ned Productions Consulting


Technology musings by Niall Douglas
ned Productions Consulting
(an expert advice and services company based in Ireland)


Friday 28th October 2016 11.05am

Been awaiting the MacBook Pro announcement last night for a long time seeing as my six year old ex-corporate self-refurbished Dell laptop is getting a little long in the tooth. Here's the rough price breakdown in Euros, all ex VAT as it'll be my business buying them, all systems have 16Gb of RAM and a 512Gb SSD:

Late 2016 MBP 13 with touch bar 3.1Ghz i5 CPU: €2162
Late 2016 MBP 13 without touch bar 2.4Ghz i7 CPU: €2105

For comparison the latest Dell XPS 13 which is probably a superior machine all round apart from the lack MacOS:

Dell XPS 13 2.7Ghz i7 CPU: €1463 (one third cheaper)


From eBay second hand just searched there now:

Early 2015 MBP 13 3.1Ghz i7 CPU: €1700 (20% cheaper)
Mid 2014 MBP 13 3.0Ghz i7 CPU: €1330 (38% cheaper)
Late 2013 MBP 13 2.6Ghz i5 CPU: €990 (54% cheaper)

That late 2013 MBP is still a Haswell CPU and so has great battery life unlike the earlier MBPs. It has a slower SSD though, the early 2015 model brought in the fast PCIe SSD. You'd be hard pressed to notice much difference between slower and faster SSDs in daily use, though it would be handy for testing AFIO.

Contrast all the above to my current ex-corporate Dell E6310 bought when three years old for €230, originally cost €2300 when new. Needed new battery, charger, SSD so ended up costing €500, but the point is that Windows laptops lose about 80-90% of their value in three years whereas the MacBook Pro loses only 50%. So, adjusting for resale after three years, this is the cost for three years of use if depreciation rates remain the same:

€1170 Dell XPS 13 2.7Ghz i7 CPU
€1081 Late 2016 MBP 13 with touch bar 3.1Ghz i5 CPU
€1052 Late 2016 MBP 13 without touch bar 2.4Ghz i7 CPU
€850 Early 2015 MBP 13 3.1Ghz i7 CPU
€665 Mid 2014 MBP 13 3.0Ghz i7 CPU
€495 Late 2013 MBP 13 2.6Ghz i5 CPU

This doesn't account for the fact the battery is only good for a few thousand cycles, and older MacBook's are much more likely to have old batteries costing at least €150 to have replaced. So this fact, along with the slower storage, needs to be borne in mind.

So the question now becomes "am I willing to pay €300 net money for the latest MacBook Pro instead of the late 2013 model + battery replacement?" given its marginally better specs?

It's not an easy choice. It's a lot of money for not much difference really.