Why I decided to NOT buy a new Macbook Pro

Yesterday I drafted an email to my friend Avi at Apple about ordering a new Macbook Pro. I had been drooling over these since the launch, and they were finally available through Apple’s employee discount program. So I wrote an email with all the needed information. The computer I wanted (MBP with 4gb RAM and 7200rpm hard drive), free printer (Canon MX700), addresses, credit card numbers, everything.

But then I didn’t send it. I really wanted to, but i couldn’t do it. I started asking all my friends at Apple if it made sense for me to trade in my perfectly working, previous generation Macbook pro for the new one. And the overwhelming response was “no”.

So why didn’t I do it:

1. Lose firewire 400 (I have devices that use this)
2. WORSE graphics for the same battery life. To get the same 5 hours my current machine gets, I have to use the integrated graphics. Booo
3. Glossy screen. Not a deal breaker, but definitely not a plus
4. You need another $100 adapter to use a 30″ screen
5. You lose the USB port on the right side of the machine. I like having one on each side
6. While it’s thinner, it’s slightly larger and heavier

And what do I gain? A newer, GORGEOUS design. More rigid frame. Magnetic latch. These things are nice, but not worth swapping out the machine. My current Macbook Pro is PERFECT. It hasn’t had a single problem. I REALLY get 5 hours of battery life.

I’ve always been the type to upgrade my electronics often. I constantly buy the newest camera/phone/ipod/computer and throw my old one on ebay, and pay the difference in upgrading (which usually isn’t much if you buy the new item at a good price).

But that wasn’t the case here. The new machine will cost me $2000. My old machine? It’s on Amazon brand new for only $1450. So that makes my used one worth about $1200. Definitely NOT worth $800 to upgrade to a machine that isn’t faster (might be slower) and generally is only improved by design.

So I’m sticking with the machine I have at least until the next generation. And I just saved $800. Yay.

Update: yeah, i know you can get a firewire 800 to 400 adapter. But that’s still lame. And that still means 1 firewire port vs 2 on old machines

And as for the dual graphics: the integrated graphics is slower than what i have now. The discreet graphics is A LOT faster. But i’ll never use it. Why not? Because it eats your battery life. So i’ll use the slower one for sure. And i’ll never switch to the faster graphics because you have to log out to switch. I NEVER log out. I hate closing windows and apps. Right now my machine has an uptime of 41 days.

9 comments

  1. Wise considerations there. I went through a list of things to consider before I put off replacing my 2.2GHz MacBook with the new one. Biggest factor was total lack of Firewire.

  2. I want to upgrade but can’t afford to just yet but after reading this it’s made my ‘need’ feeling decrease a bit! I have the old Macbook Pro like you, could you tell me how you manage to get 5 hours life out of it? I only manage 2 usually!

  3. Wait. You get 5 hours of battery life on ANY MBP? I’m getting around 2 hrs max with general tasks – using Word / NNW. (wi-fi off, bluetooth off, screen brightness at less than half) MBP bought April 2007. Calibrated monthly. :(2.16 / 3GB / 160GB

  4. 2 hours definitely sucks. have you tried a new battery? Was it 2 hours when the computer was new, because batteries definitely lose life over time.<div><br></div><div>I was getting 5 hours when the machine was new (about 8 months ago). Not sure what it is now, but i’m guessing still pretty close. i think battery life went up A LOT with the previous generation machine due to the intel chipsets used. And I think some of those gains were lost in the new NVidia chipset.</div><div><br></div><div>I’d try a new battery. It definitely sucks to say this, but a new battery every 1.5 to 2 years might just be what you have to do to get good battery life.<br><div><div></div></div></div>

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