General Question

Facade's avatar

Is there anything I need to know before going the the Apple store and purchasing a MacBook?

Asked by Facade (22847 points ) July 15th, 2009

Sales people like to give those whom they think are naive/ignorant the run-around. I’d like to prevent that from happening :)

And no Mac bashing please and thank you

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

52 Answers

wenn's avatar

which model are you getting? Macbook or Macbook Pro? What size? What Processor? How much RAM? HD size? Accessories?

Layout what you want in your machine. You dont need the top spec model, when i replace my current Macbook Pro ill be getting the base model 15” Macbook Pro, and im a web designer.

Just know what you want and tell them, Ive never had a problem dealing with Apple store people, generally helpful and friendly, but always helps to know what you want.

you can go to here and configure the machine you want and see the price, print out the specs if you want them on hand and just go in and talk with them, tell them what you want and they will do the rest.

eambos's avatar

Do not upgrade your RAM with Apple. They have extremely high prices.

discoinferno's avatar

Get as much free shit as possible. They won’t tell you about their special offers, because they want to avoid giving you things. With purchase of a Macbook, you’re technically able to get a free I-touch and a free printer. GET EM GIRL. I, unfortunately, purchased mine online and got a student discount, but was unaware of these added benefits. I kept saying I’d go to the store soon and claim my prizes. Haven’t gotten around to it yet…

SirBailey's avatar

I would know where the store was located.

Facade's avatar

@wenn I’m just getting the regular MacBook with the standard processor and RAM. It’s a 13” I believe. I will just get the free accessories @discoinferno mentioned.
@SirBailey smart ass

Icky's avatar

get a warranty. it will be worth it

Facade's avatar

@Icky Will do.

Ivan's avatar

Bring a lot of money.

Facade's avatar

@Ivan I think about a grand, 1200 should cover everything, right?

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Facade Is there a reason you don’t want to buy it online? I always find that to be faster and easier than going through an Apple Store.

If you go through the education store, as soon as you add a laptop to your cart it’ll ask you if you want a free iPod (you can get it engraved for free if you get it online, too). Not sure about the printer, I think they may not be doing that anymore (at least not in addition to the free iPod) but I’d call the Apple Store to make sure if you really want/need one.

eambos's avatar

$1200 is base price, no tax. Make sure you have enough for the tax and accessories. Also, tbh, the base machine is rather lacking for the price. I don’t know why they give it the “Pro” name when it is no more than your basic consumer pc.

Facade's avatar

@fireinthepriory I want to go to the store so I can get a feel for it. I’m using a PC now. It’ll save me from having to pay for shipping as well.
@eambos Online, it says that they are $999. That may be an online special though

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Facade Ahh! Ok. In that case do go to the store – they’ll be able to train you on it, and if you bring your old laptop they can even transfer all your files for you. Pretty sweet, no?

@eambos Nope, @Facade is right, it’s $999 for the MacBook, it’s not an online deal. (Or, to be more precise, $949 with the student discount, then plus the free touch…) Yes, you can get the same size hard drive and amount of RAM on a PC laptop for the same price or for cheaper, it’s the macintosh OS and the programs that come standard that sell macs. :)

Facade's avatar

@fireinthepriory I’m using a desktop my father built. How can I transfer all my stuff?

Bri_L's avatar

They will help you do it. Actually with a mac you can directly connect your computer as if it were a hard drive and the mac can read it.

They can show you all that and a bag of chips.

Congrats!!!

eambos's avatar

I’m sorry, I thought you had said 13’ MBP, not the plain Macbook. My apologies =)

Facade's avatar

@Bri_L Haven’t bought it yet! but thank you :)
@eambos no prob, Bob

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Facade Like @Bri_L said, there’s definitely a way to do that. You hook the two computers together (there’s a special way to do it, if you ask they’ll tell you how) and then it’s really easy because your mac will automatically start a program which will ask you what you want to move to your new computer, and then it’ll move it all for you. You’ll need a firewire-to-firewire cable to do it though, which they may not have at the Apple store. I got one at a Circuit City I think – and the Apple Store people might be able to tell you where you can get one, too.

Deepness's avatar

You’re going to love it and you will try to convert your dad into a machead too.

Facade's avatar

@Deepness I might not even tell him. He’ll probably be mad teehee

mirza's avatar

Don’t get the warranty. You can always purchase the warranty pack anytime before your first year expires. Also it’s cheaper to get the warranty pack from other sites. Say no to extra upgrades since it’s cheaper to do it yourself and say no to mobile me. If you are a student or know anyone whose in college, use it to get the $100 discount. Also it’s a good idea to get the free iPod even if you don’t need since you can sell it on eBay and then pocket the rebate money too.

