Author Topic: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?  (Read 24001 times)

windawake

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Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« on: October 27, 2012, 02:06:33 PM »
I'm writing this from a 2.5 year old Acer that was less than $400 including tax.  It has not stood up well.  My entire family bought computers a few months before I bought mine, they all bought different PC laptops, and all three of them no longer function.  Theirs were a higher price point too.  I'm just wondering if it's a better investment to buy a higher end computer, a MacBook Pro for instance, that will last longer and operate better.

I don't do a ton of things on my computer.  I use it to go online, stream media (which my current PC will not do any longer), write documents, listen to music, and watch videos.  I try to limit screen time as much as possible so I don't do these thing super often, but I am in grad school so that requires a certain amount of computer time.

I also would be happy to learn of ways to make my current computer meet my needs.  It's incredibly slow now and won't stream media anymore.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 02:18:20 PM »
I don't bother with supposedly high-end computers anymore. For laptops, I buy whatever is on sale and doesn't suck too much, and have low expectations. I have found (completely empirically), that it's safer to spend $400 and expect it to last 2 years than to spend $800 and expect it to last 4 years or more.

All computers suck. Your data is the real value. Backup early, backup often.

Signed: slightly disgruntled software dude.

FI@2022Jem

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 02:26:57 PM »
I have a macbook air, purchased 6 months used from an apple employee (it was a totally sweet deal with higher processing and programs already installed at less than half of retail).  I know that isn't helpful shopping wise- but I will say that since I made the switch to macs about 8 years ago, I can't go back.  My first mac laptop lasted 6+ years, then I got the air.  My old mac was 'cleaned out' by said apple employee and is now still in use by my husband.  I would never buy a used PC, but I have heard only positive things about 'refurbished' macs.  Best of luck in finding something that works for you!  I will be interested in hearing other mustachian opinions as well.

**also, the backup suggestion is super important.  I have an external hard drive that I use (sometimes), but also use dropbox.com.  There is a free amount of storage and then you can buy more as well.  I only save documents and grad school stuff (before I graduated) but I still haven't reached the capacity for free storage**

TomTX

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 02:36:34 PM »
My 3-4 year old cheapie Toshiba (also under $400) still works fine.

c

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 03:00:23 PM »
We had a Dell, it wasn't even that cheap. We had so many issues with it. They replaced it  multiple times. Last year I got us Mac Book Pros. All my husbands colleagues use them (he works in advertising) and no one could really give us a reason not to get one.

My company gets a discount at Apple, so that helped a bit and I used my new Chase Sapphire card to buy them, so that pushed me over the threshold for the $500 in cash back they were doing at the time. I put that towards them too.

I don't know if they're "worth it", but I'm happy with the purchase. We don't have a tv, so use them for Netflix etc as well. Previously we always shared, so it's been a super luxury having a computer each.

arebelspy

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 03:09:45 PM »
Definitely no reason to buy a brand new one.  Craigslist if you must have to have one.
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Deano

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 03:49:15 PM »
If you take care of a Macbook Pro, it could last close to a decade, maybe 8 years. My friend's Powerbook was that old when it was given away.

8 years out of a 1200 dollar computer=150 a year. It seems reasonable I suppose. It would be slightly cheaper perhaps to do the 400 dollar computer thing...but you might get as little as 2 years out of it, maybe as much as 4. It's a gamble. You could add in the time/frustration that the average user experiences with such a garbage computer.

A used one might be a good bet, or a refurb from the site. You might get it down to 100 a year. I'm typing this on a used mac mini...three hundred bucks, a 100 dollar monitor and a mouse and keyboard I already had. Not a bad way to go either. It is also my entertainment centre. I'd like to see 10 years out of it, maybe with a few replacement parts along the way.

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 03:59:41 PM »
If I were you, I would question why I perceive Apple products to be "high-end" or "quality."  Is it because they are more expensive? Because the company has a great marketing team? Or is it based on research? In your position, I would research quality components that I want and find the laptop that perfectly matches quality and price. I would also read a lot of reviews about the operating system that you are getting.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2012, 04:25:27 PM »
I have been a Mac user at home for nearly 20 years, and a PC user at work for about the same number of years. My preference for Apple products has to do with aesthetics.  It's much more elegant on pretty much every level. Once you've worked on a Mac and get used to that, you just do't want to own a PC again.  Their marketing is slick, sure.  But Apple products are awesome to work on, if not mustachian.  I'll never buy a PC for home use.

