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Vanity: Should I buy a MacBook Pro?
4-25-2011 | Self

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?


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computers; mac; macbook
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1 posted on 04/25/2011 9:49:33 PM PDT by balch3
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To: balch3

Once you do, you might like it. The ‘upkeep’ cost that Apple imposes is the variable here.


2 posted on 04/25/2011 9:53:23 PM PDT by allmost
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To: balch3

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.


3 posted on 04/25/2011 9:54:50 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: balch3

Go for it.


4 posted on 04/25/2011 9:58:42 PM PDT by afnamvet (I stand with Israel.)
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To: balch3

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..


5 posted on 04/25/2011 9:58:45 PM PDT by MrShoop
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To: balch3

If you are a teacher, college student or have child attending college they use to offer a 10% discount FYI.


6 posted on 04/25/2011 9:59:50 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: balch3

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.


7 posted on 04/25/2011 10:00:34 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander (p.s. patchouli isn't in the FR spell check dictionary.)
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To: balch3
Well, if you want an Apple product then certainly it's your money. But I'm typing this on a pretty old by now Fujitsu LifeBook (17" laptop) and it's working just fine. I think the original cost was around a $1,000, which was reasonable for a good laptop (I needed it to be fast too; you may save some money with lower specs.)

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.

8 posted on 04/25/2011 10:02:35 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: balch3

Sounds like a serious waste of money for only net surfing. You can get a 17” PC laptop for $500 to $600.


9 posted on 04/25/2011 10:03:09 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: balch3

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.


10 posted on 04/25/2011 10:03:56 PM PDT by ThomasThomas (I am still looking for that box I am supposed to think out of.)
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To: balch3

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.


11 posted on 04/25/2011 10:04:11 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: balch3

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.


12 posted on 04/25/2011 10:04:54 PM PDT by Rational Thought
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To: balch3

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.


13 posted on 04/25/2011 10:05:25 PM PDT by richmwill
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To: TruthHound

Interesting. How much has it cost you, after the initial purchase.?


14 posted on 04/25/2011 10:05:34 PM PDT by allmost
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To: balch3

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.


15 posted on 04/25/2011 10:08:46 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: balch3

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.


16 posted on 04/25/2011 10:11:52 PM PDT by Amadeo
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To: balch3

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.


17 posted on 04/25/2011 10:12:48 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: balch3

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...?


18 posted on 04/25/2011 10:14:09 PM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: balch3
The 17" is quad core and it's a lot of machine. I'm a Mac guy, and use a 13" MB Pro in my recliner and for other mobile needs & a 24" with dual monitors for my heavy duty stuff.

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.

19 posted on 04/25/2011 10:14:33 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (Proud member of the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge (KOOK))
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To: balch3

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.


20 posted on 04/25/2011 10:15:45 PM PDT by dangus
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To: balch3

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.


21 posted on 04/25/2011 10:16:38 PM PDT by LeGrande (I believe in liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.)
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To: allmost

“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 fan—they 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


22 posted on 04/25/2011 10:18:36 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: balch3

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.


23 posted on 04/25/2011 10:18:44 PM PDT by dangus
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To: balch3

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.


24 posted on 04/25/2011 10:20:36 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander (p.s. patchouli isn't in the FR spell check dictionary.)
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To: dangus

can you explain further about the differences?


25 posted on 04/25/2011 10:21:15 PM PDT by balch3
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To: TruthHound

Rather extensive response for ‘nothing’.


26 posted on 04/25/2011 10:23:53 PM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost

You’re welcome.


27 posted on 04/25/2011 10:26:05 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: balch3

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.


28 posted on 04/25/2011 10:26:05 PM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: allmost

It is, in fact, a cult. Jobs and Gore are their deities.


29 posted on 04/25/2011 10:28:54 PM PDT by allmost
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To: TruthHound

Otherwise known as Bull$hi*.


30 posted on 04/25/2011 10:31:07 PM PDT by allmost
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To: balch3
His computer skills consist of being able to turn the computer on, open his browser, and do simple word processing/printing.

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.

31 posted on 04/25/2011 10:31:49 PM PDT by TChad
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To: allmost
Superior
32 posted on 04/25/2011 10:34:36 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: balch3

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/17?mco=MjEwNzM3NjQ

Get a refurb from the Apple Store and save some money.


33 posted on 04/25/2011 10:37:15 PM PDT by word_warrior_bob (You can now see my amazing doggie and new puppy on my homepage!! Come say hello to Jake & Sonny)
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To: TruthHound

Do you want me to disseminate bad advice?


34 posted on 04/25/2011 10:39:05 PM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost

Oooh, can I pray to Algore and Jobs before I answer?


35 posted on 04/25/2011 10:42:09 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: balch3

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.


36 posted on 04/25/2011 10:45:14 PM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: TruthHound
Before,during,after... Do you actually care Gore licker?
37 posted on 04/25/2011 10:50:55 PM PDT by allmost
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To: Swordmaker

Apple ping!


38 posted on 04/25/2011 10:53:40 PM PDT by nutmeg
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To: balch3
TOO MUCH MONEY...The question isn't "Can he afford it?"...Its one of fiscal responsibility and trust on your part.
Look at a new series 9 Samsung and go from there. Win 7 with good free anti-virus/anti-malware progs will give him all he desires.

Hell, if all else, buy him a 24" LED monitor and hook it up to the lap-top...easy to do and still cheaper.
39 posted on 04/25/2011 10:56:48 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito Ergo Conservitus.)
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To: balch3

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?


40 posted on 04/25/2011 10:58:22 PM PDT by JLS (Democrats: People who won't even let you enjoy an unseasonably warm winter day.)
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To: allmost

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.


41 posted on 04/25/2011 11:00:31 PM PDT by harmonium
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To: balch3

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.


42 posted on 04/25/2011 11:04:16 PM PDT by Borderline
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To: balch3

Depends on how pro tax you are. The computer world has had the term Apple Tax around for years for a reason.


43 posted on 04/25/2011 11:09:02 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: balch3
So, an older relative wants a laptop so he can surf the web from his recliner.

A 17" MacBook Pro is serious overkill for this. It's a lot lighter than most 17" Windows laptops, but it'll be uncomfortably hot in someone's lap. And that's a lot of computer performance you're buying that'll never be used. If all he's interested in is web browsing, take him down to the local Apple store and have him try out the iPad or the sub-$1000 MacBook.
44 posted on 04/25/2011 11:17:36 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: balch3

What about the Air?


45 posted on 04/25/2011 11:27:14 PM PDT by Peanut Gallery
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To: balch3

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.


46 posted on 04/26/2011 12:04:58 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: balch3

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.


47 posted on 04/26/2011 12:19:17 AM PDT by seton89 (Aequinimitas per ignorantiam)
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To: NVDave

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?


48 posted on 04/26/2011 12:19:39 AM PDT by allmost
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To: balch3

It’s worth it. They are built better. He will not be sorry.


49 posted on 04/26/2011 12:20:36 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: allmost

Yep.

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.


50 posted on 04/26/2011 12:34:36 AM PDT by NVDave
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