What is the best budget-Macintosh I can buy?

Posted on 2011-10-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
What is the best budget-Macintosh I can buy? Would a Mac mini be sufficient for me for most tasks? Is it possible to find one for about $500?

I want it primarily for downloading dictionaries and word lists for a wide range of languages, searching internet and databases for information that can't be found with Windows-based computer, perhaps do some DTP and searching university databases or other special databases and some common business administration.
Question by:hermesalpha
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    by:Dave Baldwin
    The Mac Mini is just the CPU and hard disk.  Everything else is extra.  You might find a bargain in a used one.

    Author Comment

    It's just that, no keyboard or display? Then I need the next level, I need keyboard and display so I can use it like a laptop.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    I use the apple wireless keyboard and mouse, and I use the DVI-HDMI cable and use a 32" flatscreen TV for my monitor.
    It's not really a laptop, but the small size makes it portable.  If you buy extra cables you can probably use most newer TV's as a monitor if needed.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    The only thing that you can use as a laptop for your needs is a laptop. Apple laptops start at $1,000 but look at refurbished ones - you can find one for $850.
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    Skip the Mini if you can. If  you live near a decent metro area, craigslist has great used iMacs in your range.

    Also, is now selling refurbed Macs. Sounds scary, but it can save you money and meet your needs.

    Also, you can save a couple of bucks on a new machine through Macmall. Get a bottom of the line iMac. Once that baby arrives and you plug it in, you'll never miss the money you spent. You'll be in love.

    If you go into an Apple Store, you can often negotiate a business discount or a educational discount.

    Laptops are more expensive for the processing power they provide then the equivalent iMac. Only get one if you will benefit from the portability.

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