Skip to comments.Vanity: Should I buy a MacBook Pro?
Posted on 04/25/2011 9:49:28 PM PDT by balch3
So, an older relative wants a laptop so he can surf the web from his recliner. His computer skills consist of being able to turn the computer on, open his browser, and do simple word processing/printing. He's tired of viruses and malware. I've been talking up the Macbook. He's decided on the Macbook pro with 17 inch monitor, Way more computer than he needs, but he likes the big monitor because it will be easier on his eyes.
All sounds good, right? That is, until I go online and look at the price. Yikes! Nearly $2500. He can afford it and doesn't seem phased by it, but...still, Yikes! My worst case scenario fantasy is he isn't satisfied and I'll feel guilty for giving him a bum steer. Or, something goes wrong and we have to send it back. Or, I have trouble setting up the wireless LAN--Seems simple enough, but I've never done it before. Or...well, you get the picture.
Somebody talk me into (or out of) this, please?
Once you do, you might like it. The ‘upkeep’ cost that Apple imposes is the variable here.
Well worth the $. I’m working on my 3rd MacBook Pro which is now 3 years old. I could probably get work done on another ‘puter, but I’d attribute a great portion of my productivity to this silver beast in my lap.
Go for it.
If he can afford it, he should go for it, great computer. But if he is watching his dollars, he can get a refurbished Dell Inspirion 17r for $509 right now at the dell outlet. If all he really does is browse, I’m not sure it’s worth an extra $2000 dollars. Just set him up with Chrome of Firefox, and hide all the IE icons..
If you are a teacher, college student or have child attending college they use to offer a 10% discount FYI.
17” laptops tend to get pretty hot on the lap, they are usually desktop replacements, they have hot CPUs and hot GPUs.
My suggestion would be to find a 1-5 2nd generation CPU, and either completely integrated GPU, or the Nvidia Optima dual integrated/discrete video card.
Paying more than $1500 is excessive.
Get the SSD drive for the primary OS partition.
For example, if you want just a thing to browse the Web, Dell Inspiron 17R will cost you only $600 - about 1/4 of MacBook Pro.
Sounds like a serious waste of money for only net surfing. You can get a 17” PC laptop for $500 to $600.
I built a table with a monitor stand and a wireless keyboard and mouse so I can use my computer in my recliner.( Picture on homepage.) I can’t take my table with me any where conveniently so I would go with the Mac Pro. The only thing I would have him do first is play with the keyboard in a store to see if he likes the feel.
If he wants it he wants it. It’s a good looking laptop, very highly rated. Routine maintenance issues as well as viruses and malware are far less of a concern.
Does sound like a pretty big premium for the screen real estate, given his very limited stated uses for it, though. Point out the price differential for a smaller screen model of Mac as well as PC notebooks and if he still wants it, he can afford it as you say.
Then, let go, he makes the decision, ultimately.
For what he wants it for, I would suggest an Intel based Windows machine, at about a third the cost. If he’s willing to shop a little, $1,000 will buy him a very nice, fast, 17 inch laptop. Tell your friend to take the difference and plan a nice vacation or maybe support a certain Conservative website we know of.
I’m very happy with the used Mac iBook G4 I purchased from a reputable Ebay seller last year. $225 with free shipping- 1GB of RAM, 1.33GB processor, Mac OS 10.5 pre-loaded. Just to let you know that there are less expensive options out there, albeit without the 17 inch screen.
Interesting. How much has it cost you, after the initial purchase.?
I am not sure abut the Macbook Pro; but I bought an IMAC for the same reasons he wants the Macbook. So far I am happy.
I’ve had a lot of Macs, currently two Mac Pro 15 inch, and three big iMacs.
The 17 inch is not practical for a portable. If he’s going to mac around at home, the iMac is the way to go. Cheaper and with a bigger monitor too.
The one thing I don’t like about the IMAC is the wireless mouse and keyboard. I am putting in new batteries constantly. Tried batteries you recharge and they are not worth it. They never get the full 100 percent back like the regular batteries do.
Love my new MacBook Pro... but it sounds like complete overkill for the needs expressed here. Of course, it’s possible that iLife might inspire him to do more...?
One of the things I like is the mag-safe power adaptor. For wireless networking, if you get an airport base station it almost sets itself up. The Airport Express should be plenty.
I understand the comments of others about the price.
It’s very difficult for someone used to a Windows computer to acclimate to a Mac. I strongly recommend against it for an older user who’s not so up on computers.
Incidentally, because of work, I switched to a Mac about a year ago and I have gotten very used to it, but it was a tough transition. My wife absolutely hates it. The only reason Macs don’t get viruses is that virus-makers want to do the most damage they can for the least effort, and Windows machines greatly outnumber Macs. As Macs have gotten more popular, they’ve gotten more viruses. I’ve never had one, but then I never had one on a Windows machine, either.
Windows Vista bombed because its hardware requirements pushed the limits of what was available. Windows 7 is more scalable, and stopped the trend of continually upping the ante of the hardware needed to run it. Get yourself a good Windows 7 machine. Anti-virals are built in; just make sure you update them and stay away from sites that offer porn or pirated material.
My parents had PC’s and were incessantly asking for help.
The best thing I ever did for my sanity was get them a Mac. No viruses and very little learning required on their part.
After a couple of years the extra cost of the Mac was nothing.
If it was me. I would have him take a look at an Ipad, hook it up with a blue tooth keypad and let him go.
“How much has it cost you, after the initial purchase.?”
Nada. Zip. Zilch. I bought the extended warranty and used it once for a swolen battery which was replaced for free (find a reliable laptop fanthey do get hot). So other than software and peripherals, it’s just like I drove it off the showroom floor. Total workhorse of a machine.
