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Sunbathe

Laptop broken, questions about buying!

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I'll describe my situation as I'm looking for input and I do not have many tech savvy friends. I own a HP laptop that I have had for 3 years and it has multiple hardware problems and is unusable as of now. I've already replaced the hard drive, the screen now has an internal crack, the sound card is going, and it needs a new battery. I don't have insurance and I'm not looking to invest in a laptop with many problems.

With that being said, I am a student and have one more year of college. Starting next summer I will be working, which will involve international travel. I have always been interested in apple products. I only used/use a laptop for schoolwork and web browsing and now not really any gaming--so I don't need some top of the line machine to store 10,000 pictures or something. BUT I do like the aesthetics of apple products as well as the virus software and the overall feel of them. Most people I know who take care of them have them last for a while.

I'm not sure if I should just jump in and invest in a more expensive laptop or MacBook, or if I should just get something to tide me over for one last year of school and then invest in something after graduation. I have a few questions.

1. Would an iPad be good for using for the one year of school until I can afford a bigger purchase..? Just to write the occasional paper, web browse, and use for notes. I kind of like this idea because of the traveling too..

2. Would you recommend buying a used laptop on a website such as amazon or is there a lot of risk in that? Should I just buy it full price at best buy or a similar store?

3. I really can't afford a full price higher end laptop right now, but would you have any other suggestions for something that would be nice to use for about one year?

I hope that was thorough enough, looking forward to suggestions!


 

 

 

 

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Hi,

I'm on my 3rd Apple Macbook Pro. The 1st I bought brand new but $1,300 for a laptop isn't the best deal ever. You're better off getting the Mid 2012 Macbook Pro used. The new retina display line, although aesthetically amazing, is built in a way so that it isn't self serviceable. The internal structure is mostly composed of hot glue and a few screws and the margin for error is close to none. If you want to look more into it just search about Apple products being removed off EPEAT. The cost of taking a product to Apple for repair is, well, a rip off. I had my audio jack on my last model break on me. The repair estimate at the Apple store was $297. Most of the fixes for older Macbooks are easy-intermediate level since all of them have stickers and online guides. All the new Retina models have wires that need to be ripped out and ports that are glued together+impossible to fix once broken. That's 1 reason why I wouldn't suggest any retinas.

Anyway, I grabbed a 2009 back in 2010 on eBay for $550. Upgraded all the parts and still came under $700. This most recent Mid 2012 Macbook Pro 13' was $830 but I sold my 2009 for $680 on Amazon. One thing about Apple products is that they retain their value really well. The savings can be pretty large from new and used if you find the right time to bid. eBay takes some research as you get a good mix of personal and warehouse sellers. Amazon prices are pretty fixed and their protection for buyers is extremely high. The price you pay is also usually $100+ compared to eBay though. It's fairly time consuming to bid on auctions on eBay especially if you're adamant about getting one. If you have a lot of experience buying on eBay, I highly recommend going that route for this.


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1. Would an iPad be good for using for the one year of school until I can afford a bigger purchase..? Just to write the occasional paper, web browse, and use for notes. I kind of like this idea because of the traveling too..

2. Would you recommend buying a used laptop on a website such as amazon or is there a lot of risk in that? Should I just buy it full price at best buy or a similar store?

3. I really can't afford a full price higher end laptop right now, but would you have any other suggestions for something that would be nice to use for about one year?

1. Wouldn't waste my money on an ipad, you can get a midrange laptop for near enough the same price

2. Personally I wouldn't touch them, many laptops are prone to overheating and quite frankly I don't trust other people to manage that problem.

3. This article covers all ground from budget to high-end rigs.

As an addition personally I would stay away from any form of macbook, style over substance doesn't justify the cost (unless you're into that sort of thing).

