Shopping for a Good Deal on a MacBook

When shopping for the **best MacBook deal **one might assume that you would get the lowest price on a MacBook (and MacBook accessories, for that matter) directly from the the mother ship itself: Apple.

But that’s not the case and if you shop around for a MacBook you can get a pretty good price. Gone are the days where we could just buy, buy, buy and barely look at the price of Apple computers and if you’re in the market to buy a MacBook which is the budget notebook from Apple there’s a good chance you have a budget for this new MacBook purchase and you can only spend so much money on Apple’s consumer portable.

**MacBook Deals at Apple

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One of the first places I check for MacBook deals is Apple. Then you know exactly how much a MacBook would cost when you buy it from the Apple Store.

We’re going to assume you’re shopping for a brand new MacBook and if you’re in the market for a used MacBook which are still viable machines, a good place to start shopping for used MacBook deals are eBay and Craigslist where you can with some time effort and patience get a great deal on a used MacBook but you have to be much more aware of scams and dishonest sellers than if you were to buy a new MacBook from an Apple Authorized dealer.

**MacBook Deals at Amazon

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One of the first places I check for Apple MacBooks at better prices than Apple is Amazon. The savings may not be much (usually just a few percent) but the benefit of Amazon is they offer bundles for greater savings on MacBook Accesories

An example would be like this Apple MacBook Bundle:

Buy the Apple MacBook 13 inch, add AppleCare and Microsoft Office Mac for Home and Student and you get a much better deal on the these three items than if you had bought them individually. The savings on the MacBook alone is worth it as the final price is much closer to $900 than the $999 MSRP from Apple.

**MacMall MacBook Bundles

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MacMall has long been another favorite of mine when in the market for a new Apple computer as this online Apple store usually has some really good deals on MacBooks that you can’t beat as their approach is a bit different when pricing MacBooks. Instead of creating bundles as is popular when you buy a MacBook from Amazon, MacMall tends to compete by offering a lot of free MacBook accessories such as printers, mice and software to sweeten the MacBook deal. Or sometimes they just offer the MacBook for much less than the Apple Store would charge. A **$935.00 MacBook Price **is much better than a $999 MacBook Price in my books. That’s a $65 saving for buying the exact same item and a much better MacBook deal overall.

Cost of Memory for 2011 Apple MacBook Pro

With the release of the latest Apple MacBook Pro models a few weeks back, and the past few weeks of most memory stores adding the MacBook Pro RAM to their stores, I think it’s safe to say that with few exceptions the MacBook Pro Memory prices have settled and now we know what’s available for RAM for the first new Macs to come from Apple in 2011

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I have specifically highlighted a few stores that were first to market the MacBook Pro RAM, and earlier this week we also know that you can spend more on RAM for MacBook Pros than the MacBook Pro itself with $1700 RAM upgrades for MacBook Pro’s being available to purchase. My guess is the 16GB RAM prices will settle once more vendors come online with 16GB MacBook Pr RAM, and unless every millisecond counts the 8GB MacBook Pro RAM Kits offer far more reasonable value with MacBook Pro RAM  under $100 – a fraction of what it costs for the 16GB RAM upgrade kits

See Best Price on MacBook Pro

Best MacBook Pro Prices

_**_At the time I write this  you can buy 8GB, 12GB, and now 16GB RAM for MacBook Pros. I have yet to add the 16GB kits  yet because so far,it’s just OWC that offers these and there’s not much need to compare prices on 16GB RAM when only one memory vendor sells this very expensive RAM for MacBook Pros  so far.

The best deal is the 8GB memory upgrade kits for MacBook Pros that under $100 make it a no nonsense and cheap way to double the RAM in Apple’s newest MacBook Pros that require different memory than the 2008-2010 Apple MacBook Pros. The new MacBook Pros use DDR3 PC10600 1333MHz RAM which is a different memory type than the older MBP’s which used DDR3 1066 SDRAM sodimms for memory upgrades.  It should come as no surprise that the faster RAM combined with the faster i5 and i7 Intel processors in the MacBook Pro’s for 2011 result the fastest notebooks Apple has ever built to date with the 2011 MacBook Pro updates.

