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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Gettting a new Macbook

Gettting a new Macbook
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Noonster
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Apr 15, 2008, 05:43 AM
 
Hi,

I am thinking about getting a new Macbook to replace my iMac G5 as I want something more portable but also something I can dock onto a desk when at home etc... However I have a couple of questions:

1. Is it worth buying now or are new ones imminent?
2. If I plug the Macbook into a HD TV using VGA cable will I be able to set the resolution higher than 1280x800?

The reason I ask number 2 is that I do some web-design and really think I will miss the space that I have on my 20" G5 with it being a bigger resolution, however if plugging it into an external display (such as HD TV) will allow me to then have a bigger resolution all will be good.

Your help is appreciated.
Darren
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naphtali
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Apr 15, 2008, 06:28 AM
 
1) How soon do you need a portable? There's always something new around the corner, and this time the next update is widely rumoured to be around June. If you need one urgently, then definitely get one - the current machines are great.

2) Yes, the MacBook will support up to 1920 x 1200 (Apple - MacBook - Technical Specifications) on an external display. However, that depends on the specifications of your display as well. You may well end up with a stretched image, which probably isn't too useful for web design.
     
Noonster  (op)
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Apr 15, 2008, 06:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by naphtali View Post
1) How soon do you need a portable? There's always something new around the corner, and this time the next update is widely rumoured to be around June. If you need one urgently, then definitely get one - the current machines are great.

2) Yes, the MacBook will support up to 1920 x 1200 (Apple - MacBook - Technical Specifications) on an external display. However, that depends on the specifications of your display as well. You may well end up with a stretched image, which probably isn't too useful for web design.
1) Well I have the 20" iMac G5 now with 1GB of Ram and its fine and I am in no real desperate need of a laptop to be honest, but I do want to get one so I have portability and can take it anywhere however I have copied without one up till now so waiting will not be the end of the world.

I suppose its like anything though, that when you get it in your head you want one that you just want it now lol. However June is not that far away and if they are going to be the same price but better then its worth waiting as I would imagine it would then be roughly a year (ish) before another release so you will have the latest version for quite some time rather than a couple of months. Make sense?

2) That all makes sense. Was planning on plugging it into a 32" Samsung HDTV (not sure on the res), but I could end up buying a 20" Widescreen (cheapish?) at some point later in the year so i can dock in that, however ideally I would like to use the 32" but only is it looks good and does give me more work area. I am imagining a 20" monitor would be a better option in the long run though.
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naphtali
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Apr 15, 2008, 06:48 AM
 
Yep I get what you mean about the updates. Really wanted to wait for June too but I need one urgently so I've just got to get over it haha just placed my order so I'll be a happy camper once Apple gets round to processing it. (I went with the MacBook Pro for the screen and slightly better build quality)

I think your screen's resolution is likely to be 1336 x 768. I don't know how it's laid out and I've never connected a computer to my TV. Good chance it might be stretched though. You could probably try connecting your iMac to the TV to get an idea of how things will appear.
     
MacosNerd
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Apr 15, 2008, 06:52 AM
 
Its really difficult to pin apple down on the next model refresh. The last refresh on the MB was last February, so its your call if this at the end of the product cycle. I suppose if they were going to update the MB line shortly it would be in the month June but that like anything else is a guess.
     
Noonster  (op)
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Apr 15, 2008, 01:29 PM
 
Know its hard to know for definate if/when the next modal will be out. I have heard that the new ones will be not made of Plastic, obviously I know this is only a rumour however I think I want a plastic one...

I am very tempted to order one now to be honest as if its only a slight speed increase or something small then I don't mind. However if they add the same touch pad as the Pro and other bits and bobs that really make it better I will be gutted.

Oh what to do...
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webb3201
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Apr 15, 2008, 07:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Noonster View Post
Know its hard to know for definate if/when the next modal will be out. I have heard that the new ones will be not made of Plastic, obviously I know this is only a rumour however I think I want a plastic one...

I am very tempted to order one now to be honest as if its only a slight speed increase or something small then I don't mind. However if they add the same touch pad as the Pro and other bits and bobs that really make it better I will be gutted.

Oh what to do...

Just grab a Black Mac Book and install 3-4 gb ram and a 320 gb hard drive and enjoy. In my household, we have an iMac, Macbook and Macbook Pro, the Macbook is my favorite and the black reminds me of my old Pismo days. Its durable, and fast, and will be a great machine for you. Something new may come out..but youll be happy with a wonderful machine with all the bugs worked out!
Read my MacWebb column and other great Mac articles at Lowendmac.com

Owner of a MacBook Pro and various other Macs.
     
