June 2012 – Finally after what seemed like an eternal wait for new 2012 Apple MacBooks, they have arrived!
The Apple MacBook Air is the Mac Portable To Buy in 2011 as we wait for the release of the 2012 MacBook Pro
It’s October already as I write this and if it were earlier this spring, I would have said that hands down, buy a new MacBook Pro today as they are fast and well designed notebook computers featuring fast processors. And with the capability, unofficially at least – to accept 16GB of RAM.
The biggest question you may have had back then earlier in 2011 was which MacBook Pro Do I Buy? With 5 different models of MacBook Pros, such as the cheapest MacBook Pro out of the bunch, the 13inch MBP to the desktop replacement 17 inch MacBook Pros these new Apple notebooks came in enough different sizes and price points that there would be a MacBook Pro for every need.
And then time slipped by and this summer we saw the release of new Apple iMacs in May, the MacBook Air refresh in July, and the Mac Mini update happening in July too. And suddenly, the once fast and fresh MacBook Pros lost a little bit of their lustre.
If you need to buy a Mac Desktop computer, the Mac Mini is the cheapest Mac you’ll see this year and is fast enough for most every day calculations, and even with the added cost of a monitor and keyboard and mouse, the Apple Mac Mini is still cheaper than an Apple iMac.
Then there’s the MacBook Air models, and if you’re in the market for a new MacBook Pro, you may want to consider these lightweight and fast notebooks instead of buying a MacBook Pro as they are currently the lightest and fastest notebook you can buy from Apple.
But what if you don’t want to buy a desktop Mac, as you need something portable and the MacBook Pros that were released in 2011 are looking a little dated. This leaves you with three choices:
Buy a 2011 Apple MacBook Pro
Wait for the 2012 Apple MacBook Pro to be released.
Buy a 2011 Apple MacBook Air.
I can’t really recommend that you buy a brand new MBP today as the new 2012 MacBook Pros are probably right around the corner with release dates rumored to be as early as this fall, but my guess is you’ll see a completely new MacBook Pro in 2012 that offers a new look (kiss the CD player goodbye), less weight with more RAM and SSD solid state drives as standard.
History has showed us over the past decade that January at MacWorld has been the release dates for previous generations of Apple Pro notebook models with a few refreshes in the fall, but my guess is that the MacBook Pros will not been until the new year in 2012. Apple has just released a brand new Apple iPhone and iPod lineup, and a new iCloud and iOS is in the works this fall as well. They have more than enough products that are current to separate you from your money. The new MBP’s can wait until the new year.
Apple has relied on essentially the same design for their MacBook Pro and yes, they have made improvements in screen technology and thunderbolt parts, but it’s my opinion that the newer MacBook Pro versions will be souped up MacBook Air models.
One thought would be to offer a 13 inch and 15 inch MacBook Pro with faster processors and more RAM than the air models and leave the 17 inch MBP design alone, as this Apple notebook is often used as a desktop replacement where one may need a CD Drive and all the ports you can muster.
All this to say: If you’re asking when is a good time to buy a MacBook Pro, now is not the time. I would wait and see what the 2012 MacBook Pro models look like before you buy a Mac notebook in 2011. If you need to buy a new Mac notebook today, you might be better off with the MacBook Air and then replace the Air with the new MacBook Pro from 2012 when the time comes if you feel the need to upgrade.
I do know I will be writing on my 2008 MacBook Pro until I see what Apple has in store for us for 2012. I don’t think that buying a 2011 MacBook Pro is a good deal right now.
4GB of RAM has never been cheaper than it is today
The price on memory upgrades, or RAM if you will changes constantly so rather then tell you what it costs for 4GB of RAM I’d rather show you with a price list of current ram prices for notebook computers. I chose notebooks, because there’s a good chance your next computer will be a notebook computer because the prices on notebook computers keep dropping in price over time.
An example: One of the best selling notebooks currently on sale at Amazon (I like buying my computers from Amazon, they offer quick shipping, and stock everything under the sun so I can place one order and then get on with life. I don’t have to shop at different computer stores – one for RAM, and one for the laptop)
Anyway, as an example, you can get into an Asus netbook for about $350, which is a pretty good deal for a notebook for web browsing and facebooking and the like. And this particular Asus notebook allows up to 8GB of RAM, meaning you’ll need to buy 4GB x 2 to fill the two available memory slots this notebook computer has.
