If you know me at all, you know how I feel about glossy screens, especially on laptops. As nice as the new MacBook and MacBook Pros are (and they are very nice, based on some early hands-on time with the new MacBook at the local store), the glossy screens are a deal breaker for me. I tried to use a MacBook for six months or so, but in the end, the glossy screen was too much for me, so I went up to the MacBook Pro and its nice matte display.
With the lack of a matte option on the new MacBook Pro line, I won't be buying another Mac laptop (of the 15" variety) until Apple comes out with some form of non-glossy screen--whether that's a true matte screen, or just an effective anti-glare coating, I don't really care. But until there's a solution, I'm going to use what I have for as long as I possibly can.
My current machine is a two-year-old 15" 2.33GHz MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM--and it's a very nice machine. However, it's already two years old, and I want to get at least five more years out of my matte screened laptop...so I figured I'd go look on eBay for used last-gen 2.6GHz MacBook Pros--the fastest 15" machine with a matte screen available, basically.
On my way to eBay, though, I got sidetracked by the Special Deals section of the Apple Store--otherwise known as the Refurb Store.
This is where Apple puts its refurbished hardware--machines that have been returned from the field for some reason, repaired and cleaned up, then resold again (with a new 12-month warranty). It turns out that Apple's got some pretty amazing specials going on right now, to try to clear out the old inventory--if you're a fan of matte screens, these are some nice deals:
- 2.33GHz 2GB RAM/120GB HD -- $1,499. This is my two-year old MacBook Pro, exactly, at $1,000 off the original list price. It's got the fast ATI video card in it, too, and is quite a bargain at only $1,500.
- 2.4GHz 2GB RAM/250GB HD -- $1,349. You can save $150 and get a faster machine with a larger hard drive and faster SuperDrive -- but with the GeForce 8600 instead of the ATI card. A very tempting bargain at $600 off its original price.
- 2.6GHz 2GB RAM/200GB HD (7200rpm) -- $1,799. This machine originally sold for $2,799, and was (best as I can recall) the top of the line 15" MacBook Pro. It's got a 7200rpm hard drive, and the graphics card (the GeForce 8600M GT again) has 512MB of RAM.
Given these prices--and full factory warranty and AppleCare coverage (if you want it)--I decided it was time to upgrade to the $1,799 2.6GHz model, and sell my old one.
I figure this is as much matte-screen coverage time as I can buy myself for maybe $800 or so (based on selling the old one for $1,000)--I think I'll be able to get at least five years out of a 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro (it will easily handle Snow Leopard next year). Hopefully before this machine approaches its end of days, Apple will have seen the light and brought back a matte screen option for those of us who just can't stand glossy displays.
Oh, and if you're thinking about a MacBook Air, you can now buy one of the first generation machines for $1,349 (1.6GHz/80GB drive), $1,499 (1.8GHz/80GB drive), or $1,799 (1.8GHz/65GB SSD). Those are discounts of $450, $600, and a whopping $1,299 (or 42%!) off those machines' original prices.
Shop early, as these machines tend to move pretty quickly--many of these prices are close to what you'll see on eBay for a used machine without a warranty.