New MacBook Pros make it hard to say no

This week Apple released new 13”, 15”, and 17” MacBook Pros. The new laptops are simply stunning, offering high performance, long battery life, and good value. Apple is making it harder and harder to say no.

I’d convinced myself to get an iPad. Here’s my situation: I need high performance and portability. I like to drag my laptop all over the house and bring it on vacation for surfing and e-mail, but I also do some podcasting, music creation, and video editing. I own the last, fastest PowerBook G4 model Apple made in 2004, a great machine that has become long in the tooth and unsupported. My solution was an iPad for portability and everyday use, and an iMac for use in my home office. This would offer me an amazing portable solution plus a high-performance machine with a large screen for more demanding work. I could buy both machines for the price of a high-end Apple laptop.

These new MacBook Pros have me reconsidering. The new 13” MacBook pro has a battery life (10 hrs) that rivals the iPad and only gives up .6GHz and 250GB storage to the low-end iMac, both priced at $1200. A high quality 24” LCD monitor will run another $600 putting the pre-tax price tag of the MacBook Pro solution at $1800. The iMac plus iPad comes in at $1930.

There are still some things to consider. The iPad includes 3G connectivity ($30 addition per month). Plus, it’s a friggin’ iPad! The low-end iMac is faster than the .6GHz difference with the MacBook Pro indicates, but its screen is only 21.5”. The MacBook Pro is heavier than an iPad but would allow me to do video or music editing anywhere I please, offering true mobility. They may not be as cool as iPads, but the new MacBook Pros are superb machines and a great value.

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