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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New MacBook

I've been debating the merits of purchasing a new powerbook over the last several months and have come close a couple of times to hitting that "add to cart" button after "configuring the powerbook of my dreams", but I just had a hard time parting with so much money for a laptop that I knew was not going to be as fast as a machine 1/2 its price. So I waited, hoping that the rumor of Intel powerbooks in January would be a reality.

Well this morning I woke up like a kid on xmas morning and ran down to my computer to figure out how I can get up to the microsecond updates about what Steve Jobs was announcing at MacWorld. Aimee teased me for being a nerd as I sat in an IRC chatroom dedicated to the live rebroadcast of Steve Jobs' keynote. For a bit I wasn't certain that it was going to be announced. First it was iLife and apps, then the new iMac. Finally, saving the best till the end in the "one more thing" part of the keynote my xmas wish came true. A new powerbook with an Intel chip. Well, almost. A macbook but I like the name powerbook better :-). I didn't order right away as I plotted and planned as to the best way to go about my purchase. Turns out signing up for the Apple Developer Connection and making my purchase through there is cheaper than just buying it outright. Let's go through the math:

$2,499 for the high end MacBook on apple.com

The same MacBook on the ADC store is $1,999 + $500 to join ADC

So right there it's the same exact price but you also get access to early access releases of OSX, JDK builds, etc. But wait! There's more!

That's right, if you act right now you can pickup an iPod and Cinema display as well as upgrades on your MacBook for less than what you'd pay at the regular apple.com store. So while I didn't slurge for a cinema display (The 24" Dell appears to be a better monitor), I did pickup an iPod video, bumped the RAM to 2GB, made the HD a 100GB 7200 RPM, all for less than it costs on the regular store. Add to that you now pay lower sales tax on the lower prices and you've got a pretty compelling reason to join the ADC and buy your new MacBook that way. Out the door the MacBook, RAM upgrade, HD upgrade, and 30GB iPod, and tax came to $2,815.98 + $500 (ADC) = $3,315.98 which compares to $3,477.83 for the same items purchased without purchasing the ADC subscription first. So there you have it, you can get some more crap and upgrades and save a few bucks on it.

Ironically enough Safari was hanging on me while I was in the middle of placing my order on my current 800MHZ Ti PB so I swung my chair over to the windows box at my desk and completed my order from there. I swear this Ti knew what I was doing and was fighting for its life. Well for now it's still my daily machine until sometime in February when my new machine arrives. Can't wait.

$3,300 for a laptop... unbelievable. What's even more unbelievable actually is you being excited about it.

As for the "can't wait" part, trust me, you're gonna. Do you want to bet you will never receive it in February?

Why is it so hard to wait until the first units start shipping and gather some feedback before making such an expensive decision?
Yeah it's a bit spendy no doubt and it's actually the first time that I can ever remember being this early of an adopter of technology because, like you suggested, I usually wait and see what the reviews are. Well in this case I'm quite tired of how slow my current machine is and have been waiting for about a year for a significant rev that makes spending this amount of money more worth it to me anyway. Will I regret it? Hopefully not and I don't think so but who knows. Guess we'll see how it works out.

I do appreciate your concern for my wallet and my possible wait.

Thanks :-)
While I don't know her, I certainly agree with Aimee: you're a nerd :-)

Why would you get so exited for a Mac with an Intel CPU ? I'm pretty sure it's running the same OS, with the same Apps, with probably more bugs than the older CPUs. Who cares if the CPU is from Intel or Toyota ???
I don't get it.
You're right. I don't care where the CPU comes from. It could be AMD, or if they'd figured out a way to put a G5 in the box I really wouldn't care either. Look. Time is money. My current machine is incredibly slow. When I see that I'm able to purchase a machine that is going to be roughly 5x faster than my current machine, is portable, and is able to run OSX, that makes my life easier and saves me time, and then money. Could I purchase a cheaper machine and run windows or linux on it? Yep I could but then I wouldn't have access to some of my favorite apps that I either enjoy, or have to use. Could I get an ugly Dell laptop and figure out how to get OSX to run on it? Yep but I don't have the inclination to do so for reasons of the PITA factor and the apple hardware is generally nicer.

I never expected so much negativity surrounding the purchase of a laptop. I wonder if these same folks always make purchasing decisions solely based on the $/GB, i.e. "Why would you buy the iPod nano when for $50 more you can get 30GB?" Is it possible that other factors ever come into play?
Count me an excited nerd as well. Speed is nice, but more excited to be able to run Windows apps at reasonable speed when necessary. The name TOTALLY SUCKS though.

You really shouldn't buy one in February - you really should wait for a revision or two before buying. Let 'em work out the kinks in the screens or the hinges or whatever. Me, I think I'm going to try to squeeze another year out of my Alu15.
I asked more out of curiosity than negativity. Mac fans don't always sound rational to us normal PC users.
But isn't it ironic to pre-order a computer, which only let you run the same applications everyone else has been running for a year (i.e. Google Earth) ?

Now that I think of it, maybe that's why Mac need less CPU than PCs...
depends on the apps you run doesn't it? I run textmate, locomotive, iphoto, safari, and other apps that are only on the mac and for the ones that have comparable apps on PC, (email, IRC, IM) I just find that I like the polish on these apps a little more.

Look, I realize that it's smarter to buy a Honda instead of a BMW, and that's essentially what this purchase is.
I think I would wait and see how the reviews are for this laptop and also like others have said, for the bugs to be worked out.

Hope you are getting what what you pay for in the long run.
I'm definitely in the wait and see camp, but I don't think it necessarily smarter to buy a Honda over BMW. I'm driving an '89 525, which means no car note, a couple of hundred bucks a year in maintenance, and it is still a "luxury" automobile. Have you looked at an '89 Accord?? :)

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