Cheaper Ways To Buy Apple Macs

Fear of change is probably the biggest reason holding PC users back from trying a Mac, but my observation after talking to few PC user friends, apparently cost seems to be another big factor too. In Malaysia, you’ll get a fairly good laptop at the price of RM $2000 (USD $600+) but for a Macbook, it will cost about RM4000 (USD $1200). I think it’s fair to say under a same-spec-PC-to-Mac compare, Mac will eventually cost 40% more. It might varies from country to country but I argue they are similar.

However, for those who are really interested in experiencing Mac but hold back because of the price, here’s some recommendations. What I intend to suggest is not installing Hackintosh on your PC, nor attempting to convert your Windows XP/Vista theme to Mac look-alike. Instead, it’s a more economic way to own a legit copy of Mac that we’ve tend to missed. Content after jump.

Mac Mini


The Mac Mini not only shrink in terms of the size, but also it’s cost. Mac mini is the cheapest and most affordable among the Mac line-ups but still maintaining the integrity. It has got what a normal CPU would have, yet in such small portable size. The latest Mac Mini in Apple store comes with these following specification:

The specifications

  • 1.83GHz or 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • Up to 2GB memory
  • Intel GMA 950 graphics processor
  • Up to 160GB hard drive
  • Slot-loading optical drive
  • Expansion via USB and FireWire
  • iLife ’08, Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard

The Cost

Referring the specs mentioned above, it should cost no more than RM2500 (USD $600). The only additional expenses are probably monitors, keyboards, and mouse, where they don’t come along with the Mac Mini. Assuming you agree that Mac mini is cheap, and purchase the additional LCD monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc, your total expense will not exceed RM3200 (USD $940). Isn’t that the price of a new Desktop. Did I mention Mac Mini came with full iLife and Mac OS X Leopard.

Refurbished Mac


Buying refurbished Mac is actually a great idea but it often slipped through one’s mind because they don’t appear in catalogs or displayed in Mac stores. So what exactly are these refurbished Macs? When there are new products on the line-up, people trade in their old so their new Mac so it will not cost them a fortune. These old Macs go back to the factory, get checked, re-polished and stamped with new warranty so you don’t have to worry about second-hand wear and tear drama. And yes, they are always cheaper, usually 10-30% cheaper than the new ones. But they are brand new too, with warranty, so what’s the problem?

Where to buy refurbished Mac

The online Apple store. Under the Store tab, inside ‘Special Deal’ panel, look for Refurbished Mac. Check with your country’s online Mac store because some products don’t ship internationally. Refurbished Mac product in each country store varies, and they come and go very fast, especially the good deals. So if you are really into getting one, make sure you stay alerted.

Tips to grab fast on Mac refurbished page

When a good deal (especially the Macbook series) hit the refurbished page, it stays for a couple of days and it’ll be purchased. To catch the good deals, you need to stay alert. The page has got no RSS feeds, but still, there’s way to get around it so you get the first-hand information on product releases. Here’s what I did to snatch one of the good Macbook deal.

  1. .Mac account ready – Make sure you have a .Mac account, with your credit card information, shipping addresses properly filled in.

    Sign up a .Mac account

  2. Use Firefox browser – Install Update scanner in your Firefox browser. Use it monitor any content changes on the refurbished page so you get first hand alert whenever there’s updates to the page.