JJ

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 04:28:14 PM »
I have a 2006 MB Pro still going strong. It has taken a beating (round the world multiple times visiting dusty mine sites). It isn't my daily use machine anymore but still use it 2-3 times a month for the FireWire port. If the Apple build quality is still there you should have a look. I got through one pc every 18 months before this one (Dell, Acer, Toshiba, NEC, Asus...). Plus I love using the MacBook Pro.  Bought a MacBook for my wife the following year (2007). That is still in daily use.

If I was buying another I would get 2nd hand on CL near new. There are plenty of fanboys (an girlz) who upgrade to the latest at every release.  Refurbs on the Apple site seem way overpriced to me.

Other option is to buy a decent PC brand. Not so many now, but I think Lenovo are ok. Government and business run huge fleets of these things and turn them over every couple of years so you should be able to get one with warranty for almost nothing.

kudy

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 04:28:35 PM »
Sounds like the issues you're having are more software rather than hardware... a good factory reset combined with updates and a virus protection program might clear things out and get it working as expected again? This is potentially a time only investment.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 04:31:02 PM »
I have been a Mac user at home for nearly 20 years, and a PC user at work for about the same number of years. My preference for Apple products has to do with aesthetics.  It's much more elegant on pretty much every level. Once you've worked on a Mac and get used to that, you just do't want to own a PC again.  Their marketing is slick, sure.  But Apple products are awesome to work on, if not mustachian.  I'll never buy a PC for home use.

+1

And I love my time machine.  It even backs up my PC with a little extra software.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 06:45:39 PM »
Personally, I didn't like my Acer either.  I got a Toshiba Satellite, custom built, for around $550 (including taxes, shipping, etc.) and it's still working perfectly 2 years later.  I back up and all of that, but haven't had any problems.  Before this, I had a really lousy Acer that didn't last long at all, and before that I had a Sony Vaio for 6 (!) years.  The Sony cost more, and today I wouldn't do it, but for the frequent travel and high use at that time, it was a good purchase.  My point is that some laptops do last a while and some don't.  Like with anything else (tvs, cars, furniture) it isn't just about the price, but about the quality.  In my personal and work experience, Toshiba Satellites have been great, so I'm sticking with that.  I hear good things about Macs too, but nothing that makes it seem worth spending double or more what I spent on my machine.  I think it's not as simple as PC vs. Mac.

Good luck!

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2012, 06:57:33 PM »
I have been a Mac user at home for nearly 20 years, and a PC user at work for about the same number of years. My preference for Apple products has to do with aesthetics.  It's much more elegant on pretty much every level. Once you've worked on a Mac and get used to that, you just do't want to own a PC again.  Their marketing is slick, sure.  But Apple products are awesome to work on, if not mustachian.  I'll never buy a PC for home use.
+1

Daley

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2012, 08:49:25 PM »
Two things:

1) Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS has a lot of polish for the average user, especially if the biggest stuff they're doing is web-based and data processing. A bit of minor modding to the Unity interface makes it surprisingly Mac user friendly as well if you're into that sort of thing. I actually transitioned my own mother to Ubuntu without a hitch after having her on OSX for nearly a decade... granted, 99% of her applications used under OSX were already cross-platform F/OSS (free/open source software) applications. The only thing she had to get used to was having her dock move from the bottom to the left side of the screen. Something to consider if you're looking for a simple, straight forward platform and you haven't invested or plan to invest in any sort of Apple or Microsoft based devices. If you enjoy gaming, there's even a Steam client dropping shortly for it.

