Which would you buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jigsawjammer, May 4, 2009.

  1. Jigsawjammer macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi, I don't do much heavy lifting but would like a computer that will last 3 or 4 years. Mainly word process, presentations and video. I really like the idea of the backlight keyboard but I wonder how useful it would be in my life.

    So, which would you buy?
     

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  2. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #2
    If it is going to be a three or four year investment, I would definitely buy the 2.4ghz model, because the backlit keyboard will be a better investment, and you can just up the ram yourself. :)
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #3
    I would get the bottom one and upgrade the RAM later on myself. It's cheap and very easy to do.
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #4
    It's not $35 cheap.

    I'd get the 2.0 with the bigger HD and double the RAM, plus iWork. I don't usually type in the dark, so a backlit keyboard is a novelty to me.
     
  5. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #5
    Well for one thing, you won't notice the benefit of an extra 2GB RAM unless you actually fill up the first 2GB. Reading your description of what you're going to use the computer for, I doubt you will be doing this.

    And also, you won't notice the extra 0.4GHz clock speed with what you are doing either.

    My opinion is that you should get the white plastic MacBook. Not only is it cheaper than both of these, but it will yield very similar performance and it is a much, much better design. These new MacBooks are truly hideous in my opinion, and the keyboard is much worse. Apple uses a different type of plastic to manufacture the black keys as opposed to the white keys and it is not as easy to type on the aluminium or black MacBooks.
     
  6. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #6
    It's $60 cheap though. When I buy computers I try to max out what I can't reasonably upgrade myself with the intent of upgrading the other pieces later.
     
  7. Benguitar Guest

    Benguitar

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    #7
    I would purchase the bottom MacBook, you can do all the upgrades later. :)
     
  8. WoodNUFC macrumors 6502a

    WoodNUFC

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    #8
    I would get the 2.4 mainly because I've had backlit keys for the last couple years on my Powerbook and I'll never buy a notebook without them. My parents bought a 2.0 and I hate typing on it. That's just what I'm used to though. If you haven't used one before and won't miss it, then the 2.0 will be a solid computer and you'll save yourself some money.
     
  9. Scippy macrumors regular

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    #9
    I'd go with the bottom, and then max out the ram and HD when you need it.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #10
    I agree on both points; but then you've spent considerably more than the top MacBook, and the only thing you have better is the 2.4 vs 2.0. Even if you take $60 for RAM, $80 to get a 320 Gb HD, and $70 for iWork, now you've spent $210 extra to get a backlit keyboard and a mild bump on the CPU. If those two are worth $210 to you, I salute you; it isn't worth it to me.
     
  11. Jigsawjammer thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Thanks guys for the replies. I think this is the age old question that always gets answered 50/50 for each side. BTW, I was going to go refurb but it seems there is a different screen coming with the newest MB that has nicer blacks so I rather get new now.

    So, do you guys think I won't utilize the extra ram? I usually have Word, powerpoint, internet and possibly one or two programs in the background running. I'm a teacher and use clips I download from youtube to play in class as well as in presentations (when it doesn't play choppy). Do you guys really think I won't see much a difference in processor either?

    I'm not afraid to upgrade it later though and maybe I can wait if I might not really need it so maybe I'll just get a large hard drive because that is more of a pain to upgrade.

    Also, I was wondering how iWork is (thus buying the remote). I would switch because some people seem to like it a lot better.

    I really guess anything is an upgrade considering I use a Titanium Powerbook 500 daily for everything lately and ditched my XPS. Maybe that answers my question if I need the faster one really...
     
  12. brguitarist macrumors member

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    #12
    So here's the thing, you don't NEED 2.4, but I'd still definitely get that one. That's the only thing you can't easily upgrade.

    If you can wait for the upgrades, memory and drive prices will only drop in the future, making it even more worthwhile.

    Personally, I use a combination of iWork/NeoOffice and I'm perfectly happy so if you're interested in iWork, I'd go for it.
     
  13. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #13
    I highly doubt you'll run into memory issues doing this, even with "just" 2 GB.
    You'll hardly notice any difference at all.

    It's really not that hard of a repair, but sure.

    And some people don't. If you work for a school, I'm willing to bet they can give you MS Office for free out of their license.
     
  14. Samslice12 macrumors member

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    Australia
    #14
    I would definitely go for the 2.4 Ghz Model. I had the same dilemma and I decided to go for the 2.4 model and I am extremely happy that I did.

    The backlit keyboard certainly does make a difference, apart from looking really cool, it makes it much easier to see the keyboard. And not even if it is completely dark. The keys are pretty hard to see at night with a dim light on so the backlit keyboard makes a great difference.

    Also, if you want this computer to last you for a long time, the faster processor would definitley be a good investment. I think the .4 GHz translates to an extra 9% real-time performance. You may not be able to notice it now but in a few years when even the most basic applications use a lot more system resources, this will definitely be noticed.

    Get the 2.4 Ghz Model, upgrade to 4 GB of RAM and a larger and faster HD and you will be set for the next few years.
     
