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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 2 Macbooks for home use only...need applecare?

2 Macbooks for home use only...need applecare?
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ptoomey3
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Apr 17, 2007, 08:44 PM
 
Hello,
My fiance and I are trading in our desktop for laptops, and as of now I am hoping to get 2 Santa Rosa based Macbooks. We will likely hardly ever take the machines outside the apartment, as we are mostly buying laptops for space savings and not mobility. I know that Applecare is often times recommended for Mac laptops. However, we are buying 2, and they won't be getting bumped around much. Do you still think Applecare is still worthwhile?
Patrick
     
j03
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Apr 17, 2007, 08:57 PM
 
Yes, what happens if your harddrive dies or your motherboard just goes dead? What now?

I just bought a laptop and after reading through google on whether or not to get applecare, I ended up buying it. I recommend it to you and anyone else.
     
ptoomey3  (op)
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Apr 17, 2007, 09:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by j03 View Post
Yes, what happens if your harddrive dies or your motherboard just goes dead? What now?

I just bought a laptop and after reading through google on whether or not to get applecare, I ended up buying it. I recommend it to you and anyone else.
So your opinion is that the other factors don't play in to the decision at all? For example, if we were just buying one machine then 200 bucks isn't so bad for applecare. But, for two machines we are talking $400. What's the probability we'll need to use the applecare on both machines? Might we be better off setting aside $400 dollars and then putting that toward whatever happens to go wrong? I mean, we are only talking about a $1200 dollar computer...$400 sounds like a lot for an insurance policy. Also, as I said, we won't be taking these on the road, and it seems to me that many of the blanket Applecare recommendations go something like "of course you should get Applecare on laptops, they are subject to much more abuse than desktops". If we take the abuse aspect out of the equation, is there anything inherently fragile about laptops?

Patrick
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ginoledesma
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Apr 17, 2007, 11:03 PM
 
Buy AppleCare when you can. You don't have to buy it up-front, but definitely get it before the first year of warranty is over. If you can, get it within the first 90 days (just because AppleCare support may treat you as a second-class citizen).

For the portables, AppleCare seems to be a worthwhile investment. In every portable I've owned (iBook G4, PowerBook G4, MacBook 13"), I've had to use AppleCare at least twice due to unexpected problems. That's probably not a good indication of the quality, but AppleCare service has been impeccable.
     
DigitalEl
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Apr 18, 2007, 01:39 AM
 
I've never gotten Applecare for any of my Apple products. I have yet to be burned. I understand it's sort of a Russian Roulette thing and that eventually I'll be hit up for a big repair. Until then, I'll keep rolling the dice.

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j03
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Apr 18, 2007, 06:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by ginoledesma View Post
Buy AppleCare when you can. You don't have to buy it up-front, but definitely get it before the first year of warranty is over. If you can, get it within the first 90 days (just because AppleCare support may treat you as a second-class citizen).

For the portables, AppleCare seems to be a worthwhile investment. In every portable I've owned (iBook G4, PowerBook G4, MacBook 13"), I've had to use AppleCare at least twice due to unexpected problems. That's probably not a good indication of the quality, but AppleCare service has been impeccable.
I 2nd this, I mean of course you can "roll the dice", but what happens if something goes? I mean sure you can replace it, but alot of people aren't too tech-savvy to do it on their on in which case they would be "burned" by fees by apple to fix whatever went.

Good luck. If you have the extra money try to go for it now or within the first 90 days
     
Dr. DDS
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Apr 18, 2007, 01:39 PM
 
like ginoledesma said, buy it when you can within an year, you never know if you are going to need it, but the costs with something goes wrong are huge... I had my logic board replaced. After 1 year of use of my ibook. lucky me i bought applecare because here in brazil i would had to spent almost 1000 dollars to replace it. By the way, applecare here costs something between 350-400 dollars... And a new ibook at the time were about 2500-3000 dollars!!!
in the end, i'm glad i still have apple care for 1 year.
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Atheist
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Apr 18, 2007, 01:49 PM
 
It's very simple. There is no right answer. It's all about playing the odds. If you buy it and something goes wrong... then it was worth it. If you buy it and nothing goes wrong... it was a waste of money (unless you count the peace of mind you get knowing your protected).
     
walkerjs
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Apr 18, 2007, 08:16 PM
 
Even if they aren't going to go outside, Macbooks are going to get moved around. My Macbook spends the vast majority of its time either on my desk at home, or on my desk at work with transport in a nice padded case between the two locations. For awhile it was spending quite a bit of time out and about with me at a hospital, but now we're back to the two desks and transporting daily.