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Hi,

I'm on my 3rd Apple Macbook Pro. The 1st I bought brand new but $1,300 for a laptop isn't the best deal ever. You're better off getting the Mid 2012 Macbook Pro used. The new retina display line, although aesthetically amazing, is built in a way so that it isn't self serviceable. The internal structure is mostly composed of hot glue and a few screws and the margin for error is close to none. If you want to look more into it just search about Apple products being removed off EPEAT. The cost of taking a product to Apple for repair is, well, a rip off. I had my audio jack on my last model break on me. The repair estimate at the Apple store was $297. Most of the fixes for older Macbooks are easy-intermediate level since all of them have stickers and online guides. All the new Retina models have wires that need to be ripped out and ports that are glued together+impossible to fix once broken. That's 1 reason why I wouldn't suggest any retinas.

Anyway, I grabbed a 2009 back in 2010 on eBay for $550. Upgraded all the parts and still came under $700. This most recent Mid 2012 Macbook Pro 13' was $830 but I sold my 2009 for $680 on Amazon. One thing about Apple products is that they retain their value really well. The savings can be pretty large from new and used if you find the right time to bid. eBay takes some research as you get a good mix of personal and warehouse sellers. Amazon prices are pretty fixed and their protection for buyers is extremely high. The price you pay is also usually $100+ compared to eBay though. It's fairly time consuming to bid on auctions on eBay especially if you're adamant about getting one. If you have a lot of experience buying on eBay, I highly recommend going that route for this.

Well, the OP's post implies he's on somewhat of a budget, so I don't think he is really considering any of the retina MacBook Pros. But even if he is: all Apple products come with a 1 year warranty, and none of the retina ones are a year old yet, so how was yours not covered by warranty? My brother bought the first generation aluminum MacBook (in 2008, before there were even any 13-inch Pros) and, as with all first gen products, had a few issues but they were always fixed for free. When his laptop hinge (the thing that lets the screen flip open and close) was breaking, he brought it in and they returned it with a brand new outer casing -- all his scratches were gone and everything.

I was in the US over August and brought my retina MacBook Pro to an Apple Store because I had some ghosting issues with my screen. I asked if I could get the laptop replaced, and they told me yes -- although they couldn't guarantee I wouldn't get another model with the same ghosting issues. Which, meh, but the point is they were willing to replace it that easily.

(However, other people's experiences may vary depending where they live, because I know here in Singapore, all service centers are third party, whereas in the US you'd be dealing directly with Apple, so they'd be more generous. But still, my brother's experience with his first gen MacBook in the first paragraph was in Singapore and that worked out well.)

You're totally correct about Apple products' high resale value, but I would argue that gives the OP even less of a reason to buy a used one. Just buy a new one (or refurbished).

@OP: Based on your requirements (portable for travel/school), you should get a 13-inch MacBook Air. It's seriously amazingly portable; you can hold it easily in one hand and it's ridiculously light. The 11-inch would be even more portable of course, but I used to have one and I wouldn't recommend it because it's just way too small.

I have an iPad but ended it giving it to my mom because I never used it... :lol: So I would advise against one. It also won't cut it for school work, especially when you need to type. In all honesty, I only used my iPad for games.

Oh and running Boot Camp and/or Parallels means you can still have Windows apps, although I don't think you'll need it that much. I only installed Windows this past weekend, and only because of SimCity (which is coming out on Mac later anyway).

Buying a makeshift laptop for a year does not seem worth it -- just get one good laptop that can last you for a while. Macs in general have very good build quality, and are well worth the price IMO. Windows ultrabooks (with comparable performance, battery, weight, etc.) aren't even cheaper than Macs nowadays anyway.

As an addition personally I would stay away from any form of macbook, style over substance doesn't justify the cost (unless you're into that sort of thing).

That's a really simplistic view, probably coming from someone who has never used a Mac for any extended period of time before. Style and substance are not mutually exclusive.


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@OP: Based on your requirements (portable for travel/school), you should get a 13-inch MacBook Air. It's seriously amazingly portable; you can hold it easily in one hand and it's ridiculously light. The 11-inch would be even more portable of course, but I used to have one and I wouldn't recommend it because it's just way too small.

Interesting, I had not considered the Air at all, I will look into the comparisons at the apple website.

