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View Full Version : Anyone have a Macbook? Do you like it?



*JumpIt*
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:45 AM
I am going off to school next year and in the spring my parents are giving me a new laptop for graduation.

I currently have a refurbished IBM Thinkpad T42 w/ XP, I've had it for nearly 3 years and it is pretty beat. Disk drive has to be taped closed, USB port is broke, and my power port is so loose I can't move it without it cutting off (battery is dead also). So I really do need a new computer.

I have watched as my family has gone though multiple dells and HP's and none have lasted long than a year, maybe 1.5 years.

So I think I'd like to look into getting a Macbook, I've heard they last longer and the tech support is excellent.

The main uses will be internet,documents, power points, and music.

Anyone use a Mac and would recommend it?

I am also open to other suggestions! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

blueskye
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:55 AM
I have a MacbookPro 13", which replaced a 15" MacPro that lasted 7 years...yes seven! which I found to be pretty astonishing for a laptop in daily (ab)use. It's smaller and more portable than HPs or Vaios, which is very important to me since I'm constantly traveling and from what I've heard from users of those machines macbooks are more reliable even under that sort of use.

LexInVA
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:59 AM
They don't last longer than any other notebook. Notebooks go bad because people treat them poorly. The average notebook owner is largely ignorant as to how to properly operate and care for their machine so their stuff breaks like clockwork. The build-quality on Macbooks has gone down in many ways since they modernized the platform with Intel technology but the software has at least improved somewhat. The current generation certainly has a lot of "out-of-the-box" issues just as the previous ones did though for a person like yourself, they would likely never be a problem except for the ones that manifest themselves after extensive use. As for tech support, it's okay if you can get it, but you're pretty much stuck with the Apple Store. If you don't have one available near you,

redkat
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:08 AM
I loooooooove my Macbook. I have the black Macbook that is no longer made. After years and years of craptastic PC laptops, it's so nice to have a computer that just springs to life when I open it. In contrast, my Dell work laptop, which has similar hardware, feels so clunky and overburdened that I'm constantly frustrated with it.

I've had absolutely no trouble with my Macbook. None. I've had it for a year now. I did invest in AppleCare, just in case, which has been more than worth it for my brother, whose laptop had some weird hardware failure. Apple replaced his computer at no additional cost. Yes, it's an expensive extended warranty, but if you need it, it's worth it.

I've been converted...I probably won't buy another PC. Yes, I completely understand that Apple has ridiculous gross margins and charges more than the rest of the industry for comparable products, but their products are efficient and enjoyable to use. I'd rather spend a little bit more and not want to chuck my computer off my balcony out of frustration.

Bluehorsesjp
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:13 AM
I love my Macbook. It is 5 years old. Last year I did have to replace the battery and power cord. And this year I did replace the hard drive and DVD burner. The hard drive did not crash, but was making whirring noisies, so I had the IT guy at work replace it and transfer all my data. It is like a super Ibook now. :D
But really I have had very few problems in all the years I have owned it.
And I have only had to use tech support 3 times ever.
I highly recommend Mac's

mypaintwattie
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:17 AM
LOVE mine!!!! It is an older PowerBookG4, and has been to He** and back, but I love it!

JER
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:19 AM
Not that long ago, I bought a new MacBook Pro. Until then, I'd been a devoted ThinkPad user but frankly, I'm quite comfortable with either Mac or PC.

I got a lemon. A serious lemon. My first problem with it was it didn't turn on. Apple customer support haughtily told me "Clearly, you don't know how to turn on a computer." :eek:

It went steadily downhill from there. I was a regular presence at the Apple store, sent the machine in many times, endured countless lectures from 'Geniuses', was told I'd 'obviously' put a virus on it (I'd never actually used the machine so this was not possible). After 14 months of this nonsense, they gave me a replacement which I sold on eBay, NIB.

I know my experience is just an anecdote and most Apple purchasers are probably satisfied customers. But I did not like the way I was treated, especially as I'm an experienced computer user who tried to talk intelligently to them about a new machine that had catastrophic problems.

So I went back to ThinkPads.