2) Lenovo T series Thinkpads are built like tanks, relatively stylish, and incredibly Linux hardware friendly. You can pick up a refurbished T61 in great condition for under $200 off Ebay or Amazon, and so long as you keep the hinge screws tight (easy to do) will last you for a good few years yet with minimal RAM upgrades and the occasional hard drive swap (all easy to repair and upgrade, unlike a MacBook - which is basically a non-serviceable, disposable appliance after the warranty expires for all but the most bold). Good hardware specs, too, for most users. My brother-in-law bought one four years ago refurbished from the Lenovo Outlet for $550, and it's still serving him brilliantly and claims it the best computer investment he's made in years, and he came from a lifelong Mac family (he is running Ubuntu on the thing, is all-thumbs with technology, and runs any Windows-specific accounting software under a VM all done with minimal coaching from me). If you want to purchase newer, look at the Lenovo Outlet. They've got some decent business class laptops (built better than consumer grade krep) frequently for under $500. The selection's always churning, so if you find a deal you like, jump on it. If you don't mind Windows, they usually have the no-nonsense Pro build of Win7 loaded on 'em.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2012, 09:31:01 PM »
2) Lenovo T series Thinkpads are built like tanks, relatively stylish, and incredibly Linux hardware friendly. You can pick up a refurbished T61 in great condition for under $200 off Ebay or Amazon, and so long as you keep the hinge screws tight (easy to do) will last you for a good few years yet...

Second that.  I'm writing this on a T61, which I've had since they were introduced - 4 years at least.  Only problem I've had is needing to take it apart once a year or so to clean the dust off the fan.  It's my main working machine: I either write & test on it (using a docking adapter which allows a large display) or for really intensive stuff use it as a terminal accessing either my compute box (dual GPU) or a remote cluster.  Should work fine for anything an ordinary user will do.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend a Mac for anything, as I loathe their interface, but that's a matter of taste.

Rangifer

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2012, 11:51:49 PM »
If you want a high quality windows laptop, get a (refurbished) Dell Latitude, Lenovo Thinkpad, or HP Elitebook. You'll never buy a "regular" laptop after using one of these.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2012, 12:08:57 AM »
I have been a Mac user at home for nearly 20 years, and a PC user at work for about the same number of years. My preference for Apple products has to do with aesthetics.  It's much more elegant on pretty much every level. Once you've worked on a Mac and get used to that, you just do't want to own a PC again.  Their marketing is slick, sure.  But Apple products are awesome to work on, if not mustachian.  I'll never buy a PC for home use.
+1
+2
Two things:

1) Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS has a lot of polish for the average user, especially if the biggest stuff they're doing is web-based and data processing. A bit of minor modding to the Unity interface makes it surprisingly Mac user friendly as well if you're into that sort of thing. I actually transitioned my own mother to Ubuntu without a hitch after having her on OSX for nearly a decade... granted, 99% of her applications used under OSX were already cross-platform F/OSS (free/open source software) applications.

2) Lenovo T series Thinkpads are built like tanks, relatively stylish, and incredibly Linux hardware friendly.

Agree with all of the above, but would suggest that not all users are going to be happy with the Ubuntu experience if they're used to plug and play. I like Ubuntu, use it daily but it's difficult to port over many items if you aren't an experienced user.

I've had Macs going back to the IIe and they ran for more than a decade. (My friend has his very own Mac Museum, the old late 70s/early 80s text based machines are still running!) My biggest "repair" Mac-wise is replacing the hard drive after I've worn the heck out of it.

If you lean towards Mac then buy it used, get something on eBay (tons of reliable resellers) or craigslist and at some point - if need be - up the RAM and install and faster hard drive (amazon has amazing hardware deals on Cyber Monday or whatever that "go forth and buy" holiday is after Thanksgiving).

Buy used, take care of it, learn to upgrade your computer yourself and it'll last you for years.

- Mac

happy

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2012, 01:18:21 AM »
Well, I bought a MAc a couple of years ago due to my IT guru son's brainwashing. Felt pretty pleased to be rid of all those microsoft irritations.  Well it sometimes doesn't run sweetly and the hard drive clunks intermittently  and sometimes freezes and does strange things and the wi-fi doesn't work properly intermittently. Problem being its all intermittent. You know the line" Well maam we checked it and couldn't find anything wrong with it".

Huh, just got an email saying they were recalling my model due to problems with the hard drive. So I'm not imagining it and at least now hopefully it will get fixed. 

