My laptop (read: life support system) is approaching its third birthday. It’s still running fine but I like to be prepared for its eventual demise. When the day inevitably comes and the screen shatters, smoke billows out of the case, and the keys shoot across the room and through the windows, I like to have a plan. The trouble is, MacBook Pros are quite expensive these days (and always really). A comprable replacement 15” MacBook Pro starts at $1800. And I don’t know about you, but I have bills to pay.
Now, I strongly believe that “Once you go Mac, you never go back.” However, I’ve been thinking about other options. I really don’t want a Windows system, I’m not sure if I could look myself in the eye anymore. So we’ll be trying for an Ubuntu Linux OS. I thought that it would be far more cost effective in the long run to build a desktop computer. I could upgrade it as I go instead of buying another $1800 laptop every few years. My first build attempt with a monitor and everything was only $730, less than half the price of a decent laptop. While this is a dramatic savings, I might still want a laptop since I could take it with me on occasion. Since I’m not going to classes anymore, a desktop makes more sense for my “real” computer.
With the huge price difference though, I’m thinking that maybe I could also get a little ChromeBook for $250. That way, I could have portability when I need it, and long-term power when I don’t. Best of both worlds. I hesitate to even think about leaving the secure tentacle embrace of Apple, but you know, 1/2 the price has a nice ring to it too. And Linux is close enough right? With any luck though, my current laptop will keep running for another 5-7 years until I’m out of student loan debt… but I’m not holding my breath.