A few months back I spent $2,000 (Rs.1,25,000) on a laptop. The MacBook Pro 15″ With Retina Display. Many of my friends and family thought I was just wasting money. I am a frugal person, and I don’t spend money on something unless it can help me make money. In this post I will convince you why such a laptop is totally worth it and can help you make more money in the long run.
1. 15″ Retina Display is Better Than You Think
I am sure by now you would have had a chance to look at the retina display on MacBook Pros. You may have seen the difference immediately or at least after a while. While many people say that the difference is not significant, and it doesn’t matter, I would argue that it matters. It matters a lot!
You don’t get used to retina display immediately. But as you use it more, it becomes very difficult to look at normal screens – you will instantly observe the pixels. The retina display makes looking at the screen – especially the one filled with text, an absolute pleasure. The density (PPI) pixels per inch is 220 and is almost as much as the PPI used to print magazines.
You will not be able to make out the presence of pixels and that’s how displays are supposed to be. Your eyes hurt less, and it helps you work more without getting eye fatigue. Earlier I absolutely had to take an eye break every 30 minutes. Now I take it only once in 50 minutes.
If you are debating between 13″ and 15″, I would recommend that you go with the 15″ one. Even if you do not need the higher specs, the extra screen real estate makes a huge difference. Don’t try to convince yourself that such large screens are only for design professionals or developers. Anyone can benefit from a larger screen real estate.
As a digital marketer, I read, I write, I check AdWords, browse around and I use email. The higher specs are not needed for my usage pattern. But the 15″ retina display really makes a difference. It makes browsing, emailing, writing – everything so spacious and better.
If you check your screen resolution through a website online, it will say that the resolution is 1440 x 900. This is the usable area of the screen. But the actual pixels are 4 times as much. This makes the text so crisp and smooth making the viewing experience highly pleasurable.
The 13″ Model has a usable area of 1280×800. It would look like you are losing only 100 pixels on the vertical side and 160 pixels on the horizontal side, but believe me when I say that it makes a ton of difference. The total usable screen real estate goes up by nearly 30% in the 15″ model.
Before investing in a 15″ MacBook Pro, I had a 13″ non-Retina MacBook Pro, which I got in 2011. I was never able to work a whole day with that screen. It had a resolution of 1280 x 800, and I always had to connect an external display for a higher screen real estate. Once you get used to larger screens, 1280×800 is almost impossible to get productive work done.
MacBook Pro 15″ with Retina Display is my primary computer now, and I can work anywhere. When I am visiting my parents at their farm house, all I need to carry is 2 kg and I can be fully productive without the need for a desktop computer.
2. It’s Not That Heavy
The laptop weighs 2 Kg. It is heavier than the MacBook Pro 13″ Retina and the MacBook Air. But it is not THAT heavy. For me, it totally makes sense to handle a bit of extra weight for a larger screen. The old 13″ MacBook Pro with CD Drive also weighed around the same.
Some people have comment that if you are going to meetings, conferences and are in the move often, it makes sense to have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro 13″ because they are lighter.
MacBook Air doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t have retina display. The only other alternative is the 13″ model which costs around Rs.85,000 ($1,350) but I had to exclude it because the screen real estate simply isn’t enough.
3. Better Specs Doesn’t Hurt!
There is no denying the fact that the 15″ model is a monster when it comes to the specs. It is future-proof and for a digital marketing consultant, the specs can serve me for at least 5 years.
16 GB of RAM makes sure that I never have to wait when opening multiple apps. Core i7 is blazing fast and also supports the graphics too. 256 GB SSD makes sure that the OS and Apps start really fast.
This makes the overall working experience much pleasurable and can contribute in loving your work. The lesser painful working on a laptop is, the more you are likely to work, and you will probably create more things and make more money. That’s why I consider buying this laptop an investment and not an expense.
4. People Notice Your Laptop, And You.
When there is a $2,000 laptop in the market, it doesn’t go unnoticed. When you own such a laptop, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Whenever I go to meetings & conferences, people notice that I have a kick-ass laptop. They take me seriously.
Only a person who takes his work seriously and is successful in his line of work would own such a laptop. It’s not just about the money. I have seen multi-millionaires who wear $3,000 watches but have an old beaten up laptop!
Sometimes it even acts as a conversation starter. In some conferences people come to me and ask about my laptop. We sometimes trade contact information. Some of them have become my blog readers and hopefully will do business with me in the future.
5. It is an Entertainment Power House
I have always preferred having separate systems for work and play. But with a laptop like this it is pretty difficult to resist the temptation. The speakers are so good and much much better than the 13″ model. There is no comparison with other laptops. I still wonder why no other company that makes laptops to compete with MBP 15″ Retina. There is no laptop that even comes close.
I occasionally play games, watch TV shows, use iPhoto to organize my family photos, manage my entire song library on iTunes and watch YouTube videos. The only thing I haven’t used this laptop is for watching movies. I watch movies once or twice a week on my 42″ Panasonic Plasma TV.
Though the speakers are absolutely fantastic, I needed more punch for the music. So I went ahead with the Audio Engine A2+. It deserves a separate review. And yeah, these speakers just stay at home when I travel.
Pricing and Availability
If you are in India, the laptop right now costs around Rs.1,45,000. When I bought it, I got it at a 15% discount because I knew the dealer. You can buy it on EMI if you have a HDFC Bank credit card. I believe most of the stores have EMI options for other leading banks as well. In US, the Laptop costs $1,999 plus taxes. I heard that you can get refurbished models at huge discounts.
I am planning to use this laptop for at least the next 5 years. Let us get a bit conservative and let’s assume I use it for the next 4 years – 48 months. I end up paying only Rs.2,600 ($42) per month.
Factoring in the cost of funds, and the opportunity cost of investing that money, let’s say it comes to Rs.3,000 ($50) a month. If I buy a cheaper machine, I would save only Rs.1,000 – Rs.1,500 a month ($20-$30 a month). Paying extra $20 to $30 a month is not a bad deal for the benefits you get from such a machine.
So are you convinced? Would you invest in such an awesome laptop?