Buying A Mac For Christmas 5

Roundup

Share
Buying A Mac For Christmas

Hey

Christmas is fast approaching and if you want to be with the cool kids, Macs are the way to go. This post will hopefully explain the best Mac to buy for your family or friends. Ideally I should have done this post a little earlier but I have an unwritten rule that Christmas should not start until December.

Picking a Mac is pretty simple, price is obviously a major option. As a result I wont write down prices since they vary so much between countries, it just makes life a lot simpler. If you head over to the Apple Store, you can grab the latest prices. I have had a quick discussion with my Apple Store buddy and these are some of the options he would say to people in his store.

Laptops

MacBook

The cheapest of the MacBook line ups. I personally love laptops over desktops simply because they have so much versatility. I hate being tethered to a wall, I just the abilty to get up and move. Having said that I haven’t moved my laptop for about 3 months but I still have the option.

The MacBook is probably great for students on a tight budget, it is one of the cheapest Macs out there. The laptops base features of CPU, RAM is very similar to the MacBook Pro. The only thing missing is the powerful graphics card so high powered games are hard to play, having said that you could probably get away with it. Best suited to students or anyone looking for a laptop and wants to get into Mac’s.

MacBook Air

A slight step up from the MacBook, the Air is designed for really being portable. The Solid State Drive (SSD) makes it great for lasting on the road. I personally not keen on the MacBook Air, it seems a little pricey for what you get. I would rather spend the money on a MacBook Pro, or dump up the specs on a MacBook. The Air is probably suited to people who have a little bit more cash and want something to really stand out.

MacBook Pro

My personal favourite. Its the power house of the laptop range, it has the best graphics, CPU and the most disk space. It is the most expensive but you get what you pay for. For example the top of the range is as powerful as the iMacs.  This type of laptop is best suited to students (rich students mind you) who really need the power, arty and video types of people come to mind. This type of laptop will last you years. I have one that is 1-2 years old and works perfectly and I really don’t see any slow downs with new applications.

Conclusion

If I had to recommend a laptop I would go for the MacBook. Its the cheapest of the range in this credit crunch world. It will probably meet nearly anyone’s needs with out a worry. The only way to truly decide is to test them out at an Apple store or ask a friend who has one.

Desktops

The next section of Mac is the desktops range. These are generally suited for the whole family. They are more expensive, having said that they are very powerful. Desktops are more useful for people who don’t need a laptop and just want a family computer in the house.

Mac Mini

The cheapest Mac you can get. The Mini is great for anyone who wants a Mac but doesn’t want to spend a whole load of money. They are the cheapest but they are not that powerful. The Mini’s are useful if you want to start out but I would really recommend saving up and going for an iMac. The problem with the mini is that you do have to buy a screen and keyboard, in the end it may not end up that cheap.

iMac

The main seller of the Mac line up. The iMac is a perfect family computer as well as a professional computer. It really excels in nearly every area. It matches the price to power quite well. The lower range iMacs are mini monsters in a box. The high range ones will last years to come. The 3Ghz cores are really powerful coupled with the graphics cards. It will probably play nearly all games and run Photoshop and other intensive apps like a charm. Perfect for pretty much anyone due to the customizable specs.

Mac Pro

If you want to save for a Mac, get a Mac Pro. The big daddy of the fleet. Eight cores as standard it will run circles around any other computer. You can customize this computer in hundreds of different ways getting exactly what you want. This Mac as a present is really only good for people who need the power. It is expensive so it may not be practical for every one.

Conclusion

Out of the three desktops the iMac is an ideal present. It offers the right price point to specification. It is the perfect computer for anybody. I am sure if you give this to someone as a present they would be delighted.

Getting Them Cheap

If you buying a Mac you will want to get it as cheap as possible. They do cost more than a “normal” computer so if you can save a hundred pounds it is well worth it. Here are a couple of tips.

Use Discounts. If you are a student or a business you can save a couple of percent with a student discount. I think I can get around 5% off as a student (not 100% sure) so if you can get your hands on a personal who has access to the student area you could save a lot of money. Having said that I no for a fact students can only buy one laptop a year so there is strings attached.

Coupons. Everyone loves coupons. Have a search on the Internet for coupon websites and coupon codes for Apple. You may find one where you can save a couple of quid. A quick google search revealed a code for £69 off when you spend over £700. If you are buying anything but a Mac Mini this could seriously help.

