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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Update or Upgrade?


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KellBell

 
Member Since: Mar 20, 2013
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I have a late 2008 Macbook 13" w/aluminum unibody. Given that it's 5 years old it's in ok shape, but it does need a new battery (currently only lasts about 1 1/2-2 hours) and the optical drive hasn't been working.

If I were to get a new computer it would likely be the 13" MBP. I'm not ready to give up ethernet or optical drive (and don't want to be bothered with extra equipment to get those to work), so that rules out the Air and the Retina. Crunching the numbers it looks like if I were to sell this computer, between that and the student discount I wouldn't be paying all that much more for a new computer vs. the updates.

So how much more awesome is the latest MBP? Worth paying a bit more than the upgrades? Or should I just wait until I feel more comfortable giving up the optical drive and ethernet and invest in a Retina? I'll admit I don't do any heavy duty computing, mostly your general student stuff (internet, research, word processing), but I do occasionally do some light audio, image, and video editing.
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellBell View Post
I have a late 2008 Macbook 13" w/aluminum unibody. Given that it's 5 years old it's in ok shape, but it does need a new battery (currently only lasts about 1 1/2-2 hours) and the optical drive hasn't been working.
I can be a bit frugal when it comes to upgrading...so I'll give you the conservative answer.

- unless you REALLY use your optical drive a lot
- unless you need more than 1.5 hours of battery runtime
- and because you're a student (with what I'm assuming are limited funds)

I don't see a need to upgrade.

As far as the costs (repair vs. upgrade):

- Repair will cost you $100 for a non-Apple battery or $129 for a brand new Apple battery + $50 for an external optical drive (for when you really need it). Total cost = $159-$179.
- Upgrade to a new entry level 13" MBP is $1199. Your 13" MacBook (with busted optical drive and weak battery) is worth approx. $300-$350. $1199 - $350 = $849 + sales tax of approx. $60 = $909

So the cost comparison is:

- repair computer = $159-$179
- upgrade to new computer = $909 (minus student discount)

Looks like a pretty sizeable difference to me!

- Nick

p.s. 3rd option is just keep using the computer as it is (zero $$$ spent)!

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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KellBell

 
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Definitely need the new battery, as it is now it barely lasts long enough to take notes throughout a lecture. I had been pricing the cost of replacing the internal optical drive, I hadn't thought of just getting an external one. I use it pretty infrequently, but will occasionally have professors give me course materials on a cd so want to make sure I have it available, so external is probably a good option.

I am on a student budget, but I'm graduating in May (and going straight to grad school in September) and have a lot of family members who have been asking what gifts I might be interested in. Maybe I'll direct them towards an iPad instead ;-)
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KellBell View Post
Definitely need the new battery, as it is now it barely lasts long enough to take notes throughout a lecture.
Ok...sounds like a new battery is needed. $129 from Apple or $100 from macsales.com:

OWC (search for "MacBook Battery")

Quote:
Originally Posted by KellBell View Post
I had been pricing the cost of replacing the internal optical drive, I hadn't thought of just getting an external one. I use it pretty infrequently, but will occasionally have professors give me course materials on a cd so want to make sure I have it available, so external is probably a good option.
I only suggested the external optical drive since not everyone is comfortable opening up their computer to do the replacement themselves (the most cost effective option on an older computer). And some optical drive replacements on Apple laptops can be pretty involved (depending on the model).

The cost of replacing the internal optical drive may not be that much more than an cost of an external optical drive (if you do the work yourself). But for the amount of use most folks use their optical drives these days...the external option may be MUCH less hassle (but better for resale when the time comes).

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Raz0rEdge

 
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If your primary concerns are the battery life and the lack of an optical drive, those are relatively cheap things to purchase to extend the life of a machine that is serving you well. While the through of upgrading might be enticing and the new MBP's are definitely more capable than your current machine, the price difference is staggering..

Once you find that your current Macbook is lacking in other computational aspects and becomes a hindrance, then you should consider an upgrade..

--
Regards
...Ashwin



Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.
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cwa107

 
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I would also put a plug in for FastMac's batteries, which are slightly higher capacity and carry a great warranty (and are much cheaper than Apple's batteries).

FastMac | Product - Laptop Battery Upgrades

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I would also put a plug in for FastMac's batteries, which are slightly higher capacity and carry a great warranty (and are much cheaper than Apple's batteries).

FastMac | Product - Laptop Battery Upgrades
Next time I need a battery...I may have to give these guys a try!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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