And thank you for the thorough reply TwF and to the others so far. Much appreciated!


 

 

 

 

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I would have to agree with Jon. I've owned / worked with laptops from almost every major company that produces and Apple is probably the best one. The MacBooks are well worth the cost (which can be costly, even for a 13' display without the retina display) and usually last you for quite some time (OSx upgrades are usually what I end up buying rather than shell out another $X,XXX). My previous MacBook from 2006 just recently died out on me (battery life was becoming unstable) so I went out and bought a new MacBook with retina display (cost me $2,300... last laptop for the rest of my university life... thankfully I have financial aid for this kind of stuff LOL). That being said, the reason I'm willing to spend that much is because from the 6+ years I've owned a MacBook, it's been of better use to me than your average Windows based laptop. It processes faster and just seems more fluid than a Windows laptop (sexier looking too. gives you the wonderous appearance of a sophisticated writer LOL). But this is just me. I would suggest a MacBook, but if it's way out of your price budget, the next best thing would be a simple Toshiba brand or so at 1/2 the cost of a MacBook. I would avoid Acer products though, from my exoerience they tend to overheat on you and become clunky and slow.


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@OP: Based on your requirements (portable for travel/school), you should get a 13-inch MacBook Air. It's seriously amazingly portable; you can hold it easily in one hand and it's ridiculously light. The 11-inch would be even more portable of course, but I used to have one and I wouldn't recommend it because it's just way too small.

I have an iPad but ended it giving it to my mom because I never used it... :lol: So I would advise against one. It also won't cut it for school work, especially when you need to type. In all honesty, I only used my iPad for games.

This is exactly the same for me, the iPad is fun at first and you use it for whatever you can until you realise a laptop would make everything much easier and more efficient.

I have a mid 2011 MacBook Air 13" and I'm loving it. Never had any troubles with it (except the time I accidentally threw my iPad into the Airs display tongue.gif) , battery is still good and it works like a charm.

I carry it everywhere and as Jon said it's ridiculously light. I found the 11" model way too small for my needs as well.

The only con, for me, is that I got a model with an 128GB SSD which is not a lot when you have a Parallels Windows VM running. But an external drive easily makes up for it. (Or a desktop, if you have one).


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@Jon

I bought it used, and the warranty was long gone in 2011. If you're within the warranty period, they treat you like royalty. All fixes are comp and timely but if you're not, you're kinda screwed. The cost of the laptop is more in the beginning for an Apple, but the rate at which it degrades is different from a PC. I wouldn't doubt you could get a cool 7 years from any Mac, outliers aside.

I disagree on buying a new or refurb though. A refurbished or new Macbook is $1,089~ and $1,199 ($1,187.01 and $1,306.91 with CA tax). I bought a used one for $830, no tax and got 2% cash back eBay bucks. That's $400~ difference. I don't see any reason to pay full price for a 1 year old Apple if you're not buying retina. The amount of years it lasts on average compared to a PC makes it well worth the price even if you buy it used.


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Interesting, I had not considered the Air at all, I will look into the comparisons at the apple website.

And thank you for the thorough reply TwF and to the others so far. Much appreciated!

@Jon: After looking at the information on the apple website a 13" Air and a 13" Pro are the same price (If I don't get the Retina display for the Pro), if I bought them full priced. Would that change anything you said earlier about the Air?

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@Jon: After looking at the information on the apple website a 13" Air and a 13" Pro are the same price (If I don't get the Retina display for the Pro), if I bought them full priced. Would that change anything you said earlier about the Air?

The SSD on an Air makes it a lot faster for regular tasks -- startup time is much faster, applications load very quickly, etc. The 13" Air also has a better resolution than the Pro: 1440 x 900 versus 1280 x 800. The biggest draw for me though is that the 13" Air is just 65% as heavy as the Pro. Try going to an Apple Store to compare the two IRL, and you'll feel what a difference that really makes.

