$1099 Macbook: am I selling myself short?
September 24, 2006 12:41 AM Subscribe
Will I be at any disadvantage if I buy the most basic of the Macbooks? What would I NOT be able to do that I might have to do? This would be my first laptop, I'm on a limited budget (less than $1300), and I live both inside and outside the United States, so I have a few (sub-)questions.
posted by mdonley to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am not a power user by any means: I have some (< 500) photos and some (< 500 songs) music, I chat/e-mail (using web-based programs like MSN and Gmail), I write some things, I make mix CDs for the car, I play a little Literati, and just generally surf the web. I'm an English teacher by trade (but not at a US university or school, so perhaps no educational discount?), so there's no real need for my computer to be all whiz-bang-amazing, but I do want a Mac.
For reference, my current computer is a Dell desktop running Windows ME (I know, I know) which is five years old, and while it functions, it doesn't run all that well, and it's not the most portable of things.
So, if I do buy this thing:
1) Can I upgrade my RAM without voiding the warranty? Would I even need to worry about this, given my needs?
2) What are the consequences for AppleCare, service, tech support (and anything else) if I buy it in the US and live elsewhere later? Should I buy third-party-insurance instead if it costs less, or is AppleCare really worth it? Or should I get both?
3) Can I get by with the software/hardware that comes out of the box? What should I absolutely purchase to accompany this? I've never owned a laptop before so I don't know the drill with regards to batteries and other peripherals.
4) $1099 doesn't seem like a huge price to pay for a laptop I'd like to last for the next 3-5 years, but is there another (cheaper) option out there, like a used-G4-iBook-with-third-party-insurance, that would meet my needs and last as long as a new Macbook would?
6) Finally, I'm living in Indonesia right now, so I'm not close to an Apple store and nobody around here has a Macbook for me to try out. I'll buy the Macbook in the States, though, when I return in the winter. Are there any rumored Macbook updates that might have happened between now and then?
I have seen this guide for Macbook first-timers (http://campbell-online.com/blog/2006/07/02/geeking-out-with-a-new-laptop/), and I'm not worried about switching to a Mac, but I just want to make sure my hard-earned, long-saved money is well spent.