Just sayin,  all  sorts of puters seem to get issues if you are unlucky.

jrhampt

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2012, 09:12:12 AM »
I've had a Lenovo Thinkpad work laptop that's lasted 4 years so far and is still going strong.  Right now we have a cheap HP laptop at home, but when it dies I think I will replace it with a Lenovo.  I typically spend less than $400 on a laptop and expect them to last 3-4 years.

frugal_engineer

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2012, 09:21:30 AM »
The real question is, what do you want to pay for?  I've owned both PC laptops / desktops and my current (2009) macbook pro. Some of the difference is hardware based, some is software so lets look at each:

1. Years ago, not too much would run on a mac.  Now, you can get anything you need on a mac. - Tie

2. Every windows release ever tends to get gummed up with old files and crap (causing slow computer) unless you actively maintain everything / are a computer whiz.  OSX will eventually do this as well, but it will take 5+ years versus around 1 year on windows - Advantage mac

3. The main beef against macs is that they are very expensive when you compare one with an equivalently spec'd windows machine.  But, with a mac you get much more than the cpu + hard drive.  From 1st person perspective as an intern in Apple's engineering groups, I will tell you that beyond a shadow of a doubt the level of engineering and craftsmanship (defined as the use of the best manufacturing process, regardless of cost) that goes into a mac is several orders of magnitude higher than in any other computer you can buy. - Advantage mac

4. The track pad:  I'm not sure what is on the market for windows machines these day in terms of track pad, but I will tell you that if you use the mac trackpad for a few days and get used to multi-touching and general excellence, the next time you use a windows laptop youll curse it for having a  terrible trackpad. - Advantage mac

You can get into the weeds with more detail, but the point of my story is that macs cost more, a lot more.  BUT you get what you pay for.  The question is do you want to have what mac is offering? If youre looking for a bare bones computing experience, the cheapo computer is the way to go.  If you want the best low-hassle hardware-software combo and are willing to pay to get it, get the mac.

alandjackson

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2012, 10:03:24 AM »
MacBooks are definitely worth it in terms of resale value.  Apple products hold their value very well so if selling it in the future is in the plans then it can be the cheapest way to go.

Buying used in general is a good strategy.  You can buy good computers on ebay/outlets/craigslist for very good values.  My last purchase was a $1500 dell business laptop for $600 (1 year old refurbished with a 3 year dell warranty). 

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2012, 10:15:51 AM »
I work on PCs and Macs and I hate both. Have you ever worked in a Mac operating system before? You might not like it.

Ultimately you need to take some responsibility for keeping your computer running well no matter what type it is. Do you keep the disks clean, add RAM when possible, upgrade the operating system, defrag etc, etc...?

A really high end PC will always be cheaper than the equivalent Apple version unless you have a way to get a deal.

I was given a MacBook at work to use and I hate it so much that I brought in my own desktop cheapo PC to work on. I've had as much RAM as the computers can use added to both of them. The MacBook still runs like molasses and I use it for little more than checking my email.

igthebold

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2012, 10:17:18 AM »
If I were you, I would question why I perceive Apple products to be "high-end" or "quality."

One simple reason is that they control hardware and software, limiting the potential problems interacting between the two. That, and they charge more.

I have an MBP because I do iOS development. I like it a lot as a Linux user, as it's at a good balance between "it just works" and "it's unix based." But if/when I stop developing for iOS I probably will go back to Linux.

mindaugas

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2012, 11:41:19 AM »
The build quality on Macbooks is better, but any business class Windows laptop from Lenovo, Dell, HP will have the same quality. the only reason to choose a Macbook is for OSX. It's the same hardware and components as every other intel based laptop and like others have pointed out, a business class will last just as long.

Full disclosure I do have a 2006 white Macbook I purchased in 2009 used for $190 and my wife and I love it. I also bought a brand spanking new aluminum Macbook in 2010 and then sold it a year later since work let me buy a fancy Latitude. Man that thing ran Simcity so fast. :P

grantmeaname

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2012, 08:08:06 PM »
MacBooks are definitely worth it in terms of resale value.  Apple products hold their value very well so if selling it in the future is in the plans then it can be the cheapest way to go.
It makes the premium for a mac less. It doesn't make the premium negative-- they sell better than the equivalent Dell or what have you, but they don't sell better when used than the entire premium was new.

sol

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2012, 10:03:41 PM »
I thought this thread was going to be about the absurdity of buying a $2000 laptop, and instead I find it's about the relative merits of various $2000 laptops. 

