MacBook Prices - When to Buy

<p>Prefacing this by saying that we are interested in MacBooks (only) - and not looking for laptop critiques in general--</p>

<p>Two years ago, S2 bought a laptop before heading off to college. The model he was interested had just been discontinued (one of my least favorite things about Apple) and we found that if we'd purchased just a few weeks earlier, it would have saved him about $300.</p>

<p>Now D1 is graduating HS, and we're wondering - is this something Apple tends to do each year before the college rush? Just wondering if there's be any advantage to buying the laptop now, vs. in August.</p>


<p>There are some interesting graphs plotting prices of Apple hardware items vs. time.</p>

<p>For newly released items, the cheapest (or least expensive) time to buy appears to be around 3 months after release.</p>

<p>Buying items at the end of the market cycle carries the risk of having outdated software or hardware.</p>

<p>See [Mac</a> Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, iPod or iPhone](<a href=“]Mac”></p>

<p>From PC World:

[When</a> Should You Buy a New Laptop? | PCWorld](<a href=“]When”></p>

<p>Wow - thanks, .02 - that’s exactly what we were looking for. I actually hadn’t thought about software/hardware becoming outdated. Good point.</p>

<p>Will show these to D.</p>

<p>I’m glad that helped.</p>

<p>Buying the “old” model just after the new model comes out can save a couple hundred dollars (typically 20%). The old machine will run the new software and can have an OS upgrade and will still be twice as fast as her former machine.</p>

<p>The Mac fora have endless discussions comparing minutiae MacBook variants.</p>

<p>Check with whatever college she is attending. Often they have discount buying programs through the college for Apple and Dell (at least).</p>

<p>just ordered a MAC for my daughter going off to college in September - don’t know about timing but nobody could save us more than $100 - went with getting it on Amazon (which had the $100 off same as the educator/student price in the Apple store) - free shipping and no tax (significant savings on the tax)</p>

<p>Take a look at the refurbished Macs on the Apple store website. We bought our girls MacBooks from there three years ago and saved quite a bit of money. Are their faster models? Yes, but for what they need to accomplish on a computer they are fine.</p>

<p>Apple has a back-to-school deal in the fall, but I’m not sure of the exact dates. Last year, in addition to the $100 off education discount, Apple offered a free printer and a $100 iTunes giftcard.</p>

<p>Macbook Pro has a new model coming out in June. DD has been on a Mac since freshman in HS, and will upgrade for college. Since this will be hers for the next 4 years? I don’t mind splurging on the latest version</p>

<p>[MacBook</a> Pro 2012 model release tipped by price drop - SlashGear](<a href=“MacBook Pro 2012 Model Release Tipped By Price Drop - SlashGear”>MacBook Pro 2012 Model Release Tipped By Price Drop - SlashGear)</p>

<p>Several credible sites including Cnet and Macrumor have been reporting an upcoming price markdown is coming and possibly a new line of upgraded Macs. Other than giving your incoming freshman a Mac for a Graduation gift, it’s better to just wait until mid-August for the deals . . .</p>

<p>I actually have a spec question for those with 128 gig Airs(if any are on this thread/site): After bloatware, how much memory is left on the flashdrive?</p>

<p>Remember that he gets a student discount - you can get that at the local store as well. Bestbuy matched that for us and gave no-interest 24 month financing. Generally, the new models are worth the extra money IMO. Wait a few months for the model to change if you can. A 13 in model is fine for most situations.</p>

<p>I buy things like iPhones & iPads as soon as they come out. Although I waited for the iPhone 4 and iPad 3 to purchase. For laptops I wait for two months after a new one comes out, and buy new refurbished on the Apple website.
If I need it before that, then I get the refurbished one closest to my needs.</p>

<p>couple of things to remember: 1) the Air is not a good item for college, since it has no USB ports, and college wifi can be spotty. 2) some states have zero sales tax, so if your child is attending a college in one of those states, purchase from the bookstore. 3) purchasing thru the bookstore may include full MS Office Suite, an extended warranty, and free tech support on campus as well as free sw upgrades, so make sure that you compare prices carefully; 4) purchasing one of the college “standard” models makes it easy to obtain tech support on campus. </p>

<p>The online deals may look better, but they may include less.</p>

<p>wait, the newer Airs do have USB ports-- just not as many…isn’t that right?</p>

<p>My oldest just bought an airbook. I think the 13". It has two USB ports, an SD card slot and a Thunderbolt port.</p>

<p>A new OS is due to be released in June or July. I’d advise to wait at least until then to get a new computer.
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<p>Bought Mac for my DS last Aug through his school - came preloaded with all necessary software and b/c purchased through the school, their tech dept serviced it. Was cheaper also than all other alternatives - and we looked! So check out deals school is offering - which may not be clear until Aug as ours wasn’t.</p>

<p>Yes, if you look at the Apple website, both the 11" and 13" Airs have two USB ports. </p>

<p>The main issue that we’re considering is the lack of a DVD/CD drive on the Airs. Trying to decide if it would be better or worse to have the superdrive separate from the machine. I can see a weight advantage if you don’t need the drive, but the hassle of having to remember to have it with you when you do.</p>

<p>LostCoast, I have had computers with external drives for over 4 years now, maybe longer. I rarely use the drive. Almost everything is delivered over the net and those few things that are not, I load them in my office. They could keep it in the dorm room. I gladly give up the drive for the lighter weight. If they are using a computer now, how often do they use the drive?</p>

<p>At my son’s college, the college’s computer company sells Macs for the same price as others, but offers additional warranties and a loaner service in case of a problem.</p>