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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Switching from MS Vista/Dell to Apple: laptop for a 15 yr old


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DunnInLA

 
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Hello. I'm new to the Apple world (though I did once touch a tone emitting device designed by Wozniak in 1973 that tricked the AT&T 5ESS central switch into opening a long distance circuit without charge to anywhere in the world )

We have four computers, Dell and Compaq, running un-networked on Microsoft Vista. My sophomore daughter has been asking to switch to Mac for over a year and I think she's finally worn me down!!. My resistance has always centered on the EVIL EMPIRE impressions of closed software, expensive proprietary peripherals, secretive and restrictive development rules, etc. all the old tired stuff. all the stuff we thought about IBM in the late '70s. Funny how the worm turns. Plus we've always had at least 1-2 IBM based computers and I didn't want to buy separate software for only one Apple computer.

Anyway, we went to the Apple Store last night. Looks like the Macbook that lists for $1000 is probably the way to go... only problem is that's beyond the Xmas budget. So, onto ebay. Lots and lots of Macbooks between 1-2 yrs. old, around 2Ghz, 80 or 120 Gib hardrives, selling for between $550 and $700. Some from private users, but the majority from retailers of used computer equipment. No warranty usually.

The uses will be: Itunes with ipod Touch, excel, powerpoint and Word for school work, AIM, storing photos from the Nikon d40, and surfing the net.

Would anyone advise me strongly to only consider the $1000 + 8% tax = $1080 route, with warranty, or is the Macbook good reliability so that saving 40-45% is worth the risk?

Unrelated, I saw a G3 ibook on ebay for $200. 30Gb hard drive, 384MB memory, 800G speed. I though this might be a good internet surfing utility for an older relative who currently goes to the library to surf the net. Any thoughts on the wisdom of buying a 6 yr. old iBook for net surfing?
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bad.heron

 
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Why not try looking in the refurb section on Apples website? You get a one year warranty with all clearance and refurbished apple products.

Here is a link:
Refurbished Mac - Apple Store (U.S.)

Also, your daughter may also me able to get a student discount?
Student Discount - Apple Store (U.S.)

15.4" Apple Unibody Macbook Pro Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.4), 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1066Mz DDR3 SDRAM (2x2GB), 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB, SuperDrive 8X - Apple Remote Infrared (IR) - Logitech MX Performance 2.4 GHz Wireless - Apple Keyboard Bluetooth - iPhone 4 32GB, Black
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DunnInLA

 
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Thanks bad.heron...

I had a look at the educational site... they're giving $50. I'm afraid that won't get anywhere near into the budget! Also the refurb site's lowest model is at $949 as well on a more robust build that I think we need.

I'm now looking on the For Sale part of this forum.
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Aptmunich

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Hello. I'm new to the Apple world (though I did once touch a tone emitting device designed by Wozniak in 1973 that tricked the AT&T 5ESS central switch into opening a long distance circuit without charge to anywhere in the world )

We have four computers, Dell and Compaq, running un-networked on Microsoft Vista. My sophomore daughter has been asking to switch to Mac for over a year and I think she's finally worn me down!!. My resistance has always centered on the EVIL EMPIRE impressions of closed software, expensive proprietary peripherals, secretive and restrictive development rules, etc. all the old tired stuff. all the stuff we thought about IBM in the late '70s. Funny how the worm turns. Plus we've always had at least 1-2 IBM based computers and I didn't want to buy separate software for only one Apple computer.

Anyway, we went to the Apple Store last night. Looks like the Macbook that lists for $1000 is probably the way to go... only problem is that's beyond the Xmas budget. So, onto ebay. Lots and lots of Macbooks between 1-2 yrs. old, around 2Ghz, 80 or 120 Gib hardrives, selling for between $550 and $700. Some from private users, but the majority from retailers of used computer equipment. No warranty usually.

The uses will be: Itunes with ipod Touch, excel, powerpoint and Word for school work, AIM, storing photos from the Nikon d40, and surfing the net.

Would anyone advise me strongly to only consider the $1000 + 8% tax = $1080 route, with warranty, or is the Macbook good reliability so that saving 40-45% is worth the risk?