My wife's Macbook, on the other hand, while it doesn't leave the house very often (other than that time it was in the hospital with my wife) it does get moved around inside the house wherever she might happen to be most comfortable using it. That might mean on the sofa, or in bed, or on the coffee table, or even in the kitchen. This ability was kind of the whole idea of moving her from a desk bound Mac Mini to a really portable laptop.

Also we have cats, and I'm regularly hitting my Macbook with air blasts to get cat fur out of the nooks.

I currently have Applecare for my Macbook, and we'll be getting Applecare for hers before the 90 day built-in warrantee is up. Aside from moving them around, sometimes stuff just happens. Hard drive starts clicking? Applecare will take care of that. RAM goes flaky? Applecare will take care of that. Battery exploding? Well, dunno about that, but you'd probably have a good case. 'lectric discharge from a lightning strike? Could happen; all without leaving the house (though that one might not be taken care of by Applecare; think I'll be running on battery whenever there's a lightning storm...power goes out that's just too bad.)
     
SVass
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Apr 18, 2007, 08:20 PM
 
I buy my machines with a credit card that extends the one year hardware warranty to two years! So, Applecare would only give me one year. $400 for one year is a lot for a 1k machine. sam
     
jersey
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Apr 18, 2007, 08:40 PM
 
Get Applecare. My logic board, on a 4 month old Macbook, saw an early demise this week. It's covered, unless they somehow decide it's magically my fault, otherwise $700-800 to repair via Apple.
     
ptoomey3  (op)
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Apr 18, 2007, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by SVass View Post
I buy my machines with a credit card that extends the one year hardware warranty to two years! So, Applecare would only give me one year. $400 for one year is a lot for a 1k machine. sam
I totally forgot about this. I have an Amex Blue that (I believe) does this warranty doubling. I've never actually had to make use of it, but this would be ideal. If something goes wrong, how does the warranty thing work? Do you work through Amex (or whomever your credit card company is)? If anyone has any experience with this I'd be interested in hearing about it. If this is true then $400 sounds mighty expensive for an extra year. I understand I wouldn't get the technical support, but in 7 years, and owning 4 apple machines, I've never actually made use of their support.
Patrick
     
ptoomey3  (op)
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Apr 18, 2007, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by jersey View Post
Get Applecare. My logic board, on a 4 month old Macbook, saw an early demise this week. It's covered, unless they somehow decide it's magically my fault, otherwise $700-800 to repair via Apple.
Wouldn't this be covered under the standard warranty? I've had issues with my prior apple machines, but it has always been within the warranty period.
Patrick
     
SVass
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Apr 18, 2007, 11:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by ptoomey3 View Post
I totally forgot about this. I have an Amex Blue that (I believe) does this warranty doubling. I've never actually had to make use of it, but this would be ideal. If something goes wrong, how does the warranty thing work?
My credit card bank (actually a credit union issuing Visa) has a contract with an insurance company that requires me to have the manufacturer or his rep make the repair and they will either pay the bill directly or refund the amount to me. The only time I had to use it was one day after my one year warranty period and Apple gave me a new adapter for my Powerbook so I did not have to use it. Last I heard, Apple had/has a ONE YEAR warranty on hardware. Your mileage may vary. Sam
     
BigDaddy
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Apr 26, 2007, 10:35 PM
 
I think based on the price of the laptop I would go without. I have a 800 G4 since 2003 and have not had any issues. I also have an original Clamshell iBook without any issues.
     
longwood
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Apr 27, 2007, 09:02 AM
 
I have applecare on my iBook, and while I have only had a problem once, it was a $500. So applecare paid for itself with just one visit. Also wouldn't it be $400 for a $2400 computer, after all you are buying two.
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amazing
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Apr 27, 2007, 12:15 PM
 
You have one year from date of purchase to make up your mind about buying Applecare. There are discounted prices for Applecare online, just do a search.