Facade's avatar

@mirza You’re so crafty :)

sndfreQ's avatar

IMO, Go for the 13” MBP-you can always add a second (larger) monitor later on…and as the others say, don’t upgrade the RAM or hard drive-Apple’s markup is ridiculous. And if you can, as mirza has said, wait on the Apple Care, but mark it in your calendar so you don’t forget to do it before the 1-year mark! It is well worth it in terms of extending the warranty-a display replacement can go as high as $700—$800 without it!

If you know a student, have them buy it for you so you can cash in on the iPod Touch rebate (I sold mine on craigslist, and my net cost was under $1000 for the 13” MBP).

For most things, this computer rocks…for the basics, you’ll be ecstatic with the computer…I downsized from my previous 15” MBP and don’t miss it at all! Good luck!

Bri_L's avatar

@sndfreQ – an interesting note, one worth verifying. The graphics chip on the mother board of my MacPro laptop went bad. Long story short I thought I had the coverage but didn’t. They guy said for laptops, there is a maximum of something like $360 for any laptop repairs.

Like I said, worth verifying.

Facade's avatar

@sndfreQ I’m a student, so it’s good to know I’ll get a discount. Why should I get the MacBook Pro instead of a MacBook? I’ll be using it for very basic things.

discoinferno's avatar

Don’t get the pro. Waste of money. It’s superfluous. You won’t need what it offers.

Facade's avatar

I didn’t think so

mirza's avatar

@Facade: personally I’d recommend the Macbook Pro. I’ve worked at Apple retail in the past. Don’t get me wrong the basic macbook is an awesome computer (I had one for over a year and never a problem). The problem with is that the current model is at the end of the product cycle. Either Apple’s gonna have to drop the price on them or add more specs. For $200 more, you’re getting a faster processor, better display, a back lit keyboard, a state-of-the-art keypad, a better battery life, sd card slot and an upto-date model. My only complain with the MB Pro is that mine heats up a bit more then my macbook.

Yes, if you are using for basic stuff, you probably dont need a lot of the new features, but in the long run the small extras will come in handy. (eg. i cant even tell you how mady the trackpad zoom has been to me as a web designer and i never even thought i’d use the trackpad)

discoinferno's avatar

@mirza I have a Macbook that does trackpad zoom and it’s not the Pro…
I also don’t have the $999 one, though, either. It’s the aluminum Macbook. Basically it looks like a mini-Pro, 13-inches…it just has less memory and the keyboard doesn’t light up (which is cool, yes, but only uses up more battery and is pretty unnecessary)

eponymoushipster's avatar

Go for the Pro. It’s a bit more, but they are sturdier, and show less wear.

i have a 15” Pro with 4GB RAM and a 250gb harddrive. so good. before that i had a powerbook from ‘05. still works, but was just too slow for current usage. seriously, these things last. Now’s a great time too, since they just reupped the product line. yours will be guaranteed to be “top of the line” for at least a few months.

you could buy a $400 Dell, and then buy another one next year, or buy a Mac and use it for years.

Megan64's avatar

You should know that you are about to make the most delightful purchase of the year. You will be happy with whatever you get. If it’s your first one, go for a basic laptop. After you use it for a few years, you’ll see what you want to go for the next time, what you needed that you didn’t have, or you might find that basic works fine for your needs.

…and also what @eponymoushipster said about the Dell, is totally true. I’ve had this mac for 5 years, my partner’s had his Sony for 2; his is falling apart, while mine keeps plugging along.

sndfreQ's avatar

What mirza said…the white MacBook is getting a bit long in the tooth (I have read on some forums that it’s destined to be EOL’d-end of life’d this year); other advantages are the physical design (unibody versus plastic), firewire 800 (for pro apps or HD video storage when using external Hard Drives), which is now available in the 13”, the backlit keyboard, glass multitouch trackpad, and just plain solid build quality…the extra $200 is well spent.

@Bri_L: as for the warranty limitation, I’d have to go and look at that one! I can’t see a graphics chip going bad not be a defect and covered under the warranty, especially in the first year. Again, the Apple Care is worth it after year one, as with depreciation in the first year, a costly repair can basically be more than the value of the computer.

My experience with MBPs have been great…my first in 2001, is still running (albeit really slow operating system and capabilities), second one in 2005 (a 17” Core Duo, which I gave up after a year only because it was too damn heavy!!!), and then in 2006 I got the 15” which still runs perfectly-these were all work computers owned by my employer, and the 13” I currently own was just too good to pass up!

The 2” smaller screen is not nearly as bad as I thought with regard to viewing, and the weight/size advantages of the 13” make it an awesome notebook purchase! Good luck and enjoy that purchase…you’ll be in a “honeymoon” phase for the first month, I assure you!