Unrelated, I saw a G3 ibook on ebay for $200. 30Gb hard drive, 384MB memory, 800G speed. I though this might be a good internet surfing utility for an older relative who currently goes to the library to surf the net. Any thoughts on the wisdom of buying a 6 yr. old iBook for net surfing?
I'd avoid the very first CoreDuo MacBooks... they had quite a few teething issues that might show up at some point unless the previous owner had it serviced.

But apart from that, any Core2Duo MacBook should be fine for your daughter.

The G3 iBook will work as well as a 6 year old computer can be expected to I guess... but it would probably beat going to the library
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DunnInLA

 
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Oh, will the 19" displays we have currently hooked into our Dell desktop computers work plugged into a Mac?
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Gottria

 
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Try looking locally. I found on Craigslist.org a white macbook, 2.0ghz, 3gb ram,80gb HDD, and a combo drive for $500. It's clean, I got to check everything out first and the sell even took $50 off cause it was my first mac and a good gesture as he said he was "converting me"
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Andy348

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Thanks bad.heron...

I had a look at the educational site... they're giving $50. I'm afraid that won't get anywhere near into the budget! Also the refurb site's lowest model is at $949 as well on a more robust build that I think we need.

I'm now looking on the For Sale part of this forum.
I'm pretty sure the lowest MacBook on the US refurb site is around $800, you just got to look a couple times a day and it will show up.
I bought my MB refurbed because it looks brand new (they replace everything including exterior casing) and I saved a good $200.
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Aptmunich

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Oh, will the 19" displays we have currently hooked into our Dell desktop computers work plugged into a Mac?
Sure - but you'll need an adapter. The white MacBooks have a miniDVI port and you can get adapters for regular VGA or DVI monitor ports.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
The uses will be: Itunes with ipod Touch, excel, powerpoint and Word for school work, AIM, storing photos from the Nikon d40, and surfing the net.
Kids are using PP for school work? WOW! Times have changed. If you don't require a version Microsoft Office, look into either Apples iWork (a full working demo comes on new Macs so the disc may be included with a used system) or one of the open source alternatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Would anyone advise me strongly to only consider the $1000 + 8% tax = $1080 route, with warranty, or is the Macbook good reliability so that saving 40-45% is worth the risk?
When laptops have problems they can be pricey to fix. I'd dare say that if the used laptop you would be buying hasn't had issues, it is much less likely to have them in the near future. Perhaps you can buy a third party warranty. Also, I believe if the laptop is still under the Apple warranty, you can transfer that and even then buy the extended warranty if that wasn't originally bought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Unrelated, I saw a G3 ibook on ebay for $200. 30Gb hard drive, 384MB memory, 800G speed. I though this might be a good internet surfing utility for an older relative who currently goes to the library to surf the net. Any thoughts on the wisdom of buying a 6 yr. old iBook for net surfing?
I'd look at buying a desktop. You will get more power for the money. Also, nothing less than a 800Mhz G4 processor. Oh, the bare minimum memory would be 512MB, but preferable 1Gb.

You would likely be getting an older version of OS X, but for sure, expect to receive the install discs on any used system you buy. You should do a clean install.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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DunnInLA

 
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Thanks everyone.

I've analyzed this to the point in uncertainty now.

I began thinking that a 15" screen would be a great thing for her to have, since she has a 19" monitor (4/3) with the Dell, and a laptop that is 14" diagonal (also 4/3). To fit the bugdet (with some fudging to get it up to $950) began looking at ads for Macbook Pro 2007 builds.

Now I'm wondering whether the lack of warranty is worth the extra 2" in screen. Plus she had a bit of a fit when I mentioned I was looking to get "an even better computer, just a year old". That conversation finished with "well, 15" would be nice, but I'd want to see the actual computer and not feel like I'm getting someone else's problem". Wise thoughts actually for a 15 year old.

Then, she said she'd pay the extra $300 herself to get from the White Macbook to the Macbook ($999 vs. $1299). She thinks the $1299 Macbook looks and feels a lot sleeker.

So you see, I'm a little twisted up in the price/performane/warranty tradeoffs. The bottom line is it really is a shame that a brand new 17" screen Vista running laptop from Toshiba or HP or whomever can be had for about $800 these days Yet she insists on switching to Mac. Mind you she doesn't do anything for which I hear Macs are truly best (video editing, Photo work, music composition, etc.) She just runs vanilla apps, but I don't think I can convince her otherwise, so trying to find the best value Macbook.