Cashback. There are a couple of cashback sites out there. For example Quidco in the UK off 3% cashback when you go through there link. Its not a massive amount but it can add up. A penny saved is a penny gained.

Old Models. Although people don’t like buying the older models, they are still perfectly good. You could probably walk into an Apple store and pick up an older model and save a couple of hundred. It will be a bit hit and miss whether you get a bargain. It is always worth a shot.

You could use a couple of different tips and tricks on the net to save some money. You will be hard pushed to get more than a hundred quid off, but every little helps.

MacWorld

Apple must throw a spanner in the works. Every January they host a cool event which gets all the blogs excited for new Apple products. The problem is your new Mac could get replaced by a newer version which generally leaves people miffed. A word of advice, you could wait it out and see what happens, see if a new one is released and save some money, but you wont get to open it on Christmas day.

Personally the out of the line up the only ones that I think might get a bump are the MacPro, Mini and possibly the Air (very unlikely with the Air). The iMac is a rank outsider to be upgraded, it may be a bit hit and miss. You will have to make your own decision if you want to stake it out, the event is the 5-9th.

As a side tip I do have a feeling that a new version of the iPhone will be released. I don’t no why but it just seems about right. Having said that I could be massively wrong.

Conclusion

Hopefully you have found this little post useful. It may have changed your mind about the Mac you were buying for Christmas. The only word of advice I do have it think about which version you want to buy. It is a big investment. If in doubt go to an Apple store or a place demoing the machines and test them out. Speak to the staff they will be happy to help.

If you want to ask questions please leave a comment below, I will do my best.


If you want to keep up with the latests post from Mac Tricks And Tips I recommend you subscribe to the RSS Feed.

Where To Next?

  • Subscribe To Mac Tricks And Tips

5 Responses to “Buying A Mac For Christmas”

  1. 1

    A friend of mine was thinking about getting a new laptop. Being a big fan of mac, I told him to get the new Macbook, since he had a good budget and it’s the best machine out there. But here’s the thing: he heard that Macbooks were crashing and their hard drive just stopped working after a while. I didn’t know what to respond to that: mine’s HD crashed this summer (after 18 months), and 2 of my friends had the exact same thing happening at only a few months of delay from mine (20 months old and 11 months old). How come? I’m still very fond of my mac, it works great now I changed the hard drive, but I can’t help thinking he might be right: there might be a bug about those computers… What do you think?

    Comment By Joannie Dupont on December 6th, at 5:36 am

  2. 2

    Liked the post; lot’s of good information about ways to save on a new mac in these frugal times.

    My 2 cents: The MacBook Air doesn’t come with an internal CD/DVD drive, which I imagine might lessen it’s usefulness on road trips (for entertainment – though I guess you could transfer some movies to its HD – and productivity.) It’s design also feels pretty fragile: I’ve heard it’s better suited to the living room’s of those who don’t want an ugly, cumbersome computer.

    By the way, does anyone have any benchmarking scores on the comparison of the “old” (pre-Autumn 2008) MacBook/Pro’s and the new models?

    Happy holidays!

    - Rosco

    Comment By Rosco on December 6th, at 2:03 pm

  3. 3

    @Joannie I really don’t no what to say. It might be a bug or you just got unlucky. Mine has never crashed.

    Comment By admin on December 6th, at 2:32 pm

  4. 4

    Just a note on the Desktops section. You mention that they are more expensive, but the two of three Apple desktops are actually cheaper than or very similarly-priced to their laptops for the most part.

    iMacs start @ $1199, the Mini @ $599, and the new MacBooks at $1299.

    For me, that is the most difficult decision – is portability worth the price premium and the performance hit? Do I really need to carry my computer with me when I have an iMac at home, an iMac at work, and an iPhone 3G w/MobileMe?

    Comment By Matt on December 8th, at 9:30 pm

  5. 5

    One of the most incredible things about having a Mac is the ability to run other operating systems without rebooting. Parallels Desktop 7 is indispensable to me. I use it to test code for my website on different platforms/browsers and to run Quickbooks for my small business.

    There is a coupon code active until December 31, 2011 for a discount on PD7. If you need to use Windows applications or want to run Ubuntu or Linux on your new Mac, go to http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ and use ‘holiday2011′ as the promo code.

    Comment By Brian on December 28th, at 6:18 pm