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$899 MacBook – Tempting?

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In advance of tomorrow’s Apple media event, rumors are swirling about a sub-$1000 laptop – with most sources pegging it at an $800 or $900 price point. This would be a $200 to $300 drop from the current cheapest MacBook – but perhaps more importantly, it would also be the first time for an Apple laptop to break into a 3-digit price.

Of course, there are plenty of sub-$1000 laptops on the market already – you can buy Dell’s Inspiron line at prices from $499 up, and if you’re willing to compromise down to the “netbook” level of machine, with a 9-inch screen, you can find pricing under $400. But those cheaper machines are not, of course, Macs.

As a happy Mac owner already, the new price point isn’t much of a temptation to me – we’ve already got two MacBooks in the office, and being developers, we’re unlikely to go for a low-end notebook in any case. But I wonder whether it will contribute significantly to Apple’s ever-growing share of the laptop market.

If you’re not yet a MacBook user, what do you think? Could a new, cheaper Mac laptop tempt you to switch? Or are you firmly committed to some alternative, despite the pressure to join the cool kids?

15 Responses to “$899 MacBook – Tempting?”

  1. I have several Macs… and an (ASUS) netbook. (oh, plus a Windows PC, and a bunch of Linux servers)

    But describing a netbook as a “compromise” seems to be missing the point. It’s like describing a motorcycle as a “compromise for people who wanted a car.”

    The netbook is a completely different proposition to a MacBook – there are times when I want the full-power environment, and times (planes, meetings) when I want a small, discreet device on which to take notes without putting up a “wall of laptops” across the meeting room table.

    If they released a NetBook Mac, then I’d be very, very tempted, because I _would_ like the joy of MacOS combined with the tiny, tiny form factor of my ASUS…

    … but a full-sized Mac that was a bit cheaper than a MacBook – not sure where that would fit my EcoSystem.

  2. My biggest problem with Mac is that they are so expensive.

    I’ve always run on a PC, but my gradual transition into a designer and also towards working and less towards gaming has me wanting an iMac. However it bothers me that I have to pay $2500 for an iMac with a decent video card and 4gb of RAM compared to a custom built PC. Granted it comes with about the best 24 inch display you can get… its still out of my range.

    The Macbook Pro’s are even more disturbing. I’d love to replace this Dell Inspiron 9400 with a MBP but with the only 17″ version running $2799 it would be insane. YOU CAN GET AN 8-CORE MAC PRO FOR THAT! And a 15″ just wont cut it.

    If Apple would look at offering more options and pushing their prices down some, they could pull a huge market share away from the PC’s. I guess they figure they are doing just fine as it is.

  3. I’m cheap (read: broke), so price matters. But more interesting/exciting to me is the form factor — when the price of LCDs forced the cheapest laptops up to 14″ (smaller screens are/were more expensive) I was able to find my wife an HP 14″ for $500; but couldn’t find a 10″ I liked for less than $1000 (Mac or PC). Now I see there are half a dozen $500-700 PC mini-books out there, which can ship with XP, Vista, or (even better) Linux preinstalled.

    Yippee for the road warrior! I’ll be keeping an ear to the rail tomorrow…

  4. Since getting a macbook pro for my new business, my wife has noticed the considerable difference in experience with her new Lenovo. The expense has put her off changing, but I think that may change now.

  5. I actually just got a refurbished macbook (the black one) and I’m already finding it worth the investment. With a respectable harddrive, I find myself taking it around with me and getting more done on my personal projects when I’d be otherwise waiting around for things (meeting someone, missed a train, etc.)

    Thus said, it took me until the age of 26 to afford even a refurbished macbook, so a lower price would have gotten me to take the jump a lot sooner.

  6. The only thing that has stopped me from buying a Mac is the price, so this is tempting for me. My PC, although HP service is fantastic, is doing some funky things, so I’m definitely intrigued.