Buy used.  Even then, macs are overpriced compared to equivalent pc hardware so you're buying image and marketing more than anything else.  Like anything else, it's an extravagance that you can decide to indulge if you're willing to accept the consequences.  It's your money, spend it however you like.

grantmeaname

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2012, 10:16:10 PM »
The MMM classic Living Well on the Trailing Edge of Luxury is what I like to think of here. I "upgraded" from a three-year-old 15" Dell Studio (which I love more than the whole world) to a five-year-old Macbook Air (the very first one, released Jan 2008). It has its quirks, and it has build quality issues just like any five year old laptop would, but I let the first owner absorb $2850 of depreciation costs and bought it for a song on craigslist, so I've gotta say I'm happy.

If you want a Mac, know that it's a luxury, and an expensive one at that. Know that for the price of just a little tinkering, you could teach yourself about how computers work and get a free, awesome OS. But most of all, for the love of god, don't get a new Mac!

sol

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2012, 08:11:43 AM »
A midrange macbook pro costs $2300.  The average american family has $35,000 in retirement savings.  I'm having a hard time justifying why anyone would spend 6.5% of their total stash on a technology toy.

On the other hand, any company that can convince American consumers did willfully fork over 6.5% of their total stash every two to three years is a gold mine for investors.  It's no wonder they're so profitable.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 08:13:15 AM by sol »

CanuckStache

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2012, 08:27:34 AM »
Long time lurker, saw this post and wanted to jump in.

My macbook pro is one of the best purchases I ever made. I'm maybe in a unique situation though - I'm self employed and work online meaning I use this thing all day every day, and need something solid.

When I was still using PC's I found I was going through laptops every 1-1.5 years due to a variety of problems. I even once dropped $3k on a top of the line PC notebook that was supposed to be the best out there, and it too crapped out after maybe 1.5 years, right when it was out of warranty..Turned out motherboard had to be replaced. At that point I sucked it up and went Mac after never owning one before.

I've had the same macbook pro since late 2007. 2007!! That's almost 5 years with the same computer.

That being said, I've spent a little money upgrading over the years - I upgraded to 6 gigs of ram, and a 512 gb solid state drive. This thing is very fast and while I wouldn't mind a faster processor, for my needs it's fine. All I need it for is surfing the web, coding, and light office work. No video editing (though plenty of watching videos) or gaming.

Not to mention with Windows I was constantly rebooting, running maintenance programs, dodging spyware and virii, etc. So much time you'd have to commit to that stuff, that you don't really have to with a mac.

My only major complaint is the battery tends to crap out early in my experience - I'm on my third one. But, you can get them online for around $50 which isn't too bad. The first battery was covered under warranty.

If I were you I'd look for a slightly used Macbook Pro on craigslist or something, and then spend a couple hundred $$ upgrading to an SSD and upping the ram. You'll come out WAY ahead.

Anyways my 2 cents.

CB

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2012, 08:38:47 AM »
A midrange macbook pro costs $2300. 

You are either shopping in the wrong places or engaging in a bit of hyperbole.

gdborton

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2012, 08:58:18 AM »
The most intensive thing on your list is streaming video.  You don't need a Mac (I'd argue that no one needs a Mac) to do that, nor a highend computer.  I've got a Dell Inpiron e1505 from 2006 in my closet that can still do all of the things that you listed + room for more.

Unless you've dropped it pretty hard a few times, it is likely that your pc only needs cleaned, software updated, and virus scanned.

What version of Windows are you running?

unpolloloco

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2012, 10:29:02 AM »
Refurbished business class PCs are probably the best deal if you're looking at $/year costs alone (assuming you can't coax any more time out of your current computer - which might just be a matter of reinstalling Windows).  You can get a high-end Thinkpad or latitude from the Lenovo or Dell outlet stores for $500 if you time sales right.  This compared to $1k for a refurbished MPB.  I've gotten years out of my latitude and it's still going strong (after ridiculous amounts of abuse), but I've never gotten more than ~18 months out of a Dell consumer-grade laptop.

