Mac Purchase dilemma

I would be grateful for some wise heads on this one please

I live in Cyprus (UK expat) and was looking to purchase the new MacBook Air today when it became available, I planned on upping the RAM to 16GB so needed to order from Apple…

Now comes the problem, there is no Apple store in Cyprus so I need to order from the UK and have it shipped airfreight to get it here in any sort of time and in good condition. However when I looked at shipping costs it was adding £200-300 to the cost of what is already nearly £1,600.

I am now considering just paying virtually the same and buying a Mac Studio Max directly from here in Cyprus. No shipping and a more powerful machine it seems. Yes I loose the portability but as my intel Macbook Pro is almost always docked to a 32" monitor I am not sure it matters. It’s also hot here, currently 31degrees and a distinct lack of air conditioning, and it will be that way or more until end of September.

I may be showing my age but I am still not convinced of the reliability of a laptop in this heat running nearly all day, particularly a machine i am unlikely to change in 3-4 years.

Work wise I use code editors, Pixelmator pro and a few things used to compile code and run a dev server, Omnifocus and use Devonthink (not always open) Admin I tend to do in a coffee shop in the mornings on my iPad so I get to use their air con for the cost of a coffee. I really fancied the new MacBook air I am not sure it is value for money though in my particular circumstances.

Opinions and advice welcome.

If I really don’t need the portability, and I would have a portable device (iPad) anyway, I would probably rather buy the one with the fan, in your area.

What about the MacBook Pro 14" with fan (for the heat issue)?

BTW: my older MacBook Pro 15" 2018 got super hot (and went bad and was repaired by apple - free) so I am sensitive to heat issues…

My new m1 MacBook Pro 16" (MAX) generally does NOT get hot and I rarely hear the fans - but a few times for unknown reasons it DID get hot and I decided to shut it down for a while (to be safe)…

I also have a Mac Studio (auto fans on all the time) and it seems to not get hot…

If you are not traveling - then maybe skip the laptop idea in favor of something else…

If money was not an issue then maybe but given UK prices are almost 1GBP to 1US Dollar or 1.3Euro to 1USD then money plays a large part in decisions. The basic 16" MBP is 600 euros dearer than a base studio with less RAM and honestly I am not prepared to pay that amount.

Just thinking it could be easier to get it from a closer location - one that is also within EU? Unless you live in the Turkish part of the island of course. Italy, Spain, Greece even should be able to offer less expensive shipping, I’m thinking. Specifying the required keyboard layout should not be much of an issue either way.

Yes I guess that’s a possibility but airfreight is still the only viable option… and costs have risen a lot!

The more I think about it the MacBook Air seems less attractive than the studio max given the storage and RAM difference. Also being in a location with no official repair chain is a worry as laptops get dropped and everywhere has Marble floors :man_shrugging:

After using laptops almost exclusively for the past 25+ years, I decided I was better off with a desktop (M1 iMac) and an old MacBook Air for the times I travel. So far it has worked out well. I’m retired so my needs aren’t that great and the MBA does an acceptable job on the road.

I’d definitely get the Studio in your situation. It doesn’t look as beautiful as the new Air, but it has a great style! Pixelmator and most code editors’ UI make good use of the additional GPU cores on the Max. And sustained M1 single-core performance on an actively cooled computer should meet or exceed M2 on fanless during sustained use. Your Intel MBP would probably do okay when you need more than an iPad when away from your desk.

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Thank you, all good points and probably what I will go with

gets worse, from what I can ascertain not one Mac Studio max on the island, wait time 3-6 months… This is crazy!!

Ugh, sorry to hear that.

For when there’s a machine to be had, I’ll second what @cornchip says:

Your Intel MBP would probably do okay when you need more than an iPad when away from your desk.

You might also set up remote access via Jump Desktop or Screens, for those times the Studio’s the right machine for the job but the MBP is what you have with you.

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odd - apple store - new Mac studio w Max chip in California is right away
Jul 19 - Jul 26

Maybe a friend can try an order one for you from somewhere else and send it to you?

