Don’t you wonder what has so many people buying Apple Macs lately? I recently bought a used white MacBook off craigslist. I’ve been contemplating buying a MacBook for awhile. I’ve also been saving my money so I could pay cash.
I first thought I wanted to buy one of the new 13-inch aluminum MacBook models, but they retail for $1299 which was just a little too steep for me. I’ve never owned a Mac before so I wanted to get my feet wet without shelling out quite so much money.
Why I decided to buy a MacBook
After reading the input I received when I asked how are MacBooks better than Windows laptops, there were three things that stuck out to me and intrigued me into buying a MacBook. They were:
- Passion of other Macbook users – All the other Mac users that I’ve talked to or that commented on my previous post seemed to passionately like their Mac. You don’t see many Windows laptop users that feel this way. I wanted to see what this was all about.
- Lack of spyware and viruses – I have grown so tired of trying to clean up Windows after a spyware or malware infection. Macs aren’t immune, they just aren’t targeted. Let’s hope it stays that way!
- They are just different – Computers are not just my career, but they’ve also been a hobby of mine for quite some time. I’ve never had much exposure to Macs, so I wanted to know more.
Alas, I could resist no longer! I became determined to buy a MacBook.
The details about the white MacBook that I bought
I had been watching craigslist for awhile to get an idea of what used MacBooks were selling for. I figured that I might even find one of the aluminum models for sale after Christmas. Some people buy Macs and then find they don’t use them, need the cash or prefer to go back to Windows. I thought this might be an opportunity for me.
The ad for the used white MacBook caught my attention because of the upgraded specs, $700 asking price and the proximity of the seller.
My white MacBook has the following specs:
- Intel 2GHz Core Duo processor
- 2 GB of DDR2 RAM
- 250 GB hard drive
- OS X Leopard
The seller had upgraded the RAM and hard drive. He also recently installed a new keyboard. It sounded pretty good, so I inquired via e-mail.
The used MacBook I bought is not perfect, but the price was right!
The seller replied to my e-mail with some pictures and some other details. He also let me know that after setting on the shelf for a couple of months, the battery was shot. This worried me some, but I researched the cost of a new battery and decided to make an offer.
I offered to come by the next day to pick-up the MacBook for $500 cash. This was a full $200 less than the original asking price! It was also half of what a new white MacBook sells for with half the RAM and hard drive space. Luckily for me, the seller agreed!
I bought a new Apple battery off e-Bay for $80 with priority shipping. The only other disappointing thing that I’ve noticed is that pictures with the built-in iSight camera are very grainy. I don’t know if this is typical in a 3-year old MacBook or not. Anyone know what I should expect or what I could do to fix this? Is it possible to connect an external video camera to my MacBook?
Still getting used to the differences in OS X compared to Windows
I’ve been a Windows guy for a lot of years. I’ll admit that it is taking some getting used to running OS X. However, the transition has been easier than I thought. The keyboard shortcuts are different, but not too much so. Also, there seems to be a ton of good info on the web. When I can’t figure out how to do something I just Google it. So far, I’ve found the answer in a minute or two.
I plan to use the MacBook for blogging. In fact, this is my first article to compose on it. Previously, I really liked using Microsoft Windows Live Writer to compose my articles on my PC laptop. Of course, Live Writer isn’t available on the Mac so I had to go in search of an alternative.
I am writing this with MarsEdit. It is different than Live Writer, but I’m quickly adapting. At this point, I think it is going to work just fine. The only bad news is that MarsEdit costs $29.95 where Live Writer was free.
In the end, I think the adjustment to using a MacBook as a personal laptop and for blogging will be smooth and pretty painless. I’m definitely not deterred yet, but I still have a lot to learn.
A few things that I liked to get for my MacBook
The MacBook is very complete and usable as is, but there are a couple of things that I’d still like to buy to make my Mac even better. I’d like:
- A wireless Mighty Mouse – The trackpad is fine, but I’m addicted to a mouse. The wireless Mighty Mouse connects via BlueTooth and looks like it would be awesome. I’ve seen them on e-Bay for around $40 to $50.
- An office productivity suite – I’ve read that Microsoft Office is the best productivity suite for the Mac, but even the Home/Student edition sells for $149. Can anyone tell me about similar software for the Mac that costs less? What about NeoOffice?
Again, these aren’t absoluetly necessary, but I think they would be nice to have items. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions on the value of these items and where to get them.
My overall satisfaction with the MacBook and my purchase
I definitely think I made the right choice to buy a used MacBook. My total investment was only $580 which is less than half of what I would have spent on a new aluminum model. The performance and reliability of my MacBook seem excellent so far. I’m very happy with it. Of course, I don’t have a warranty so if something big goes wrong, I’ll be in a pickle.
For me, I think buying my first MacBook off craigslist will be just fine. This approach might not be for everyone, others will still choose a Windows PC or buy new, but I’m confident that a used MacBook was a good choice for me.
I look forward to figuring out more of the cool things about Macs. If you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Photo by goodrob13