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  1. #1

    Amanda's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2008
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    91
    Specs:
    White Macbook 1GB RAM 80 GB Combo Drive
    Need a Mac NOW!!!
    As you can probably tell from the title, I'm getting impatient and would like to get a Mac now. I'll be realistic, I only have about $700 to spend on a Mac laptop. I realize that that isn't enough for a new MacBook. I've been looking at older models (like the iBook G3) and have considered buying one. I figured I would also buy Leopard and instill it. My question is, are there any newer/better models I could get for the amount of money I have to spend? The only thing I will really be using my laptop for is school work which include the usual paper writing, etc. I also will use it for personal things as it will be the only computer I take with me to school. The only things I really do now are listen to music, aim, surf the web, etc. I think the most I would have open at once would be the internet, AIM, Word, and iTunes. Does anyone have any recommendations on a notebook that would serve my purposes effectively but is within my $700 range? Keep in mind that includes buying the new OS, shipping, and a $35 case.

    Also, I've noticed some websites that sell used Macs with a 90 day warranty. Am I able to buy the service plan at the Apple website for older models? If anyone thinks of a notebook that would fit in my budget and will be efficient for me, can you recommend a website to purchase it from?

    EDIT: I'd prefer not to buy from someone on the forums because I don't really trust working with individuals rather than companies.

  2. #2

    JohnTheMacGeek's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 05, 2008
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    874
    Specs:
    Mid 2009 MacBook Pro  Mid 2007 iMac  4G iPod Touch  iPhone 4S  iPad
    If you can be a little more patient, I recommend saving a few more pennies for a Apple Cert. Refurbished model. I bought a refurb'd MacBook and iMac in February and they came in as good shape out of the box as I've ever seen any new computer.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 15, 2007
    Posts
    20
    Specs:
    2.0Ghz ALU MacBook
    You can get a nice iBook G4 1.33 or 1.42 ghz that will run Leopard just fine(I had one)for $400-$600 on eBay. Just make sure it has 1.25g of ram.

  4. #4

    Amanda's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2008
    Posts
    91
    Specs:
    White Macbook 1GB RAM 80 GB Combo Drive
    I'm a little apprehensive about dealing with people on eBay. I would be really unhappy if I were ripped off somehow.

    If you can be a little more patient, I recommend saving a few more pennies for a Apple Cert. Refurbished model. I bought a refurb'd MacBook and iMac in February and they came in as good shape out of the box as I've ever seen any new computer.
    I've considered it but I am getting very impatient.

    EDIT: Does anyone know the first model to include the integrated iSight?

  5. #5

    JohnTheMacGeek's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 05, 2008
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    874
    Specs:
    Mid 2009 MacBook Pro  Mid 2007 iMac  4G iPod Touch  iPhone 4S  iPad
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
    I've considered it but I am getting very impatient.
    I understand the feeling. I remember waiting about 3 months before I could make my purchase ... it about drove me insane. Especially with my Vista machine freezing up on me about every day! However, I still recommend it. You get Apple's 1 year warranty and their QA process for refurbed hardware is very stringent. You'll get a quality product! Good luck!

  6. #6

    Amanda's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 08, 2008
    Posts
    91
    Specs:
    White Macbook 1GB RAM 80 GB Combo Drive
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTheMacGeek View Post
    I understand the feeling. I remember waiting about 3 months before I could make my purchase ... it about drove me insane. Especially with my Vista machine freezing up on me about every day! However, I still recommend it. You get Apple's 1 year warranty and their QA process for refurbed hardware is very stringent. You'll get a quality product! Good luck!
    Thanks. I may have to wait and buy a refurbished model. I'm not having very much luck finding a notebook within my price range that I feel isn't too heavily used. Trying to find the first made MacBook (with iSight) that is within my range is difficult.

  7. #7

    walkerj's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location
    New Orleans, LA, USA
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    1,186
    Specs:
    13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
    I'm a little apprehensive about dealing with people on eBay. I would be really unhappy if I were ripped off somehow.
    Hey, don't knock eBay all that much. Sure I got slightly ripped off on an auction once (it was a 'collection' of anime videos that turned out to be what the seller was claiming...except it was in the form of episodes taped off of the SciFi Channel....badly) but other than that I've had good experiences with it since. I bought computers, miscellaneous items; heck, the car I'm currently driving was originally bought off eBay by my parents a few years ago. They've since sold it to me and it's still running strong.

    But yes, if you're impatient then you might want to go a different route. I don't recall which models came with the built-in iSight, but if you want one of those to go with your budget Mac you can always get an external iSight off of, well, eBay!

    Or you can get a RocketFish USB webcam. It's Mac compatible, is USB, and I went that route to get my parents video equipped with the original non-camera equipped Mac Mini that I passed down to them after we got our Macbooks. At $50 they are relatively cheap at that.

    Budget notwithstanding, I highly recommend trying to shoot for an Intel Mac if you can. The PPC macs were just fine, but the Intels, any Intel Mac is going to have more 'staying power' as software companies start releasing 'Intel Only' apps.

  8. #8

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    Refurbished is the way to go. A G3 iBook won't run Leopard. The G4's are ok but very expensive for their capabilities. Only MacBooks have the iSight. I've seen refurbished MacBook on the Apple site for $800. Just keep your eye out. Good things come to those who wait.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  9. #9

    MDCjr's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    84
    Specs:
    MBP 2.2C2D 2gb 15.4
    I've considered it but I am getting very impatient.
    I guarantee that if you bare the pain of waiting and get something that you will truly enjoy, like a refurbished pretty new macbook. You will be much happier. I cant tell you how many times i have jumped the gun, and bought things in a hurry. Each time i ended up using that same ol statement. I wish i had waited!
    Not that im saying the G4 is bad, by all means its a great book. But the point i want to get across is, thinking about as a long term investment. 700 bucks is not chump change. So think it over long and hard and make sure the decision u choose will be one that you don't regret.
    -If you're still bragging about what you did yesterday, then you haven't accomplished anything today!

  10. #10

    xstep's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2005
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    On the road
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    3,231
    Specs:
    2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
    The minimum you should consider is a G4 laptop. Preferably a Powerbook. If you have local third party Apple dealers in town call them to see if they have used systems. You might even be able to get an early edition Macbook.
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

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

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  11. #11


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2004
    Posts
    1,964
    Stay away from G3s. As mentioned, they won't run Leopard, and running Tiger is s_l_o_w _w_w_w.

    They are too out of date. They're fast with OS 9, but that's small consolation.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    234
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 14gb ram 24" LED Cd & 23" Cd
    I just bought a Mac Pro off ebay from Florida. I only paid $2500 ( Dual 2.6) and it had 6 extra gigs of ram installed as well as 3 extra hard drives -750-320-300 as well as the 320 that came with it.

    So what I'm saying is you can get really good deals on ebay, just be patient. It took me a month of watching ebay.

  13. #13

    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    9,073
    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    To be honest you'll want to stay away from any PowerPC notebooks, period.

    If you were looking at a desktop, the later PowerMac G5's are still quite fast, but the G4 based Macs are really getting a bit long in the tooth for anything more than light use.
    As others have mentioned the refurbs are a great deal...

    If you can't wait for one of those, buy a used Macbook Core2Duo (the original CoreDuo models had quite a few issues, so unless you get one that's had its logicboard replaced (like both of ours!), I'd avoid them).

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