The time it has NOT been on in the past 3 years can be counted in days. I leave it on all the time. Rarely shut it down. It’s in use 18+ hours a day. Wake up, open it, and it’s up and running. I demand a lot from my computers. There are faster and trendier laptops out these days, but this one never disappoints.
Model Name: MacBook Pro 17”
Model Identifier: MacBookPro2,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.33 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Mac OSX 10.5.8
Oh, you’ll often find Mac users tend to be very pushy about how wonderful Macs are. I think it’s from cognitive dissonance justifying the outrageous heaps of cash they laid out for it. Hell, for $2500, you could buy a new PC every several months.
For the cost of one 17” MacBookPro, you could buy him three brand new 17” laptops.
Might be easier to set him up with an online backup program, and simply sync an extra laptop to the backups and hand him it, while you then reimage the broken one.
Dell Inspirons, HP DV7’s, Toshiba Qosmio X505, and all those are good options.
can you explain further about the differences?
Rather extensive response for ‘nothing’.
Yes you should!!! I had an HP for four years and had so many virus’. I purchased a MAC Pro Apple and never had a virus. It is wonderful. Yes the price is steep but it is so worth it for peace of mind and the ease of using the laptop. It I was you, I would go out today and buy one. I was nervous buying one after I was recommended to do so and never regretted it.
It is, in fact, a cult. Jobs and Gore are their deities.
Otherwise known as Bull$hi*.
Does he understand that he can change the size of screen fonts in his browser just by holding down the CTRL key and moving the mouse's scroll wheel? Also, it is easy to change the default font and icon size in Windows 7, and to change the default "zoom" setting in his word processor.
I suspect that he might be happy with an $800 Windows 7 laptop with a 14" display, a decent security suite, and a lesson or two about how to change font size.
But that Mac is a fine computer.
Get a refurb from the Apple Store and save some money.
Do you want me to disseminate bad advice?
Oooh, can I pray to Algore and Jobs before I answer?
I had a thought... if he doesn’t need mobility and mainly wants to use it in his lazy boy... get a Mac Mini and hook it up to the TV. Use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and save about $2,000. As an added bonus, he’ll be able to stream Internet video content directly to his TV. That’s what I’d do in this scenario.
He is tired of malware and viruses. You correctly tell him that is less of a problem with a mac. He has the money. If he buys it and later has remorse, why would you feel any guilt?
Sounds like he’d do fine with an Ipad, and wifi. You can adjust the font size readability.
No reason to get a Macbook Pro, at that price. The Macbook itself would be overkill, but if you must, stick to the smaller 13” and at a more reasonable price, and once again, make the print bigger. 17” laptops are cumbersome and meant for professional work, graphics, etc. Oh, and with a laptop, it’s a great idea to get Applecare via Ebay. Normally a rip off, you need the extended warranty on a mac laptop.
I’ve been in your shoes though, and couldn’t talk someone out of overspending because they had fantasies of building spaceships on their laptop.
Sounds like an iMac would be a better fit. MacBookPro is spending dollars on portability and features made for the graphics or business professional on the go.
An iMac has every bit the quality and performance along with a better monitor. Pretty slick machine for the described purpose.
I have never tried the Apple wireless keyboard. Stick with the standard wired keyboard and the quality is top notch.
Go for it. Macs work, and just keep on working.
Depends on how pro tax you are. The computer world has had the term Apple Tax around for years for a reason.
What about the Air?
Well, it depends on what his time is worth. And, more importantly, what is YOUR time worth, since he’s going to probably call you for help when there’s a problem.
For example: I have enough money to buy any computer system I want, and as many of them as I want.
What I don’t have is enough time to cater to every stupid problem that Windows presents on a daily basis. So my wife and I, both veteran programmers (she of Unix kernels and compilers, I of embedded systems, mini’s, mainframes, Macs, PC’s, Unix, the whole lot) of the computer industry since the early 80’s, run Macs. Why? Because if I were billing my time for fixing a computer, I’d be charging over $200/hour - that was my billing rate in the past. So I figure that in the years we ran Windows, there would be about 10+ hours per year per computer of idiotic nonsense that required I wrangle a Windows system to exorcise some bit of stupidity or clean up after a crash.
Call that $2,000/year of my time that I had to sink into Windows per Windows box.
We’d keep a Windows system for at least three years, so over the lifetime of each system, so that would be $6K/computer-life I’d be sinking into Windows.
We converted the entire household over to Macs and that was that. Now I spend my time on other things, not computer problems.
About a year after we converted and I had the “light bulb” moment where I realized how much time I had NOT spent on pissing into system issues on the Mac, I ceased working on Windows systems for other people, even if they were paying. I reckoned that I could bill out my time at $200/hour for farting around with Windows systems... or I could spend my time trading in the markets and potentially making thousands of dollars per hour, or I could be farming, fixing stuff around the house.... anything else other than doing truly stupid stuff with Windows as a result of their idiotic engineering decisions.
My point is this: Computers, especially Windows systems, can be incredible time sinks. Your relative just wants to piddle around on the ‘net. If it is his money AND his time, then get him what they want.
If it is his money and YOUR time... then think about how much of your time you want to invest in this.
You can always get or make more money.
You can never make more time.
I bought a used recent MB with a trashed display for $50. Added a 32” HDMI/VGA TV from BestBuy for $279. Total with VGA adapter, speakers ~$400.
Well said. Your words make sense. Many of us, however, do not charge our friends and relatives $200 an hour for tech support. Are you proud of that stance?
It’s worth it. They are built better. He will not be sorry.
Because it makes them learn that a) my time is valuable, b) they can do it themselves too.
It is amazing how many people learn how to not clog up a toilet after the first time they call a plumber.
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