That said, it really depends on how much value you would get out of a mac compared to a PC.  If you get twice the value (maybe even 50% more value) out of a Mac, it's absolutely worth getting it.

unitsinc

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2012, 11:06:01 AM »
That said, it really depends on how much value you would get out of a mac compared to a PC.  If you get twice the value (maybe even 50% more value) out of a Mac, it's absolutely worth getting it.


It's unlikely that anyone gets much added value out of a Mac versus a PC. You simply pay for the Apple brand name and the sleek looks. Perhaps if you edit tons of movies and music you can justify it. Aside from that you can't upgrade much of anything on a Mac, which is one of the cheapest ways to keep a PC up to date(if you really need to.)

Sparky

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2012, 12:59:22 PM »
I'm running my second Mac, first was a 2008 Macbook Pro 13"and now using a Macbook Air 11". Both have been perfect computers, I've never lost a file, no viruses, no repairs (minus 1 dollar in super glue once and my own stupidity that no computer would survive) and zero headaches whatsoever. Both still work perfectly fine, my sole reason for buying the Macbook Air was its size and weight (I've been around the world close to 2 times this year in short commuter flights alone...).

I've gone through 2 PC laptops and 3 PC desktops before the Mac's in 8 years. I don't know how many hours I've spent repairing them, both in hardware and in software. My time is more valuable than repairing computers.

You really need to look at your usage when buying a computer than anything else. Unless your a power user, you don't need anything beyond a keyboard, monitor and trackpad (I'd say 90% of people fall into this category). Don't be afraid to look at a Android based tablet too, it might just suit your needs.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 01:02:42 PM by Sparky »

CptPoo

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2012, 01:01:23 PM »
A lot of people have already offered great ideas, but I'll go ahead an contribute my two cents.

I purchased a new macbook in 2007 for just under $1000 and I just sold it this summer for $250. I put that thing through a lot of torture and any other brand of laptop would likely not have been worth more than $100 with the condition it was in when I sold it. I honestly believe that Apple makes some of the highest quality laptops on the market based on durability, speed, and ease of use. (I know their hardware typically is not as good a similarly priced Windows laptop, but their OS tends to run much faster even on slower hardware) I dropped that laptop more times than I can count and the only hardware failure I ever experienced was after some liquids were spilled on it.

I definitely got value out of the laptop worth the price I spent on it. With that said, I don't think macbooks are for everyone. It was perfect for me while I was studying Music, but if you aren't in the design/art industry then Apple products really don't offer much additional value over a brand running Windows. (At least not enough to warrant the price difference) If you can find a good deal on a used one, then I would most definitely recommend it considering the ability of Apple products to retain their value longer than most other brands.

If I were buying a new laptop today I would likely buy a Lenovo, as many have already recommended. I work as a computer technician at my University's library where almost all of our computers are now Lenovo (we have somewhere around 650 Lenovo computers that we maintain) so I can attest to the quality of their products. If you are relatively adept with computers I would also recommend looking in to some of the newer Ubuntu laptops that have been hitting the market. Those will probably give you the best bang for your buck, but Linux can be daunting even for people that are knowledgeable about computers.

TLDR - Apple makes awesome computers, but for most computer usage (eg. web browsing, videos, word processing) mac's are overkill and there are less expensive options that are equally effective.

desrever

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2012, 01:19:49 PM »
Check out the $250 Chromebook announced a week or two ago. Buy one per room of your house and you'll still wind up cheaper than the Apple laptop. You don't need a heavy OS to run expensive Microsoft software these days; you just need a web browser. There are free online alternatives for word processing and almost every casual need that you can use through the browser, and they make accessing your data from anywhere much easier. Exceptions are heavy PC games (which don't often run on OSX anyhow) and computationally expensive specialized software (Photoshop, CAD, etc).

grantmeaname

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Re: Is a MacBook Pro worth it?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2012, 02:17:13 PM »
And publishing software. And nicely formatted text documents and presentations.