On the Value of Apple Laptops

Three years ago at WWDC, Apple announced the unibody 13″ MacBook Pro. I ordered one within hours of the announcement.

I had been using a white MacBook for a few years and I thought it was a great machine. After the aluminum unibody machines came out I started lusting after those designs. I had had experience with 15″ laptops before and I just thought they were too big. I needed FireWire. All of these needs and wants were distilled perfectly in the 13″ unibody MacBook Pro.

I purchased the lowest-end configuration with my wife’s student discount (2GB) and immediately upgraded the RAM to 4GB with memory purchased from NewEgg. Over the years I’ve upgraded the RAM again to 8GB ($35) and added a 80GB Intel SSD (X-25MG2). I just now replaced the old battery (1,052 charge/discharge cycles) myself with a new battery for $66. I’ll be installing Mountain Lion as soon as the golden master is released.

With that new battery, my three year old MacBook Pro is better than it ever was new. It’s totally fast enough for me and the work I do on it (which includes software development and SLR photography.) It has kept its value so well, it is currently worth $850 according to the internet. Subtract that from the total cost of $1450 ($1100 for the laptop, $35 for the RAM, $65 for the battery, $250 for the SSD) and you get $600 is what I have spent on computer technology for the past 3 years. That’s $200 a year.

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