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Laptop consideration.

November 8th, 2006 at 04:17 pm

Post #2 of the day.

I miss having a laptop. When mine died it was a very sad day. I had decided that when the time came to replace it I would get a Mac. I do need a computer for work, and work has kindly lent me (possibly given but I'm treating it as lent) a desktop to use. It's older, clunky, takes forever to do things, is noisy so I hibernate it when I'm not using it, has only one working USB port out of four, etc. Not to mention the fact that if I ever do get another job, they'll probably want their computer back. Or not.


I got to thinking about it, especially since I'm really close to closing out Phase One of my Three Phase Plan (you can't tell cuz I won't be updating it til the next statement comes out but I'm very excited about the potential). What I'm thinking is, after I finish Phase Two (savings accounts totalling $1k), perhaps I could buy a laptop.

The small MacBooks run just $1099. It's not razzle dazzle but it's functional. Of course the one I really want is the black one but only one of the higher end ones comes in black.

I wouldn't touch my savings but rather could do a balance transfer on CC2 (that'll be empty) and have six months to pay it off at 6.99%, vs applying for Apple Credit and hoping for 13.74%. Whatever isn't paid off in 6 months of me putting every extra dime onto the credit card will be paid for out of savings. Total would actually be more like $1348 because I'd want the extended warrenty. Knowing my luck with computers, and how long my last one lasted, this is a necessity for me.

But it really is a want more than a need. I'm trying so hard to pay things off and changing habits (ie I rarely by books or dvds anymore) but having a functioning computer that is Mine really is an important thing to me. It's something to think about at least.

11 Responses to “Laptop consideration.”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    I suppose it wouldn't help that I have been an avid Mac fan for years and am typing this reponse on a Mac laptop.... Big Grin

    Well, I guess I still have to play the part of the killjoy, since we're all suppose to be on this so-called personal finance and frugality thing whateverthatis. Hehehe.

    The black Macbook (an excellent choice by the way, just between you and me) is unfortunately no better than its white equilavent. The specs are the same, but the color black is the only reason why it costs roughly $200 more.

    While we're at it, Macbooks are, spec-wise not much different from any other Merom (Core 2 Duo) laptops that are out there now. Dells can be had for about $300 less. Even less if you're crazy enough to fight the Black Friday crowd.

    And let's be perfectly honest. $1000 is only the entry fee, not the total cost of ownership. When you upgrade it, include AppleCare, buy matching bags for it, and its own proprietary Mac software, etc., the total cost will easily double that if not more.

    That's what I did when I bought my first Mac laptop. I loved it, and in a way, still do. I had two, in fact. One is unfortunately dead from the infamous Soda Incident. *sniff* The other, I traded in for another Mac laptop with my sister (long story), and well... the Apple sexiness has worn off, leaving only the debt I have incurred in its wake. I'm still paying for that in fact, as it was another reason why my *cough* student loans are so high.

    Granted, once I lose this laptop, I will finally be computerless. And even then, as much as I honestly do LOVE Macs, I'm not going to buy a Mac again.

    I hope I haven't rained too much on your parade. If you still decide to get a Mac, I'll be more than happy to ooh and aah at it. However, I hope that I was able to help you see the real light, and save you from the expensive shiney....

  2. LdyFaile Says:

    Broken Arrow, I will say that the Black MacBook has a larger hard drive (120 gig vs 80 gig) so I assumed that was where the increase was to be had.

    I don't need matching whatevers. Or an iPod. Granted, Quicken looked to be a might spendier for the Mac version so perhaps I'll have to ditch it and find a cheaper solution.

    Open Office is available for Mac and will do any word processing/spreedsheet stuff that I need it to for free. I currently use it on the work PC I have at home.

    And of course Firefox. I honestly don't use too much more than that. If I play games they're browser based.

    All that to say, I just had a moment of wishful thinking. When I get to the point where I can actually consider it, the moment may have passed. After all, if I were seriously going to go about it I'd get a Macbook Pro with all the trimmings. Oh and I know someone who works at an Apple store (at least I think they still do) and I can potentially get a 10% discount.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    After all, if I were seriously going to go about it I'd get a Macbook Pro with all the trimmings.

    Atta girl! Er, I mean, yes, I too am glad that you didn't get that as well. Big Grin

  4. Nate Says:

    If you aren't stuck on Apple, consider looking at an Intel Pentium M.

    Especially now that the Core 2 Duo's are out, the Pentium M's should be a lot cheaper (being a generation behind). I bought a practically new one, 6 months ago off ebay for $800 including shipping.