Basically, it depends on how deep your pockets are, and your tolerance for risk. If you have deep pockets, you can self-insure--but if you had deep pockets, you'd probably buy peace of mind upfront.
     
ptoomey3  (op)
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Apr 28, 2007, 09:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by longwood View Post
I have applecare on my iBook, and while I have only had a problem once, it was a $500. So applecare paid for itself with just one visit. Also wouldn't it be $400 for a $2400 computer, after all you are buying two.
I guess I was making the assumption that only one, if any, of the machines would probabalistically require servicing during the two year extended warranty. If both machines will likely need servicing then maybe it is not such a bad buy. Knowing me, I'll likely give in and buy it if I find a reasonable deal, though this credit card extended warranty coverage really gives me pause.
Patrick
     
ginoledesma
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Apr 28, 2007, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by ptoomey3 View Post
If both machines will likely need servicing then maybe it is not such a bad buy.
Note that AppleCare is tied to only one machine and is non-transferrabe, so you won't be able to buy warranty for one to cover both and "switch". Check with your Credit Card issuer on the details of their warranty extension programs. I understand some of them (AmEx?) require that you be charged by the original manufacturer, provide the CC Issuer the bill, and then they will reimburse you afterwards. This may or may not be inconvenient for you, so it's best to know the details beforehand.
     
rickrobin
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Apr 28, 2007, 07:52 PM
 
Just listen to this:

I did not get AppleCare with my iBook G4, but rather bought it with a Visa Titanium card, which added a year to the warranty. (This was some years ago.)

After about 1.5 years, the HD failed. (IBM/Hitachi garbage.) Visa told me to get an estimate from the repair facility of my choice.

Here was Apple's deal, which, except for the cost, would have been the same under AppleCare: I had no say about replacement brand, and they would only replace the drive with one of the same speed/capacity (4200rpm/40gig). They would not return the old drive to me. It would take a week to ten days. Out of warranty charge - $300.

Then I investigated what I could get for $300 from an online repair company. Here's what I wound up with: My choice drive - A Seagate, 5400rpm, 100 GIG drive, with 5 YEAR WARRANTY; return of the old drive; pick-up and delivery - 48 hour turn-around. Total repair cost to me: $0. Premium: $0.

Toward the end of the extension year Visa offered a further warranty for a premium. I don't remember the exact deal, but it was a good one. (I didn't go for it. Luckily the only problem I've had since was with the optical drive - wouldn't eject. I bought a refurbished one for under $40 and replaced it myself.)

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bstone
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Apr 28, 2007, 09:29 PM
 
I have a MacBook Core 2 Duo 2ghz with a superdrive. I love this machine. I got both AppleCare AND Safe Ware (Laptop Insurance From Safeware). I don't want to take any chances.

My MacBook is a refurb, so there is a slightly higher chance that it will fail in some way. Thus, I want to be extra careful about it.
     
misterdna
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Apr 29, 2007, 12:33 AM
 
I've always felt Applecare gives you more comprehensive support than any 3rd party could give. For instance, if something isn't working right, you can phone Apple and get help, perhaps figure out if the problem is hardware or software. I assume you couldn't get this from a third party. I've also been able to have a new machine shipped to me (while I sent back my old machine) after a series of tech support phone calls with Applecare. Without Applecare, I assume I'd have to drag the (out of standard warranty) machine to a shop, wait and possibly pay for a diagnosis, etc. Time is money, and I think Applecare can probably save time.

On the other hand, I've had people tell me they purchased non-Applecare protection plans that included accidental damage due to dropping their computer, etc. Applecare does not protect in those situations. I haven't seen these other plans put to the test, has anyone else?
     
vasic
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Apr 29, 2007, 02:11 AM
 
Buying AppleCare (or any other extended warranty) for refurbished products makes somewhat less sense than buying it for a brand new machine. Refurbs are always thoroughly inspected by Apple before they go out. New machines can be lemons with defective parts, which you'll have to repair (in-warranty, of course).

My ¢2 are as follows: buy with a credit card that provides double the warranty. At the end, of the second year, research your extension options. If your MacBooks had no issues whatsoever, more than likely, they won't develop any. If they did, then it will depend on when the problems begun; if early in the life (first few weeks), you're still good. If later, you may want to consider protecting yourself further.
     
bstone
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Apr 29, 2007, 02:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by vasic View Post
Buying AppleCare (or any other extended warranty) for refurbished products makes somewhat less sense than buying it for a brand new machine. Refurbs are always thoroughly inspected by Apple before they go out. New machines can be lemons with defective parts, which you'll have to repair (in-warranty, of course).

