View Full Version : Where is the best place to buy a 17" Mac Book Pro?

2009-07-21, 03:11
I would appreciate any help you can throw my way.

I am getting ready to purchase my first Apple product and have decided on a good one...a "17 Mac Book Pro.

This is a very big purchase for me right now and have done quite a bit of research on my own but really could use some owners advice.

I have been on quite a few resale sites but somehow feel uneasy about purchasing from them. Is this unwarrented? I really need to get the most for the money not only for the computer but all the rest of any upgrades, software, periphials etc. as well.

I really do not mean to whine about the cash factor but I am disabled right now with no medical insurance and I am buying the Mac Book to be able to try and make a living with it until something might change for me. I know there are much cheaper notebooks out there but I have had enough of Windows for a lifetime and also cheaply built machines.

Thank you for any help you can give me.


2009-07-21, 04:27
Welcome to the boards!

I think most of us here buy our Macs direct from Apple (at an Apple Store, apple.com, or 1-800-MY-APPLE). Macs typically aren't discounted very much under MSRP, wherever you go - even Amazon knocks only about twenty dollars off the cost of the 17" MBP (MacBook Pro) - so which model you buy is more important than where you buy it.

What are you planning on doing with your MBP? With a thicker enclosure housing an ExpressCard slot and a matte screen option, the MBP is designed for professionals - but many professionals who don't need those specific features also use the 13" and 15" MBPs. I totally understand wanting to give Windows and poorly constructed notebooks the boot for a lifetime, but all Macs come with OS X and all of the MBPs share the solid, aluminum/glass "unibody" construction, so there's really no "bad" one in the bunch - and no need to jump to the most expensive model to avoid cheap pieces of crap. :)

All of the MBPs feature Mini DisplayPort out, and Apple makes an excellent 24" LED Cinema Display (you can use adapters to use DVI displays, as well). Have you considered perhaps getting a smaller notebook, and then augmenting it with an external display? Many professionals are finding that a "best of both worlds" scenario - you can get a big screen when you really need it but a lighter, smaller laptop when you don't. And it's more affordable - the 13" MBP and 24" LED Cinema Display can be had for hundreds less than the 17" MBP.

But if you do need the 17" MBP's special pro features, or else if you just have your heart set on it, there's still ways to save money.

If you're a college student of any age, Apple gives you $200 off the price instantly. You can get the discount by showing a student ID in any of their retail stores or by simply naming your educational institution on their phone store or web site, no questions asked.

If you're not averse to mail-in rebates, MacMall will (eventually) give you $200 off (without being a college student), plus Parallels and a printer. I've never purchased from them but they've been around roughly forever.

Apple makes refurbished Macs available on their web site. If you don't mind buying refurbished, you can save hundreds. The current 2.8 GHz 17" MBP is $2,499 new. If you don't mind a slightly slower 2.66 GHz processor, you can currently get a refurbished 17" MBP for just $1,949. That's over $500 savings! :eek: They still have the same warranty through Apple - I think the biggest difference is probably the plain brown box they come in. :) You can even buy the old (non-unibody) 17" MBP for even more savings, if you want - the refurb store has a large selection.

Buying the AppleCare extended warranty is usually worth it, but you don't have to do it right away - you have up to a year after purchase (when the regular warranty expires) to choose to purchase it. Once again, students receive substantial discounts on AppleCare purchases. (No matter when you choose to buy AppleCare, it'll always last three years from the date of purchase of the computer.)

I hope that helps. Enjoy your new Mac, whichever one you choose, and good luck in all of your ventures. :)

2009-07-21, 12:25
Wow, I think Robo said it all! I second everything he said.

Apple does a great job refurbishing their products, so don't hesitate to get one and save lots of money.

2009-07-21, 12:47
I'd either go for a refurb directly from Apple or, if you're buying new, buy from Amazon (which gives you free shipping and no sales tax unless you're in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington). Apple charges sales tax to all states that have it, which adds $100-$200 to the cost.

Dorian Gray
2009-07-21, 13:43
Hi Thom. I'd think carefully about whether you really want the 17-inch model. It's one of the trimmest 17-inch notebooks on the market, but it's still wide, heavy, and of course very expensive. Depending on what you want to use it for, you might find you don't get anything in return for those downsides.

