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Help! Buy Mac Laptop through Terrapin Technology Store?

marylandmomof2marylandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
If anyone can advise me, I would really appreciate it! Can anyone tell me specifically if the 4-year university plan for a MacBook Pro is worth the cost? My incoming freshman would be a new Mac user. I would definitely buy the 4 yr. plan for a Dell, since none of our Dells have lasted very long, but aren't Macs supposed to be much more reliable and, therefore, probably won't need warranty service? I know the phone support is supposed to be good, but my kid is the kind of person that would probably seek out a tech savvy dorm mate to help :)

I would prefer to buy through the Apple web site, because we could upgrade to 8m of ram on the 15 inch MacBook Pro, which we can't do through the Terp store, and we still get the student discount. I we buy through the Terp store, we would have to have the upgrade installed at a service center, which I assume would be more expensive?

Also, is the iWork program basically like the Microsoft Office Suite, or would we need to buy that in order to do typical college papers and projects?

Post edited by marylandmomof2 on

Replies to: Help! Buy Mac Laptop through Terrapin Technology Store?

  • JSIMONJSIMON Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    I'm doing a similar analysis. Daughter wants a mac and I'm trying to decide between buying via Maryland versus Apple. I've done a close comparison and will definitely be buying from Maryland. Not a tremendous difference but enough to make it worthwhile. The computer I'm looking at is the 13 inch 2.3 ghz as thats sufficient computer. 4mb of ram is fine. Don't know why you would need 8mb unless your kid is majoring in something thats very very heavy on the graphics etc..Also it comes with 500mb harddrive which is nice. The big seller to me is the warranty plan. Yes Macs are generally better built than windows but don't let the PR fool you. They still break, they still have problems , they still get viruses etc.. The plan offered thru the school is for 4 years of apple care (so it lasts thru college) and the repairs are done on campus with a loaner if necessary. To me thats a big deal. If she has a problem she doesnt have to ship it anywhere, wait until she gets home, look for an apple store etc.. Plus the loaner is nice if she's in a bind and need the computer at the same time it breaks. The cost difference is that the Maryland program will cost very slightly more for a better warranty. To me its worth it.

    The one thing I will recommend to anyone getting a computer for their kid at college, is set it up for automatic backups of their wordprocessing programs and docs (and music and picts if possible) before handing it over. Arrange for an online back up service etc... Stuff happens and kids dont back up. They will bless you the day the bust it up, hard drive crashes etc.. and you can get their course materials back for them via the back up.
  • marylandmomof2marylandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    I guess "only slightly more" is relative; for the 13" Macbook, it's about $400 more to get it through UMD with the service plan (you still get a student discount through the Apple store). We were looking at the 15" Macbook Pro, so to buy through UMD it will be over $500 more with the service plan. My feeling has always been to get a little more power than you need right now to keep up with new programs and software that slow things down, but we've never had a Mac before.
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    I bought a laptop on Amazon(Acer). 4gig of RAM, built-in mic and camera, 500gig drive, 64bit Windows 7, etc. It cost me about $350. For an extra $350 you can purchase a really nice "service plan": just buy another one and hold it in reserve. :)
  • marylandmomof2marylandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    Haha, good point plumazul!
  • JSIMONJSIMON Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    re macs

    if you compare the exact same computer with 4 yrs of applecare its not 4-500 difference. its much less. It was about 1-200. Plus repairs on campus and 4 yrs of coverage.
  • marylandmomof2marylandmomof2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    Thanks. Just not sure if we need the Apple Care at all. When we did the campus tour, we left with the impression that the UMD Tech store price was much better, but that is not the case unless you would be getting Apple Care anyway.

    Has anyone with a Macbook Pro actually needed to use it for repairs?
  • MDdad2012MDdad2012 Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    We have 3 MacBook Pros in our house and one MacBook Air. Ours have been very reliable. The only repair we have had is one power cable end going bad. That was replaced under the standard warranty 9 months after purchase. I think the first generation MacBook Air and the older white plastic MacBooks were more prone to repair. The newer unibody MacBook Pros are very reliable. I never have purchased the AppleCare plan, but it might be a good idea for college students, who will be carrying their laptops around and exposing their laptop to a lot of stress.
  • 33dmjjm33dmjjm Registered User Posts: 375 Member
    I was in Best Buy today and they have similar plans that are cheaper. There is a Best Buy in College Park and this way if you have computer issues over break or summer you can get it taken care of. Also not saying it will happen but if you dont spend 4 years at Maryland you have paid for a service you wont use
  • cyborg939cyborg939 Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    The big issue I see with the AppleCare plan is that it doesn't cover accidental damage that may result from a college student's lifestyle. I still have a question though: is it worth the extra $549 for the 4-year plan when the newer Macs are so reliable? Or, should I just do what plumazul did and buy a cheapo laptop and hold it in reserve? Also, how can I cover my computer against accidental damage if AppleCare doesn't cover for that?
  • JSIMONJSIMON Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    accidental spills and theft. safeway insurance. personally i think its worth it with the applecare plan. nothing is that reliable. problems occur and piece of mine has a value. I do recommend that you set an auto back to online so that if something happens, the term paper etc.. is saved.
  • cyborg939cyborg939 Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    Applecare + Safeware seems to be a good combination. That's about $900 on top of the $1700 laptop computer. Applecare = $549 for a 15 inch base model. Safeware = $349 (quoted online) for the same model. $549 + $349 = $898. I guess the piece of mind bit is worth it though. I'll also see if our home insurance offers any sort of coverage for the laptop.
  • JSIMONJSIMON Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Not sure why your safeway quote was so high. I will add it to my daughter's in August but I did the quote and it was about 100 per year at $1200 coverage. Also Applecare thru the school purchase plan is good as it adds a 4th year. I did the quote for cost of laptop not the applecare plan add on
This discussion has been closed.