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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

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shounak

 
Member Since: Apr 03, 2011
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Hi.

I am thinking of buying a mac laptop. The usage will be just normal home use. I already have a good pc desktop for other needs.

I have never used a MAC or APPLE product before.

What do you guys recommend I get? My max budget is $750.

I am in Australia. Is it advisable to buy it from Amazon?

Can I install some windows programs on a mac?
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Shikarnov

 
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If, by normal home use, you mean surfing the web, checking email, playing the occasional game, etc, then I would think you might be better served by getting a new iPad instead of an older or used Mac laptop. iPads start at $500, which would leave you some cash to accessorize and buy apps.

As for buying from Amazon: I've been buying from the United States version of Amazon for many years and have had very few problems -- and of the few problems I did have, all were immediately and satisfactorily resolved by Amazon. I have no idea whether Amazon's Australian branch is as reliable, but I would imagine that to be the case.

If you did opt to buy a Mac laptop (called a "Macbook"), then, yes, you could install some Windows programs BUT there's a caveat: you would also have to install Windows -- either in a dual boot configuration (you choose, when you turn on the Mac, if you want to use OSX or Windows) or inside of a virtual machine (from inside OSX you "turn on" Windows like any other program, and use it like a little computer inside your computer - see the attached image for an example). Either way you'd be increasing your cost, though, as you'd need to buy your Mac AND a license for Windows (and maybe the the VM software).

If you opt to go with an iPad, as I recommend, you won't be able to load Windows programs -- but you could use something like LogMeIn to control your existing PC (which may meet your needs).

Good luck!
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roflitskyle

 
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If it is for normal home usage, and you don't need to use it on the go, I would suggest a Mac Mini. It fits in your budget and it is very easy to set up. You will just need to get the right connection cables to hook it up to the t.v. Yes, you can install Windows programs on a Mac. You can do this via Bootcamp. (installing the O.S on a partition.)

Good luck! Congrats on the soon to be new Mac!

- Kyle
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shounak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
If, by normal home use, you mean surfing the web, checking email, playing the occasional game, etc, then I would think you might be better served by getting a new iPad instead of an older or used Mac laptop. iPads start at $500, which would leave you some cash to accessorize and buy apps.

As for buying from Amazon: I've been buying from the United States version of Amazon for many years and have had very few problems -- and of the few problems I did have, all were immediately and satisfactorily resolved by Amazon. I have no idea whether Amazon's Australian branch is as reliable, but I would imagine that to be the case.

If you did opt to buy a Mac laptop (called a "Macbook"), then, yes, you could install some Windows programs BUT there's a caveat: you would also have to install Windows -- either in a dual book configuration (you choose, when you turn on the Mac, if you want to use OSX or Windows) or inside of a virtual machine (from inside OSX you "turn on" Windows like any other program, and use it like a little computer inside your computer). Either way you'd be increasing your cost, though, as you'd need to buy your Mac AND a license for Windows (and maybe the the VM software).

If you opt to go with an iPad, as I recommend, you won't be able to load Windows programs -- but you could use something like LogMeIn to control your existing PC (which may meet your needs).

Good luck!
Thanks for your reply Shikarnov. We dont have Amazon in Australia. The one reason I was thinking of Amazon is that their prices are really cheap as compared to other online stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roflitskyle View Post
If it is for normal home usage, and you don't need to use it on the go, I would suggest a Mac Mini. It fits in your budget and it is very easy to set up. You will just need to get the right connection cables to hook it up to the t.v. Yes, you can install Windows programs on a Mac. You can do this via Bootcamp. (installing the O.S on a partition.)

Good luck! Congrats on the soon to be new Mac!

- Kyle
Thanks for that Kyle. I was looking for a portable option that I can carry around.
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roflitskyle

 
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If you are looking for a portable option, then I would have to agree with Shikarnov. iPads are great for mobility. I think the iPad would be a much better option for you.

- Kyle
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roflitskyle

 
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Opps, double post. Sorry about that guys.

- Kyle
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Shikarnov

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roflitskyle View Post
Opps, double post. Sorry about that guys.

- Kyle
Off with your head!
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shounak

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roflitskyle View Post
If you are looking for a portable option, then I would have to agree with Shikarnov. iPads are great for mobility. I think the iPad would be a much better option for you.

- Kyle
hmm... i am not that keen on using an ipad(i might get to play with it at work). if i increase my budget to $1k, can i get something decent with mobility?
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Shikarnov

 
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An entry-level Macbook (13 inch screen, 2GB RAM, 250GB traditional storage) starts at 1000 USD. So does an entry-level Macbook-Air (11 inch screen, 2GB RAM, 64GB flash storage). That doesn't include international shipping, and I don't know what Australia's tax policy is like.

You might also be able to find an older model -- which should be fine for your purposes -- a bit cheaper on various auction sites or Apple resellers that haven't purged their old inventory yet.

Apple's Australian online store has some refurbs available for around A$1000 too. Refurbished Mac - Apple Store (Australia)
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chas_m

 
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As much as I love the iPad, it's not the same thing as a real notebook. I would recommend the base model MacBook.

And then, later, an iPad as well!
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class77

 
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You could also get a refurbished Macbook Pro or maybe a refurbished Macbook Air

Refurbished Mac - Apple Store (U.S.)

 24" iMac, 3.06GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 10.6.8
 2011 Mac mini, 2.7Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, 10.7.3
 iPad3 64GB, iPad2 32 GB
 iPhone 4, 32GB  Airport Extreme 5
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Scrumpymacs

 
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IMO I would say that the iPad is a little limited in some respects and a Mac laptop may be a better way forward for you.

It may be fine for now, but if you catch the Apple bug and want something that will do more than the iPad, you'll have to go and spend more money in the long run. In that respect, a laptop would be future proofing.

If you are set on an iPad, I'd wait til later this year when the iPad 3 will supposedly be released. The iPad 2 looks good and is a definite improvement, but the rumoured release of the third version later this year raises suspicions.

Quality used and refurbished Apple Mac computers
www.scrumpymacs.co.uk
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toMACsh

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roflitskyle View Post
If it is for normal home usage, and you don't need to use it on the go, I would suggest a Mac Mini. It fits in your budget ...
Well, yes it does, but the monitor, keyboard and mouse would bust it.
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Ttaylor394

 
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I just glanced at the posts following the original, but if portably is not a concern you could opt for the Mac Mini starts at 599 i think. You would have you supple the screen, mouse, keyboard though.

21.5"iMac i3 3.06:running 10.7  500GB HD  16GB DDR3  Magic Trackpad  Black iPhone4 32GB  White iPhone4 16GB  Apple Extreme Airport Base Station 
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrumpymacs View Post
If you are set on an iPad, I'd wait til later this year when the iPad 3 will supposedly be released. The iPad 2 looks good and is a definite improvement, but the rumoured release of the third version later this year raises suspicions.
It should, because it's complete BS. No iPad 3 this year. Mark my words.
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