RAM Upgrades for the 2011 Apple MacBook Pros are available by upgrading the factory memory in the MacBook Pro with larger 4GB chips or the newest 8GB DDR3 1333MHz notebook memory modules, resulting in 4GB, 8GB, 12GB and 16GB upgrades available.

The  12GB memory upgrade kit seems to me to be the black sheep out of all the memory configurations. Due to the current cost of 8GB RAM modules for the MBP’s it makes sense to either buy the 8GB or 16GB memory upgrade kits. If you are going to upgrade the RAM, I have always felt that it’s best to do it by doubling the RAM you currently have. Yes, 12GB is still  more RAM than 8GB but due to the costs I would wait until those 8GB RAM chips drop in price, as they will.

How To Buy RAM From Apple

One word: Don’t. You can get a much better deal on Apple Memory

This is simple advice on memory upgrades if you are in the market to buy the cheapest RAM for your Macintosh, in most cases you will not find it at Apple. The one and only reason why you might want to buy Apple RAM is if you value convenience over cost.

Best Apple RAM Price

**Best Selling Apple RAM

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You might be able to save some money on Apple RAM if you buy a Mac at the same time online from the Apple Store, as you could buy a Macintosh  Computer filled with RAM from Apple to the maximum capacity negating the need to replace the factory memory from Apple with bigger memory upgrade modules at a later date. This will save you some money if you buy a Mac at the same time.

Let’s investigate, and assume a new 13 inch MacBook Pro is the Apple computer you want to buy from Apple and fill it with 8GB of RAM – the maximum memory for MacBook Pro as advised from Apple (although the good folks at OWC will tell you otherwise):

**Cost for the 2011 13 inch 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro from Apple: $1199

Cost for filling the MacBook with 8GB from Apple: additional $200. **

This brings a 13 inch MacBook Pro to $1399 with 8GB if you buy it from Apple.

Plan B would be to still buy the 13 inch MacBook Pro from Amazon and save a few bucks: $1194.00. Not much of a deal on a Mac Notebook but hey, five bucks is five bucks.

Now we go ram shopping online for the best ram deal on 8GB MacBook Pro RAM and at the time of writing 8GB memory upgrade kits can be bought from Crucial Technology for just $97.00, which is not only considerably cheaper RAM than buying from Apple, but Crucial Technology is a well respected and trusted memory store that both makes, manufactures and supports the RAM you buy, and all for under $100 for MacBook Pro RAM.

Total cost for a 13 inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM when you buy the MacBook Pro from Amazon and the RAM from Crucial: $1291.00

So buying your MacBook Pro memory from a trusted and respected third party memory store you save over $100 on your MacBook Pro.

But this gets better: You still have the 2x 2GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM Upgrades that you pulled from your original MacBook Pro and if you choose to spend a few bucks more on MacBook Pro RAM.. let’s use OWC, as they will accept trade ins on your MacBook Memory and will offer you $26 for your factory installed MacBook RAM.

OWC charges $112.99 at time of writing for 8GB MacBook Pro RAM Kits. Subtract the $26.00 for the factory RAM trade in and your total cost for 8GB of RAM for 13 inch MacBook Pro drops to $86.99, which beats the Crucial RAM price and brings the total cost for a 13 inch MacBook Pro down another $11.00 to $1280.00. This ends up being savings of $120.00 when you compare against buying the same MacBook Pro from Apple Directly.

For some, the $120 savings on a 13 inch MacBook Pro is more than enough for you to decide to buy both the Apple notebook and the memory upgrades from a third party store. But for others, it’s not worth the $120 savings and you value convenience over cost and possibly: warranty issues.