However, these days I'm using an MSI Wind U100 netbook. It cost $300, is perfect for traveling and has all the power I need. I have remote back-up so if I lose it or it breaks, I'll just get a new one.

daisy_chain
Nov. 26, 2009, 04:05 AM
I'm a freshman in college with a new 13" macbook pro. I would never go back to my old HP behemoth! It's light and compact, SO fast, easy to use, iPhoto and iChat are great for my uses...I could go on and on.
Just for what it's worth--practically EVERYONE here has a mac! I can count on my fingers the people in my dorm who have PCs. So, if you're computer illiterate like me, it's nice to be able to consult your neighbors for help.
Furthermore, Apple offers decent student discounts. The only thing to consider is microsoft office vs. iWork, which is a whole 'nother can of worms...

nadasy
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:47 AM
Wow, an MSI! I had one, and LOVED it. I passed it on to my son because I needed to upgrade and never seemed to have enough space for my photos and web work, and honestly, my other son leases Macs for his business and I was really impressed.

I bought a MacBook Pro last year in Ocala when my Spartan PC laptop was grinding away not cooperating and I had a 12 hour deposition to finish.......I bit the bullet and never have looked back.

I did purchase Apple Care and they have been really helpful. I was concerned about the cost, because for an outlay of that much in one month it was a big amount. I found that I could pay it off by getting one of their cards in 3 months and not pay any interest. That was much easier.

I had lots of questions with some of the software, and was on the phone quite a bit in the first 6 months, not so much now, but everyone has been great!

I've never gone to an Apple Store, they are about 1 1/2 hours away, so I go through the Apple website for support and they call me. I've also used the Live Chat, which has been really helpful and you can choose to have the full text of the chat emailed to you. I am going to get the 1 on 1 in December because I'll be close to an Apple Store in Richmond.

I am really careful with my equipment mainly because my job(s) are all on line, and I need something reliable and secure. When I do travel with the laptop I have a really safe and secure bag, and don't let it out of my sight.

Lucky Girl to get this. Have fun and write great papers.:D

SarEQ
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:21 AM
My husband and I both have Macs and love them. They're great! Easy to use, well made, and just fun!

As for needing to be near an apple store for service... we live on a remote Caribbean island. There's no away store for thousands of miles. My husband's computer had a hard drive issue (his fault) and he called Apple and they were wonderfully helpful. They gave him a lot of great advice and the computer was quickly and easily fixed. Macs just seem sturdy.

That said, take good care of your computer. Clean it regularly, according to the user manual's instructions. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS transport it in an appropriate case... which means one that fits and isn't too big! Invest in a good case... you wouldn't buy a ten dollar cheap-o helmet that didn't fit well for yourself, so don't buy the cheap-o case for your laptop! Use care inserting CDs, USB drives, etc. Take that half second to look at what you're doing. Update your computer regularly. Don't stack heavy books on your laptop, or balance a coffee on the stack of papers next to your computer. This is an expensive piece of equipment, don't abuse it!

thatmoody
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:51 AM
I'm so happy to see this thread, as I'm being forced to switch to a MAC (yeah, drag me kicking and screaming) by my work, which is gifting me with one for taking an online development class :D.

I am kind of unsure of the whole thing, though, as I'm a die hard PC user (I currently own 3 PC laptops, and LOVE them), but when I was offered the opportunity to take this course, I was intrigued. I will be developing a new course for my online teaching program, and am kind of excited, but learning a new computer technology at the same time is a little nervewracking. My only experiences with MACs came during a digital media class where I was frustrated by the interface, and intimidated by the much more tech-savvy students in the class who looked down on me for not being able to deal with the MAC interface. I couldn't even figure out how to open a file, and I'm worried I'll have similar issues!

onelanerode
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:59 AM
thatmoody, You'll figure it out. :) Once you get the basics of the OS, everything else will start coming along easily. It's a very intuitive interface, and most of the time things are exactly as you'd expect them to be.

I have a black Macbook and love it! It's 3.5 years old now and still going strong. We'll probably think about replacing it in a year or two, but it will be with another Mac laptop for sure. :yes:

The only issue I've had with this computer was covered by AppleCare. I would strongly recommend getting the better warranty for laptops ... they take more abuse than desktops and the warranty can really come in handy. Apple's customer service has been excellent, but it probably helps that my DH is an IT pro and works with Macs almost exclusively. He can diagnose issues as well as the geniuses at the Apple store, so if I have a problem, usually he can fix it for me. ;)

thatmoody
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:03 AM
Thanks for the vote of confidence - I'm sure I'll get it after a while. I actually worked with someone who worked on some of the Apple help interfaces and he is also very reassuring - I've always seen their help files used as examples of really intuitive help files.

texang73
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:17 AM
I have a MacBook Pro 15" and have never been happier!!! LOVE it!

bauhaus
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:39 AM
Love love love love mine. 13" white Macbook, bought it in the fall of 2007. It replaced a very abused 12" iBook which would be still in use if it didn't need a new thing where the charger plug connects to the computer. If I ever get around to fixing it I'll be upgrading the RAM & hard drive while I'm at it & I'll use it when I travel. If you maintain them & don't have to have the fastest whatever every 6 months, they last for a REALLY long time in computer terms.