Thoughts?
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phoenix1560

 
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You said your daughter was willing to pay for some of it to get the $1299 model. Would she still be willing to help you out to get a new $999 model. That would make it more reasonable for you to afford and she could chip in for the warranty, programs she may want and other upgrades. It is not her ideal machine but she is still getting a brand new machine, that wasn't someone else's problem. I think a new machine is the better way to go, especially if she is willing to defer some of the cost.
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DunnInLA

 
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Assuming she wants it bad enough to chip in $300, I might consider buying a better machine.

I see Amazon sells the Apple Care for MB Pros for $299. Perhaps if I can find a decent used price on the newest (non-aluminum) MB Pro that debuted in March, 2008, I could buy that and she can buy the Apple Care. Since the newest MB Pro (MB133) are new for $1,444 from Amazon including shipping and tax, maybe I can find one for $1,000 - $1,100 used.

Thanks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DunnInLA View Post
Thanks everyone.

I've analyzed this to the point in uncertainty now.

I began thinking that a 15" screen would be a great thing for her to have, since she has a 19" monitor (4/3) with the Dell, and a laptop that is 14" diagonal (also 4/3). To fit the bugdet (with some fudging to get it up to $950) began looking at ads for Macbook Pro 2007 builds.

Now I'm wondering whether the lack of warranty is worth the extra 2" in screen. Plus she had a bit of a fit when I mentioned I was looking to get "an even better computer, just a year old". That conversation finished with "well, 15" would be nice, but I'd want to see the actual computer and not feel like I'm getting someone else's problem". Wise thoughts actually for a 15 year old.

Then, she said she'd pay the extra $300 herself to get from the White Macbook to the Macbook ($999 vs. $1299). She thinks the $1299 Macbook looks and feels a lot sleeker.

So you see, I'm a little twisted up in the price/performane/warranty tradeoffs. The bottom line is it really is a shame that a brand new 17" screen Vista running laptop from Toshiba or HP or whomever can be had for about $800 these days Yet she insists on switching to Mac. Mind you she doesn't do anything for which I hear Macs are truly best (video editing, Photo work, music composition, etc.) She just runs vanilla apps, but I don't think I can convince her otherwise, so trying to find the best value Macbook.

Thoughts?
Even if she takes a step down in resolution for the time being, a 13" laptop is a bit more portable than the 15" models, which might be an issue if she'll be taking it to school.

Plus the you're paying quite a premium on the 15" just for the larger screen (the additional ports and better graphics don't seem that relevant in her case).

I'd go for the 13" aluminum MacBook now and upgrade her monitor sometime later if she does need more screen space at home. (20" and even 23" monitors are so cheap nowadays...)
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Yes you can plug in those Dell displays. You just need an adapter from Apple. It's around $20.
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DunnInLA

 
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Thanks. It does seem she doesn't value the 15" as much as I do. So 13" it is.

I finally realized why her current notebook Dell Latitude D505 sucks.... it's FOUR years old with only 256MB memory. I had lost track of how much time has passed by. It is fine when running only Explorer and AIM. But when Word 2007 (I lost the Office 2003 disks so had to buy 2007.... a real memory hog that one is) is launched, it takes almost 45 seconds to come up. When the display is closed, it goes to sleep and takes about 3 or 4 full minutes to relaunch all the applications upon waking up.

At any rate, she's set on a Mac since her friends have them, and even though a new Dell notebook would solve her frustrations, the "I MUST have a Mac" horse is already out of the barn.

That leaves us with the new 13" Whitebook MB402 ($850 Amazon all in *edit* yikes, that was yesterday... today Amazon is out an today through J&R it's $920 all in), and the new 13" aluminum Macbook MB466 ($1219 Amazon all in).

So, is the Aluminum Macbook worth another either $300 or $350 (if Amazon gets MB 402 back in stock)?

I notice the Aluminum MB466 it has better graphics, slightly slower processor speed (2.0 vs. 2.1), but are there other substantive differences a person who will basically be running Word, Explorer and AIM simultaneously appreciate in the 466 vs. 402?

Are there reliability differences?
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