Originally Posted by Tyler S
I looked for opinions on when the MacBook (non-pro) is going to be refreshed.
No idea! However I don't suspect major updates before fall. Minor updates possibly sooner to catch back to school sales.
The reason why I'm asking this is because I'm going to college this coming year and my parents have promised me a laptop as a graduation present and are willing to give it to me early, for my birthday.
Nice parents, I got a cold shoulder.
I know the new chipset is coming around with the revised penryns around May, but what does this mean in terms of Apple?
Apple is on its own set of tracks and the train really doesn't care about the rest of the world. Given that it is a greedy train, so I would not be surprised to see something ready for late back to school sales. It is a stretch and frankly Intel has already had issues with the current Penryns so who is to say they can meet the mid summer dead line. The point is I wouldn't count on a MAJOR MacBook refresh. Minor certainly so that it can be advertised as new for back to school.
Do you think they will only upgrade the Pro, wait a few months, and then update the non-pro? The reason why I'm asking this is because I would like to buy now, but I'd rather wait if the MacBook (non-pro) is going to be updated by June or earlier.
You really need to decide if you need to buy now. Frankly the details really don't matter because you will get a better deal if you can get into a back to school college discount program. That is check out the school you are going to and see if they offer discounted computer to students. If so it is a no brainer to buy after you are registered as a student. Some student discounts are very much worth the wait. Please check.
The flip side of the coin here is what do you know about computers right now? Because it really pays to be up to speed with your PC the first day of school. Or to put it another way school is no place to become one with you laptop, it is something you should have perfected long before the first class. Frankly this is the only reason I can think of to buy a laptop early, other wise look for student discounts and specials.
I've also noticed that the first-generation products tend to not have the quality that the later generations do have. Ex - the earlier first-gen MacBooks had a lot of problems with logic boards, odd processor fan noises, etc. Will this be true for the refresh as well?
There are no guarantees with respect to intial quality. The only good thing is that Apple has a better track record than most PC makers in making things right.
A couple of things to note:
First the Apple products are excellent but do realize that the school you are going to has some impact on your PC choice. If the school and your program is built around a PC running Windows or a computer running Linux you may have trouble with a Mac. You really need to square your purchase with the school and the specific program you are in. That may be hard to swallow but it is a reality, you can not assume that a MacBook will get you through any one program. Thankfully this is not the problem it use to be, but YOU NEED TO CHECK!
Second; t might be advantageous to put off the laptop for a few weeks or a quarter or two. Use a cheap ass desk top and save yourself some security grief. That is nice shinny new laptops can and will walk. Plus it gives you a bit of time to think about the best laptop for the job ahead.
Third; consider that you are making a system purchase. Most importantly Systems need a back up plan and hardware. A MacBook that fails could leave you dead in the water, so look closely at how you would recover from such a fate at school. This means having a solid backup plan that includes CDROMs, Memory sticks and file translations. You will want to be able to pick up from where you left off without loosing more than a days work. Part of that plan should be a USB dongle kept on your person at all times.