I phoned Apple customer support and complained, they said there was a shortage even in the UK… Problems with getting from somewhere else are plenty.

  1. Power supply variations, UK and Cyprus at least run on same power specifications
  2. Cost of shipping, airfreight is only viable option and that was part of the original problem (even more so with a much heaver Studio Max.)
  3. Import Tax, if I buy from outside the EU (which now after Brexit includes UK) I am going to have to pay tax to bring it into the country…

Oh, and I don’t have any friends :grinning:

Basically I am screwed, it feels like living in a third world country which Cyprus certainly is not!

Apple’s power supplies are usually (though by all means do check for your particular model!) “universal” in accepting 100-240 Volts. So is the MacBook Air, even when advertised / sold in the U.S.

You may want to make sure to get an exchangeable-plug style power adapter with it, i.e. one that accepts the World Travel Adapter Kit plugs (not the compact “folding prongs” U.S.-style that doesn’t, see here).

I’m quite certain that units for the European market will include one, though I’m not sure what type of adapter is bundled with MacBooks sold in the U.S.

If you have to pay also a Tax in the UK, you can normally get it refunded, if you export it into an other country, where you have to pay an Import-Tax.

You should be able to get a Mac Studio from anywhere in Europe and source the power cord from the UK, or simply use a travel adapter as others have suggested. Unfortunately, delivery times are significant, and living on an island, I guess a lot of goods are coming in by air.

My order went in late April, the Mac Studio got delivered in 3 weeks, and then another good seven weeks wait for the display. (FWIW, the original estimates when placing my order was way off, with a worst-case guess of mid-September for the Mac Studio.)

Even though many won’t advertise them in their online store, resellers can also order BTO configurations from Apple and sell them to consumers.

There’s premium and authorised Apple resellers in Cyprus. At least one of them seems to offer the M2 MacBook Air configurable with up to 24GB RAM in their online store.

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Yes and pay 2-300 euros air freight as I have already mentioned thats half the problem…

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I wouldn’t buy it shipped from the UK due to the tax/import handling.

Just to provide an example, computeruniverse charges 48€ for DHL and 132€ for UPS from Germany.

While I can’t vouch for Prismastore (see my link earlier) in Cyprus because I don’t live in Cyprus, they are an Authorised Reseller listed on and do seem to have a physical retail store in Nicosia.

I‘m honestly not quite sure what the issue or „dilemma“ is here, with regards to purchase and shipping. You may have to decide between the Studio and the Air though.

Probably not possible or not worthwhile in this case, since you‘d have to get the refund from the merchant, not the government.

You‘d either

  • have the merchant ship it directly to Cyprus without charging VAT (which they may be able to do - but UK Apple online store AFAIK doesn‘t) or

  • have the merchant ship it to Cyprus with local Cypriot VAT
    (which they probably could, if they registered for VAT as a non-EU seller, or they may be required to do - but again, Apple AFAIK doesn’t) or

  • export it on personal travel
    (this incurs cost for flight, if you aren’t in the UK anyway. And then you‘d have to request for VAT refund from the merchant. If they’re able and not prohibited from refunding on distance sales to a UK shipping address. Again, Apple AFAIK doesn’t do it)

  • employ a freight forwarding service that „resells“ the purchase to you
    (costs, potential issue of warranty handling, etc.)

In addition to that, there’s also the inbound import/customs handling in Cyprus on a shipment from a non-EU territory. You’re lucky if you just have to pay VAT to customs themselves. I other countries the shipping company may do it for you - and charge you for its efforts and expenses.

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There is not from my investigation one studio max on the island to purchase. I have called every authorised reseller and the best I have come up with is pay a 30% deposit 800 euros and we will save you one when we get one, with no prospective date available only vague estimates of 3 months plus. That was the best, some wanted payment in full in advance.

Given the less than adequate consumer protection laws here chances of a refund on failing to obtain are at best 50/50 and likely to take years so no thank you.

My issue with shipping is the costs, the machine is expensive enough as it is and it’s a cost if it was available here (Cyprus is not some ghetto) as it should be I would not have to pay.

Honestly I have now given up and will just run my MacBook into the ground.