To new iBook or older (cheaper) one, that is the question.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by lupinthe3rd, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. lupinthe3rd macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2003
    I’m in something of a dilemma, so any advice/suggestions would be welcome.

    At home I have a G4 iMac, but for when I’m out and about and also at work, an iBook would be very useful.

    Now as it’s not what could be classed as an essential purpose, getting my better half to understand the substantial outlay of cash is proving quite tricky. This cost issue has got me considering buying an older G4 1 GHz iBook, which here in Japan is selling at 99,000 yen, compared to the latest model’s 125,000 yen price tag. About a 240 dollar difference.

    The built in airport extreme card isn’t too much of an issue, as the points system that big electrical stores offer means that I will be able to pick one up essentially for free with the points I’ll get.

    As for usage, I’ll be using the net when (and where) I can, updating my web page, a lot of writing, and some iTunes, iPhoto stuff. Nothing too taxing for the machine at all.

    So what do you think? Wait and save up the extra cash to get a new iBook, or is the older model a good buy at 240 dollars less?

  2. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    i think

    i think this is less a question about newer and better (which it is a little bit).

    it is really a question about new machine versus used machine ( i am assuming the older one you are refering to is used?).

    1) new means out of the box fresh, with full guaranties and apple care and support, plus the latest os and ilife including garage band etc.

    2) new/er also means it will hold its value longer. this also holds true if the older machine happens to be a brand new older machine.

    3) the newest machine has just had a price drop, making it even cheaper than the older one was a year ago.

    4) you can configure it the way you want, maybe bigger hd, bluetooth, etc. the free airport seems a nice bonus and you can use your 'points' on something else maybe?

    i would say buy the new/est ibook in this case.

    to sum up: it has a bit better specs, it will have far better resale value, it will have full warranties and support, it is exceptionally good value, the price difference is very small and is well worth it. if they made the new one any cheaper, they would practically be giving it away for free!

    a no brainer in my opinion. good luck.

  3. lupinthe3rd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2003
    Thanks Panda.

    The older model is a new machine too though. A lot of shops are still selling them here with a reduced price tag.

    Does that change anything?
  4. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Yes I would buy the old one, it will be more than adequate for what you want to do, I would spend the money that you save to add some more RAM as 256 MB is not enough, and the iBook will appear sluggish if you don't. adding 512 MB would be ideal, but you would also see a definite improvement with 256 MB if funds are tight. If you can find an iBook with custom configuration of increased HD capacity then that would be a good investment as well.
  5. lupinthe3rd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2003
    Cheers James. Interesting point.

    Would other people agree? An older (and new) G4 model with increased RAM is a better buy than a newer and more expensive one (considering what I'll be using it for)?
  6. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    more thoughts

    thank you for giving some thought to mine.

    i see now that you are looking at 2 new machines...

    that of course brings them closer together, but...

    an airport extreme card in japan probably costs about 100usd or a bit more. so the price difference is really ony 140usd. (i'm assuming you can use the famous points towards something else... like ram).

    for (only) a 140usd price diff, i'd probably go for the latest model, if only because the resale value will be better and the newer full suite of ilife apps.

    that said, i am not a total -latest must have greatest- freak. so i fully understand your dilema. i've often done just what you are thinking of doing and buying the older version and saving some money. however in this case, the difference is 'small' i feel and justified.

    it is also possible that (i've had the experience) some of the older versions sold were demoed in one of the shops and spruced up to look brand new. (not a funny thought).

    keep me posted. :)
  7. lupinthe3rd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2003
    Thanks again Panda!

    Yeah, it's a tough call. I know for a fact that the machines are brand new and have not been used in the shops. But yet I know what you mean about the price difference not being all that big.

    More thought needed I think, but I can't wait too long if i'm going to go for one of the older models as supplies aren't going to last forever.

    Alternatively I could always just buy the newest model and tell my other half that I bought the cheaper one. She wouldn't know the difference. ;)

    Until she saw the credit card statement I suppose.... :(
  8. supergod macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    For what you want it would be a much better option to find a used (cheap) powerbook. The iBook has a terrible keyboard and I find it hard to write with for long times. The old powerbook will not be as powerful and will lack some of the features of the new iBooks, but a 500mhz powerbook will be around or below the price you're looking at and the keyboard is much higher quality, not to mention the overall build and look.
  9. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004
    and some more

    thank you again for giving more thought to the ideas.

    it is tough i guess. seems like the issue is less about the money and more about the other half. that is understandable. perhaps you should just talk a bit more to her and let her give her opinion based on your input.

    i think either way you are going to be happy, as both machines are new. and there is normally a pleasure in knowing you bought the cheaper one -provided that there is an appreciable saving.

    it will give you a chance to see how she looks at things.

    i'm not a fan of buying a used pbook, nor deception. and you seem to feel the same. that said, the ibook is an amazing computer. i totally love mine and use it all the time, everywhere.

    the time has come tho for me to upgrade to a powerbook 15", having used this ibook for about 3 years. i need a bigger screen for design work and really do not want to have a desktop as a main computer. i've decided to wait till jan in the hope of some meaningful improvements. what puts me off, is the larger size to lug around and the ridiculous price premium over the ibook which is really tremendous value. what do you think?

    your questions are not easy i know, but smile, because either way you are getting a good machine at a good price. more good luck.
  10. acceber macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I have a 15" PowerBook and it's a great machine, almost perfect in regards to screen size. It is heavy though, I couldn't carry it around in my backpack without experiencing a little trouble (but then, I am female and petite).
    I also have a 12" iBook (bought it just before the updates, blah) and the keyboard is not terrible. In my opinion, it is just as good as the just makes a little more sound. I have had no issues typing on either.
  11. panda macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2004

    that is the big dilema isn't it? the 15¨is just unwieldly compared to the 12¨.
    interesting that you now have both sizes. you must be hooked?

    i like your -bite me- line :)

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