Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crunching Numbers

I don't think the MacBook Air will cut it for me... not as a main computer, and not with how long I keep my laptops. If this laptop weren't so out of date, yeah, it would be awesome. Perhaps if I upgrade to a nice laptop now, and then have some extra spending money a couple years down the road...

So. Then the question narrows to the 13" MacBook Pro, and the 15" MacBook Pro.

(I suppose the non-pro is an option, but I would have maxed out the ram, wouldn't have the backlit keyboard, and would gain 0.2 lbs for a savings of just under $200. Plus, it's bulkier. In five years, would 4 GB of ram be enough?)

With a 500 GB drive, iWork, VGA adapter, and AppleCare, prices for the 13" pro would be $1815 or $1964, depending on processor speed. (Difference: $149 for 0.27GHz.)

For the 15", with all the same options, but the faster drive, the prices come to $2279, $2474, and $2621, depending on processor speed. (Same drive speed, subtract ~$50; antiglare screen, add ~$55.) Difference from first to second: $195 for 0.13 GHz plus extra graphics. Difference from second to third: $147 for 0.14 GHz plus double L2 cache and fancier graphics. There is a final processor speed upgrade... an additional 0.26 GHz would be an additional $302... but that's starting to get quite pricey ($2923).

Going up from the 13" to the 15" (at the same processor and drive speeds) adds $265 for the extra screen space, but adds one pound of weight. Doing a quick online search, $265 would buy a 20"+ LCD monitor. But then, that monitor would be on my home desk, not either of my work desks (different positions require different locations) or my couch. Most of my home computing is at my desk, but not all. I do spend more hours at work than at home, though.

Of course, none of the prices above include a spare power adapter... I'd really like one of those, so I'm not lugging *that* back and forth as well. Since they've changed connectors from my five year old model, I'd need to buy a new one. There's another $89.

All this number crunching, and I'm still no closer to making a decision. (Too many choices! All these little incremental price increases!)

I know my brother prefers the anti-glare over glossy screen option. Anyone else have an opinion? (Anti-glare is only an option on the 15"+ models.) Is the new anti-glare the same as on my current laptop?

Given my current drive size is ~150 GB, would the 250 - 320 GB model be enough of an increase, or is the 500 GB size worth the extra $100 - $150? (I suspect that buying the larger size later would probably come to more than $150.)

Enough waffling... time to go to bed, so that I can be up and marking at a relatively reasonable hour. *sigh*


Sara said...

Oh don't I wish I understood computer talk so I could weigh in with my opnion :-)

noricum said...

Opinions would definitely be helpful!