Looking to get a MacBook Need Advice Please ?

andyman5002

Active Member
Hi all, I recently dropped my trusty Toshiba M30 laptop which has served me well for 3 years or so. Its ruined, so I'm in the market for a new laptop.

Now I have never owned a Mac before and haven't really used one properly, but I thought hey why not try it. I just wanted to know would it would be wise buying one now? Ive heard about the new OS Leopard coming out and thought is it worth waiting for it first?

Also with them now being able to run windows if I can't manage or I don't like the OS I can switch. Really all its for is surfing the net and doing Uni work on.

Ive been looking at the middle of the range, 2.0Ghz Core 2 machine. Is this not available in black? Also are there any planned hardware upgrades coming soon to coincide with Leopard? When is Leopard most likely to come out, I've heard the end of the month.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated. :confused:

Thanks Andy
 

scharf_10

Active Member
Hi there. I too am waiting on purchasing a Macbook, but I know i will want to upgrade to Leapard if i bought it now, therefore im waiting til October as im going to New York.

Nobody knows when Leapord will be released, but on the apple website it indicated a spring release. The lastest rumours suggest that Leopard will be be announced at Apple's WWDC event, which takes place for a few days starting on June 11th. This is also when the iPhone is set to be released, although, again, just a rumour.

As for new hardware, nobody knows what will happen as Apple are always tight-lipped about upcoming releases. I would like Apple to release a whole new range of products.

Although i already think that the Macbook is a beautiful system, I wouldnt say no to a new look. It is available in black, although you do have to pay extra for this.

If you watch the keynote:

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/wwdc06/

This gives you an insight into Leopard, and what it will offer. Although there is supposedly some "big secret" which most people seem quite excited about.

As I said, i think it would be sensible to wait for Leopard as you will definitely regret having to pay extra for the new OS when it is released.

Thanks, Scharf.

Edit: There is also the NAB event soon which may also be the release of Leopard, although this event is usually for the announcment of proessional software.
 

andyman5002

Active Member
Thanks for the advice, not sure if I can wait that long, I’m getting an itchy finger over that buy button. :D

I’ve just looked on the apple student store and tiger is only £58, which isn’t really that bad, hopefully leopard will be similar price for students?

I think the hardware should be fine for what i need, comparing it to my last machine its a lot faster, but it doesn’t have decent graphics which is a shame.

I’m just unsure about the whole Mac thing, never bought one before, I just hope its not a mistake, because it would be very costly.

One more question, the white MacBooks, do they get dirty quickly??

Thanks Andy
 

jenic

Member
I was just going to say you could get an upgrade for about £60 with student discount and if you always wait for the next big thing then you would never buy anything.

As a student owning the 2ghz macbook for the last month i can say it is great for what you need, its small and lightweight so great for doing work or durfing the net while relaxing on the sofa or in bed, its fine for everything i have thrown at it (video editing being the most ive thrown at it so far).

Its my first mac and i took to the new interface easily although i do learn new stuff quicker than the average person.

As far as the white goes, i am constantly finding spots of dirt from grubby fingers and crumbs when ive let other people use it (of course i gave them an earful afterwards) and i am always cleaning it, although i would still choose white over black because i am not paying £100 more for black.
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Hey mate,

Welcome to the mac forum!

Well I'm on my first mac and never going to go back! I too thought that if I didn't like Mac OS, then yeah I'd just put windows on it too. Guess what? Mac OS is great and haven't even bothered putting windows on my mac.

I think Leopard will be out in about June, but nothing is confimed. It should be pretty cheap with student discount. I too was going to wait, but in the end my old laptop was really on it's last legs and I took the plunge. I don't regret it one bit!

White and black macbooks both get dirty (black really shows fingerprints, where white shows dirt more). I've got a case for my mac, one of these keeps it clean and scratch free: http://www.huzzk.com/product.html, got it from ebay, and definitely recommend some sort of case.

The middle range macbook is not in black, only the high end. You do pay a bit extra for going black, I think if you spec both the white and black up to their fullest, the black works out at £17 more, however without speccing them up anymore, black is quite a bit extra.

Personally I love my mac, and would definitely recommend one, however it may be worth having a quick go on one first. Yes it does take some getting use to, but after so many years on Windows it's bound too. I'm sure someone at your uni must have one to try.

Anymore questions please feel free to ask.

Craig
 

andyman5002

Active Member
First off I would like to say thanks for the help and for the welcome to the community. :thumbsup: I think ive decided on getting the 2Ghz one, I believe they now all come with a 3 year warranty as well through the student store which is great. Whats apple's service like to deal with?

Also would it be worth getting 2GB of ram for it, or is 1Gb fine for just running office and the internet, a bit of music?

We have got Macs at work and I have had a quick play on them, and a guy at uni has one and it seemed very impressive. I think he’s got the 2Ghz as well. If you compare similar priced pc's the processors are no where near as good. But they have other features such as more memory and bigger hard drives. The hard drive doesn't bother me at all, my last one was 60GB which was fine.

I just need to justify the cost to my dad now, who thinks I shouldn’t spend all of the insurance money but buy a cheap pc laptop. :suicide: Hmmm:confused:
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Make sure you order through the higher education store not just the student discount one. The HE store not only gives you a bigger discount, but also 3 year apple care for free. You may have to access this store on your campus, ie in a library or somewhere.

Apple's service seems very good for me anyway, they rung me up last week to see if I was happy with my mac. Don't know many companies that would do that!

