Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Apple computers: are they good value?

MacBook battery
Originally uploaded by westy48
I've just replaced the battery in my MacBook. Not with an official Apple battery, which costs £101, but with this one from Play.com which was £36.90

The Apple battery clearly costs a lot more, but if it holds a charge for longer and endures more charge cycles would that make it better value for money?

That's the balance we're striking when we talk about value; it's not just what an item costs, but how well it does the job you need it to do.

Which brings me back to my MacBook. There are loads of articles all over the web where people have found similarly specced Windows and Mac OS running computers and seen what the price difference is. I'm not going to do that.

What I will say is that my MacBook is over four years old (it came in may 2007 after a blackcurrant related incident I don't like to talk about), it sees daily use and runs the latest version of OS X with ease. Software on OS X is, with noteable exceptions, really good and this is one of the main reasons why I still prefer Macs. But I reckon the cost of running the MacBook has been fairly cheap.

Hardware wise I've added 1GB of RAM from Crucial.com/UK/ which cost me £28 and upgraded the hard drive from 80 to 320GB which cost £73, but I've kept the old drive in a USB enclosure and use it daily for work. (I should probably start backing that up).

As for software upgrades go I've paid for upgrades to OS 10.5 and 10.6, which is going to be a bit more than £100 (I know I'll be tempted with Lion, but my MacBook will be one of the lowest spec machines capable of running it and I don't want to take a big performance hit).

So, sound off and let me know what you think about the value of spending more.

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