I've maxed out the RAM on this Macbook & switched out my 160 gig hard drive for a 500 gig one, so that I hopefully won't need to replace this computer for at least another couple of years. They are also soooo easy to work on & I'm usually terrible with anything like that. Recently one of the cats decided to use the keyboard as a scratching post and I got tired of typing on the rubber nubs of the many keys he had pried off, so hubby and I replaced the entire top of the computer (keyboard and trackpad) ourselves. I bought a used replacement online for $65, and followed the instructions on a video I found on youtube. The amount of cat hair we found INSIDE the computer when we took the top off was incredible and a testament to how reliable these things are. ;)

*JumpIt*
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:06 AM
I am glad to hear all the great reviews! I love my think pad but I am really excited to get some thing NEW and spify. Expecially since my laptop is basically a desktop at the moment.

Any other things I should be certain to get?

Apple Care
Good Warrenty

Can I get MS word for a mac? If a PC is sent a document from a mac word processor can the PC open it?

As far as memory goes, should I go ahead and get the larger amount of RAM?

Anyone recomend a proper case?

jn4jenny
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:20 AM
Yes, BUT here are some caveats.

Most people radically over-purchase their first Mac, buying way more machine than they need. If you really are just an Internet/documents/powerpoints/music kind of gal, the entry-level Macbook without any RAM upgrades will be more than you ever need. You only need to step up to a better machine if you plan to do intensive video and/or audio editing. And frankly, I still do video and audio editing on my entry-level Macbook and it's just fine (I'm in a graduate program for Digital Media Studies, so this is a daily thing for me).

They are NOT CHEAP. For $999 you could have the most slammin' PC laptop on the market. Heck, for $300 you could have a cute, portable little Netbook--at that price you could buy a new one every year of college and only just equal the cost of a single Macbook. Basically if you can afford the Macbook, you almost certainly won't regret it. But you'll be making sacrifices in terms of budget and portability.

Speaking of "not cheap", wait as long as you can to purchase your Mac--both so that you can have as much warranty time as possible during your student time (your Mac will go through a lot of abuse getting transported around, etc.) and to ensure that you get the most Mac for the money. If you buy in the spring and barely touch your laptop all summer, you may miss an Apple upgrade that would have gotten you a better machine for less cash.

While we're on this topic, DON'T OVERPAY for your Mac. The education discount is rarely the best available deal--usually it's the Apple Refurbished machines, but not always. See www.lowendmac.com in the "Deals" section for the best place to buy at any given time. If you really absolutely insist on buying brand new from the Apple Store, at least wait until shortly before the school year starts. Apple usually runs a promotion where they give you a free iPod Touch and/or printer and/or other goodies if you're a student buying a Macbook for college.

Tech support for Macs is no better or worse than certain other brands. Toshiba and Dell also offer excellent and convenient warranty plans. The sucky thing about Applecare is that 90% of the time, they have to ship your machine away for service. If you have purchased the AppleCare warranty plan, you get priority service and may get your machine back within days. If you didn't buy AppleCare, be prepared to wait a week (or two or three). While we're on this topic, for God's sake budget for an external USB hard drive. They're only about $50-$60 these days. Back up your data using Apple's Time Machine feature; the most common Macbook disasters are logic board and hard drive failure, both of which can corrupt your hard drive data. I set my Time Machine to remind me every 3 days to back up my stuff; when I'm doing a big project for school, I back up pretty much every time I get up for the bathroom/drink/snack/etc.

Speaking of which, as soon as you buy your Macbook, your first program to install and learn is at http://applejack.sourceforge.net/. I have saved more than one Mac using Applejack; it can run all of the Mac's First Aid utilities even if you get locked out of Mac OS X and can only get to the command line interface. It's a lifesaver.

Definitely budget for Applecare. Unless you are accident prone, in which case you should consider a Squaretrade.com warranty instead (Applecare does not cover dropping your machine, spilling coffee on it, etc.) Squaretrade is forever sending out 30% or 40% off coupons that will make the warranty even cheaper than Applecare, and they're very reputable. I use them for my iPod warranties, but I stick with Applecare for my Macbook warranty (because I am not prone to spills/drops and prefer to just march my broken machines to the Apple Genius bar rather than ship them to Squaretrade).

