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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Urgent Buying Questions

Urgent Buying Questions
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tavilach
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Jul 28, 2004, 01:21 AM
 
I'm about to purchase a PowerBook, but have some pressing questions that I'd like answered.

1. I know that AppleCare provides an extended warranty and lots of support, but what do people do for insurance? Is insurance a part of AppleCare? If not, is there something that most PowerBook users purchase as insurance?

2. Is AppleCare somewhat of a necessity, or just a little bonus?

3. How long does it typically take a computer to ship?

4. Can I customize my computer at the Apple Store, or must I do that online?

5. I don't see much use for a SuperDrive, other than the occasionally backup, and a possible purchase of a video camera. Still, would having the SuperDrive boost resell value by a lot, as the buyers would see it as more of a high-end notebook (as all of the expensive ones come with it installed by default).

6. The upgrade to a 5400 RPM HD boosts the speed a lot, doesn't it?

7. 512 MB of RAM is a good amount, right? I think I might purchase another PNY stick a little later.

I'll probably have more questions coming .
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." -Archimedes
     
azdude
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Jul 28, 2004, 01:33 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
I'm about to purchase a PowerBook, but have some pressing questions that I'd like answered.
Finally!
j/k... Congrats!


1. I know that AppleCare provides an extended warranty and lots of support, but what do people do for insurance? Is insurance a part of AppleCare? If not, is there something that most PowerBook users purchase as insurance?
I've heard a few people speak of www.safeware.com for accidental damage insurance. (well, "everything" insurance")


2. Is AppleCare somewhat of a necessity, or just a little bonus?
In my opinion, it's necessary, but this is probably because I have a family full of iBooks with failing logic boards. Therefore, my confidence is low, but with AppleCare, I can sleep at night.


3. How long does it typically take a computer to ship?
This depends on what you get. It will tell you when you add it to your cart. Stock models ship VERY quick, BTO options take a little longer. If there's a delay, they'll let you know before you give the cash. (see EST SHIP DATE column in the cart)


4. Can I customize my computer at the Apple Store, or must I do that online?
All customizations must be done online, although an Apple Store employee will be glad to walk you through the process in-store.


5. I don't see much use for a SuperDrive, other than the occasionally backup, and a possible purchase of a video camera. Still, would having the SuperDrive boost resell value by a lot, as the buyers would see it as more of a high-end notebook (as all of the expensive ones come with it installed by default).
All true points. The Superdrive is a great way to save money ($200, or $180 on EDU prices), but it can be very useful... now and in the future. I was going to remove it from my 1.5GHz model, but got anxious and bought it stock fromt he retail store... I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it, though--- Backups and possible DV in the future as you mentioned.


6. The upgrade to a 5400 RPM HD boosts the speed a lot, doesn't it?
Yes... it is a significant upgrade.


7. 512 MB of RAM is a good amount, right? I think I might purchase another PNY stick a little later.
It's a good amount for the stuff you said you'll be doing in the other threads. I plan to buy a 1GB in 6 months or so... I just don't have a dire need for it now, and it'd be a nice bump (and hopefully less than $200) by then.


I'll probably have more questions coming .
Go for it. Glad you're getting this going... you're going to love it! Congrats again!
17" 2.33GHz C2D MacBook Pro / 320GB / 2GB
     
tavilach  (op)
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Jul 28, 2004, 01:43 AM
 
Thanks for the great response!

About AppleCare...if I don't get it, can I get the same support for a fee?

Edit: Oh, I see...the main point is the extended warranty .
( Last edited by tavilach; Jul 28, 2004 at 01:50 AM. )
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." -Archimedes
     
azdude
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Jul 28, 2004, 01:54 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
Thanks for the great response!

About AppleCare...if I don't get it, can I get the same support for a fee?
If you don't buy AppleCare,...

...Within the first 90 days, you get the exact same coverage as if you did.

...From 90 days to 1 year, you pay $49 per phone call to Apple.

...After 1 year, your warranty is *up.* Phone calls = $49. Hardware repairs are many hundreds.

If you do buy AppleCare,...

...You get free phone support on Apple Hardware *AND* software for 3 years.