Not only is this a pretty good deal on a notebook for under $400, but also if you add RAM you’ll get a speed increase too Take a look at the 8GB Memory Upgrade Kits for this laptop computer:
[table id=7 /]
As you can see, 4GB memory modules for 2011 notebooks are pretty cheap, and the 8GB memory upgrade kits save you more money on RAM as they are discounted usually as a memory upgrade kit, as opposed to a memory upgrade module.
If you have been sitting on the fence about a ram upgrade, now is the best time to buy. In the fifteen years I have been keeping track of the memory prices, ram has never ever been cheaper. Buy 4GB RAM now and be happy that you saved money and have a smoother and faster computer to boot.
I especially like to shop for stuff I’m interested in be it home audio, photography or my favorite: Apple computers. But I also hate to pay full load when I don’t have to. In fact, that’s how ramseeker was born. I read in a forum about how nobody could find a fair price on memory and how Apple charged too much for ram. (they do).
I had seen some great memory prices while surfing the web from Crucial, 18004Memory, etc and a website was born on helping you get a good deal on Apple Memory.
And I do the same thing for Apple iMacs when I am ready to buy a new Apple computer, and over the years again I have found just like the memory prices, you can get a better deal on a new iMac if you don’t buy the Apple iMac directly from Apple as Apple will charge you full list price. Granted, Apple does offer some deals on refurbished Macs and that’s great but I’m talking about where to buy an iMac cheaper than what Apple charges.
Oddly enough, Apple allows discounts on Apple iMacs from other computer stores and that’s why it’s possible to get a better price on an iMac at Amazon than it is if you would buy the Apple iMac from Apple. Sometimes Apple will offer rebates and other promotions such as the back to school program recently offered but for the most part when you buy from Apple you’re paying full pop day in and day out.
Deals on Apple iMacs happen all the time and a few stores you should check out for iMac deals I have listed below. Some, such as MacMall will throw in free software such as Parallels to sweeten the deal but also allow you to run windows software on your Apple iMac or in some cases you can get a free printer with your new Apple iMac too. If you spend an hour searching for the best Apple iMac prices online you could save ten percent or even higher on your new Apple iMac computer purchase.
These are but a few stores where you can get a better deal on an iMac than paying full price from an Apple iMac. You’re just ordering a box with your credit card so it’s my opinion that as long as the warranty will still be honored in the rare case I do have an iMac problem, I don’t care where the Apple iMac comes from.
Now, don’t go thinking you’ll get a half price iMac or anything like that, because you won’t. Apple restricts resellers to display the MAP (minimum advertised price) on Apple iMacs and that’s why when you shop for an iMac you may see the price displayed at these stores to be the same price as what Apple charges. The only way to get around this restriction is to add the iMac to your shopping cart (don’t worry, you can remove it later) to see the lowest price from these online stores. It’s a bit confusing and some stores do a horrible job at explaining how all this works and probably lose sales on Apple products because of it, while other store do a great job of explaining why you need to add the iMac to your cart to get the best price.
Adding the iMac to a shopping cart is not complicated as it’s just one click and you could save as much as ten percent on a new iMac. Add the freebies places like MacMall add to the iMac deal and your total savings on a brand new iMac could be almost a couple hundred bucks. I think that saving over $100 on a brand new Apple iMac is worth the effort of a half hour or so to do some research on getting the best iMac deal you can find.
Of course, once you buy an iMac, you need to fill it with RAM for the best performance, and if you buy RAM from the cheapest memory stores, you won’t get hosed on a ram upgrade. Whatever you do, don’t buy Apple RAM as its’outrageously overpriced. You can find much better deals on RAM for Apple iMacs below:
**The Cheapest Apple Desktop Computer Might be the Best Desktop from Apple in 2011
It’s October 2011 as I write this, and this will probably change over time as new computer models could be released before the year’s end and in time to take advantage of Christmas 2011 sales on computers, there’s a good chance that the computers for sale in 2011 have already been released.
The Best Apple Desktop Computer for 2011.
Earlier this year, when I made this list I would have said that an Apple MacBook Pro or even the Apple iMac would have been perfect choices for Apple Computers. We haven’t seen a new Mac Pro Model this year at all from Apple so we can scratch that off the list as it’s my opinion that the 2010 Mac Pros should be discontinued or at least have received a refresh to the lineup this year.
Before the Apple event yesterday announcing the iPhone 4s, I had hoped that Apple would bump up the Mac Pro lineup with new models, but now that the cat’s out of the bag we know that Apple is concentrating on phones and and iPods in time for the holiday season. A smart move, professionally, but personally I would have liked to see to see a new Mac Pro under my tree this year.
