SMAD Notebook Recommendations for Fall 2021

SMAD notes that DVC concentrators might consider purchasing Apple’s $199.99 Pro Apps Bundle for Education; it’s a great deal on a collection of professional-grade applications that we use in our own labs and classes.

Please note: storage and memory are not upgradable in Macintosh notebooks, so SMAD recommends that one buy as much of both as one can reasonably afford and thus ensure that the computer will run quickly for as many years as possible.

If price on any of these systems is a concern, the SSD of the "Good" system could be reduced to 256 GB (this would also reduce the graphics chip to 7 cores); the SSD of the "Better" system could be reduced to 256 GB or 512 GB; and the amount of memory on the "Best" system could be reduced from 32 GB to 16 GB. In no case should the ammount of memory for any system be reduced below 16GB.

Apple is very likely to release an entirely new 16" MacBook Pro this summer that will be built around their new M-series CPUs. While Intel-based MacBook Pros will be supported for many years to come, SMAD recommends waiting for an M-series MacBook Pro if possible.

SMAD MacBook Air
(Good)

Available in Gold, Silver or Space Gray
M1 (8-core)
16GB unified memory
512GB SSD storage
8-core integrated graphics
Two Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 ports
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

SMAD MacBook Pro 13"
(Better)

Available in Silver or Space Gray
M1 (8-core)
16GB unified memory
1 TBB SSD storage
8-core integrated graphics
Touchbar with Touch ID
Two Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 ports
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

SMAD MacBook Pro 16"
(Best)

Available in Silver or Space Gray
2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9
32GB 2666MHz memory
1TB SSD storage
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB GDDR6 memory
Touchbar with Touch ID
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

Our Price: $1,608.00

Apple Retail: $1,698.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Our Price: $2,008.00

Apple Retail: $2,168.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Our Price: $3,428.00

Apple Retail: $3,678.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

*Service coverage is available only for Mac and its original included accessories for protection against (i) defects in materials or workmanship, (ii) batteries that retain less than 80 percent of their original capacity, and (iii) up to two incidents per year of accidental damage from handling of your Mac, each incident being subject to a service fee of $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or $299 for other damage, plus applicable tax. If your Mac has catastrophic damage from an accident or is inoperable after unauthorized modifications, you will need to buy a replacement.

Call the Madison CyberZone at 540-568-3989 to place your order.

SMAD Desktop Recommendations for Fall 2021

Storage and memory on the “Good” system are not upgradable, so SMAD recommends that one buy as much of both as one can reasonably afford and thus ensure that the computer will run quickly for as many years as possible.

SMAD also notes that DVC concentrators might consider purchasing Apple’s $199.99 Pro Apps Bundle for Education; it’s a great deal on a collection of professional-grade applications that we use in our own labs and classes.

If price is a concern, the "Good" system could have its storage reduced to 256 GB; the "Best" system could have its graphics card reduced to a Radeon Pro 5700 or 5500 XT, or its storage dropped to a 512 GB SSD. (No reduction that can be made to the "Better" system is worth the amount of money saved by doing so.) In no case should the amount of memory for any system be reduced below 16 GB.

Apple is very likely to release an entirely new large-screen iMac this summer that will be built around their new M-series CPUs. While Intel-based 27" iMacs will be supported for many years to come, SMAD recommends waiting for an M-series iMac if possible.

SMAD 24 inch iMac with 4.5K Retina display
(Good)

Available in Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange or Purple
M1 (8-core) 
16GB memory
512 GB SSD
8-core integrated graphics
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

SMAD 27 inch iMac with Retina 5K display
(Better)

3.3GHz 6-core Intel i5
16GB memory
1TB SSD
Radeon Pro 5300 w/ 4GB GDDR6 memory
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

SMAD 27 inch iMac with Retina 5K display
(Best)

3.8GHz 8-core Intel i7
16GB memory
1TB SSD
Radeon Pro 5700 XT w/ 16GB GDDR6 memory
3 Year AppleCare+ for Mac*

Our Price: $1,938.00

Apple Retail: $2,068.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Our Price: $2,418.00

Apple Retail: $2,568.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Our Price: $3,068.00

Apple Retail: $3,368.00

Phone Order Only

Custom-built configuration, please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

*Service coverage is available only for Mac and its original included accessories for protection against (i) defects in materials or workmanship, (ii) batteries that retain less than 80 percent of their original capacity, and (iii) up to two incidents per year of accidental damage from handling of your Mac, each incident being subject to a service fee of $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or $299 for other damage, plus applicable tax. If your Mac has catastrophic damage from an accident or is inoperable after unauthorized modifications, you will need to buy a replacement.

Call the Madison CyberZone at 540-568-3989 to place your order.

Due to industry trends, availability and pricing on all items is subject to change or discontinuation at any time without prior notice. For these reasons, we reserve the right to cancel any order at any time. The price on the date you place the order is final. All purchases are subject to state sales tax. Purchase of academically priced merchandise is for eligible JMU students, parents, faculty and staff only, and requires a valid JMU ID Card or other proof of eligibility.

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