Regarding your questions:

AppleCare IS the warranty plan. Macs come with a one-year manufacturer warranty that they call "AppleCare", but when most people say AppleCare, they are referring to the supplemental coverage that you can buy for your Macbook to extend the warranty coverage out to three years.


Can I get MS word for a mac? If a PC is sent a document from a mac word processor can the PC open it?

Yes and yes. Gone are the days when you had to worry so much about compatibility and program availability. If it exists for the PC, it probably exists for the Mac.

Not that you really need MS Word for Mac. Openoffice.org = free alternative to MS Word, and it's every bit as good.

Speaking of which, if you're going to be a Mac person, it's time for you to get friendly with open source software. www.opensourcemac.org. I'd say that 50% of the programs that I use on a daily basis are Open Source.


As far as memory goes, should I go ahead and get the larger amount of RAM?

See advice above re: frivolous upgrades in Macs for everyday people. 2 GB is more than enough for the average Joe. I am running 2 gigs and the only time I ever max it out is when I'm doing Photoshop AND iMovie AND I have fifty million tabs open in Firefox at once. If and when you ever want to upgrade, it's just as cheap to buy the RAM separately as to buy it new from Apple (see www.dealram.com for RAM prices). And a blindfolded monkey could change the RAM in an Apple. It is stupidly simple.


Anyone recomend a proper case?

There are many, but that's really a personal preference issue. Some people prefer these huge plastic things that encase the whole machine; others prefer the thin plastic sheets that are sort of like rain jackets/condoms/ others prefer their machine nekkid but invest in a neoprene padded zipper case; others buy a special messenger bag/backpack designed to transport their machine. Head to the Apple Store and look around, but dont' bring your credit card--just touch all the products, figure out what you want, then go online. The Apple Store is designed to make you buy something on impulse for a huge markup.

Polydor
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:39 AM
Yup loooove them! My family is a strictly apple family!
I tend to get the handy me downs so i had one of the iMacs the original one.. big blue dome ones. Still works its just pulled in at the moment.

Currently using a slightly newer version iMac , the one with the half dome white base and flat moveable screen. We also have a ancient ibook (internet plug in is broken :( ) but its also 7 or so years, transported around, used alot!

I will most likely be getting a MacBookPro in the next couple weeks before i end back to Australia.

Have fun picking and choosing!

P.

dghunter
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:43 AM
Love, love, love my macbook! I would never get anything different. When I get a desktop that will be a Mac as well :yes: I've had it three years and the only problem I had was it died when I spilled water on it :lol:

sickofcollege
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:43 AM
I LOVE my Mac! I think I will always have at least one. I also have a PC desktop as well.

I also LOVE the fact that you get really awesome discounts if you're a student or teacher. When I bought my Macbook I got an all-in-one printer for free (and a 10% discount!).

My Mac is much hardier than the HP I had before. Plus, the store has been really great about repairs. :)

LearnToFly
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:46 AM
I'm a freshman in college with a new 13" macbook pro. I would never go back to my old HP behemoth! It's light and compact, SO fast, easy to use, iPhoto and iChat are great for my uses...I could go on and on.
Just for what it's worth--practically EVERYONE here has a mac! I can count on my fingers the people in my dorm who have PCs. So, if you're computer illiterate like me, it's nice to be able to consult your neighbors for help.
Furthermore, Apple offers decent student discounts. The only thing to consider is microsoft office vs. iWork, which is a whole 'nother can of worms...

What school/major are you in?

I'm one of only a few in my major still running PC- and I couldn't be happier about it. I hate Mac.

ponyxjd
Nov. 26, 2009, 12:31 PM
I wouldn't trade my Mac for anything. I've also converted two of my friends to Macland. I'm not really sure what kind of Macbook it is, but I got it in 2008 and it runs the same. If I ever upgrade I'd love a Macbook Pro because I love my games, (which could still run on macbook, but not as well) and photoshop, but in the mean time I'm very happy with my computer.

RegentLion
Nov. 26, 2009, 12:49 PM
My husband and I got matching MacBook Pros for ourselves for Xmas last year. LOVE MINE.

I back it up frequently.

My only issue is that lately Safari will "freeze" temporarily and I'll see the little spinny thing (equivalent of the hourglass) and that is REALLY AGGRIVATING. It always unfreezes but still... I haven't looked into it yet however.

