If you are considering purchasing an Apple Laptop, then I would really advise you to take a good hard look at the used market.
Apple computers have always been excellent machines, beautifully designed with software to match. Their iLife software offers seamless integration with your iPod and iTunes, and if you’ve got a video camera, just plug it in, download your footage, edit it and burn it to a DVD. Try doing that on a PC. You’d have to buy lots of software, but it’s all as standard on a mac.
There are many different laptop models to choose form, each having been designed for a specific purpose. If you are a home user, then I would recommend you look at the iBook series, where a business user should target the iBook Pro series. Both of these were discontinued in 2006, to be replaced by the macBook and macBook Pro respectively, but still offer great value for money, and a high specification machine can be bought for as little as $300, compared to their original price of $1500+.
There are cheaper models on the market too, specifically the iBook G3 ‘clamshell’ models, but these are the very early ones having been discontinued in 2001. Good sellers in their day, they are a little long in the tooth now, and won’t support many of the new applications. However, if you were looking for a first computer for your child, or a computer just to surf the internet and do some basic work, this might be for you.
If your budget stretches to a little more, then the aforementioned macBooks or even the new ultra thin macBook Air might be worth considering. You can get these on the used market too, and although there are significant savings to be had over list price, they are still pricey.
So where do you get your used apple laptop from? Personally, I’ve had great success with eBay – I’m on my third mac notebook from them now. There are really good bargains here, including lots of accessories, and as long as you are careful, you can’t go too far wrong. Once you have decided on the best machine, look carefully at the seller’s details – look a the feedback they’ve had, make sure they appear reliable. You’re looking for a positive feedback of around 99% from 200 comments or more. You might even consider only buying from a Power Seller.
Wherever you buy from online, you should always email the seller, asking questions about the product and their service. Here is a quick guide to some of the main points for you.
Look at the work you want your laptop to perform, research the machines available then make your choice. Don’t settle for anything else once you’ve made up your mind. Don’t get drawn into the trap of buying a better machine with less specifications for the same price, thinking you can fix it. Most of the time it’s not that simple, so don’t take the risk.
Don’t pay more than $35 on shipping, unless it’s an ultra fast delivery.
Make sure it comes with an adapter, and the battery works.
Don’t buy ‘untested’ or ‘as is’ items, unless you are buying for parts.
Get the correct OS (Operating System) – if you’re going to do any serious work, and need to add new applications , make sure it is at least OS 10.3 (this will be very slow on a G3 ‘clambook’ so be wary if the seller says it is installed – this isn’t the original OS that machine was designed to run on).
Only pay by PayPal – otherwise some unscrupulous sellers might take your cheque, protest they’ve never received it, then keep both the chedue and the computer for themselves.
If you follow these guide lines, it is possible to get a fabulous used apple laptop for a bargain price. Good luck.