Personally I wouldn't consider larger or heavier than the 13-inch MacBook Pro to be portable enough for regular travel. You say you're currently disabled, so mobility may or may not be an issue. If you don't intend to travel with the computer you could consider a 24-inch iMac. More computer for far less money. If you want to travel and need a big screen at home, consider a 13-inch MacBook Pro and desktop monitor (including cheaper, non-Apple monitors). To my mind there isn't much point in a 15- or 17-inch laptop unless you really, really need lots of pixels while you're on the go. Of course everyone has different priorities.

If you want the 17-inch MBP because it's got a quicker processor, consider that the clock-speed difference between even the 3.06 GHz high-end 17-inch model and the 2.26 GHz entry-level 13-inch model is just 35%. The difference between the standard 17-inch model (2.8 GHz) and the 2.53 GHz 13-inch model is an insignificant 11%. That's just a few months of processor development. Computer chips aren't like Harleys: they improve from year to year. ;)

If you do want a 17-inch MacBook Pro, definitely consider the refurbished shop on Apple.com. Just make sure you get a 'unibody' model, as they're vastly improved over previous models in terms of build quality and durability.

2009-07-21, 14:34
Wow...Roboman, Dorian Grey and all the rest...!!!

I had read that this is THE forum site for anything Apple and they were exactly right! Like a lot of us newbies to anything I am always a little hesitant to post questions anywhere because of smart@ss people on (what seems like) all forums, so to tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful and intelligent help is an understatement. Lol..go on a Harley site and ask what kind of bike to buy and you'll see what I am talking about. Of course I am generalizing but oh so true. You guys are great.

I will look into all options carefully. The disability right now comes from the fact that I can barely get around at all without a walker..(lol..yea..really sexy I know). I was diagnosed with the need for a total hip and knee replacement over a year ago...both are grinding "bone to bone" when I take a step or just move and I have developed some type of tumor under my knee as well. It's excruciating and without the help of pain meds I could not function at all. Lol..on top of that I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a couple of months ago as well. Yep..I am making a LOT of lemonade. Really not whining though, It's all fixable and this is so very minor to a lot of things that life can throw at you. The problem is that I am in the proverbial "grey" area as far as not having any medical insurance and getting any help of any kind to fix this. Again...not whining, just trying to explain a little of my situation to you very nice people here.

I did read last night on here that some of you really recommend the refurb machines. That's great to know that there is a company out there that you can (more than sorta) trust and I will certainly consider this option and all options you are kind enough to suggest.

Again..Thank You..Thank You..Thank You!

Thom :)

Dorian Gray
2009-07-22, 15:24
Hey, you're welcome, Thom. It sounds like you're going through a tough time health-wise. Good luck with that! The price of a laptop probably sounds like a drop in the bucket compared to medical costs, but if every little helps I certainly wouldn't let myself think I really needed the 'best' (a 17-inch MBP), unless I really did. Maybe you could tell us what kind of things you'd want to do with the computer?

On the other hand, if your heart is set on a 17-inch MacBook Pro then getting one might be a little bit of medication all by itself. :)

2009-07-22, 15:55
Wow...Roboman, Dorian Grey and all the rest...!!!

I had read that this is THE forum site for anything Apple and they were exactly right!

Nothing really to add here, just wondering where you read that.

I just like to see where people talk about AN at.

I know I put it in my last FollowFriday for Twitter last week.

2009-07-22, 22:18
Hi Kieran,

This is a quote from a local group near me: "applerock.org The Little Rock Apple Computer Users Group."

"www.applenova.com -- Great board. Posters are very helpful with questions and the Mods are very tough on spamming and flaming."

I can't recall the site that mentioned it being "The" forum site though...sorry.

I know I have read a lot of posts on here and have been impressed by the way people have tried to help in a very nice and non-condescending way...which is just awesome.

Thanks again all...


2009-07-22, 22:25
Nice. :) Yeah, we have several technical hurdles for spammers as well as an active mod/admin group to torch their posts, but occasionally we leave up a (modified) spammer's post for public ridicule. It's like leaving a skull on a pike by the entranceway. :devil: ABANDON HOPE ALL SPAMMERS WHO ENTER HERE.

Anyhow, good luck on finding the MacBook Pro, Thoms. Sorry I don't have anything else useful to contribute here! :D

2009-07-23, 08:30
I'd either go for a refurb directly from Apple or, if you're buying new, buy from Amazon (which gives you free shipping and no sales tax unless you're in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington). Apple charges sales tax to all states that have it, which adds $100-$200 to the cost.

Plus right now Amazon is offering a free iPod Touch which makes the deal even better...as long as you don't live in one of those states.

2009-07-23, 08:37
I forgot all about the sales tax thing. Living in a sales tax-free state will do that to ya :p