The outer case is scratched and dented, the original 160GB hard drive has been replaced with a 250Gb model that is now close to full, I’m on my third battery, the number of times that I have to do a hard shutdown is occurring more and more frequently, and the heat that comes from the underside has probably scarred my legs for life. So why do I continue using it instead of upgrading to a new model? Well, there are more than a few reasons that I just don’t want to bite the bullet just quite yet.
Let’s start with the easy one first, price. Apple products are anything but cheap and the MacBook Pro is no exception. The bottom of the line 15″ model will run you about $1800 US. Of course I am not one to go with the bottom of the line so I would be looking at the Core i7 version so that jacks the price tag up to the $2200 level. Yes, I do understand that you get what you pay for and Mac products are typically rock solid but still, that’s a lot of coin to dig out of the couch cushions.
The next consideration is the battery. As I said above, I am on my third battery and probably need to be thinking about buying my fourth. I can only get about 30 minutes out of my current battery before I am down to one sad little blinking led indicator. And this leads me to my trepidation about buying a computer whose battery is built into the system. I do understand that Apple has packed a lot of power cells into the body and claims somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 hours of battery life but the reality is that batteries lose charge over time and at some point it will need to be replaced. And unlike my current Mac, a replacement will require a trip to the Genius Bar and, what I am guessing would be a pretty decent chunk of cash to have the Apple experts crack the unibody and load in a replacement. My current MacBook Pro battery will cost about $129 + tax so I can’t imagine what one on the new Mac will cost when you add in labor charges.
This last one isn’t really a deal breaker but it is something that I have given a lot of thought to; that beautiful, but way to glossy screen. It really is something to behold but it can also be very annoying to have all that glare in your face when you spend a lot of time working on your computer. I love my non-glare screen on my MBP and don’t want to give it up. Of course Apple knows this so they offer the option of a high-res antiglare display for an additional $150. Okay, $150 doesn’t seem like that much but when you add it to the $2200 price tag it’s just one more expense that really makes me have to think about the upgrade.
So what are my options? Well, I could go a little cheaper and consider a Windows-based laptop. I already have an i7 desktop that I love but I just can’t imagine not having a Mac in my life, especially for my portable computing. I could bite the bullet and pry open the wallet. Or, I can consider a third option, rebuild my trusty MBP and squeeze another year or two out of it. This last option is really the one that I am currently considering the most. Another battery will cost me $129 but I think replacing my current hard drive with an SSD would give me a performance boost that would really take things up a notch or two. Of course a 360GB SSD runs about $1000 so I would still be in for about half the cost of a new model.
So is it really worth it to not just go the rest of the way? I’m not sure but for now, maybe I’ll just grab me some duct tape and think on it for a little bit longer. If you have taken the plunge, I would love to hear about your experience and whether or not you think it was worth the price of upgrading.