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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:47 AM
D'oriel D'oriel is offline
 
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Default Shopping for a Mac

So I'm set on buying a MacAir (consensus is I don't need a Pro).

But I'm shopping through and looking at specs, and being a technophobe, I'm not sure what I need.

For instance, I've chosen 256GB flash storage over 128, but I really don't need 512, right?

On the processor, it offers an upgrade from:
1.8GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz
to
2.0GHz Intel Dual-Core Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz

But i'll only be using it for regular work applications (equiv to MS office), internet, movies etc. so 1.8 GHz should be fine for me I assume?

Please reassure me!


On protection, it's £199 for 3 year protection and warranty, including global parts and labour coverage.
Is this worth it?
Or is there something else you'd recommend?

Lastly, they're offering all sorts of additional bits and accessories.
I'm assuming the only one I should think about is the SuperDrive. But is there anything else that people think you really must buy with it?
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Last edited by D'oriel; 12-07-2012 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:54 AM
D'oriel D'oriel is offline
 
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Oh, and I don't understand what they're talking about for things like 'THUNDERBOLT' and 'MAGSAFE'.

Do I need to know these things?
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:00 PM
Joey Beltram Joey Beltram is offline
 
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'THUNDERBOLT' and 'MAGSAFE', non-optional, you'll get them anyway.

'THUNDERBOLT' = is likre a really fast usb connection
'MAGSAFE'. = connection for the power adaptor

1.8 GHz is deffo enough for basic office stuff, personally i would go for more

since its a mac, you wll need the protection plan, as they cannot be repaired..

256gb i splenty of storage, 512 would be a big jump in price, and un-necessary for office stuff.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:45 PM
How bad boy How bad boy is offline
 
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D'O, get yourself a refurbished one.


It'll save you a small fortune, and the newer models are barely better than the older ones. Wouldn't bother with the spec of the CPU for what you want, all the options they have are fine for your needs.

As for warranty, it's possibly a good option, but really, a little ludicrously priced. One possible decent compromise is to get it in John Lewis if you're in the UK, they give a 2 year warranty as standard, for free. So you'll have one year of full Apple warranty, one year of John Lewis warranty and, after that, well, they'll likely argue it's your damage anyway if something goes pop.

They say the warranty is global cover, well, in Germany, I had to wait 6 weeks to get a simple repair to the CD rack of my Macbook. Perhaps it's better now, but I bet it's not worth a damn where you'll end up.

Don't bother with a superdrive, if you really need an external DVD drive, just pick one up for £20 on Amazon. But it's rare the situation you'll need it nowadays, to be honest. Especially if you've got access to another PC with a disk drive.


Anway, where are the refurbs, they're like new, if you can tell the difference, I'd be very, very surprised. Packaged like new n all.

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

the main decision is between an 11 inch display and a 13 inch display. IMO, it's probably worth the money for the bigger display.



Personally, this is the one I'd get:
http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FD313B/A


It's got 500GB, albeit on a HDD, rather than SDD.

If you don't know the difference between those two, you probably don't need the latter, which is horrifically more expensive. Basically, HDDs are those spinning platter versions of memory. SSD is the solid state, or chip, version of the same. SSD is faster, but massively more expensive.

The only major benefit for your average punter is reliability, SSd is a bit more robust than HDD, but SSDs do fail too, and are far less reliable (for a number of reasons I won't go into), than popularly believed.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:55 PM
TastesLikeChicken TastesLikeChicken is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by How bad boy View Post
SSd is a bit more robust than HDD.
Huh?
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:01 PM
D'oriel D'oriel is offline
 
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Wow, cheers frank.

I was definitely going for 13" display.


Didn't even know of the existence of refurbs!

Gave your info to a tech friend of mine who knows me well.
he keeps me on the straight and narrow with whats appropriate!)

I've sent him your recommendations, so he'll probably work out what's best for me.

Danke!
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:01 PM
How bad boy How bad boy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TastesLikeChicken View Post
Huh?
Spinning platters are more sensitive to knocking and temperature. Give a HDD a good smack while running and you''re fairly likely to damage it, not the case for an SSD.
Not sure if the MBA has a G-sensor on the HDD either, if it doesn't, if you drop the laptop while it's running, you're likely to screw up the HDD.

Of course, you'll probably break something else, but anyway...
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:02 PM
How bad boy How bad boy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D'oriel View Post
Wow, cheers frank.

I was definitely going for 13" display.


Didn't even know of the existence of refurbs!

Gave your info to a tech friend of mine who knows me well.
he keeps me on the straight and narrow with whats appropriate!)

I've sent him your recommendations, so he'll probably work out what's best for me.

Danke!
No bother.
Refurb + Applecare would be far better from a piece of mind point of view than a new one without it. Cheaper too.

Incidentally, if you know anyone in university, you can get them to buy it on special rates too, as another option.
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:19 PM
Joey Beltram Joey Beltram is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by How bad boy View Post
Spinning platters are more sensitive to knocking and temperature. Give a HDD a good smack while running and you''re fairly likely to damage it, not the case for an SSD.
Not sure if the MBA has a G-sensor on the HDD either, if it doesn't, if you drop the laptop while it's running, you're likely to screw up the HDD.

Of course, you'll probably break something else, but anyway...
i've gone thru 2 * SSD's in over a year.

i have about 15 other sata drives, approx 4 years old still going with no bothers...

SSD's lifespan is considerably lower than standard sata....
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:33 PM
How bad boy How bad boy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Beltram View Post
i've gone thru 2 * SSD's in over a year.

i have about 15 other sata drives, approx 4 years old still going with no bothers...

SSD's lifespan is considerably lower than standard sata....
If you don't move them, yes.

Depends on the process used on them too, but the 20nm and below SSDs are starting to have serious reliability issues, gate leakage, temperature sensitivity and sensitivity to all sorts of nasties such as power supply spikes, EMC and ESD are getting a lot worse.

But as I said, best not to get into it. The spinning platters physically are riskier for a portable machine. Not by that much, but the sales fluff would have it that SSDs are virtually indestructible.
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