Otherwise the machine has been easy to use, very intuitive and problem free.

I was most concerned (I know I know) that I wouldn't be able to right click with my Track pad as it is one button. But there is a setting so you can. Actually there are enough options/settings that you can make your Mac run basically like a PC if you so choose.

The only thing I've found frustrating is that not all programs/devices are mac Compatible so you have to just be a little smarter when shopping.:)

RainyDayRide
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:18 PM
I've had Macs for years ... hate pc's.

I recommend getting a copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, O'Reilly Press. Thick book, full of tips on making the most of your Mac.

FatPalomino
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:32 PM
I got my first mac last year after other classmates told me the transition was easy. It WAS!

I got a refurb 13" white macbook for $749. It's awesome. Check out the covers at kbcovers.com, too.

I've seen the air's and pro's at school. I decided I didn't need all that :D

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:43 PM
You will love your mac.

I think it's interesting out of all of the posts on this thread, there's like one with a bad experience. I think that speaks volumes. I have had my macbook for just over three years (it's one of the first with the intel chip). It's been a total workhorse. I take it everywhere. The most valuable thing about macs, IMO, is that they just *work*, there's no viruses or spyware, I turn it on every day and it just...works. Without a hassle. Unfortunately that was never the case on PCs. It always felt like I was jumping through hoops just to get the average day-to-day computer tasks done. My mom bought an acer laptop a couple of months before I got my Macbook. Less than a year after she bought it, it was already having problems. Mine, three years later, is still ticking along as good as the day I bought it.

I literally don't know what I would do without my Mac. And I will never, ever use a PC again unless under duress.

Kinsella
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:24 PM
I also have the PowerBook G4 and I love it. Got it in 2004 and it still works great. I need to replace the battery, but then after 5 years you'd have to replace the battery on any laptop. I use both Mac and PC, and I MUCH prefer my Mac!

RoyalTRider
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:08 PM
I use a black Macbook (colors correspond to- um, something, not sure what) that I got when I went away to school. LOVE it! It takes getting used to at first, but it's a great computer.

ETA: Perhaps other computers have this, but one of my favorite parts of my Mac is the automatic spell-check. It's great for sending quick e-mails to profs without looking incompetent. :winkgrin:

pippa553
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:14 PM
Super easy to use, you're going to love it! I see all sorts at my school. If you wait until you are enrolled in classes you can buy one at an educational discount. ;)

Huckleberry86
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:57 PM
I love my macbook, its so easy to use, much faster than my pc. It is the basic macbook 13" that had the fastest available processor at the time. It has performed beyond expectations, I use it for work, school and play. I would definitely recommend a macbook. I agree with previous post, don't go overboard with extras and wait to buy word processing software until you go to school, most universities sell it for about 1/5 of the price of what you can buy it through apple.

jn4jenny
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:19 AM
My only issue is that lately Safari will "freeze" temporarily and I'll see the little spinny thing (equivalent of the hourglass) and that is REALLY AGGRIVATING. It always unfreezes but still... I haven't looked into it yet however.

Go to Safari --> Empty Cache. $10 says this will fix your problem. If it doesn't, restart your browser. And if it still doesn't fix the problem, go to Safari --> Preferences --> Autofill, choose "Edit" next to "Other Forms", and choose Remove All.

Regarding someone else's statement with bad experiences, I haven't had a "bad experience" but I haven't yet had a Mac laptop that didn't break between years two and three. Fortunately AppleCare warranties the machine through year three, so all of those fixes have been free and fast!

blackpearl
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:23 AM
Hi
I have always had Macs in my classroom/school lab. At home, my daughters and husband all had PC's. They HATED macs, however my daughter recently bought a macbook and had it formated 50/50 so she can run ALL of her Windows programs and ALL of the mac programs. She has had no trouble running both platforms and feels this way she gets the best of both!
This may help in your transition if you have always been a PC person :-)

pday09
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:29 AM
I'm a freshman in college this year, and my parents got me a mac last christmas. Pretty much everyone here has one. I have had a lot of PCs that crashed/slowed after a year or so, and I'm happy to report its still going strong. The virus thing is a huge plus- this might change in the future, but right now, there are far fewer viruses and the like to slow down your mac. They are pretty physically breakable, I've heard- so try not to drop/spill on it, ect. But as far as the software goes, I haven't had any trouble with it. It's really easy to change your documents into .doc files for windows people as well, so you don't need to be worried that your mac won't be compatible with the windows people. ;)