One last thing: There is a rumor floating about that the next refresh of the MBPs in September may see a $50 matte screen option for the 13” and 15” (as is currently offered in the 17” MBP). My advice is to go to the Apple Store and see both, and also take into consideration where you’ll be using the notebook-if it’s mostly indoors in not-too-sunny rooms you’ll be fine.

sndfreQ's avatar

Sorry for the double post-on the “you don’t need the extras” argument: remember that the Mac OS X, iLife ‘09 (included), and other features make it quite different than a standard PC in terms of off the shelf functionality.

Chief among these features is the video editing capability with iMovie, which everyone I meet that buys a Mac eventually gets around to doing. You’ll see the difference, even in the store, if you open and play with iMovie on the MacBook and MacBook Pro. With HD being the standard with consumer video, I think you’d regret the slower graphics of the MacBook down the line. Remember, my first MBP I had for nearly 6 years, and still runs great.

Facade's avatar

What do you guys think of the MacBook Air? just wondering

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Facade overpriced and not as useful.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Facade I agree with @eponymoushipster. They’re cool as hell, don’t get me wrong, but not very useful unless you’re mainly using a desktop and your laptop is just for travel (thus being lightweight is a pro, and being unable to use disks etc. doesn’t really matter.)

Facade's avatar

@eponymoushipster @fireinthepriory Yea, that’s what i was thinking. I’m also leaning towards the Pro now. hmmmm

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Facade I have a plain old MacBook and I do like it a lot, but I think that a Pro would be a little hardier and last longer – the white plastic is on the outs for a reason. :) Mine is cracking on the bottom edge (where your wrists rest while typing) and I’ve only had it for about 2 years. I work mine hard though, I take it with me to work or class pretty much every day. :)

Facade's avatar

@fireinthepriory I go to school online and am pretty much on my computer 24/7, so I am looking for longevity

mirza's avatar

Another important thing I forgot – Remember if you get your macbook now, you are eligible to get Snow Leopard at a discounted price. So go here when you get your laptop and you can get Snow Leopard for $10 when it comes out

Facade's avatar

What is snow leopard?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Facade Snow Leopard is the upgrade to the operating system, due out in September (if i’m not mistaken). The current operating system OS X is version 10.5.7, called Leopard. The next version, 10.6, will be called Snow Leopard.

All the versions of the current operating system (OS X) have been named after cats (Panther, Tiger, Leopard, etc).

Even if you don’t opt for the rebate (which you should) the upgrade will only be $29 when it’s released.

Facade's avatar

What rebate?

thanks for excusing my ignorance everyone

Bri_L's avatar

@sndfreQ – I didn’t mean to confuse. I had made a mistake in getting the Applecare before the first year was up. The faulty chip reared its head 17 days after the 1 year warranty was up and so was not covered. It worked perfectly until then.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Facade well, if you buy the laptop NOW, it’ll have Leopard (10.5) on it. However, instead of making you buy the upgrade at full price, since it’s so close to release, they’ll give you a “rebate” (or coupon i suppose), and let you get the upgrade for $10 when it comes out.

Facade's avatar

Ohhh. ok. And as I understand it there’s a way to run windows. Will I have to pay for that?

sndfreQ's avatar

It’ll run Windows but you must first own a copy of Windows Operating System (XP or Vista), then you can install it on your Mac and run it in what they call “Boot Camp” where the computer shuts down and switches over to Windows-it looks and runs exactly like a conventional Windows PC.

Facade's avatar

oh ok thank you! i’ll need it for school

eponymoushipster's avatar

actually, what i prefer is running Parallels, you can actually run Windows inside of the Mac OS, without having to reboot. the programs can even share with the Mac desktop, etc. much more convenient.

Facade's avatar

yea, i saw that software (i think that’s what you call it) on the apple website. @sndfreQ suggested the iWork program. I’ll get which ever’s cheaper lol

derekpaperscissors's avatar

@eponymoushipster Would have to agree, an MBP would last you longer and you wouldn’t have to worry about upgrading anytime soon. It also has a higher resale value when you do replace.
@mirza Also agree. Don’t get the applecare warranty now, wait until before the anniversary of you’re purchase and gauge from there if you think it’s worth spending the extra money on or you think it’s running fine all throughout the one year. My MBP harddrive clunked out a few months before the 1 year warranty so I was convinced to buy applecare just before it ran out. Usually, applecare is cheaper on ebay too, so don’t buy direct from the store, unless they have promos or discounts available.

Facade's avatar

@derekpaperscissors Thanks :) I did get the pro and I put a reminder thingy in my phone so I know when to get the applecare

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