The cheapest Apple Mac might be your best bet for an Apple Desktop computer to buy in 2011, with the 2nd place going to the Apple iMac. A Mac Mini and external monitor may not be as elegant as the Apple iMac with it’s all in one design but it’s possible you can buy a 21 inch desktop computer cheaper than if you were to opt for the all in one Apple iMac Design
Let’s Compare Apple Desktops
The cheapest Apple iMac you can get into is the Apple iMac 21.5 inch model at $1125.00 or so from Amazon. The cheapo iMac features a 2.5 GHz Intel i5 Processor, 500GB of hard drive space and 4GB of RAM.
The cheapest Apple computer you can buy, period is the Apple Mac Mini at about $568 from Amazon at time of writing. That’s close to half price of the iMac. The specs for the Apple Mac Mini are 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
You can’t bump the processor speed on the Mac Mini, so based purely on processor speed the Apple iMac wins. But we’re talking .2GHz of speed differences between the two and at double the price of the Mac Mini (without the needed accessories like monitor and keyboard) you have to ask yourself is the Apple iMac worth it?
Yes, the iMac features a LCD display the Mac Mini does not have, and a keyboard and mouse are included in the box as well but all of these items can be bought as well as the display. The ram is a little lighter on the stock Mac Mini too, so that needs to be rectified, but 8GB of RAM is so cheap today you should upgrade the ram regardless of what mac you decide to buy.
This gives us a bluetooth mouse and keyboard that are wireless and I chose the best selling 21.5 inch display for this example that’s pretty cheap too, at just over $100. The display may be the deciding factor here. Unless you do a side by side comparison of the two monitors there’s no way to tell which LCD display is preferable, so I went with the cheapest 21.5 inch monitor I could find.
The Total Cost for a Mac Mini and Accessories based on my calculations above comes to $815.00.
Compared to the cheapest iMac Price of $1125, you save a touch over $300 if you buy the Mac Mini over the iMac.
The Pros of the Apple iMac include more ram and a cable free all in one footprint. No monitor cables. The Cons of the Apple iMac is the price. If you’re looking to buy the cheapest Apple computer desktop package then the example above gets you into a current 2011 Apple desktop for under $1000. Well under, in fact.
I’m in the market for a new Desktop Mac and I’m leaning towards the Mac Mini as my next Mac as the speed of the computer matters less and less to me as the computer is waiting for me most of the time now and with the extra savings I could get into a bigger LCD display giving me more screen space, and for the computing I tend to do that’s a bigger deal than having the fastest Apple Computer in 2011.
There’s also the fact that the Mac Mini setup is considerably cheaper than an iMac. $300 buys me a new iPod or gets me close to an iPad or tablet device than if I had bought the Mac Mini. I can live with a cable or two on my desktop for a $300 savings overall.
I’ve been working with Apple computers for so long that I sometimes forget that not everybody has the same skillset and knowledge as I do and may have questions about their new iMac, or even if they are ready to buy an iMac they may need help with choosing the best Apple iMac for their needs or even ask if the Apple iMac is right for them in the first place, and would they be better off buying a cheaper windows PC.
Ask iMac Questions and Get iMac Answers on iMac Forums
Thanks to the wonders of the internet there’s a whole world of information out there about Apple iMacs, on both new and old discontinued iMacs and as such lots of iMac users are ready to help you with your questions, but also allow you to join a community designed around the Apple iMac where you can discusss the pros and cons of your favorite Apple desktop compute for consumers.
Of course, the biggest iMac community is found at the mothership at Apple with forums dedicated to both the newer Intel based Apple iMacs but also the slower PPC Apple iMacs too are discussed at length at Apple with lots of knowledgeable Apple users willing to help and discuss the Apple iMac with you. From help with iMac Hardware or iMac software you’ll find somebody willing to help you with your iMac questions.
But the Apple iMac Community is not the only forum dedicated to the Apple iMac and more information on the Apple iMac can be found at other websites dedicated to the Apple iMac both new and old:
There’s more iMac forums online, but these are the best five Apple iMac forums available today for the Apple iMac computer and you’re best to stick with the larger sites due mostly to the volume of iMac users these sites attract.
Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade the memory on your Apple iMac, you don’t need a forum to help you with the best deal on iMac RAM as I have all the answers right here with the lowest prices on iMac RAM from the best memory stores online :