The Best Reason to Buy a Mac Isn’t What You Think

I deal in facts. At least, I try to.

This is one of the reasons why I find the Mac vs. PC debate (or the console vs. PC debate, for that matter) so fatiguing. Both sides of the argument have a tendency to either avoid or sensationalize the facts in order to support their particular opinion.

What follows is simply a factual account of a recent experience I had as a Mac owner. I present it here, without embellishment, for your entertainment and edification. If it manages to be informative, that’s absolutely wonderful! If not, just know that I don’t care one way or the other if your next computer is a Mac or a Windows machine. I ask that you simply take it for what it is.

Time To Upgrade?

The first computer I owned, by myself, and didn’t have to share with my brother, was a MacBook Pro circa 2007. It was a high school graduation gift from my father. Up until that point, I had been sharing a venerable IBM ThinkPad with my brother and it was definitely showing its age.

Three years after I graduated from college, the newer MacBook Pros started catching my eye. I ended up buying a mid-2014 retina display-equipped machine just a few months ago. It really is a beautiful computer, and worth every penny.

…just not, necessarily, for the reasons you might expect.

I was faced with the familiar problem that all computer owners face: what to do with my old one. My older MBP was seven years old by that point, and I wasn’t terribly hopeful of recovering that much of the original purchase price.

It’s About Resale Value

I’m going to skip to the chase here. I paid about $1,000 for that laptop when it was new (seven years ago, mind you…) and I ended up selling it for $480. Again, this was seven years after we bought it. I have never heard of a seven-year-old Windows computer selling for nearly half of its original sticker price.

Sound incredible? Check eBay. Or Craigslist. You’ll find a flourishing second-hand Mac market, and for good reason: these things retain their value like no other brand of computers. Sure, it’s because they’re subjectively desirable products, but to be able to actually quantify the useful lifespan of a Mac, and to finally find out just what a gently used MBP goes for, so long after its release, was an eye-opening experience.

One of the primary points of data that we factor into, say, the purchase of a car, is the degree to which that car will retain its value over the years that you own it. This is nothing new.

Given that, I’d encourage you do to a similar kind of calculus next time you’re shopping around for a new personal computer. Most of us spend a considerable amount of time using our computers in an average day, and I’ve always felt very strongly that a product we spend that much time interacting with should be the best of its kind. It’s an imperfect comparison, but the same goes for mattresses: we spend one-third of our lives sleeping; should we not do it in comfort?

But when you combine these naked capitalistic excuses to spend money with pretty inescapable data about which computers retain their value (and which do not), I’d have to say that we’re looking at probably the best reason to count yourself among the Mac faithful.

No Kool-Aid required.

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