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Computer for a student: $1000 iBook now, or Intel next spring?


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#1
rabinowitz

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As the topic title suggests, I'm a student with $1500 and I need a computer. I've already decided that I want an Apple laptop, but the question remains: should I buy an iBook for $1000 now, or wait until next year to check prices/computer stats then?

I know that with Apple, the next update is always looming when it'll suddenly seem like I paid too much. When I bought my last iPod, I bought it 7 days before the iPod Photo was turned to the normal iPod. Needless to say, I felt ripped off and exchanged it to get the photo capabilities. But the Intel change is much bigger than this, obviously. So should I get this laptop during Christmas time, or wait until next year?

Time isn't a factor, it's just a question of how much longer can I deal with not having my own computer, which I need.

My main issue is price, and functionality for that price. I don't want to buy right before a big change. But at the same time, it might not be as big as I think. I just want all the niceties of Tiger, and I don't want to turn on my computer on a winter morning, and find all over every website on the planet that the new Intel Macs have "another 200 features" I don't have, for $800.

Another quick question: If indeed a new version of Tiger is put on these new Macs, would that upgrade be free?

Thank you for any response or advice, this is driving me crazy. It wouldn't be such an issue if I had more money, but alas, I'm a student.

#2
Swad

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I've got a friend who is facing this exact same issue - I'd wait until January. If after MacWorld, there aren't any Intel iBooks, go ahead and buy one.

Although the unibin adoption might be a little slow, I think the actual speed of the laptop will make up for it.

#3
cyris ng

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I'm in a similar situation right now. I bought the current 12" iBook a few months ago and based on the Thinksecret rumor I read I'm starting to wonder if I should sell it before Christmas and be mobile-less for the next months or so. If I were to sell my iBook now I could in all likelyhood recover 100-95% of the cash I originaly paid for it. I have an inexpensive supplier that doesnt advertise and everyone else sells it as if it were a luxury item.

I agree with Mashugly (who got dugged btw) when he says to wait. Rumor has it that the new iBook would be a 13" widescreen and will be $100-200 cheaper.

As to whether it'll be the consumer or pro lines will come first I have more faith in a Mactel iBook coming out than a Powerbook (as previously reported by a Citibank employee) because it's due for an update 44 days from now. The Powerbook on the other hand was renewed a mere 43 days ago. Though I could be wrong seeming the Powerbook has a much higher margin than a iBook and Apple normally introduces newer technology to its pro line before offering it as a consumer line.

#4
Swad

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I hear that they're offering a rebate on iBooks right now, which would make sense if they were trying to move inventory.

#5
bjr1028

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If you can wait two months, I'd do so.

#6
rabinowitz

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Thanks, everyone, I really appreciate it.

After thinking it through some more, reading more thouroughly about the issue on other websites, seeing these replies, and remembering how predictions about the mac mini and photo ipod were correct, I've decided to wait until January.

Thanks again!

#7
domino

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I never purchase first generation cars and electronic goods. You know very well that in a few weeks or months, an upgraded product will be released with richer features at the same price. Always know you have a way out if you do. For example, I use to buy a new processor and motherboard every 6 months. I knew I could get rid of my old parts at cost, so upgrading that often wasn't an issue.

#8
cyris ng

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I never purchase first generation cars and electronic goods. You know very well that in a few weeks or months, an upgraded product will be released with richer features at the same price. Always know you have a way out if you do. For example, I use to buy a new processor and motherboard every 6 months. I knew I could get rid of my old parts at cost, so upgrading that often wasn't an issue.

Apple is notorious for revision A problems with their hardware but it's worth the risk in my opion because who wants to own a $999 laptop when a $799 will be available next month with better specs.

#9
rata911

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I'm in almost the same situation, rabinowitz. I've been keeping an eye on the PowerBook 15" since summer or something when suddenly Steve Jobs announced the Intel transition at the WWDC. Being a college student as well I had to put some money aside and my very own finanical transition is almost complete as well (christmas and birthday in january are coming :()

What do you think, will there already be new PowerBooks in Feb/Mar 06? I do hope so :/

#10
rabinowitz

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"I never purchase first generation cars and electronic goods. You know very well that in a few weeks or months, an upgraded product will be released with richer features at the same price."

