MacBook

scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,557
Given my struggles with Apple, I can't believe I'm asking this...

My daughter asked for a laptop for Christmas. We got her a Dell at a very nice price considering the specs. However, she mainly wants to be able to use iMovie and unfortunately that program only works on iOS. Her passion is writing and movie production. She will use the computer for school, but wanted one that she could use iMovie on.

So, the Dell will be returned. Dilemma is the difference in price (more than double the price of the Dell). She does have some money saved up, and we may give her a little towards it. The cheapest MacBook I could find is the previous generation MacBook Air, other than Refurbished models at Best Buy (reviews are all over the place since these are likely trade-ins).

My question is two-fold... Can anyone recommend a decent place to buy? Apple doesn't have any refurbished Airs right now. Or does anyone have one they may want to sell? I trust buying pre-owned from members her much more than elsewhere. Also, can you use the same programs on a Mac (MS Office, Google Docs, etc) as on a PC?

Oh boy...

Comments

  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,160
    Al, I will probably be in your shoes very soon as my oldest is about to turn 11!

    I am not an apple fanboy but do use all their mobile devices and used a macbook Air for work for 3 years. Yes, all the major programs will work with the mac, but lots of smaller ones will not, or you will have to buy the OS exclusive version (this may also apply to word depending on the subscription you have).

    If I were in your shoes I would buy an off-lease one from someplace like macofalltrades.com. I know my university unloads to places like that, and mine was still in very good condition after 3 years. The great thing about macs is because the hardware and software are designed to go together, they tend to have a MUCH longer life than pcs, so buying a 2014 model like this is a good deal:

    https://www.macofalltrades.com/apple-macbook-air-13-inch-1-4ghz-core-i5-early-2014-md761ll-b-3/

    You can actually get a good bit cheaper than that. Then I would buy a squaretrade warranty. I have made several claims over the years and never been denied, though its never been on a big purchase.

    Good luck!
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  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,557
    Thanks for the tips Paul!

    My 13-year old daughter bought a used iPad Pro this past fall. She saved up about 2/3 of the money and my wife and I kicked in the other $200. She got a very nice model for the price. She loves it, and uses it mostly for art/drawing since it has the Apple Pencil.

    My 15-year old (high school sophomore) asked for a laptop, but never mentioned about using it for iMovie. She's our budding author and movie maker. She actually wrote and directed a 30 minute horror movie about a year and a half ago. She loves iMovie and is constantly making short films with her iPhone. There's no sense in keeping the PC for her if she really wants something that'll run iMovie. She certainly does not need anything top of the line and we're not opposed to buying used or refurbished (as long as we know what we're getting).

    Too bad Tonyb sold the MacBook Air his wife won a few months back. That would have been perfect!

    Can't believe your oldest is almost 11! (Can't believe my oldest is a couple years away from college...) Man time flies!
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,160
    I think for a teenager off-lease with extended warranty is a great option, but I am a cheapskate!

    That's very cool that your daughter is doing something creative. And great to live in a time where its not unheard off for a woman (gasp!) to do something audacious like make movies! I hate that we are so "pc" when all it gets us is human rights, but I digress...

    Yes, it is CRAZY that I have a little pre-teen. We bought her one of those lenses for a phone camera. She wanted a real camera but we were not quite ready to make that investment. She seems to be enjoying it so far. Maybe we'll have a little photographer on our hands...

    Good luck in the search, and if I come across a friend selling a mac I'll let you know!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Parasound HCA-1000A, PSB Imagine B, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,716
    edited January 7
    Hey Al,
    this is cool. Yeah, like Paul says, most of the programs have an Apple/Mac counterpart, though MS Office, for example, is not quite the same as the PC version.

    I like Apple notebooks as well, and still use an older 17" Macbook Pro daily as part of my work toolset. I run VMware Fusion on it to be able to run virtual instances of Windows PCs inside the Mac environment, so that I can have the best of both platforms. It's relatively easy to use.

    Which platform does your daughter's school teach on? Is everything moving now to Google Apps and Chromebooks these days so that it doesn't matter which kind of computer the kids have? Seems like schools are issuing Chromebooks to all the kids.

    An Air would get her started, but I'd hate to see you spend a lot on it and have her quickly outgrow it. If you think she'll be serious about it, you might give some thought to expanding the consideration to include the Macbook Pro, as well, if possible, of course, a well cared for MBA should have good resale.

    The MBP will have a faster processor and dedicated video card, a larger hard drive and more RAM. She's going to need a lot of storage for video. If you can get a minimum of a 500GB solid state disk, that would be a good start to keep the machine fast, and the disk will be more reliable and less susceptible to damage from jostling or vibration while running. An external hard drive may be required down the road for storing the video, the idea being to copy it over to the faster Solid State computer storage to work on. Also a plan for backing up and working with her data.

    Depending on how long you'd like the machine to last, I'd also say to look for something that supports full HD resolution.

    Loosely speaking, I'd say the Apple side is a great for the video and music creative applications suites. For fast image editing and MS Office, I still prefer the PC side. Fusion is a great bridge for the two.
    I disabled signatures.
  • GlennDogGlennDog Posts: 1,806
    hey
    I'm not a computer guy.
    But, Will parallels work for you? so she can bounce between OS?
    Power Rogue M180 monos & Adcom GFA 5802
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  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,160
    That’s awesome al! Congrats!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Parasound HCA-1000A, PSB Imagine B, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • msgmsg Posts: 4,716
    Indeed, t'was my pleasure to assist! I like Macs, and it was fun helping out some to try to get get your daughter set up nicely.

    Looking originally for nicely balanced machine, it was tough working back and forth through the available options. Normally it woudn't have been such an issue, but then we found out that most of those newer Macbooks have soldered-in memory and drives! so that complicated things, because we had to get the right fit the first time, since there would be no option for upgrades later.

    You did most of the work! I was just egging cheering you on. But man, when you found that local deal - those specs? I was like

    zx412jrzbxao.gif

    Really glad that all worked out so well. What a fantastic opportunity. That machine'll should be a great performer for years to come.
    I disabled signatures.
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