My ¢2 are as follows: buy with a credit card that provides double the warranty. At the end, of the second year, research your extension options. If your MacBooks had no issues whatsoever, more than likely, they won't develop any. If they did, then it will depend on when the problems begun; if early in the life (first few weeks), you're still good. If later, you may want to consider protecting yourself further.
I always thought the opposite. If it's a refurb that means someone returned it cause it was bad for some reason. Apple fixed that one thing and "certified" it, probably by running the Apple Hardware Test CD. It might get more heavily inspected, I dunno, but I always get AppleCare no matter what.
     
kenaustus
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Apr 29, 2007, 03:30 AM
 
I always buy Apple Care and it has paid off for me. WHile Apple uses brand name parts I've had hard drive problems with a toshiba HD, my wife's iBook is currently in the shop getting a new track pad, etc.

Just as important is that you get free phone support during the 3 year period. If you get a problem, or just have a question you get first rate technical support from an Apple employee who actually wants to help you. that is worth half the cost by itself.
     
foo2
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Apr 29, 2007, 09:29 AM
 
I think a lot of this depends on how technically savvy the owner is.

If one is savvy, the only advantage is a one-extra-year hardware warranty (assuming he bought with a credit card that doubles the warranty) - and for $400 that's a bad deal for a $1200 item!

If one isn't savvy, like, for example, my mom, there's an advantage to getting the protection, but chances are she'll call me long before she calls Apple (in fact, that's what happens) so I told her not to get the protection on her next Mac. (She's not comfortable calling Apple's support - she'd rather call me - grin).

It just seems that spending $400 on a $1200 item (25% of the cost!) on the fairly tiny chance (maybe 1 in 10? 1 in 15?) that something could go wrong is silly. Apple *makes* money on this, folks, so you have to ask yourself how they do that, and so why should you go along with it....
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iREZ
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Apr 29, 2007, 02:05 PM
 
buy it but not at the same time as the purchase

buy your macbooks...save up the money for applecare for about 340 days...and before the years up, you could decide if you want to keep your machine and buy applecare for it, or sell it and use the money you saved to upgrade to a newer model. it makes no sense to buy applecare before the first years up imho.
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maybesew
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Apr 30, 2007, 07:12 AM
 
You all raise some valid points, but there is some flawed logic in this discussion.

Just because you deem it less likely that there will be a problem with both computers, does not mean it is not possible. You should not look at this equation as a $400 "insurance policy" for a $1200 computer. The odds are still the same that is 1 price for the Applecare for 1 computer, and the same price for another Applecare for the other computer.

A few facts to consider as well. You CAN return Applecare at any point between the time that you purchase it and the time it expires for a pro-rated refund. Just call them and cancel it, and a check is in the mail.

If you are going to consider selling this computer within a few years to upgrade, Applecare adds significant value. I am speaking from personal experience of computers I have sold as well as friends of mine. If they are covered by Applecare then they sell for more. Think of the person browsing ebay for a computer and they see that it still has 2 years of Applecare left on it.

The extended service plans of Platinum Visa's and American Express are definitely nice to add an additional year of coverage to your computer, but it's that third year that would logically have the highest failure rate, and the only way to cover that is with Applecare.

A last, and somewhat little know fact, that I heard from a genius, is that all retail store's are now striving to do as close to 100% of the repairs in store rather than shipping to the repair facilities. And they are also getting many more parts to work on the computers with. So the turn around times are getting significantly faster.
     
foo2
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Apr 30, 2007, 07:28 AM
 
Just because you deem it less likely that there will be a problem with both computers, does not mean it is not possible. You should not look at this equation as a $400 "insurance policy" for a $1200 computer.
___

Erm...huh? If it's not an insurance policy (25% of the original device's cost for a 1/10 or 1/20 chance of breakage is shockingly high - Apple's making big $$$ on this) then what is it?