@Jon

I bought it used, and the warranty was long gone in 2011. If you're within the warranty period, they treat you like royalty. All fixes are comp and timely but if you're not, you're kinda screwed. The cost of the laptop is more in the beginning for an Apple, but the rate at which it degrades is different from a PC. I wouldn't doubt you could get a cool 7 years from any Mac, outliers aside.

I disagree on buying a new or refurb though. A refurbished or new Macbook is $1,089~ and $1,199 ($1,187.01 and $1,306.91 with CA tax). I bought a used one for $830, no tax and got 2% cash back eBay bucks. That's $400~ difference. I don't see any reason to pay full price for a 1 year old Apple if you're not buying retina. The amount of years it lasts on average compared to a PC makes it well worth the price even if you buy it used.

I guess so, but I just personally would never trust secondhand items for something that expensive. I'm quite particular about my gadgets, and I tend to take really good care of them, which I know doesn't necessarily hold true for everyone. Basically, I don't feel the risk is worth it, especially because you don't get that first year of warranty coverage.


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The SSD on an Air makes it a lot faster for regular tasks -- startup time is much faster, applications load very quickly, etc. The 13" Air also has a better resolution than the Pro: 1440 x 900 versus 1280 x 800. The biggest draw for me though is that the 13" Air is just 65% as heavy as the Pro. Try going to an Apple Store to compare the two IRL, and you'll feel what a difference that really makes.

I guess so, but I just personally would never trust secondhand items for something that expensive. I'm quite particular about my gadgets, and I tend to take really good care of them, which I know doesn't necessarily hold true for everyone. Basically, I don't feel the risk is worth it, especially because you don't get that first year of warranty coverage.

I guess that is true. I fix most of my computer problems myself. The audio jack was actually a logic board issue though which I'm not skilled enough to handle myself. Most personal sellers are genuine in my experience. I also bought 3 Macs used for my parents house and never had problems. It is a seller by seller case of course.

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I have been through this same situation quite recently.

I weighed up the options of going for used laptop vs new laptop.

Ultimately, I decided to save a big longer and buy a new mac pro. There were no refurbished mac pro available where I live. I was also looking out for used mac pros that still were under apple warranty, which you can sometimes pick up at a good price. If still under apple warranty, you need to register the change of ownership with apple and then have apple inspect it (at least, I think that's the process).

Mac pros are packed with loads of features I haven't gotten around to using yet. The only downside is the product lock in, which does bug me. The new mac has limited USB and HDMI ports. Other Mac ports are provided, but the conversion plugs can be expensive.

On balace, after 15 years with non-mac laptops, I'm happy I made the switch.

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That's a really simplistic view, probably coming from someone who has never used a Mac for any extended period of time before. Style and substance are not mutually exclusive.

Played around with g3s and g4s the imac g3 and plenty of the new architecture models and spend time working with and on them as part of my role as IT support.

If you believe paying over the odds for the equivalent PC components using a proprietary unix OS then by all means, go for it.


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Played around with g3s and g4s the imac g3 and plenty of the new architecture models and spend time working with and on them as part of my role as IT support.

If you believe paying over the odds for the equivalent PC components using a proprietary unix OS then by all means, go for it.

The iMac G3 and G4? You mean the ones that came out over a decade ago?

Processor speeds and graphics cards are not the only things that matter when choosing a computer. Especially for those who don't game heavily. Software, build quality, portability, battery life, and even -- *gasp* -- aesthetics all play a part in making certain laptops more desirable than others.


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Played around with g3s and g4s the imac g3 and plenty of the new architecture models and spend time working with and on them as part of my role as IT support.

If you believe paying over the odds for the equivalent PC components using a proprietary unix OS then by all means, go for it.

The iMac G3 and G4? You mean the ones that came out over a decade ago?

Processor speeds and graphics cards are not the only things that matter when choosing a computer. Especially for those who don't game heavily. Software, build quality, portability, battery life, and even -- *gasp* -- aesthetics all play a part in making certain laptops more desirable than others.

The idea there was to draw your attention to the fact that I have actually done more than play with them in a computer shop but unfortunately that seems to have flown over your head.