I went for 2gb, and few of my mates who have 512mb or 1gb wish they had upgraded to 2gb too. I also don't do any photoshop/maya etc but 2gb does just make everyday use quicker, ie I can just leave my day to day applications open constanly and happily have no slowdown. My mates with less RAM find they get the 'beachball' more (basically the windows egg timer). Office at the moment is also a bit dodgy on Mac at the moment, as it is no designed for the intel ones. It does run, and on my 2gb MacBook Pro it is fine, however all of my mates on either 512mb or 1gb ram on a MacBook/iMac have now stopped using Word, and use free alternatives like Pages, or Neo Office, as Word just kept crashing on them, and there was a delay when they typed. I don't have these problems. The new version of Office for Mac comes out in the last quarter or this year and should get rid of these problems as it will be designed for intel macs.

If you can afford it, then yes I'd go for 2gb. Another thing worth considering, is that I believe with the MacBook, when you order the 1gb, you get 2 x 512mb, so if you do want to have 2gb later on, you will have to buy 2 x 1gb, so will end up costing you more. Check out Crucial Memory on the web to see how much it might cost you in future.

I personally upgraded my harddrive. Yes I have a 500gb external western digital mybook (which I definitely recommend if you're after one) but I just can't help but feel, it is always worth having that little bit of extra space constantly with you, wherever you go. I think 60gb, actually when you get it out out of the box is roughly 45gb after Mac OS and the harddrives coming always less than stated anyway. If it is not too much more, I'd also recommend getting a few more gb, but that is just me!

I have had 2 cheap laptops (HP one around £500 and an acer one around £600) and trust me, a Mac beats them hands down on all fronts, build quality, battery life, software you get with it etc.

Hope that helps in some way,

Craig
 

andyman5002

Active Member
Sorry to be a pain...

I think I have decided on the white one with 2GB of RAM, I think its cheaper to upgrade now than later. Hard drive size is fine, I have just bought a 400GB freecom external as well.

A few final questions which is regarding the apple care plan. I called them up today to discuss delivery options and the apple care, basically I was told that it does come with a 3 year warranty but this may only apply whilst I am at uni, which isn’t really a problem.

My question is whether it is worth purchasing the apple care warranty or not? What extra does it give me, the guy said it is onsite and also gives you priority for repairs if they are busy? Are there any other benefits that are worth £58. He also wanted me to buy office and some other software which cost £180.

Also do you know if they honour HE shop discounts in apple stores, as I could make a trip to the Manchester store and pick one up there and then, and also get a demo :).

Many Thanks Andy
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
No worries.

One of my mates went to an apple store, produced their student card and got the discount fine. I was also going to do this, and rang up to check if they had stock in first, they did, but they could not simply spec it up like I required, and said there would be a two week wait. May be best to ring them, but I believe if you are adding the extra RAM you will have to order ahead with them first.

As for the Apple care, it still confuses me. As far I can make out, when you're a HE student, you get 3 year applecare free, which is 90 days support and then 3 year servicing. Now i too rang up and asked what the difference was between the free one, and paying £58 to upgrade, as far as I could make out, it was 3 years support and 3 years service, plus onsite repair but to be honest I'm still not 100% sure. I paid the £58 as I thought it was less than £20 a year, and would hate for me to have a problem with my Mac which they then later said they could not do anything about as I didn't pay £58. Also I thought I was saving that much (depends what mac, but think apple care for mine would have been £239) that £58 wasn't that bad at all. They did send me a separate package with the Mac Box, which contained all the information on the apple care, but I have not even looked at it, and hopefully won't have to. Touch wood.

As I mentioned previously, there is a new version of Office coming out for the Mac, so I'd hold off until then. Pages and Neo Office are just as good. If however you do need it, amazon and other places sell it quite cheap: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Office-Mac-...3420?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1175895436&sr=8-1

So in short (which is what I should have probably done at the start):
- Yes you can get HE instore but I think you have to order the specced up version in, which can take a few weeks

- I'm not sure what the £58 actually gets you, I think it does improve a few things, but I just went with it to be safe and not sorry.

- I wouldn't buy office now, i'd make do with Pages or Neo Office

- 2gb RAM, good decision :smashin:
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
A freind of mine recently got a macbook with the 2.0 ghz cpu and only 1gb of ram, she does a lot of essay's with big photos in them as she is an artist and to be honest I couldn't see any slow down what so ever, I would say unless you plan of making 3D graphics in Maya or very extensive work in photoshop pro or plan on having 20 programmes open at once 2gb is a waste of money. Just my opinion though.
Oh and get it from John Lewis and you get a 2 year warranty.
She is also waiting to see if Apple release their new iworks with pages2, it's rumoured to be a match for MS word, I can't understand why MS drag their feet so much with making the new office for mac especially now it's on the same hardware. And Apple as said NEVER release ANY details of any of their upcomming products which is very annoying.
 

andyman5002

Active Member
Well guys I took the plunge and Im now making this post from a brand new MacBook. Its great so far, had a little issue with the wireless but that is sorted now.

The only little niggle is the noise of the superdrive when loading a disc, sounds a little strange.

In the end I went for the white 2Ghz, with 1GB of RAM, I will upgrade it myself later as it is cheaper. I also took the apple care warranty.

Anyway I would just like to say thanks for the advice so far, im sure I will be need more in the future. :D

Andy
 

norealplan

Distinguished Member
Yes the superdrive does make a fair bit of noise, however it's something I hardly use.

Any questions about your new mac, then just ask.

Enjoy your Mac mate!

p.s Set up Corners in System Preferences under "Dashboard and Expose" makes switching apps a lot easier and quicker.
 

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