Cold Warrior
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Apr 15, 2008, 07:29 PM
 
Doesn't it suck working off of an HDTV? Just get an external LCD monitor up to the MB's max supported.
     
Mastrap
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Apr 15, 2008, 09:57 PM
 
That's exactly right. TVs are no substitute for a decent screen.

I've just moved from a 24" iMac to a 15" MBP and have no problems to report.
     
Noonster  (op)
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by webb3201 View Post
Just grab a Black Mac Book and install 3-4 gb ram and a 320 gb hard drive and enjoy. In my household, we have an iMac, Macbook and Macbook Pro, the Macbook is my favorite and the black reminds me of my old Pismo days. Its durable, and fast, and will be a great machine for you. Something new may come out..but youll be happy with a wonderful machine with all the bugs worked out!
On the apple site no MacBook offers more than 250gb HD and also 4gb is over £200 to add in.

Can not justify that... would be looking at 250gb HD but with only the 2GB memory I would imagine.
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Noonster  (op)
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Apr 16, 2008, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
Doesn't it suck working off of an HDTV? Just get an external LCD monitor up to the MB's max supported.
Obviously its not as good as a monitor but I have heard its not really too bad at all?

Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
That's exactly right. TVs are no substitute for a decent screen.

I've just moved from a 24" iMac to a 15" MBP and have no problems to report.
So in theory thats like moving from a 20" to a 13.3" (well similar), I think I should be okay... like I said its the resolution space I am worried about when using Photoshop etc... then again it might not really be that much of a problem?

As for getting an External Monitor its not really an option due to money to be honest. Spending around £800 total is my limit and the MacBook will take me to that with the extra HD and choosing the 2.4 with superdrive. I could probably look into getting one in 6 months time though.
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Faust
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Noonster View Post
On the apple site no MacBook offers more than 250gb HD and also 4gb is over £200 to add in.

Can not justify that... would be looking at 250gb HD but with only the 2GB memory I would imagine.
You can buy third-party memory which will be significantly cheaper. I just bought a new black MacBook as my secondary device a few weeks ago and added 4GB memory and the extra cost wasn't much. I think it was around 100 Euro or close to that.
     
Noonster  (op)
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:48 AM
 
Does changing the memory yourself void any warranty then? 100 euro for 4GB is very good especially when its over £200 to upgrade on the apple site, i mean its more than half the price plus you could always sell the standard memory to re-coop some of the money back.

Infact just looked on Mr Memory – memory for computers, mobile phones & cameras and you can get 4GB for £56.16. Not sure what make of memory it is though so would need to check but thats very cheap. Need to know about the warranty though.

Thanks...
( Last edited by Noonster; Apr 16, 2008 at 08:00 AM. )
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Noonster  (op)
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:51 AM
 
Just looked in to the Harddrive upgrade and it seems like a fair price that Apple charge to upgrade to 250gb so would be happy to pay that. However definitely looks like a better option to get the memory elsewhere and then sell the 2GB to re-coop some of the costs.

Who makes the memory in the Macbook and which is the best replacement?
( Last edited by Noonster; Apr 16, 2008 at 08:01 AM. )
MacBook • 13.3" MacBook Aluminum Unibody, 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 250GB
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SierraDragon
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Apr 16, 2008, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Noonster View Post
Who makes the memory in the Macbook and which is the best replacement?
Various vendors sell to Apple. One excellent third party source is OWC: Find the latest Performance Upgrades, Firewire and USB Hard Drives, SATA, Memory, Laptop Battery, and more at OWC.

-Allen Wicks
     
Noonster  (op)
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Apr 17, 2008, 02:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Various vendors sell to Apple. One excellent third party source is OWC: Find the latest Performance Upgrades, Firewire and USB Hard Drives, SATA, Memory, Laptop Battery, and more at OWC.

-Allen Wicks
Do they deliver all over the world... I live in the UK thats all.

Are all memory makers pretty similar in regards performance, or is there one that stands out from the crowd?.
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Faust
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Apr 17, 2008, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Noonster View Post
Does changing the memory yourself void any warranty then? 100 euro for 4GB is very good especially when its over £200 to upgrade on the apple site, i mean its more than half the price plus you could always sell the standard memory to re-coop some of the money back.

