Want to buy an inexpensive Mac for the wife

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bostonaholic, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Bostonaholic macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #1
    The wife desperately needs a new computer. Her 5 yr old Dell is crapping out on her (obviously) and her birthday is coming up. I'd like to get her a MacBook but I don't want to spend more than about $700.

    She doesn't need top-of-the-line anything, as it will be used for music, internet and word processing.

    I've been looking on Apple, Amazon, Ebay and even craigslist for refurbs but there isn't much out there for the price. What are my best options? Is it possible to get such a thing, 15" MacBook for $700?

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #2
    Used Macs on eBay are ridiculously expensive. The cheapest MacBook brand new from Apple costs $999. You would think that you should be able to get something a year old on eBay for $700, but you can't. People are bidding stupid prices for used Macs (which is nice when you want to sell one).

    I would really recommend that you add a little bit to your budget and look at refurbished MacBooks from the Apple Store; as I am typing you can get a refurbished MacBook for $849. But that is as new with full warranty, not used from some unknown seller; it is a much better buy than anything used you can buy for $700.
     
  3. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    Aug 21, 2009
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    Columbus, Ohio
    #3
    Yeah, I guess you're right on that.

    I guess I'm not sure if the 13" screens are too small. Maybe I'll have to ruin the surprise for her and take her to the apple store to see if the 13" screen works for her.
     
  4. jbrenn macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    #4
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #5
    My work laptop has a 14.1" widescreen and my MBP has a 13.3" widescreen. That's .8" difference (or a little over 3/4", corner to corner). It's hardly noticeable at all, especially for basic computer uses.
     
  6. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    Columbus, Ohio
    #6
    I need to measure her laptop screen now. I don't want to get her a 13" screen if she's used to a 15" screen. You know how them girls aren't open to change...
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #7
    Definitely. My wife had a Dell Inspiron 1525 and now uses the 13" MBP. She likes the smaller screen as she can move about the house much easier.
     
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #8
    I puttered around with a 12" PowerBook G4 for many years. In fact, I "downgraded" to the PowerBook from a 15.4" widescreen Dell laptop sporting an incredible 1920x1200 resolution. The decrease in resolution was worth the added portability, and when it was on my desk it was connected to a nice 20" widescreen LCD anyway.

    Today I have a 15" MacBook Pro, but only because the G4 was beginning to get pokey for modern tasks. I didn't go for the 13" MacBook at the time because it was too crippled compared to the MBP's. If I were to do it today, I would probably buy the "new" 13" MacBook Pro.

    An external LCD is a great way to have the best of both worlds.
     
  9. MacFanUK macrumors 6502a

    MacFanUK

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    Jul 29, 2009
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    UK
    #9
    Another option you could go with is a $700 Apple Gift Card and then she could get what she wants and could pay a bit extra if need be.

    The screen resolution of the 13" is the same as the resolutions of most 15" laptops so she may be ok with it.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    On the other hand, the white MacBook is very pleasant to the eye and very pleasant to hold (it just feels nice), and fits very well in every living room. And there are things like Spaces which really increase the usable space of your MacBook.
     
  11. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #11
    Try giving your wife a gift card for her birthday... NOT good for your nights :rolleyes:

    surprising her with an Apple refurb +warranty would be a much better idea ;)

    Seriously, do NOT get her a gift card!
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    The Far Horizon
    #12
    Agree with this completely. Go the refurb route, rather than eBay. Refurbs offer excellent value, and come with all of Apple's warranties. It sounds like an excellent idea and a superb present and good luck with it. I'm sure she'll love it.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  13. BuyerBeware macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #13
    Don't buy from Gainsaver.com

    If you do go the refurb route go to Apple...DO NOT BUY from Gainsaver. They come up on top of Google searches and they are a big rip off! I bought a Macbook which came defective, banged up and crashed when I updated to Snow Leopard. The disk got stuck in there and they won't give it back to me.
    Also, I found out they only give store credit...who wants anything from them after that experience. The credit policy is in mousetype in their terms section, so you don't even know about it until you get a lemon.

    Get an Apple certified Mac! I have two of them and should have stuck with that instead of trying to save a couple of hundred bucks! :(
     
  14. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #14
    Thanks for the heads-up. If, and it sounds like it's my best option, I get a refurb I'll be sure to get it through Apple themselves as opposed to a third-party.