When you buy both the Apple Macintosh and the RAM directly from Apple, in the slight chance that there is a problem with your new MacBook, it is possible Apple could blame the third party RAM as the problem with your Apple notebook, negating any  savings with the time you spend troubleshooting problems with your MacBook Pro.

It’s up to you whether you choose to buy RAM direct from Apple Computer but be aware that when compared against other options for memory  upgrades that tend to be cheaper  the Apple Store memory upgrade will always be the most expensive memory you can buy.

2012 Apple MacBook Pro 16GB Memory Upgrades

As I noted back in August, it was just a matter of time until 16GB RAM, MacBook Pro Memory Upgrades specifically would be available to buy online and it looks as if that day has finally come with 16GB for MacBook Pro Kits being available and now they not only offer 8GB Memory Upgrade Kits for the 2011 MacBook Pros, but also 16GB too which is the big deal when it comes to new RAM Upgrades for the New MacBooks. Also, Amazon is another store you can buy 16GB MacBook Pro RAM, and at time of

Best Prices on MacBook Pro Models

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See Best Price on MacBook Pro

The best deal on RAM from for the new MacBook Pro’s are in my opinion now the 16GB option which maxes out your MacBook Pro to way beyond what Apple recommends as maximum memory, which was 8GB to 16GB.

This 16GB RAM upgrade is compatible with all Apple MacBook Pros that require 1600Mhz DDR3 SDRAM sodimms,and to get to the maximum of 16GB of RAM you will need to buy 8GBx2 as there are still only two memory upgrade slots available for RAM upgrades int the new MBP’s but if you either have bought a MacBook Pro or in the market to buy a MacBook Pro you should upgrade the RAM to at least the maximum that Apple recommends which is 8GB.

The best RAM upgrade for the MacBook Pro is the 16GB ram option, because if you are upgrading MacBook Pro memory you may as well do it right and do it once and buy 16GB of MacBook Pro RAM if you can afford to.

Should I Buy a MacBook Pro 2.3 or 2.7 GHz?

June, 2012- The Apple MacBook Pro models I wrote about below have now been discountinued and replaced with much faster and cheaper MacBook Pro Models: The 2012 Apple MacBook Pro lineup now consists of the Apple MacBook Pro in 13 and 15 inch versions and the MacBook Pro 15 inch with Retina Display.  The 17 inch MacBook Pro has been discontinued.  See the best prices on the new MacBook Pro models

The new Apple MacBook Pros are probably the best Apple notebooks ever to be released yet and offer not only faster processors but a new connectivity options with the Thunderbolt technology the next generation of input and output devices, according to Apple. HD Facetime, faster graphics and the fact that both the 15 inch and 17 inch 2011 Apple MacBook Pros round out the main and most notable upgrades for the MBP’s this year to date.

But if you are wanting to compare 2.3 GHz MacBook Pros versus 2.7 GHz MacBook Pros, you are limited to the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro which is currently available in these two configurations, with the difference being $300 between the two models: 2.3GHz vs 2.7Ghz MacBook Pros

That’s the first question I would ask when deciding what Apple MacBook Pro to buy, regardless of screen size or feature set.

Both models ship with the same 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM, and the hard drive space is minimally larger – 320GB versus 500GB hard drives when comparing the two 13 inch MacBook Pros leaving the faster processor vs the slower processor speed your main difference between the two 2011 13 inch MacBook Pro models.

Let’s assume you buy the 13 inch MacBook Pro directly from Apple and you don’t get any deals or any other MacBook Pro discounts. This means that excluding sales taxes and shipping the 13 inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro will cost you $1199 and the 13 inch 2.7 inch MacBook Pro will cost you $300 more at $1499.00. This, as I have noted in the past is a $300 price difference between the two.

