What is the best budget-Macintosh I can buy?

Posted on 2011-10-28
Medium Priority
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 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37048707
The Mac Mini is just the CPU and hard disk.  Everything else is extra.  http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini  You might find a bargain in a used one.

Author Comment

ID: 37048733
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

ID: 37048777
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

ID: 37048785
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

mccrick earned 2000 total points
ID: 37050006
Skip the Mini if you can. If  you live near a decent metro area, craigslist has great used iMacs in your range.

Also, Newegg.com 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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