MacBook Pro: Barriers to Buying

You know, Apple sure makes things difficult for prospective customers.

For example, my highest priority is getting the best performance for the price. Apple is already in a hole here when you compare similar configurations with other companies such as Dell, HP, Sony, etc.  That is, my threshold for not buying goes down as the price also goes down. Hence, if I’m looking at a $500 Dell, I’m pretty comfortable with buying. Compare that to the cheapest lowest priced $1,999 Macbook Pro and my threshold goes up. A lot.

Add to this the cost of any options I might add, such as a faster hard drive (priced at over $200 for something that  goes for way less than half that) and things get even worse. Not to mention not being able to buy the laptop with this drive without having to order it from Apple on the mainland, which takes four to six additional weeks (if you don’t mind the
slower 5,400 RPM drive I could buy one locally today. But having upgraded my Dell to 7,200 and seen the large speed difference, I will never go back to a slower drive.).

Then there’s the cost of the extended warranty. The higher the cost of the laptop, the greater the need to extend the warranty. I mean, if a $500 Dell dies, so what. Indeed, the cost of four years of next-day in home Dell service at $245 would be a about half the cost of the laptop. Compare this to Apple’s three years of onsite/mail-in/drop off (depending on where you live) service at a cost of $349. Obviously, given the cost of a new Apple and the numerous problems its laptops have had, it makes sense to add the extended warranty. But having done that, I’m now looking at a substantially higher overall price and therefore a substantially higher overall barrier to buying.

That all said, I was willing to get one if it was available locally with the faster drive but, it isn’t, so I won’t. Instead, maybe I’ll get another Dell (maybe with Ubuntu GNU/Linux installed). Of course, should Apple announce a light weight laptop at
the end of the month, well, that might change things. 🙂



One response to “MacBook Pro: Barriers to Buying

  1. Dan,

    Don’t let the 5400 RPM hard disk on the MacBook Pro hold you back. My MBP is what was the entry level one prior to the latest hardware rev. IOW, 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo, had 1 GB RAM from the factory (I doubled that), and a 120 GB 5400 RPM drive. This box is FAST.

    Also, if 120 GB isn’t enough space, upgrading the hard disks on the MBP isn’t difficult, unlike my old iBook. It’s easy to put a new disk into an external enclosure, clone the old disk to the new one, then swap them, giving you an external hard disk for backups.

    Why settle for your second choice on something you’ll probably use everyday for a few years?


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