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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?" :)

Questions before buying a macbook


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weizilla

 
Member Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posts: 1
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So I'm on the razor edge of the tipping point for buying a blackbook. The biggest reasons why i haven't already is because i have a working IBM T40 laptop, I'm graduating soon, and I'm hoping the MB will get updated along with the soon to be updated MPB. Plus it seems like they'll be updated in late april/may and I don't like having a laptop for only ~2.5 months before it's outdated with shiny new features.

I was thinking of going to the apple store soon to see to check out and play around with them in store to see if looking at the real thing will help or hurt my wallet. I just have a few questions beforehand:

1.) Battery: How long does the macbook battery usually last in terms of hours (realistic) and battery lifespan? If I use the battery daily and plug it in all the time at night, would the battery degrade to lasting only 20 mins after 2 years like my IBM? How many years does Apple cover the battery before you have to go out and buy your own and how much do they cost? how does it compare with the battery in a macbook pro?

2.) Returning: There that big rumored event at the end of the month but I figure if there's a new product, I could just return the laptop and get the new one. What's the apple store return policy and window? I read something about 14-days so after 2 weeks, would that mean you're stuck with that machine? Also, if I buy a refurb product from Apple online, would I be able to return it to the store for a full refund?

3.) Pricing: What is the best place to buy a MB/MBP? A lot of people are confident with refurb products but the problem is that I live in NY and with 8% tax, it would almost be cheaper to just buy online at Amazon/NewEgg because they don't charge tax. The only benefit that I see (correct me if i'm wrong) is that it's a lot harder to return stuff bought online. I'm also a student but the educational discount isn't all that great because NYS tax > edu discount.

4.) AppleCare: I'm thinking about getting applecare with my laptop (unless I decide to sell it in a year). What kind of things does it cover? Would I be able to add it onto a laptop I buy from Amazon/Newegg? If it breaks at 2 years and 11 months, and I bring it in, will they automatically replace it with the newest macbook model out at the time if they can't fix it?

5.) Getting discounts: With buying extended warranties in store, I've heard that since sales people make commission on it, they sometimes throw accessories in for free or discount it to try and get you to buy it. Does this happen often? I figure since I'm getting it anyways, I might as well try to get a discount. If there's no possibility of this, I would just buy online.

6.) Depreciation: How does the MB/MBP hold up to depreciation? I will definitely upgrade it to 4GB of memory so in 1 year, how much would I be able to sell it for? What about in 2-3 years?

7.) If I upgrade the ram to 4GB, would that mean I'll have an extra 1GB of ram laying around because there's not enough slots or is there a way around this?


8.) Also, I've been using Ubuntu Linux for the past few months and love using the terminal for everything. Since OS X is built on Unix, would I expect the same power and features from the OS X terminal as the linux one? Or does apple put limitations on what you can do and it's more like the fake terminal aka command prompt in windows?
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Derek McNelly

 
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Member Since: Feb 04, 2008
Location: Center Line, Michigan
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro 15" - 2.3 GHz Quad i7- 8GB RAM - 750GB Hybrid HD - OS X 10.8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by weizilla View Post
1.) Battery: How long does the macbook battery usually last in terms of hours (realistic) and battery lifespan?
For me, I get between 3 hours of battery life (if I'm doing Photoshop/Final Cut work) to 5 hours (if I'm just surfing the web and on iChat). So, right around 4 hours of battery life, realistically.

Quote:
4.) AppleCare: I'm thinking about getting applecare with my laptop (unless I decide to sell it in a year). What kind of things does it cover? Would I be able to add it onto a laptop I buy from Amazon/Newegg? If it breaks at 2 years and 11 months, and I bring it in, will they automatically replace it with the newest macbook model out at the time if they can't fix it?
It covers the same thing the normal warranty does, namely hardware problems that are not the fault of the end user. So it doesn't cover being dropped and breaking, but it does cover design flaws, dead hard drive, dying screen, frayed power cord (at least in my experience), things that are brought on by just using the machine normally. You can add it onto any Mac, so long as you buy it within one year of the date of purchase.


Quote:
7.) If I upgrade the ram to 4GB, would that mean I'll have an extra 1GB of ram laying around because there's not enough slots or is there a way around this?
When you upgrade to 4GB of RAM, you're going to have to get 2x2GB sticks and take out the existing 2x512MB sticks, so pretty much, you'll have 2 512MB sticks of RAM just sitting around. It's best to keep them though if you ever need to send your MacBook into Apple. (I don't know for sure if they require you to reinstall Apple OEM RAM for repairs or not, because this page on adding memory is a bit cryptic.)

Hopefully that helps you out a little bit. I'll leave the other answers to those who know for sure.

MacBook Pro 2.3 GHz Quad i7 - 8GB RAM - 750GB HHD - OS X 10.8
MacBook 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo - 4 GB RAM - 320 GB HDD - OS X 10.6

MoTM February 2009
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