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Author Topic: Mac laptop help
Zatoichi
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 09:45      Profile for Zatoichi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My son is getting started in the video and film business. He's on a very tight budget and wants Mac laptop for travel & business.

Can I find a good used laptop for him without breaking the bank? I'm a PC person and don't know a thing about this area of shopping.

Suggestions please...

Posts: 5 | From: San Antonio, TX | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 09:49      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Used Mac laptops aren't exactly what I would call cheap, you'll probably need to shell out at least a grand for a used 15" Powerbook that would be good enough for video editing.
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Zatoichi
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 10:19      Profile for Zatoichi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Its good to know - more suggestions please!
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 11:27      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't make any serious Apple computer purchase decisions until after January...

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Zatoichi
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 11:37      Profile for Zatoichi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why?
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 11:38      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zatoichi:
Why?

Macworld
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 11:47      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Zatoichi ______________Comeing to this forum from a PC perspective, you are probably not aware that almost all Mac products are updated following an expo called Macworld, it is like the automobile companies and their fall releases. Old models get cheaper, and all of the new stuff is show cased.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 12:12      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And more so this year than others, there will be some earth-shattering news with the introduction of some Intel-based Mac products! (iBook and Mac mini, perhaps?)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 17:18      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
And more so this year than others, there will be some earth-shattering news with the introduction of some Intel-based Mac products! (iBook and Mac mini, perhaps?)

Allegedly! - though this has been so extensively trailed that the earth may well remain in its unshattered state if it happens, and there will be a lot of moaning if it doesn't.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 17:31      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually like Calli I am unconvinced of a MacExpo Intel based Mac launch - but I could be wrong (and frequently am...)

However it would probably be worth waiting till post expo to make a decision on a new Mac (unlike me who fearlessly went ahead and purchased a G4 iBook for my wife regardless - but I am an Apple fanboy anyway)

[Big Grin]

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted December 26, 2005 19:07      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you want a slightly cheaper Mac laptop, it can sometimes be worth checking the Apple Refurb store (linked from the main Apple Store online). They often have slightly older Powerbooks and iBooks that have been returned and refurbished (they come with a waranty) and typically have a 20-30% discount over their original price.

If your son isn't planning on doing extensive video editing on his laptop, it may be more practical to buy an iBook rather than a Powerbook. The downsides are smaller screens, a few less ports, less maximum memory capacity and a little less power than the Powerbooks, but the G4 iBooks are still capable of dealing with most of the stuff you throw at them (and for flights in economy seating I still prefer my 12" iBook over my 17" Powerbook for its smaller size). The big advantage is that iBooks are a *lot* cheaper than Powerbooks, so they're great value for money.

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The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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Tom- geeking around

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Icon 1 posted December 27, 2005 14:43      Profile for Tom- geeking around   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think I need to say what probably should be said at this point as well - even though my words wont be welcome here:

If money is an issue, talk to your son again if he is absolutely sure that it MUST be a MAc.
A Windows Laptop would definitely be cheaper and probably deliver a lot more performance than the Macintosh counterparts can for the same price.

Just check this option again. =)

Thomas

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zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted December 27, 2005 16:13      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you decide to get a Windows machine, take a look at the Dell Inspiron 700m. It's a nice little laptop - light, reasonably powerful for its size, has a gorgeous widescreen LCD, and best of all, can be found for well under a grand.
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TomtheMacMan
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Icon 1 posted December 27, 2005 21:26      Profile for TomtheMacMan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If he's doing video - get him an iBook with Final Cut Express. It'll be pro enough to work with him for quite some time, and it'll be cheap enough to not break the bank. I used to edit on a setup just like this before I moved up to editing on Avid Meridian and Avid XPress Pro HD at work and Final Cut Pro 5 at home.
(I work for a company that does video work for sports teams and events)

In terms of Windows, don't even think about it unless he's going to go Avid, which in my opinion runs better under Mac anyways. Also, Avid is hella expensive to make it do the kinds of things Final Cut can do.

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Zatoichi
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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 03:39      Profile for Zatoichi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks all for the advice; it's helped a bunch!
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maximile

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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 03:41      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, Zatoichi, it'd probably help us a bit if we knew more specifically what he'd be doing. Does he need to run any specific software? And will he be working on DV files, or HD? And will he be needing to capture with his laptop, or just edit?

EDIT: Oh... case closed?

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Zatoichi
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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 04:27      Profile for Zatoichi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
He's really just doing normal "work around the office" stuff. Emails, writing reports, online chat, internet lookup, filling out spreadsheets, keeping track of contacts, etc.

He needs to be very portable / wireless / some battery life. His last show was "Trading Spouses" -- on that one they would pick up everything from one location, fly across the country and film in a new location later in the day.

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 05:52      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zatoichi:
He's really just doing normal "work around the office" stuff. Emails, writing reports, online chat, internet lookup, filling out spreadsheets, keeping track of contacts, etc.

He needs to be very portable / wireless / some battery life. His last show was "Trading Spouses" -- on that one they would pick up everything from one location, fly across the country and film in a new location later in the day.

Sounds like an iBook would suit him well. A 12" iBook is a doddle to cart around, has a decent battery life, plenty enough power to do all the tasks above and has Airport wireless built in. The inherent extra security in OS X is a major benefit if you're hopping all over the place and connecting to different networks where you've no idea what sort of security they're running on them too.

If he wants a bigger screen for the 'office', then it's also easy to connect an iBook to a larger monitor for desk work. (I used to shuttle mine between 2 desk setups with 2nd screen + USB keyboard + mouse)

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The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 13:34      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When deciding how much the machine will cost, make sure you allow enough money to bump the RAM up to at least 768 MB (and preferably 1 GB).

Even more importantly whatever else you skimp on make sure you get the Applecare which extends your warranty from 1 to 3 years. In years gone by, Apple hardware cost a king's ransom (minor European royalty perhaps, but nonetheless a king), and as a result was built to withstand prolonged and serious abuse. Now they make stuff which though still more expensive than your average PC, is at least in the same ball park, and as a result is not nearly so robust. In addition laptops by their very nature are more fragile than a desk top machine. I would recommend Applecare for any Mac, but for a portable it is essential. I speak from bitter experience as I now have an 18 month old Powerbook, for which I must either spend 600+ on a new logic board, or buy a 1 GB memory module while hoping more of the existing silicon does not self destruct.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted December 28, 2005 14:13      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What he just said [Smile]

Memory wise, buy the memory 3rd party rather than from Apple. It works out a lot cheaper. Vendors such as Crucial.com guarantee their memory for Macs too.

As far as Applecare is concerned, it's an absolute must for a Powerbook, but less of an issue for an iBook. With the price of an iBook it's cheaper to get it covered on your office/household/travel insurance as a specified item if you're trecking around with it a lot. It's more likely to be stolen or broken accidentally than suffer a fault related problem after the first year.

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The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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