  15. fishfingers macrumors newbie

    fishfingers

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    Apr 5, 2009
    #15
    I would go for the bottom one and get an external harddrive for backing up and just incase you need a little extra room you can keep large files like films etc on it. Then when the time comes you can get a memory upgrade which is pretty cheap and easy to do.
     
  16. Jigsawjammer thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    It's such an impossible decision! Maybe I'll wait to the back to school sale and get the iPod to sell to make up the cost of the 2.4.
     
  17. WoodNUFC macrumors 6502a

    WoodNUFC

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    #17
    I think that is a great option. Like it's been said, you can upgrade a large portion of the 2.0, but to me it just makes more sense to do what you are thinking here than to settle for a cheaper machine.
     
  18. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a

    bobbleheadbob

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    #18
    Neither. I'd get a MBP. It'll last longer and you'll be happier 2-3 years from now. You can get a refurb'd one from the Apple store for about $200 more than these two options.

    If I had to pick one of these, I'd get the one with more RAM and HD space.
     
  19. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #19
    quick thought on future proofing

    It amuses me when others, and myself, argue on the boards over which particular model of a mac is more 'future-proof'. Nonetheless, I'm going to attempt it now anyway...

    A few months ago, I was looking for a cheap, dependable mac portable to do some light lifting around the house and on the road: surfing, emails, word processing, and the like. I decided to go with a late model g4 12" laptop because of cost and form factor. My father had recently bought a 12" 1.07 ghz g4 ibook, and I was amazed by its usability for basic tasks, especially browsing on a decent wi-fi connection.

    After looking, I eventually decided to scoop up a good deal on a last gen 12" powerbook with a 1.5 ghz g4 processor. Other contenders was a 1.33 ghz 12" powerbook and a contemporary ibook. My decision on the powerbook was NOT based upon the .17 ghz processor difference, but instead was based upon the feel and construction of the pb over the ibook, the slightly more capable video card of the pb (faster card and twice the video ram) and finally, the scrolling trackpad feature of the 1.5.

    Based upon my experience, I would postulate that the differences in using a 2.0 whitebook, 2.0 uni mb and 2.4 uni mb three or four years from now would be a lot narrower. All three have the same video card, and the processor and ram differences between the three would arguably be minimal. By that time, I would expect apple to be releasing notebooks with four, eight or however many cored cpu's, and the software would hopefully be capable of using them all effectively. The .4 ghz difference would be negligible. I'm also discounting HD capacity since they're fairly cheap right now, and it is supremely easy to upgrade to a larger, faster drive on all of the macbooks.

    The question becomes which features of the various notebooks would enhance its usability and desirability over time. The unis have LED backlit screens, which promise to have a longer useful shelf life over the whitebook; if the laptop is going to be your main machine and get a lot of constant use over the next 2-3 years this may be a factor. The unis also have the larger, arguably more useful trackpad. I have a sneaky suspicion that apple will start introducing features in its programs that will utilize the pinch and other features more over time. The unibodies have a, well, unibody design which promises to be more durable over time (I'll take a scratch over a crack in my case anyday). And finally, the 2.4 uni has the backlit keyboard, which is useful under low light conditions and has historically been a bit of a status symbol for portable mac totin' types.

    I've got three sisters who are teachers. Granted, they're here in Oklahoma and you're in New York City, but based upon that I'm assuming that cash may be a consideration for you. Therefore, I suggest buying a refurbished model off of the apple online store, and I will base the prices accordingly. $850 for a modern whitebook, $1100 for a 2.0 uni and $1300 for a 2.4.

    If the unibody design, LED backlit screen and trackpad are worth $250 (plus tax) to you right now, then get the 2.0 uni macbook. If not, stay with the whitebook. If the backlit keyboard is worth an additional $200 (plus tax) to you on top of that, then get the 2.4.

    Or, you can prowl craigslist in your area and possibly find a last generation macbook pro, possibly with extended applecare on it, for roughly the same price. Good luck with your decision.
     
  20. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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  21. apcpa2000 macrumors member

    apcpa2000

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    #21
    I just had a thread going on this 12 hours ago. After sleeping on it overnight, I decided the backlit keyboard wasn't worth $200. I just ordered a refurbished 2.0. If it is at all slow I will go with some aftermarket RAM for $60 and bring it up to 4 gigs. And if I want later I can upgrade the hardrive.

    For what its worth...
     
  22. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #22
    [​IMG]

    But the unibodies don't crack here like mine did. ;)
     
  23. RatVega macrumors member

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    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #23
    If "and video" means production, then you're going to need to add a FireWire port unless you get the whitebook or a MBP.

    Otherwise, just remember that more RAM means shorter battery life and nothing is "future proof" but a lot of people are still happily running G4 "Ti Books"
     
  24. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #24
    I'd go for the top one. For an extra $35 you get twice the RAM, a bigger harddrive and iWork.
     
  25. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

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    #25
    Get the 2.0 refurb. Do all the upgrades yourself. You'll save lots more money.

    $1099 - MacBook
    $0068 - 4GB Memory (crucial)
    $0062 - WD 320GB Scorpio Blue (amazon)
    $1229
    $0065 - iWork '09 (amazon)
    $1294
     

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