View Full Version : Advice on new MB or MBP for my wife

20th February 2010, 03:24 PM
I have a MBP 15" 2.8GHz with a 500GB 7200rpm drive. It is a great machine. I bought it as a refurb from the Apple store online. Couldn't be happier with it.

My wife has just started studying again this year. She is desparate for a dependable computer. She had been using my old white MB 2GHz, but the screen was getting a bit flaky and the battery was gone (now retired to be the home theatre computer), so she has been using a Dell Mini 9 for the last few months for general email and web surfing. That little computer has had more knocks and falls than I can count and is no longer reliable.

Anyway, I am torn about what to get her. She does not want a 15, so I have a choice between a MB or a MBP13. I am inclined to get another refurb as it is cheaper than the education price.

1. Is there any benefit getting an education discount model over a refurb to justify the extra price? I don't care about the packaging.

2. While I would get the top of the line if buying for myself, I am wondering if she will notice any difference between a 2.26GHz and a 2.53GHz?

3. Is a plastic body more or less durable than an aluminium?

4. She has already started, so needs a computer quickly - should I try to wait for an update (which would have to be purchased edu, because it would take a while to flow through to refurbs).

Any assistance greatly appreciated.


20th February 2010, 05:53 PM
Refurb 13" MBP is great value I reckon. I don't even notice any speed difference between 2.26GHz and a 2.53GHz machine. RAM & HDD speed is more important.

I don't have any first hand experience with the plastic Macs, but I have heard many stories of them cracking. The aluminium on the MBP's however don't seem to have such issues. Neither computer is bullet-proof though. Tell your wife to treat them properly (or get accident insurance on them, hah)

There are supposed to be new MacBook Pro's any day now - mainly speed bumps due to Intel's new range of laptop CPUs. You might see some cheaper Macs hitting the refurb store for the current models, you might not. If it's urgent, I wouldn't bother waiting around - just buy a 13" MBP refurb now. $1349 is a great price (I have the same laptop and got mine refurbished too).

20th February 2010, 05:58 PM
I have the little white unibody macbook and it's a quick little machine, perfect for what your wife would need for studies and such. I have been running Aperture 3 on it for a few days and it's great!!

I think the plastic might be better for her too as the aluminum can dent and such, and with her being a bit rough on her machines a white model with a plastic case on it might be perfect????

Mine is up for sale in the for sale thread too, if you don't mind a near new one.

20th February 2010, 07:37 PM
I don't have any first hand experience with the plastic Macs, but I have heard many stories of them cracking.

I have experienced the plastic cracking on the MacBooks first hand (fixed free by Apple) but doubt it would affect the new unibody models.

20th February 2010, 10:19 PM
I haven't heard any issues with the latest model white Macbook regarding cracking plastic. I think they have FINALLY sorted that problem out.

23rd February 2010, 08:20 PM
I decided to go with the 2.53 MBP refurb for $1700. The winning point between the plastic and the aluminium was the illuminated keyboard, which is my wife's favourite thing about my MBP15.