New MacBook Pro and iMac

Almost a month ago, I wrote about how I was hoping to increase my developer happiness by getting a new iMac and MacBook Pro. I received a lot of good advice in the comments and proceeded to order place my order with the Business Group at the Aspen Grove Apple Store the following Monday. I have to admit, the paperwork to get a lease on the equipment was kinda painful, but I was happy to get a 7% discount for being a business customer. It took until Wednesday for my order to be placed and everything started shipping the following weekend.

To make my new machines as fast as possible, I purchased OWC's Turnkey Upgrade Program for my iMac, with the 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD and 16GB RAM. I also ordered a 480GB Pro 6G SSD and 8GB RAM for my laptop. I received the laptop about two weeks ago and the iMac a few days later. Instead of building my new laptop from my old one, I chose to simply use Lion and copy all my apps and data over manually. I sent the iMac to OWC as soon as I received it and got it back about 3 days later. I was out of town on business last week, and when I arrived home Thursday night, I found all my new equipment waiting for me. I built my iMac by cloning the drive from my laptop and installed the new SSD and memory into my new laptop.

For the last week, I've been very happy with the speed improvements and the wicked fast snappiness of opening apps, compiling programs and IntelliJ indexing in only a few seconds. However, on October 24th, I received a strange email from Aspen Grove Business with the subject MacBook Pro Price Reduction. I quickly replied, asking if new MacBook Pro's came out in the last couple days. I received no response, but learned a couple days ago that indeed they had. One of my office mates bought a new machine and said he got a 2.5GHz processor, while mine had a 2.3GHz.

Today, I packed up my new laptop and drove down to the Aspen Grove store to see if I could exchange it for a faster one. They hesitantly agreed to exchange it, as long as I put the original hard drive and memory back into it. I drove to my office, which was only a couple miles away in downtown Littleton. I put in the original disk and memory back in and returned to the Apple Store. 20 minutes later, I was walking out with a new, new MacBook Pro and happy to get the fastest Apple laptop on the market. The funny thing about this experience is it's the 3rd time in a row I've experienced buying an Apple laptop and returning it shortly after for a newer one. My last laptop purchase (March 2009) and Trish's 13" MacBook Pro (in March) were the first two.

I'm writing this post to thank Apple for having such great customer service. I've been very close to experiencing buyer's remorse (because I missed laptop upgrades by a few days) and Apple has always been very gracious in helping me out. In fact, with this latest purchase, they said there was a $400 difference between my two-week-old laptop and the latest 2.5GHz. Then they only charged me $50 for "being such a great business customer".

Thanks Apple, you rock!

Posted in Mac OS X at Nov 06 2011, 06:10:17 PM MST 8 Comments
Comments:

hi Matt

great to hear about your new purchase. I'm also planning to get a new mbp, and I found out a independent vendor in ebay, that is selling a 16mb Ram/512SSD,2.5MHz machine for around 4400$. Am hesitant about getting a new Apple machine through an independent store rather than from an Apple store... Any feedback would be very much appreciated....

Cheers
Patria

Posted by Patria Lukman on November 06, 2011 at 10:09 PM MST #

Hi Matt,

After reading your post yesterday, I got to one of IT exhibition here in Jakarta, Indonesia and I just can get Sandisk Ultra SSD, which is one version older than your OWC, but it's suitable for my current MBP 2.53 Mid 2010, which just support for SATA 3Gb/s.

Now I understand why most of you prefer SSD. The IntelliJ is really fast, and when I'm using hard drive, for my current grails project, for compile take around 5 min something, now I can get it within 1 minutes.

Thanks sharing your experience

Cheers
Tjiputra

Posted by Tjiputra Yapeter on November 07, 2011 at 08:36 AM MST #

@Patria - I would be hesitant too. I paid a total of $4,165 USD for mine and that includes $300 for Apple Care.

Posted by Matt Raible on November 07, 2011 at 08:49 AM MST #

Similar thing happened to me. My wife bought me a new MBP for our 5th anniversary and since she didn't know what one to get me I decided to not open it until I saw the rest of the models. I went in to exchange it only to learn that both locations in my area were (thankfully) sold out of the highest end line.

While I returned the laptop, I had to wait until the next day to try and buy a new one because I was unable to find my EPP Apple Store link. It was then that I saw TUAW's post on the processor bumps and wound up getting the 2.5.

I opted, however, for the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid SSD (4GB SSD & 500GB 7200 rpm) rather than a full blown SSD and have been VERY happy with the performance. The cost of the hybrid drive is significantly lower than the pure SSD version. My computer absolutely screams and I've not even upgraded the RAM yet.

Posted by adam on November 07, 2011 at 10:51 AM MST #

Matt, thanks for posting about your experience and I hope you continue to let us know how it works out.

I'm a little bummed about the rumored demise of the Mac Pro, myself. I still use my 2006 Mac Pro with 20GB of RAM, and it's great for extreme tasks like wielding multi-gigabyte source trees. I worry a bit about transitioning to an iMac due to the limited expandability, tightly coupled LCD, and (as far as I know) the inability to use the monitor in portrait mode.

Posted by David Simmons on November 07, 2011 at 04:52 PM MST #

Was I not right about the OWC SSD? ;-)

Posted by Jon Stevens on November 08, 2011 at 10:41 PM MST #

Hey Matt, I'm curious as to your experiences with the souped up MBP w/r/t battery life. I've upgraded mine to 16GB of RAM (via OWC) and am wondering if will contribute to a more rapid battery depletion.

Per Apple, I don't leave my MBP plugged in all the time but use it quite a bit at work but I could easily charge it two full charge cycles per day if I did. Apple guarantees 80% battery capacity at 1000 charge cycles.

Posted by adam on November 25, 2011 at 10:45 AM MST #

@Adam - my old MBP was terrible on battery life. I bought a new battery 6 months ago and it'd still last about 70 minutes on a full charge. My new one lasts about 3 hours on a full charge, so it definitely seems a lot better.

However, if I fire up IntelliJ and start coding, testing and such, it definitely kills the battery faster.

Posted by Matt Raible on November 25, 2011 at 10:49 AM MST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: Allowed