    Thanks for all the help everyone.
     
  15. Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    #15
    Dude, just say "Honey I really like you, and happy birthday" with a 3k 17" MacBook Pro.

    Or hit up DVWarehouse.com, or Gainsaver.com

    -In regards to gainsaver.com, I have had two individuals buy from them, there was an issue with them sending an iBook out with a faulty AirPort, they fixed it and sent her out a new one, My sister bought a blackbook and has had no issue. I buy from DVWarehouse on occasion and am very pleased with them.

    Although Apple Refurbs are generally the best option.

    Also check out EXPERCOM.COM they have some great refurb deals.
     
  16. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    Columbus, Ohio
    #16
    Are you kidding? I'm getting the MBP for myself... as we speak actually...hehehe.

    I've a software developer, she's a writer, I believe I'm the one who needs the more powerful computer. As much as I love her...
     
  17. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #17
    Does it have to be a notebook? Otherwise the Mac Mini sounds perfect for her needs.
     
  18. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    #18
    Yeah, she would prefer something that she can use while on the couch in the living room.
     
  19. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

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    May 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mexico
    #19
    Give a gift card to the wife for her b'day? :eek:
    mime would just kill me!
     
  20. BENI macrumors regular

    BENI

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    #20
    you can't just look at the price of the mac mini - that isn't the point. what about a keyboard, screen, mouse... etc. and as far as sitting on the couch with it can you imagine someone balancing a mouse keyboard and screen on their lap? mmm... yes - actually quite funny actually:rolleyes:

    I don't know what your budget is but an inexpensive mac is is called a PC: they are plastic, unreliable (at that price anyway) and they just feel ugly - don't ask me what I mean they just do feel ugly.

    just get the white mackbook. that is the cheapest thing matching your description. the fact is, "inexpensive mac" is a very restrictively relative term, i.e. relative to other macs not anything else.:(
     
  21. Bostonaholic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Bostonaholic

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    Columbus, Ohio
    #21
    I understand I've really got to stretch my dollar when purchasing a mac for her. And I understand that "inexpensive mac" is a bit of an oxymoron, that is why I came here to ask for suggestions.
     
  22. emcham macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #22
    i am a girl, so i want to pitch in here!
    i would go with one of these options:

    1. a gift card, with a nice note. ladies can't resist the hand-written letters. sorry, i know, its difficult. but it works. and i don't think a thoughtfully given gift card is a bad thing! computers are so personal, wouldn't you want to hand-pick yours? even if you were on a budget?

    2. a macbook, with a nice carry case. there are plenty of nice and affordable carry cases and sleeves on the apple website. most women can't resist a nice accessory. again, it is also a thoughtful gesture and makes the whole package really "set-up ready to go" and appealing.

    if she is independent, go with option #1. if she likes you to take care of her, go with option #2.
     
  23. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    #23
    I would definitely do the "take my wife to go pick one out" ONLINE for her birthday. :]
    The in-store macbooks are way too expensive...or in general. But I'd add a lil more to get a decent refurb. :]
     
  24. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #24
    $700 won't net you anything newer than 2 years.

    But if you are willing to under $1000, there are some nice 13" uMBs in the refurbished section online for $899. Pick out a feminine-looking iTunes gift card for her and handwrite a note.

    I'd strongly recommend buying something recent because 5 years is the key year for you. If you buy a computer 2-3 years old out of the box, it will only last another 2-3 years before you hit the 5 year date. Regardless of the computer being PC or Mac. Time is time.

    But if you are still sticking with the $700 budget, eBay and similar sites are the only way to go. $700 won't get you a 15" display unless the MBP is really old (2+ year).
     
  25. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #25
    If she's a writer, then I don't think she's going to like a 13" if she's used to a 15. I know maybe a dozen writers (professionals) and nobody uses a screen smaller than 15 (laptop), and I don't know any writer who uses a desktop with a display smaller than 19".

    If she's looking at words all day, flipping back and forth through pages, give her a break. If the 13" MB resolution is higher than an ordinary 15" (as somebody posted) then those letters and words are going to be very small, compared to what she's used to.

    15" minimum, I say, or 13 if you must, but then save for an external monitor.
     

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