Switched to MacBook Pro

For a while now I have been considering switching from a PC to a Mac. I had used Macs previously in college for non-linear video editing at the student-run tv station (STN 49), but never really like Mac OS 8 or 9 and Power Macintoshes. Mac OS X was interesting and started to think about possibly getting a Mac when Apple released the Mac mini. When Apple announced the switch from PowerPC to Intel, I became more interested. When Apple released the MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo, that finally made me want to get one. 

I have never been stuck on only using Windows, for the longest time I had played with different distros of linux (slackware, redhat, ubuntu) either dual-boot or as my primary OS. Hell, I even used IBM OS/2 Warp for a time as my primary OS.

Adding to the decision was the fact that my 5 year old Compaq Presario 2701 laptop was showing it’s age. So it was time to upgrade. I set a target price range of about $1,800 that I was willing to spend on a new laptop (not including extended warranty) based upon my older laptop. I also expect to get a minimum of 4 years of use out of it.

I priced out equivilent Dell and HP/Compaq (business class) units to match the specs of a 15" MacBook Pro. Neither Dell or HP/Compaq could exactly match the specs of the MBP but the pricing was more inline with what I wanted. Price for me isn’t the sole factor to decide though.

Having never owned a Dell, I didn’t know what to expect for warranty support or how easy getting it would be. Atleast with HP/Compaq, I knew since I had to send my old laptop back twice for different reasons (CPU heatsink and hard disk). Apple has the added benefit of the retail stores and dealt with them when my 4th generation iPod crapped out.

But the price of the MBP at $2,000 really didn’t thrill me. To me, computers are a commodity item and don’t believe that a brand is better than another when more or less the parts inside are the same. But the idea of owning a MBP, using OS X, and the “coolness” factor was really appealing to me, so I started to look for ways to cut the price. Explored possibly purchasing from MacMall, but I got some feedback from a friend regarding purchasing from them. Then I found out that I qualified for the Federal Employee Discount (working for a gov’t contractor) and that brought the price of the MBP right inline with what I wanted to pay.

Just to maximize the savings, I waited until Black Friday to buy the MBP because it is the only time Apple actually has a sale and there might have been a chance Apple marks it down. No luck, they cut the price on the MacBook. The other benefit is that for Thanksgiving I am at my parent’s house in Delaware, the home of tax-free shopping. A new thing that the Christiana Mall did this year was to open at 3am on Black Friday. I wasn’t crazy enough to go at 3am, but my brother and I were at the mall at 4am. The mall was packed and there was a line to get into the Apple store. Only spent about 20 minutes there to buy the MBP, AppleCare, and Parallels.

So once I get it to my parent’s and out of the box, the first thing I do is pull my Nokia 6822 phone and use bluetooth to sync my contacts to Address Book. It was just so easy and see what they mean by “It Just Works”. So far very happy with the purchase.