    2 Ghz, 1 gig ram, 80 gig hard drive, dvd burner, etc. I bet you could get the same setup now for $100 less.

  5. LdyFaile Says:


    I'm not entirely stuck on Apple. I haven't owned a Mac since I got one as part of my tuition at college years ago. Matter of fact, I still have it somewhere gathering dust. I have a lot of friends who are MacAddicts and I thought since the basic laptops came down in price perhaps next time I get a computer I'll get a Mac.

    Thing is, I really don't need it. I have a functioning computer at home that does everything I need to do. If I do buy a new computer though, I don't want to buy it used. So unless you bought it new on eBay, I probably wont' look there for a laptop. I burned out the motherboard in three years on my referb'd Gateway. Don't really want to give the whole 'used' thing a second chance unless the price is $0.

  6. pjmama Says:

    I have to say that I've gone mac after a great deal of time using a PC, and I love it. Also typing from a mac laptop... though a much older model. 12" powerbook Smile BF turned me onto it, and this is my sort of hand-me-down. He just bought the mac pro tower... a bit pricier, but he's a graphic designer and the programs are well suited and his monitor is HUGE. I'm a mac advocate, to say the least, but go with your gut, do the research, and get what you want and what you think is reasonable. Good luck!

  7. tinapbeana Says:

    YAY computer geeks! Big Grin i knew i liked it here for a reason...just my 2 cents, but in the great mac vs PC debate i'd have to throw in "what requirements have to be met for you to use this computer for your current job?"

    i, for instance, have to have either a pc or linux system b/c my job requires lotus notes and dominoe for server and website administration. go figure, we are an authorized 'dealer' and have a contract with IBM so i have just been handed what seems like a 123 lb thinkpad =P

    along those lines: if you're just anti-windows, consider getting a standard PC and installing red hat linux. there's so much open source programming available that you're almost guaranteed to find what you want (if you're looking for something, ask, b/c i have a bit of a freeware habit).

  8. ldyfaile Says:


    Smile Basically all I need for work is an internet connection and a browser. Most of the time anyway. We use gotomypc to connect to the office and then from there we go out to customers. It's pretty nifty. The only downside really is the rare occasion that we have to use PCAnywhere with a VPN connection. We don't have Mac version of PCAnywhere at work. But...I would still have this clunky desktop to use for stuff like that when needed. The laptop is just for me for fun.

    What do I need a computer for? I check my email (gmail so web based) and do online banking/bill pay. I use a spreadsheet for my budget (debating about moving it up to Google's spreadsheets but haven't yet). And Quicken for my check register and such. That's it. I don't play games, well the odd solitare or other web based things but that's about it. I don't have time for anything else.

    In reality, I don't need a Mac. But I want one because I don't want to deal with all the crap that comes along with Windows. Yes, I realize that Mac's aren't virus ridden because people don't write virus' for Mac's. Doesn't mean they're immune but they are a slight bit more stable.

    Originally I was going to volunteer at Free Geek (www.freegeek.org) to get a free computer with Linux of some flavor on it. But work gave me this one so I didn't bother. I really don't know when I'd have time to do it anyway but it's nice to know it's there. But I really do miss having a laptop.

  9. tinapbeana Says:

    well, if you do go to mac and aren't keen on the quicken price, there is a piece of freeware i use called Money Manager EX. i'm not sure if it's mac compatible or not, but the software is a nicely funtioning check register/bill reminder. it also has some budgeting capability, but not my favorite. there is a budgeting freeware called Budget Master that is java based, so that should be mac compatible...

  10. monkeymama Says:

    I think we spent around $800 for a fancy laptop last year - Dell. Looking back at our expenditures the last year I was kind of kicking myself - we bought a little too much. BUT I love my laptop more than anything. I can get so much more done without having to go use my specific computer upstairs, which for one I Can not use while I Am watching the kids (it is simnply at the top of the stairs - not a good play area) and I can not use it while they are sleeping since it is right outside their room. Basiclaly that means I never use my computer - LOL. Anyway, I LOVE my laptop - money well spent. I can hang out on the computer and not neglect everyone too. & laying in bed on a sick day surfing the net is pretty cool. I Say go for it! Wink
    But we did shop around for about a year and jumped on it when it really went on sale this time of year. This is a good time to buy!! Keep your eyes open.

  11. Broken Arrow Says:

    Another financial freeware for the Mac is Buddi.


    I've never tried it, and I hear the feature set is fairly basic. However, if it suits your needs, it's free!

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