Infact just looked on Mr Memory – memory for computers, mobile phones & cameras and you can get 4GB for £56.16. Not sure what make of memory it is though so would need to check but thats very cheap. Need to know about the warranty though.

Thanks...
I wish I could answer those questions. I didn't do it myself but in a Apple-certified store upon purchase, so the warranty is not affected in my case. I hope someone can help answer your questions concerning warranty.
     
naphtali
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Apr 17, 2008, 09:53 AM
 
I think the general (unspoken?) rule is that whatever you change - hard drives or memory - will not be covered by the warranty, while the rest of the machine will still be under AppleCare.

I've done post-purchase upgrades on various Macs over the years and they've been good about fixing other faulty parts e.g. screens. You'll just have to go straight to the 3rd party manufacturers/retail store when your new parts fail.


By the way, this was just posted
AppleInsider | Apple orders aluminum 13-inch MacBook shells, 3G iPhone chips

A worker at a Taiwanese case manufacturer posting to one of the Taiwan's largest technology forums claims (link withheld to protect identity) that his unnamed employer has just this week received orders to produce enclosures for new MacBook systems.

...

...while numerous indicators have also suggest that MacBooks and MacBook Pros must wait until at least June, when Intel unveils Centrino 2 and vendors can begin using the next-generation mobile platform.
     
MacosNerd
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Apr 17, 2008, 11:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by naphtali View Post
I think the general (unspoken?) rule is that whatever you change - hard drives or memory - will not be covered by the warranty, while the rest of the machine will still be under AppleCare.
I think its less unspoken and more common sense. Apple is not about to warranty non-apple supplied parts that you did not buy from apple
     
naphtali
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Apr 17, 2008, 11:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by MacosNerd View Post
I think its less unspoken and more common sense. Apple is not about to warranty non-apple supplied parts that you did not buy from apple
Yes definitely. The OP was worried about not getting help with the rest of the machine
     
msuper69
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Apr 19, 2008, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Noonster View Post
Does changing the memory yourself void any warranty then?
...
Just save the original Apple memory/hard drive. If you need to have Apple serivce it, swap the third party memory/hard drive out with the saved original stuff.

Third party stuff doesn't void the warranty but you've got to put the Apple stuff back in.
     
jwpacker
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Apr 20, 2008, 10:50 PM
 
I was a little concerned about the limited screen real estate on my Macbook, but with a few tweaks, it's not bad to work on at all (can't recommend putting your dock on the right or left side enough - these wide screens just seem to work better that way).

That said, we plugged the wife's Macbook into our HDTV using a VGA adapter and were tremendously impressed with the color depth, and the quality of the picture. It was best at 1384x908, I think, for resolution, and the fonts were crisp and we seriously debated getting a wireless keyboard and mouse for using the computer with our TV as it's monitor full time.

You'll have to try it with your 32" unit to see how it looks, but on our 46", it was magical!
     
Noonster  (op)
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May 13, 2008, 05:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by jwpacker View Post
I was a little concerned about the limited screen real estate on my Macbook, but with a few tweaks, it's not bad to work on at all (can't recommend putting your dock on the right or left side enough - these wide screens just seem to work better that way).

That said, we plugged the wife's Macbook into our HDTV using a VGA adapter and were tremendously impressed with the color depth, and the quality of the picture. It was best at 1384x908, I think, for resolution, and the fonts were crisp and we seriously debated getting a wireless keyboard and mouse for using the computer with our TV as it's monitor full time.

You'll have to try it with your 32" unit to see how it looks, but on our 46", it was magical!
Hi,

Thanks for all the info... very helpful indeed. I have just found somewhere where I can get Macbook with 4GB Ram and 250GB HD for £854 delivered. Apple Retail has it for over £1,000. So this is a good saving. Very reputable company in the UK etc... so no worries about where I would be getting it.

Sounds like a very good price to me? However it does make me wonder if its that good of a price because they know something I do not about a new one coming out?

Still very unsure about what to do...
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brettcamp
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May 26, 2008, 07:15 PM
 
You might check the specs on that discounted MacBook; it could be the previous generation. I saved about $400 (if you include the bundled AppleCare) by buying the previous model at discount when the new ones came out. Granted, it's six months' old technology but I don't need bleeding edge nearly as much as I need $400. Ask the vendor.
     
   
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