When to buy MacBook Pro - Aug or May?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dixie318, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. dixie318 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Southern USA
    #1
    I'm about to start my senior year of college this August. My old Toshiba laptop started acting funky after a virus, so I bought a G3 iBook clamshell on eBay. It's very cool and retro, and it works well for what it is, which I can appreciate. However, I never intended it to be my primary computer. I used it for travel and word processing, while I stuck with the Toshiba for watching TV online, using Facebook, YouTubing, graphic editing, etc. Then my dog peed on it.

    My parents promised me that they would get me whatever new Mac I wanted for graduation, since I'm going to law school after graduation and will need a new computer. However, because my primary laptop is now kaput, I'm stuck trying to do everything I want to do with my iBook, which it just simply isn't cut out to do. My mom has offered to buy me a new 13-inch Macbook Pro this August instead of waiting until May. Should I take her up on this offer or wait? Is Apple planning any new updates from August to May? What's this about Arrandale/Sandy Bridge/etc I'm reading - I have no idea what all this means? What about Snow Leopard? When's it coming out and if I buy before it does, will I be able to upgrade for free/reduced price?

    If there are upgrades, will it make any difference for a user like me, who wants to be able to watch TV episodes online, YouTube, Facebook, use Microsoft Office, play Sims 3 (and maybe a few other Mac-friendly games), and use Photoshop for relatively basic graphic design (I design screen printed t-shirts at my job)?

    Basically, I definitely want a Macbook Pro laptop, but should I wait until May or just get it in August?
     
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Definitely get your Macbook Pro as soon as possible as you can take advantage of the Student Discount deals. First of all, you will get (I think it is) $100 off your Macbook Pro for being a college student. Plus, you can get a Ipod Touch and a Printer for free after rebates. So it is a really good deal. The new Intel chips (Arrandale) will probably be in Macbook Pro's by early-to-mid next year so buy now because they were just updated with faster Intel Core 2 Duos. Also, Snow Leopard will cost $9.95 because if you buy your Mac after June 8, you can get it at that reduced price. But remember, technology is constantly changing so you can't always have the fastest computer.
     
  3. RogueVasion macrumors regular

    RogueVasion

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Location:
    MA/CT
    #3
    Higher education only gets the back-to-school deals. He's entering his senior year now.

    Honestly, it sounds like you really need it. I recommend getting a MBP in August so you can use it your senior year and parts of college. There probably will be an update next year (since technology is always expanding), but using an iBook Clamshell will not be a perfect candidate for getting through your senior year. The 13" MBP is probably your best bet since you do a little bit of light gaming and regular other things on your computer.

    "If you need it, get it."
     
  4. MacAndy74 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Right now is a great time to buy since the MacBook Pro's have just been refreshed. ;)

    Think about the 15-inch MBP with the 9600M GT (256MB) will do fine and it will play games like Sims 3 very well.

    Hope I've helped.
     
  5. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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  6. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

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    California
    #6
    He is entering his senior year of college.
     
  7. dixie318 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Southern USA
    #7
    Thanks to everyone, especially MacMini2009, for your helpful responses! Now that I've been looking, would I be better off, doing what I want to do, with a 13-inch 2.53 GHz new MBP or a 15-inch 2.8 GHz refurb? Would I noticed a speed difference between the two, knowing that I would like to be able to have iTunes, Firefox, and Photoshop (but probably nothing more) open at the same time? Will the extra 2 inches really make that much difference with my light gaming/graphics editing? I love and really utilize Expose now, so the ability to have two programs open side-by-side (as I read on another thread on this same topic) really isn't that much of a selling point. Also, how is the quality of the refurbished MBPs? Would I be better off paying less for less but sticking with new? I'm also not opposed to hooking up a larger monitor to a 13-inch for gaming or the aforementioned work - would this route be my best bet?
     
  8. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a

    macjonny1

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    There is no reason to wait! Discount plus free ipod as others have said.
     
  9. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
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    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #9
    Wow, sounds like a great apple commercial! A toshiba and an ibook lying on the floor side by side, a small dog sniff both, cocks his head, and pees on the toshiba...:D

    Seriously, if your current machine isn't doing what you need it to do, get a new one. If you get a mbp now, it won't run any slower or do any less just because Apple releases a new model with a new chip. I could also see Apple releasing a new quad chip in the 17" mbp first, just to encourage people to buy their top of the line model, and updating the less expensive models later on.

    On an unrelated note, you do know to get the reading assignments for your law school classes ahead of time and be ready to discuss them on the first day of classes, right?
     
  10. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #10
    If you want/need a 15in screen then get the 15in Macbook Pro. There will obviously be a difference between the 2.53 and 2.8 Macbook Pros but the difference will probably not be noticed by the average user. Get what you can afford. I would suggest getting the new 15in Macbook Pro as they have a 7 hour battery, SD card slot, and ability to have up to 8GB of RAM. As you stated you do light gaming/graphics so I would suggest getting the $1699 Macbook Pro with only the 9400M. Although, if you have the money, you can get the $1999 Macbook Pro with the discrete 9600M. It is fully up to you.

    or

    You also stated you wouldn't mind hooking up a 13in Macbook Pro to an external monitor, that is a great idea. Get the 2.26GHz Macbook Pro and later upgrade the RAM to 4GB and a 500GB Scorpio Blue. For an external monitor, I suggest the Hp 2159m.
     
  11. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
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    #11
    You may want to check if wherever you live has a tax free day. Usually they'll be before school. I'm waiting until ours in August to purchase. 7.5% tax saved is pretty nice discount on a $1399 edu. 13" MBP. Plus the touch. Spend the extra $70 and at least get a 16GB Touch and don't freak when Apple releases 3rd gen. Touches at the end of rebate time.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #12
    My advice would be to get a 15" MBP refurb, unless portability really matters to you; the 15" screen really is better that the 13" - if size and quality of screen matters to you, perhaps you ought to consider this - and refurb is a great way to buy an excellent computer at affordable prices, yet with all of Apple's warranties.

    Buy in August as you need it for college; you can always sell it and/or upgrade after you have graduated.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  13. dixie318 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Southern USA
    #13
    I'm from Arkansas, and we don't have a tax free day, but Tennessee does and any computer $1,500 or less qualifies. And since I'll be less than 1 hour away from a TN Apple store, it's definitely something to consider. Thanks for the tip! Would I still be able to use my education discount in addition to the sales tax exemption?
    ETA: Upon a second reading, you imply that it will. Yay!

    So if I were to buy a refurbished computer, I could expect it to act and look just like a new one, with Apple treating any issues I might have with it as though it were a brand new one? The warranties would be exactly the same?
     
  14. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Refurbished Macs should look/act just like a brand new one. It just comes in a different box. Yes the warranties should be the same as the new Macs.
     
  15. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #15
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you go the route of the refurbished, I don't believe it'd qualify for a student discount, nor the iPod and printer rebates. That may be something to consider.
     
  16. TsuaSai macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
    Location:
    TX
    #16
    You are correct.

    Also I think you can use your edu discount year around but only use it once a year. However I think they end the free ipod and printer in September.
     

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