And it should be noted that that spent $400 could have been used to buy a better, faster computer in 2-3 years...but now it's money lost & wasted (for many people - certainly not all, granted).
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maybesew
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Apr 30, 2007, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by foo2 View Post
Just because you deem it less likely that there will be a problem with both computers, does not mean it is not possible. You should not look at this equation as a $400 "insurance policy" for a $1200 computer.
___

Erm...huh? If it's not an insurance policy (25% of the original device's cost for a 1/10 or 1/20 chance of breakage is shockingly high - Apple's making big $$$ on this) then what is it?

And it should be noted that that spent $400 could have been used to buy a better, faster computer in 2-3 years...but now it's money lost & wasted (for many people - certainly not all, granted).
Foo. They are buying TWO computers. Not 1. They are combining the cost of TWO Applecare protection plans, but then comparing it to the price of ONE computer.
     
foo2
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Apr 30, 2007, 08:26 AM
 
$250 then to $1200 is still about 1/5 the total purchase price, which seems very, very high to me for a productline that is considered one of the most reliable in the industry...
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ptoomey3  (op)
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Apr 30, 2007, 07:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by maybesew View Post
Foo. They are buying TWO computers. Not 1. They are combining the cost of TWO Applecare protection plans, but then comparing it to the price of ONE computer.
I think comparing the price to one computer is valid. Let's think of it this way. Let us say there is a 10% chance of failure for a given machine. Assuming statistical independence there is only 1/10*1/10 = 1/100 chance of both machines failing. So, statistically speaking, it is likely that one will only use the applecare for a single machine...the trick being that you don't know which one :-(, so you are forced to buy Applecare for both. Let's say that a machine dies (logic board, screen, whatever). I could probably sell the machine on ebay (disclosing the failure), take the $400 saved in Applecare, and go buy a new (updated) machine with minimal cost.
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Apr 30, 2007, 07:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by bstone View Post
My MacBook is a refurb, so there is a slightly higher chance that it will fail in some way. Thus, I want to be extra careful about it.
Is that true, or just a hunch? I have not seen any numbers on this.
     
maybesew
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Apr 30, 2007, 11:05 PM
 
ptoomey, ultimately the choice is yours, as it is everyone's whether or not to get Applecare. I'm jsut telling you the logic doesn't apply the way you think it does. The computers have to be considered individually. If the hard drive goes on one and the logic board goes on the other, then what would your plan be? Using your logic that those individual components could fail, but not likely to BOTH fail, you could still wind up with two broken and out of warranty computers.

Something to also consider is that the minimum cost for an out of warranty repair on a macbook is $289. Thats the flat rate shipped out to a repair facility price. So 1 single repair is more than the cost of Applecare. Of course if you can do your own repairs, you could save a lot of money if you needed to replace the hard drive. Something like the logic board though and you have to go through Apple.

Depends on how you'd like the following situation to play out:

1.5 years from now the logic board goes bad. 1 situation is that you have Applecare and you bring it in to your local Apple store and they fix it the same day and you have your computer back. The other being that you don't have Applecare so you decide to sell it with a busted logic board and someone decides to buy it from you for whatever the depreciated value is minus the cost of the repair (possibly still $289 at that point). And once that sale goes throught you put that money towards buying a replacement.
     
Gamoe
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May 1, 2007, 07:09 AM
 
Let me add my 2 cents...

Frankly, I think AppleCare is a big scam. If AppleCare was for covering accidental damages to a Mac, that would be great. But Apple is asking you to fork over quite an amount of dough just to cover things that should not break anyway on a quality computer and that Apple should already cover for that amount of time.

If Apple really stood behind the quality of their products they should cover all of this for the amount of time they deem it should work-- at the very least three to five years.

Anyway, that aside...

Sure, AppleCare "pays for itself" if something (that shouldn't) goes really wrong... such as the motherboard or any Apple-specific part. However, as has been pointed out, the savvy, technically inclined (or adventurous) Mac user will be able to fix a number of other problems with minimal cost. Certainly, a hard drive or RAM or the battery is *not* a good reason to get AppleCare-- even for the non-technical user-- it's as easy to replace as unscrewing three screws.

But, then again if your motherboard or display go screwy then AppleCare might be very useful to you, even though I think it's not exactly a fair deal.
     
