Buy my wife a MacBook now or wait?

Okay, here’s the deal: my wife’s birthday is at the end of September. Since getting her an iPhone 3 weeks ago she’s completely fallen for the thing and is now ready to accept a new Mac as a replacement for her rapidly dying Windows XP laptop. The Windows laptop she uses is running painfully slowly and needs a full reformat and reinstall. Since I’m now heavy into Macs I’d rather not deal with it anymore so the time has come.

That said I’ve got a bit of a challenge. My wife is a high school teacher and qualifies for not only an educational discount but also the special that Apple is running through September 15th that gives students and teachers up to a $299 rebate on a qualifying iPod purchase. That means we could get her a nice little MacBook and give the free 8GB iPod Touch to our oldest daughter in college.

This would be a slam dunk except for the news that’s been building that Apple is on the verge of releasing updates to both the iPods and MacBooks. Apple Insider just summarized what’s potentially coming up and it sounds pretty interesting. The biggest news for me is that the new MacBook would address the one issue I’ve had with my white MacBook: the fragility of the plastic case.

The plan according to Apple Insider is that MacBooks will now be sheathed in aluminum just like my MacBook Pro. Since I’ve had the palm surface of my MacBook crack on me and have had a number of people send me e-mails and comment on my blog about the same problem I would like to avoid dealing with that again if at all possible.

I have a strong suspicion that the information Apple Insider is predicting is exactly what’s going to happen. The free iPod Touch promotion is helping clear out the existing inventory now, both for iPods and MacBooks.

So the question is, buy now and get the free iPod Touch or buy a little later, pass on the iPod Touch but get the next generation MacBook. I realize this is a common refrain; buy now or wait for the next release however I only have just over two weeks to make a decision.

Any suggestions?