Again, battery life, build quality are indeed very important aspects when choosing a device, I don't recall specifically ever mentioning they didn't. In terms of portability look at the new ranges of ultrabooks, they are great little pieces of kit.

Quite frankly you seemed to have jumped on the fact that I didn't recommend an Apple especially for someone who is trying to get the most cost effective solution to the predicament he is in.


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The idea there was to draw your attention to the fact that I have actually done more than play with them in a computer shop but unfortunately that seems to have flown over your head.

Again, battery life, build quality are indeed very important aspects when choosing a device, I don't recall specifically ever mentioning they didn't. In terms of portability look at the new ranges of ultrabooks, they are great little pieces of kit.

Quite frankly you seemed to have jumped on the fact that I didn't recommend an Apple especially for someone who is trying to get the most cost effective solution to the predicament he is in.

No, I "jumped" on the fact that you dismissed Macs as nothing but shiny, expensive toys. They look good, so they can't possibly be useful as well, right? :rolleyes:


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No, I "jumped" on the fact that you dismissed Macs as nothing but shiny, expensive toys. They look good, so they can't possibly be useful as well, right? :rolleyes:

As stated above, OP was after a cost effective solutions, paying 2x the price for half the capability doesn't strike me as a cost effective solution.


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As stated above, OP was after a cost effective solutions, paying 2x the price for half the capability doesn't strike me as a cost effective solution.

But having to continuously repair or replace PCs isn't cost effective either. That's not a knock on Windows or Microsoft, but rather the many manufacturers that use cheap or un-sturdy parts. I owned a Vaio and Dell before getting my first Mac, and pieces started falling off of the body within a year -- nothing that hindered my function, but that isn't even possible on a Mac because the whole body is carved out of a single block of aluminum, so there are no parts to even fall off.

My philosophy is that you shouldn't be stingy on something that you use every day and is an integral part of your education and/or work. Buy something you want that will last you for a long time.

As for Macs having "half the capability" of PCs, I'm not quite sure what it is PCs can do that Macs can't. I'll give you gaming, but the OP already said she's not really into that -- and many major games are available on both platforms anyway.


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But having to continuously repair or replace PCs isn't cost effective either. That's not a knock on Windows or Microsoft, but rather the many manufacturers that use cheap or un-sturdy parts. I owned a Vaio and Dell before getting my first Mac, and pieces started falling off of the body within a year -- nothing that hindered my function, but that isn't even possible on a Mac because the whole body is carved out of a single block of aluminum, so there are no parts to even fall off.

My philosophy is that you shouldn't be stingy on something that you use every day and is an integral part of your education and/or work. Buy something you want that will last you for a long time.

As for Macs having "half the capability" of PCs, I'm not quite sure what it is PCs can do that Macs can't. I'll give you gaming, but the OP already said she's not really into that -- and many major games are available on both platforms anyway.

Totally understand where you are coming from with that certain manufacturers are outright shoddy with the hardware they supply (I have seen those 3 days out of warranty hardware melting/overheating scenarios) and more often than not it's quite problematic to find the good quality suppliers, build quality I can't fault Apple.

In terms of capabilities I was more speaking of outright computational performance for your money This Mac Pro for instance doesn't match up to a system I built for £800 (granted I absorbed man hours by self configuration). Granted this isn't everyones cup of tea but I've spent the past 3 years or so developing virtualisation solutions from small/medium sized businesses to overly performing home setups so I guess I've gone down a path of no return :P.