...Your hardware warranty (accidental damage not covered) is extended to 3 years. Repairs free.


To answer your question directly, yes.... but the "fees" can be huge. One thing for you to consider is that AppleCare can be purchased **ANY TIME** within your first year of ownership, and it will still cover up to 3 years after your hardware purchase date. I.E. Delay your AppleCare purchase until next summer, and pay for it with one of your first few summer job 2005 paychecks.
17" 2.33GHz C2D MacBook Pro / 320GB / 2GB
     
incubusdaemon
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Jul 28, 2004, 05:54 AM
 
does the price on apple care change at all during the first year?

also, don't you have to send the computer in to get it fixed without apple care, but they dispatch a tech to your house with it?
     
Maflynn
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:29 AM
 
The price does not change nor does waiting effect the expiration date. It still is three years after purchase.

For PB's I'd recommend it. I myself have been waiting but my year is almost up so I'll have to pony up the cash.

The first repair will cover the cost of the applecare warranty.

Mike
     
Synotic
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:31 AM
 
Originally posted by incubusdaemon:
also, don't you have to send the computer in to get it fixed without apple care, but they dispatch a tech to your house with it?
Dispatch a tech to your house?! Where'd you hear this? Now that'd be service
     
Randman
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:37 AM
 
1.You can have your parents check to see if their homeowners' policy cann be extended to cover the book.

2. Applecare is extra protection, but you needn't buy it right away. However, it would add a little to the resale value as well.

3. It would depend on what specs you order.

4. Have to check with your Applestore.

5. If you are ever going to work with video, it's a good idea.

6. A faster hard drive will help on many apps, but memory is as important, if not more, in many cases.

7. 512 is the minimum. You really should order at least 1GB (but not from Apple as it's too expensive). Don't shortchange yourself on ram, it's very, very important.

Keep these questions to one thread. You have about 19 concurrent ones going on about the same topic.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
Maflynn
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Jul 28, 2004, 07:51 AM
 
to be clear on this, a home owners policy will not cover it if there's a defect in the laptop, i.e., the hard drive crashes. That's the difference between the insurance and extended warranty.

In comparing a homeowners rider or a specific policy from safeware determine what the differences are, the deductible. Will both cover accidential damage, such as spilling coffee on the laptop (hint don't drink near your PB). My guess is the rider on the homeowners policy won't cover this type of damage.


4. Can I customize my computer at the Apple Store, or must I do that online?
Build To Order is only available through the online apple store, otherwise you get a stock configured computer.

5. I don't see much use for a SuperDrive, other than the occasionally backup
Your right at this stage for you, but backups are important. If you think your going to use a video cam in the next couple of years get it but at this stage it seems for your needs as you've communicated its not a neccesity

6. The upgrade to a 5400 RPM HD boosts the speed a lot, doesn't it?
I've heard people exclaim a very noticable increase and the opposite. I guess it boils down to how you use it.

7. 512 MB of RAM is a good amount, right? I think I might purchase another PNY stick a little later.
I think 512MB is a bare minimum. If you are going the BTO route, get the 512MB in a single stick. You then only need to purchase an additional 512MB. If you get it in two 256mb stick you in effect throw one away to make room.

If budget was a concern I'd look at increasing the ram over getting the faster hard drive.


Mike
     
rmongold
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Jul 28, 2004, 08:43 AM
 
Actually, you'd be surprised what the rider on the Homeowner policy will cover. Or even a renter's insurance policy for that matter.

I had a Pismo (almost 3 years old) knocked off the counter by a cat and it was replaced under a $0 deductible rider on my renter's policy with a shiny 15" AlBook. I believe the only thing not covered under a lot of them is an act of war.

Now with regards to hardware defects, I would almost assume that the policy rider would extend coverage to that as well (primarily once your warrantee is up - you wouldn't want to enter a claim if you don't have to ), but don't quote me on that.
     
cloudaj
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Jul 28, 2004, 09:52 AM
 
about the $50 fee after 90 days, afaik they charge you $50 if they can fix the problem over the telephone, but if the problem requires sending the apple product back to apple for repairs, there is no fee. Just thought I would clarify...
     
   
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