Well, that's why I'm waiting for the first release of the new set, instead of buying one now. I realize that soon, no matter when I buy, my product will be outdone interms of price/features. But at least I wouldn't be buying right at the end of a cycle. Plus, the switch to Intel is a rather big change.

"Apple is notorious for revision A problems with their hardware"

Problems that couldn't be fixed? Problems similar to all those burnt out pixels on new PSPs at launch? I agree, and that does worry me. Even the Xbox360 has been reported crashing and such, because it's brand new and there's no hardware test like a market release. I suppose I'll just wait a couple weeks to read reviews of the new computers, whatever the case is.

#11
cyris ng

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Problems that couldn't be fixed? Problems similar to all those burnt out pixels on new PSPs at launch? I agree, and that does worry me. Even the Xbox360 has been reported crashing and such, because it's brand new and there's no hardware test like a market release. I suppose I'll just wait a couple weeks to read reviews of the new computers, whatever the case is.

Powerbook's Titanium line had the latch, hinge and paint problem. Rev A Albooks had thermal issues bad enough to steralize a good portion of the Mac population.

For the 360 I'd wait for MS to lower it's price before buying one. By that time it would probably be more stable and have games I'd actually want to buy. I doubt that'll happen because I'm waiting for HD-DVD to be integrated.

#12
PowerMac

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I'm in the same situation that your in!

Well, I'm deciding to buy one, today.

Go to ThinkSecret.com for your rumors - they are always correct (to some degree).

They are predicting that the MWSF will be a intel Mac mini and updated iLife and iWork.

If they decide to announce updated iBooks, they will be releasing in spring (way to long of a wait for me).
Also, they really can't update the iBooks since they'll be outperforming their Powerbooks!

I know a lot of you want to see a intel iBook in Jan. but let's face it, its not going to happen. It's too early yet.
Besides, as we know from Maxxus and this site, Mac OSX (x86 version) is still way to easy to crack. I don't think that a couple of weeks is enough time to do something like that. In addition, unibin support is still way to slow, you don't want customers complaining that the program that they downloaded didn't work (very bad publicity for the windows users).

BTW, Apple is notorious for messing up their 1st gen products.

An friend of mine bought a 1st TiBook and he had all the problems described above. Apple agreed to fix the hinges and hatches but did NOT fix the paint problems since they believed it wasn't a significant cosmetic problem.

Buy an iBook now, you'll thank me later (esp. during Christmas).

[PM]

Edited by PowerMac, 06 December 2005 - 06:39 PM.


#13
fungi79

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Wait until january. But prepare to be disappointed because I don't think there will be an intel mac at MWSF.

Firstly it is because I don't think Apple has got OSX86 clamped down enough yet.

Secondly I think apple would want to give developers a few more mths to come up with native ports so they have a good library of software at launch.

Thirdly introducing the intel ibooks/ mac mini would in Jan would mean that those two products would be faster than Powerbook/Imac at least until june. Apple will not want to cannabalise the sale of their higher end products.

However, you might see a 13" widescreen ibook.

It is safer to wait until jan..

#14
witzer

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well i would suggest the same thing as Mashugly. if you can wait till january, go wait. if then mac-intel-book is a no show, then if you still desperately need a computer, then get an ibook.
btw, sources from taiwan was stating that the mac-intel products heavily rumoured to appear in january, will only start selling in june. so if that's true, then the macworld event is just the product launching part. so, either june or january, i'm not going to get it coz i'd wait probably for 2nd generation mac-intel or just see how 1st generation goes.
either way, i'm enjoying my 10.4.1 mac on pc. :D
so rabinowitz, either you wait or not.

#15
Swad

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AppleMatters editorial on this very topic...

http://www.applematt..._buy_a_mac_now/

#16
cyrana

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AppleMatters editorial on this very topic...

http://www.applematt..._buy_a_mac_now/

Cool, good find! :P

Definitely meshes with my opinions on what is coming...

#17
pflatline

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Apple is notorious for revision A problems with their hardware but it's worth the risk in my opion because who wants to own a $999 laptop when a $799 will be available next month with better specs.