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That's precisely the point though. Part of Apple's markup comes from their reputation for build quality, fair or not. Can a better performing, cheaper box running on Windows or some Linux distro be built when comparing prices to similarly spec'd Macs? Of course...that's not even arguable. It is however a bit like building your own V8 killer using a 1.8L four banger, as you may decimate that $45k muscle car with your $10k beater, but your shit may explode in the process ><

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I worked for an apple retailer for a while and, now do some Tech support, there are some things that I like to suggest to people in your situation. First, I'm an apple advocate, I've been with them for 15ish years and have had a good experience across the board, high quality hardware, good design, good service.

iPad is that you loose the functionality of a computer, if you really only brows the web, check facebook and email you might be fine with this. The iPad is the type of product I buy my mom. Really easy to use nearly impossible to break the software, super portable. Keynote + safari/chrome + mail app +facebook/twitter serve about 99.5% of the needs of those who are computer illiterate. If you travel you can get a 3g/4g enabled one which is a nice feature at least within your country (then again if you have a smartphone you can just tether so meh)

The macbook air is my second mac suggestion, I'm a huge fan of getting rid of standard hard drives in consumer level computers. SSD's while more expensive make the user experience so much more pleasant, a day or two on a machine with an SSD you'll never want to go back. I've been repairing computers and replacing hard drives long enough to realize the majority of people aren't coming close to filling a 128gb drive. And if people are competent enough to fill a drive they're usually competent enough to get rid of stuff or use cloud storage/external media. If storage isn't a concern this is my favorite machine by far. Portable, durable, good value.

MacBook pro 13" is what I suggest to "People who say they're going to edit video but only in iMovie" To me this means they think they're going to be a advanced user when really they're just going to look at Facebook. I don't like this model, I don't really suggest it to people unless they're convinced they need a 15" to do nothing. If you drop your own (or purchase it with an) SSD I consider it a far improved machine.

Macbook pro 15" is what I suggest to people who are serious about digital media, graphics, video, sound. A quad core processor and a dedicated graphics card are more or less necessary for these. The interfaces all the leading pieces of software use are so large and complex the work area and lowish pixel density on the 13" make that model.

Retinas 13" and 15". I think the 13" is the most pointless creation ever. People that serious about screen quality should be serious about processor and graphics card too. The 15" is a wonderful computer, it also happens to be the one I'm using, if you can manage the price tag and have need for the spectacular screen, it's a beast but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.

Something I ALWAYS suggest (and I promise you apple is not paying me to write this) Applecare has saved my butt about 5 times in the last 10 years. To this day, on just my personal computers (not people who I've consulted for. 1 Powerbook logic board, 1 MBP logic board, 1 27" display, 1 hard drive, 2-3 MBP batteries (the old ones were pieces of crap, the new ones are much better)

Anyway, I would peg you at either the iPad or macbook air, no higher.


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iPad is that you loose the functionality of a computer, if you really only brows the web, check facebook and email you might be fine with this. The iPad is the type of product I buy my mom. Really easy to use nearly impossible to break the software, super portable. Keynote + safari/chrome + mail app +facebook/twitter serve about 99.5% of the needs of those who are computer illiterate. If you travel you can get a 3g/4g enabled one which is a nice feature at least within your country (then again if you have a smartphone you can just tether so meh)

The macbook air is my second mac suggestion, I'm a huge fan of getting rid of standard hard drives in consumer level computers. SSD's while more expensive make the user experience so much more pleasant, a day or two on a machine with an SSD you'll never want to go back. I've been repairing computers and replacing hard drives long enough to realize the majority of people aren't coming close to filling a 128gb drive. And if people are competent enough to fill a drive they're usually competent enough to get rid of stuff or use cloud storage/external media. If storage isn't a concern this is my favorite machine by far. Portable, durable, good value.

Anyway, I would peg you at either the iPad or macbook air, no higher.

All of the Mac people are quite convincing. I was actually very interested in buying a Mac when I first started college, but my brother said a Mac is more than I needed. So, I bought an HP at the $700.00 price range. Kicking myself over that now because I didn't realize they had the overheating problem among some others I have had to confront.

Another plug for the Air. I have to say after thinking about it I will probably rule out the iPad on the basis of me most likely getting frustrated with the limited abilities compared to a laptop.

I will most likely not be buying for another month or longer as I'm not going to make a rushed decision. After saving a bit I know affording the Air won't be too difficult and as of now the scales are leaning towards the "13 air. It seems ideal for a college student who's also looking to travel.. The battery life also makes me drool.

I'll continue reading over this post if there are new additions, thanks again to everyone so far.


