Cheapest, Bestus, Macbook for the Missus

I have no idea, but I want to surprise my wife with something fun for Christmas this year. I am generally opposed to getting a Mac (because I think it will be a hassle to learn how to fix it), but now that I see it includes drivers for my old Okidata printer, I am not as opposed as I previously was.

Plus, my wife literally wept when I got her an iPod 2 years back, so I know she will be pleased. And her old Dell Inspirion is getting creaky.

She mostly just wants to do email, write word docs, and mess with our pictures and video. Is the default software for mail pretty good? Do I need to get her MS Office for the Mac? All things considered, I will probably just get the mid-range one. One nice thing about buying a Mac is that the choices seem simple (option A, B, or C in either black or white).

Any must have Mac stuff that I, uh, must have?

get the lowest-end macbook without any addons or upgrades. or the midrange one if you think it matters (it won’t).

if she likes black you will have to spend a few hundred dollars more since you get no choice of colours but the black is a higher model.

  1. do NOT upgrade any ram or hd. instead, buy them aftermarket and install them yourself. they’re half the price of what apple charges. keep your old ones around should you need to return/take macbook in for warranty.
  2. buy applecare.
  3. buy a cheap external firewire hd to mess around with video. (optional)

that is all.

ah, good tips! Thansk rei! Much appreciated

Hold off on buying for a few weeks. Word on the street is updates in October. Expect new MacBooks with aluminum cases and upgrades to the innards.

Do I need to get her MS Office for the Mac?

Need might be putting it a bit strong, but I’m glad we got it especially since they dropped the price of the home/student edition and I know that the GF can write her stuff on it and make it work when she gets to the office without ringing me up in a panic.

Get a mouse as well, especially if you’re only used to Windows, I finally got around to plugging one into our Mac Paperweight and I don’t hate using it anymore. Apparently there is some jiggery pokery you can do with the mouse pad but I can’t figure it out.

oh yeah. get a sweet logitech or microsoft mouse. logitech’s drivers may suck so you may have to spend a useful $20 on a 3rd party mouse tweaking program. if your work has it, get office full version for $30 through the home use program at

i am presently mac-less and can’t recall what other worthwhile mac software i paid for a year back.

if you care about color coordination, there is a white logitech bluetooth v470 mouse for the laptop. or if you don’t mind the tiny dongle, the vx nano is great. as for a case, i myself like the form-fitting neoprene/close-fitting type cases/pouches/sleeves vs a big bulky one.

As Menzo said, there’s an anticipated BIG price cut in the Macbook lineup expected to be announced in a few weeks. Also snazzier designs and better components. With Apple, you never know, but it’s definitely worth the wait of a few weeks to find out.

One thing in favour of older Macbooks are sometimes with the new laptop refreshes, they may use faster RAM which may make it more expensive to upgrade the RAM (but I suppose using slower spec shouldn’t harm it) if it’s not widely available or cheap yet.

Or sometimes with new models you pay to be a beta tester for manufacturing kinks that get worked out in the months ahead. I prefer lagging edge sometimes but that’s just me.

Somebody should tell Tim that Macbooks don’t come with a hot french girl to talk to.

Don’t install Logitech “drivers” on OS X. You don’t need them, and they can actively cause harm to your system, since they use some painfully unsupported mechanisms for hacking the OS.

yeah they workarounds from which when left during an osx upgrade can kernel panic/fubar everything.

while it’s pay, better controller support is found in:

  1. steermouse:
  2. controllermate:
  3. usb overdrive:

No, it’s cool, I pointed him at Craigslist for the French girl. He oughta be set.

I’m not sure I buy into these rumors. Not that it means much, but I work in a campus store that sells a ton of Apple product (when Apple was contemplating selling the iPhone through campus stores, we were one of the possible pilot sites) and we’re not hearing anything about this from the Apple side.

Admittedly, Apple tends to keep a VERY tight lip on product launches and updates, but in the past we’ve at least heard something when there are big changes (if only because the Apple reps on the purchasing side HATE to deal with price protection and product returns after new product is announced just as much as we hate dealing with it with customers). Even if it’s something “unrelated” like the sales reps pushing price cuts on existing stock (which is what happened before the LAST MacBook refresh)

I wouldn’t be surprised if what people are talking about for October was slated for January instead.

All that said, for what OP’s wife wants there’s no reason to wait for the new secret announcment unless you’re also hoping to swoop in on a price drop for the existing product. The trick there is that Apple tries to blow all their old product out of the channel before they launch new product, so it can be harder to get (not impossible, though).

Stuff like “New models have shipped from China to stores” a month or more out are garbage, though. From shipping out of the factory to in our hands takes less than 10 days. There’s no way on earth Apple would let product sit in stores that long.