They may not have these revision A hardware problems anymore. Chances are,they will go to one of the notebook manufacturers like quantum and have them take their standard parts like the video card and motherboards, slap a TPM chip on it,and have them injection mold a bunch of spiffy looking powerbook cases. Poof,instant mac. Thats why they are going to PC hardware. Its not just the flexibility with the processor,its with the rest of the system too. A manufacturer can turn out new models and products fast in the PC buisness. It just standard parts in a case that has your companies look and feel. All the guts are pretty much the same. I think it would be interesting to see apple try some more agressive marketing. Imagine,mac minis, and a cheap 600 dollar laptop model at WalMart. Now that would generate some sales. Especially now that they will run on the same hardware and even be able to run windows, they are going to need to shift gears. I imagine that MS will be getting lists of mac users who register MS office and sending them "Windows Vista: Competative upgrade for Mac users 90 day trial" ,complete with utilities for a dual boot. Yes,most mac users wont be interested,but "nibbling around the edges" would be an effective strategy. Now that OSX will run on a PC, its a threat to MS. They will respond. Netscape thought they could threaten MS and didnt really have a plan to fight back,and look where it got them. I would hate to see the sole remaining viable competitor to MS be destroyed like Netscape was.

#18
cyris ng

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They may not have these revision A hardware problems anymore. Chances are,they will go to one of the notebook manufacturers like quantum and have them take their standard parts like the video card and motherboards, slap a TPM chip on it,and have them injection mold a bunch of spiffy looking powerbook cases. Poof,instant mac. Thats why they are going to PC hardware. Its not just the flexibility with the processor,its with the rest of the system too. A manufacturer can turn out new models and products fast in the PC buisness. It just standard parts in a case that has your companies look and feel. All the guts are pretty much the same. I think it would be interesting to see apple try some more agressive marketing. Imagine,mac minis, and a cheap 600 dollar laptop model at WalMart. Now that would generate some sales. Especially now that they will run on the same hardware and even be able to run windows, they are going to need to shift gears. I imagine that MS will be getting lists of mac users who register MS office and sending them "Windows Vista: Competative upgrade for Mac users 90 day trial" ,complete with utilities for a dual boot. Yes,most mac users wont be interested,but "nibbling around the edges" would be an effective strategy. Now that OSX will run on a PC, its a threat to MS. They will respond. Netscape thought they could threaten MS and didnt really have a plan to fight back,and look where it got them. I would hate to see the sole remaining viable competitor to MS be destroyed like Netscape was.

Apple designs everything. Makers like Quanta just follow everything to the letter. The flaws of rev A Apple products are design issues that Apple didnt iron out or test enough. I believe Quanta did some rev A laptops before. Intel has the capacity to design Apple's logic boards needs but that's it. Aesthetic value and physial user interface is an Apple-only thing.

The Rev A problem isnt isolated to Apple. Everyone experiences problems with very new gear.

#19
lane

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Apple rev. A products are known for such minor problems as lines on a screen to more fatally flawed products like the nano scratching.

I myself however am going to buying an Intel rev. A powerbook, and I don't expect any major issues. My thinking is that Intel will be doing the hardware (CPU/MOBO/RAM/Northbridge) and since they rely on this for their core business they will get this right the first time!

IBM on the other hand has show with the XBOX 360 issues that they are absolutely horrible at designing anything.

#20
cyris ng

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"Apple is notorious for revision A problems with their hardware"

Problems that couldn't be fixed? Problems similar to all those burnt out pixels on new PSPs at launch? I agree, and that does worry me. Even the Xbox360 has been reported crashing and such, because it's brand new and there's no hardware test like a market release. I suppose I'll just wait a couple weeks to read reviews of the new computers, whatever the case is.

Thermal issues, chipped paint, overly active fans? I've been keeping track of Mac news for the past half decade and they do have issues.

I honestly wouldnt bother with the Xbox 360 until it comes bundled with a HD DVD drive. By that time there would be a substantial library of must have Xbox 360-only games. Until then I'm with the Japanese doing a wait and see. I'm sure Christmas 2007 will offer us cheaper consoles. :) I've heard the Revolution will only be $99 which is perfect for the price point. I hope it forces Microsoft & Sony to price things at a saner point.





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