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May 1, 2007, 01:53 PM
 
I wish I'd been able to afford AppleCare for the iMac I bought in Nov. 2005. But, I was a student, I'd used up all my spare money and had to dip into my tuition money, and I figured, Apple's pretty good, right?

My motherboard went this February, 4 months out of warranty. $1000 to replace it. Hmm.... $1000 repair bill vs. $200 warranty...

(Since I was out of school and working full time, living at home, I ended up forking out a little more and upgrading to a brand new 20" Intel iMac. WIth AppleCare.)
     
ginoledesma
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May 1, 2007, 11:51 PM
 
Frankly, I think AppleCare is a big scam. If AppleCare was for covering accidental damages to a Mac, that would be great.
I agree that "having to buy AppleCare" can denote a potential poor quality of a product. After all, if it is built as well as we all think it should be, it shouldn't have much problems within its life expectancy. Looking back a bit, though, we've seen issues pop-up one after the other — iBook G3 Logic Board failures, PB/MB overheating issues, MacBook discoloration and "mooing" fan issues, battery deformities. Granted if an issue is widespread enough they'll repair them even out of warranty.

When I was a student I thought the same, that AppleCare was a potentially lucrative money-making scheme, but even then, with the amount of abuse portables take, it was always a worthwhile investment..
     
macbookpro-user
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Aug 14, 2007, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by misterdna View Post
I've always felt Applecare gives you more comprehensive support than any 3rd party could give. For instance, if something isn't working right, you can phone Apple and get help, perhaps figure out if the problem is hardware or software. I assume you couldn't get this from a third party. I've also been able to have a new machine shipped to me (while I sent back my old machine) after a series of tech support phone calls with Applecare. Without Applecare, I assume I'd have to drag the (out of standard warranty) machine to a shop, wait and possibly pay for a diagnosis, etc. Time is money, and I think Applecare can probably save time.

On the other hand, I've had people tell me they purchased non-Applecare protection plans that included accidental damage due to dropping their computer, etc. Applecare does not protect in those situations. I haven't seen these other plans put to the test, has anyone else?
I just bought a new macbookpro 3 months ago and I had an accident where I tripped outside and it bounced off the concrete Lanai just over a week ago. Our extended warranty did not cover accidental damage but we have renters insurance with USAA (along with other policies) with a computer add on and they sent me the full amount to purchase a new lapbookpro. It took less than a week for them to process my claim and transfer the money to me. We were only covered for $3000 at the time but I upped it to $5000 as my husband has a windows computer and we are covered for software and viruses through our renters insurance. He also travels with his laptop so now our computers are covered for loss or damage anywhere in the world. We are not covered for wear and tear though so I am going to look at the applecare plan to see if is worth buying as my extended warranty was not worth the paper it was written on, not transferrable to my new lapbook pro so I feel that I threw $139.00 to the wind. you really have to read these warranties very carefully..

I hope this helped...
     
walkerjs
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Aug 14, 2007, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by macbookpro-user View Post
I just bought a new macbookpro 3 months ago and I had an accident where I tripped outside and it bounced off the concrete Lanai just over a week ago. Our extended warranty did not cover accidental damage but we have renters insurance with USAA (along with other policies) with a computer add on and they sent me the full amount to purchase a new lapbookpro. It took less than a week for them to process my claim and transfer the money to me.
Whoa, USAA renters insurance will cover stuff like this? Or do I need to call them and tell them we have two Macbooks in the place and we'd like them to be placed under coverage for accidental damage? Because I love my Macbook, and while AppleCare has already covered a repair more insurance would always be good. Not that I don't take very good care of it, but you know, stuff happens.
     
mavherzog
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:09 AM
 
For those of you that don't think we live in an "all-in-one world" as SJ puts it...you forget that the laptop is the ultimate all-in-one. Even the portable MacBooks are often purchased as desktop replacements.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Aug 15, 2007, 03:32 AM
 
Well, I'm not a mechanically inclined person (it took me a well over a week to figure out how to replace my bike's rear tire, among things). I would never pry open my MacBook. There's an Apple Store in a shopping plaza that has over 4 bus lines running between there and my college. So I sprung for AppleCare (since I plan to use my MacBook for the next 4 years, hopefully). It's really circumstantial. Whereas if my dad, who took apart out iBook for fun, were in this position, he'd just stick with the standard warranty.
MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.16 (Black)
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