for under 7 bills?
  16. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    There's an education section on the website store (click on the right hand side of the store). Since you're in the UK there's further savings if you buy through the Higher Education store that can only be accessed from a university computer - I think it equates roughly to the VAT exclusive price of the MacBook, but I can't access it as I'm in Ireland. The normal student discount here is for the base MacBook is €986 as opposed to €1049, saving €63.

    Last year I got €160 off a 30 gig iPod and the discount on the MacBook. There was also a deal on printers (about €90 iirc) but I didn't take it up. Effectively it's a mid level nano for free, but you have to pay extra for larger ones. The way the deal works is you buy both at student price, and then claim a refund before a certain closing date.

    As for when the offer springs up, keep an eye on the Apple website and here, and you'll know when it comes up.

  17. mywouldbesaviou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    thanks for the help guys.
    I'm studying English at the moment just going back to my second year after working over the summer so itll be a big chunk of my summer earnings.

    (im in england by the way, the price isnt THAT cheap here yet unfortunatly)

    to be honest im really leaning towards a macbook at the moment, just because of the portability and because i mainly will be using multimedia functions (i have 500 gigs of music + video stored on hardrives) and the internet. my dad owns a basic vista running acer and it does seem quite steady and he hasnt had any problems yet but he mainly uses it for work and internet.

    the only problems im concerned about at the moment is the compatibility in terms of gaming (though as mentioned I could probably work my way round this and ive always got my 360.)

    Does anyone use Virtual DJ on their macbook? I have it but not sure if it would work.
  18. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    Strange that you ask that as I do a bit of DJing or CJing if thats what you wanna call it on the computer. I do it on the XP side but if you look in the, I think its the advice section there is an article about DJing on the Mac. Its something I have been looking into and there are quite a few good looking programs out there for the Mac to do that.

    Lucky you having a 360!! IMHO that should be perfect for gaming, to the purist out there either a spec'ed up PC or a good games console is definately the way to go so looks like your covered there!!!

    You said your doing English so guessing the main program you will be using will be Word?? Someone earlier in the tread mentioned that you get OpenOffice and NeoOffice for such a task and they are not as good as Microsoft which is fair comment having used them. Here comes the massive BUT tho. Macs run Microsoft Office as well with the new one coming out probably near the start of next year.

    Cannot see you going wrong with the Mac, think you can safely have all bases covered with it. Macbook + Office for Mac 2008 + Xbox 360 definately a nice set up!!

    Hope thats a help!! :)
  19. mywouldbesaviou thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2007
    cheers for that, ive got a usb mixing hub with virtual dj on my now dead laptop (broke the screen so bought a monitor and now use it as a desktop pc as its fairly old) and that works fine there. just double checked and it does look mac compatible which is ace. if you havent tried that whilst Cjing i would definitely recommend it.

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