Now, if money is not a concern, this is an easy question to answer: Buy the 2.7 inch MacBook Pro, but if you need the cheapest MacBook Pro currently ons sale then the cheap MacBook Pro is the better deal. You might also want to consider adding a warranty option to your MacBook  Pro and  ask yourself: is AppleCare worth it? Some may think the included one year warranty is all they need, while some might say portables demand extented warranty due to all the possibilities of things that can go wrong on your MacBook Pro

**What is your time worth?

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We also need to consider what you plan on using the MacBook Pro for. If the intended use of the MacBook Pro (and this advice applies to any model) is for business the choice is easy: Buy the 13 inch 2.7MHz MBP. Assuming you keep the MacBook Pro for a year, which is a reasonable time frame to buy and use a new computer, the added cost for the higher end MacBook Pro works out to just pennies per day and not even a dollar a day more. The cost to own the 13 inch MacBook Pro works out to $4.10 per day, so if you make money with your MacBook Pro and it’s more than the measly four bucks, you will be more productive, which results in even more money being made. It would not be hard to make over $4.00 per day with any notebook – Apple or otherwise. I know I do. :)

**What is your MacBook Budget?

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But, what if you’re a consumer who wants a more powerful, modern and faster computer than the current MacBook lineup that’s getting a bit old and are considering buying a 13 inch MacBook Pro. And even though it is not the cheapest MacBook you can buy you can swing the $200 more for the 2.3 GHz model, but when yo consider that you are not using this MacBook Pro for business and more as a portable computer for cafes and the couch, the added $300 on top of the added $200 for the Pro version brings you to $500 more than the MacBook line and with another $500 you could buy two MacBooks or buy a MacBook when you need a full sized keyboard with contemporary design but use that $500 surplus and buy a just released Apple iPad 2 with the same $1500 budget. For the consumer, the choice on what MacBook Pro to buy seems to me to be considerably tougher due to the fact that you have much more choices in how to spend your computer dollars. If you need to buy the cheapest Mac portable, then you should be looking at the MacBook line, but if you can afford it, I would buy the 2.3GHz MacBook Pro. Yes, this is the more expensive option but with that extra $200 you get a faster, more modern Apple notebook that at first blush might be the more expensive choice, but you may get more use and enjoyment over time.

Where the current MacBook might indeed be the cheaper notebook, it will also age faster and although fast enough for almost every task your average consumer could want, the 13 inch MacBook Pro is the better MacBook deal and the MacBook I would buy unless you really cannot afford the extra $200.

What about MacBook Pro screen size?

One other factor to consider when buying a new MacBook Pro is not only price and processor speed – but LCD display size as well. At $1499 the 13 inch MacBook Pro is just $300 away from a 15 inch Apple MacBook Pro at $1799, and with that added $300 to the overall cost of the 2.7GHz MacBook Pro 13 inch comes one thing that a lot of users value and that is screen real estate.

Not only do you get a bigger LCD display when you buy a 15 inch MacBook Pro, but you get a bump in processing speed with the 15 inch MacBook Pro offering Intel quad core i7 processors vs the $1499 13 incher’s 2.7Ghz dual core Intel i5 processors. The quad core processors run slower at 2.0 GHz, and not all applications will take advantage of the added cores yet, but if you’re a professional that can uses the MacBook Pro and needs lots of windows open or menus visable, the 15 inch MacBook Pro might allow you to work faster for no other reason than there’s more screen real estate and pixels to use and take advantage of. The cheaper 15 inch MacBook Pro is definitely a MacBook Pro to consider if the 13 inch 2.7 Ghz is also on the list of the MacBook Pros you are considering buying.

To summarize, it’s not an easy decision to choose between the 2.3 Ghz and 2.7 inch MacBook Pro when it comes time to buy a new Apple notebook but unless you really need the extra speed the .4 GHz and the 120 GB of extra hard drive space offers, it’s my opinion that the 2011 2.3GHz 13 inch MacBook Pro is the best deal on an Apple notebook computer available today.