 

 

 

 

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Overpriced brushed aluminium calculators in a box.

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1. Would an iPad be good for using for the one year of school until I can afford a bigger purchase..? Just to write the occasional paper, web browse, and use for notes. I kind of like this idea because of the traveling too..

2. Would you recommend buying a used laptop on a website such as amazon or is there a lot of risk in that? Should I just buy it full price at best buy or a similar store?

3. I really can't afford a full price higher end laptop right now, but would you have any other suggestions for something that would be nice to use for about one year?

So you need something right now, but you're on a tight budget. Personally, I consider a tight budget to be $500 or less when it comes to portable computing. Even that's a bit high nowadays, but lets roll with it. I'm mostly going to address new products. Refurbished are an option, but my experience with them has been hit or miss. I will say that I've tended to notice any serious issues within the warranty period. I'll also note that I've never paid for a laptop. People tend to just give me old or broken ones for free, which I then fix up and use. It's old tech, but if it works, it works ^_^

For $499 you could get:

Now obviously that's an apples to oranges comparison (no pun intended), because an iOS tablet and a Windows laptop are different devices meant to be used in different ways. Still, the dollar figure is the same, and that's how you should look at it; be brutal in your assessment. In my work, I've handled dozen of Lenovo's G series laptops, and I've seen how they perform in the field. No, they aren't bullet proof. Yes, they will hold up for years with even basic care, eg. not eating or drinking over them and transporting them in a padded case. The exception are the G570's, which have a poorly designed hinge that breaks way too often; stay away from those.

I'm not endorsing Lenovo, by the way. I just have the most experience with that brand and the lower-end HP's. The point is that most laptops you buy at this price point will be good machines. I get the argument about the durability of all-metal construction, but reinforced plastic chassis will last several years with proper care. Let's move on.

For $399 you could get:

Again, same story as above but at a different price point. For the cost of an (admittedly nice) tablet, you could get a full blown laptop. Lets delve even further into budget-land.

For $199 you could get:

And so we arrive at our final destination. You might argue that a 7 inch tablet (certainly a good device for web browsing and media consumption) is not suited for text heavy document creation. I would argue that (as with the iPad) it depends on what sort of documents you need to make. If it's limited to essays, a bluetooth keyboard should suffice. The only trick is printing, and that's true of most tablets.

Chromebooks are highly limited, to the extent that it makes more sense to look at them as tablets with a keyboard. There's limited file system access, application support, and printing support. They don't even support some basic web plugins. Still, you've got your internet, a keyboard, and your google docs for $200, and it makes a nice secondary machine to keep around when you do eventually land a high-paying job and buy that retina macbook pro ;)

I'm sure you're already aware of the sorts of products sold at these price points. I just wanted to lay them out, since I'm seeing are a number of helpful forum members suggesting macbooks. I don't feel like that makes a lot of sense for you if you need something right now and you're on a budget. Even if you like the design of apple products or the feel of OS X, those should be secondary considerations. I think if you can put up with the tradeoffs a $200 tablet or chromebook could work. Otherwise budget for $300-$400 and just get a well-review budget laptop. If you hate windows, throw linux on it. It won't be the same as a macbook, but my assumption is you'll appreciate the extra cash.


There are four things that I desire most in life.

i, The Will

ch'i, The Vital Energy

wu-wei, Effortlessness

tzu-jan, Spontaneity

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@Serryl those price comparisons were actually pretty helpful. I WAS under the impression to buy something cheap, under 500 just so I could use it to graduate and then save for something better.

However, I've pretty much ruled out tablets because of the limits compared to a laptop... For writing papers and stuff.. I'll also be doing lesson plans and presentations quite often since its my senior year and that seems to be a job for a laptop. It will be a bit more than just taking notes in class, which I wouldn't mind doing on a tablet.

Like I said above, I don't need it immediately, but I haven't looked at the market for laptops in 3 years and I want to be up to date with the brands and numbers before I buy.

Edited by Sunbathe

 

 

 

 

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