Macbook Pro 2011: Price for 13-17 inch Models – Too Expensive?

By Alan Ng - Feb 28, 2011

As most of you will already be aware, Apple has now upgraded their lineup of Macbook Pro laptops on the Apple store online, and the new models are available to buy now, all of which have received hardware boosts.

From the 13-inch Macbook Pro to the 17-inch, you’ll see on the store that while the new features are obviously very exciting, the price of these laptops a still a major stumbling block for most consumers.

At a starting price of $1199, the new models certainly aren’t cheap, even if it comes with state of the art processors such as Intel’s new Sandy Bridge chipsets – However, if you’ve got the money to spare, then why not splash out on a premium laptop, as most of you will probably argue.

The most expensive Macbook Pro now stands at a staggering $2499, and that isn’t even with any upgrades such as a SSD instead of a hard drive. This is the 17-inch mode we’re talking about and specs include a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with a 750GB hard drive, 4GB of RAM and AMD Radeon HD 6750M (1GB dedicated RAM).

Some of you may be thinking what’s the point spending $1000+ on a laptop when you can buy a similar non-Apple model with the same specs for half the price? Then again, this is an Apple product that we’re talking about, and you can’t fault the stunning build quality and fast bootup times which are guaranteed with a Macbook.

Having seen the new Macbook Pro prices for yourself, what are your thoughts on this. Are you intending to pick one up, or do you think they are definitely overpriced?

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  • logicdictates

    I spent hours doing comparisons between macbook pros and other non-Apple laptops.
    The conclusion I came to: Macbook Pros are overpriced.
    In some comparisons you are almost paying double and yet the components are inferior.

    Don't take it from me or anyone else though – do your own due diligence and make the determination yourself.

    • Font

      Maybe you think they are over-priced for whatever it is that you do with *your* laptop. My MBP wasn't over priced to me. I use my machine for 10-12 hours a day, every day. That's 4380 hrs in a year. I paid just about that number in dollars when you include 2X 200 GB RAID-0 SSDs plus 8 GB RAM. That comes out to about one dollar an hour. When I bill at $125 / hour that is 1/125th of my rate. That's a pretty darn good value for me. A crappy machine with plastic parts and a glossy screen might make a nice ad for a big box store. But I need sleek, fast, and svelt: I'm a designer and I have an attitude, and so do my clients.

      • compuguy

        well said, very well said.

      • Chris

        Thumbs up to you.

      • CookieMonster

        so pretentious

  • deb

    ok, for me the pc is fine. i dont need the speed or the bells and whistles but for my son who is a scientist, it is important. he had his last MBP for over 4 years? maybe 5. it was a great investment. I'm splitting the cost with him for a gift. worth the piece of mind and speed. I dont think it's greed because the Apple quality is worth it.

  • jedics

    I paid even more for than what they are now for my MBP 4 years ago and it did seem silly to pay so much at the time but Ive used it nearly every day in that time and I throw a lot at it from gaming to music making software to movies without a single issue in all that time.(apart from how hot it gets currently 66C just writing this)

    You dont always get what you pay for but in this case you do, WAY longer battery life than anything else on the market, fast reliable hardware/software and a level of design/functionality so well implemented that you dont even notice it in many cases. All these things I enjoy everyday for long after I forgot how much I paid for it. Anyway the over priced comment is a myth, compare its exact specs to a pc laptop, there really isnt anything in it, add all the things in that NO pc laptops offer and apple starts to look like a bargain.

    Use one for a few months before saying they are over priced, all the headaches windows and mis matched pc hardware has given me over the years makes my mac worth every cent, its the landfill laptops others are putting out that are over priced because in 3 years I will still be using mine when yours has long been landfill.

  • Joe

    They're made in the same place the windows machines are made. It's simply that people see they look better and decide they must have better build quality.

    So yes, they are insanely overpriced.

    • KemmiiS

      Oh no no no and no again! I have been working with computers for nearly 30 years all the way back to mainframes that had to be in a special cooling rooms because they were so fricken huge and hot!

      I was a Mechanical Engineer, after being a Rock Star for quite some time, and Auto-Cad was my introduction to PC's and I hated them for more than the obvious reasons. Within a couple of months I was interested in the OS more than the anything else and began poking around with programming and loved that.

      So then came Windows which sat on top of DOS and I poked around that for awhile wasn't real crazy about the GUI it hides stuff from the user. So I was on to bigger and better things UNIX! That is the ticket! So I left Mechanical Engineering and was now a Networking Systems Engineer/Administrator. I NEVER read one book on ANY OS.

      I had heard about Mac's and was uh no thank you they were not stable far as I was concerned however the PC's were not stable either but they were more user friendly for the idiots that used them in the companies I worked for. At home it was 1 Windows machine which I built, I have built 1000's of computers from scratch so my home network grew in leaps and bounds from spare parts to 35 machines.

      Then a little OS came along called Linux and I was all over that so I had a few Windows machines to perform the things Linux/Solaris couldn't perform and everything else was Linux Slack.

      So in 2006 I took another look at Mac's when I heard they were actually sitting on top of BSD Unix and thought well maybe its stable so I bought a 2006 15" Macbook Pro. It was remarkable the most stable OS I used next to full blown *nix.

      I dropped the machine countless times, fell asleep on top of it and it fell in the floor more times than I care to think about and it never stopped working. I NEVER had to reinstall the OS because it was corrupt due to a bloated registry… didn't have to restart every time I installed something… didn't have to reboot daily because it slowed down to a crawl after 6 or 7 hours of use… etc.

      I do however recommend the warranty especially if you are getting a first generation machine like the new 2011. I bought one and the video was messed up the colors were baby blue and baby pick and I thought surely Apple didn't do that on purpose what self respecting geek/nerd wants baby blue title bars and baby pick background windows? So yes I am now waiting on the replacement to arrive this week.

      Point being I have a huge network with NO windows machines THAT I OWN however a few customers do own them and I have to work on them and the OS and basic hardware is STILL FAR BELOW what you get with a Mac. I never reboot my machines unless its a absolute must and depending on what I am doing maybe once a week but I have gone up to a month on my Mac's without rebooting and my Linux up to 2 years without rebooting.

      The windows machines I am responsible are a RPITA and I ALWAYS suggest pay the additional cost and get a Mac in the long run its worth it… heck they could save money just by what I charge to work on their machines if they bought a Mac because I wouldn't be needed as much.

      So in closing YES it is worth the additional expense. You have to look at more than the physical appearance… I am not fond of the appearance myself I like the black laptops with all the pretty blue lights that makes it "APPEAR" high tech and futuristic… you must also look at the study construction, the stable OS and the standards at which Apple holds their products. Support is great for hardware issues… they too have some idiots in the software end of things but what company don't? With a Macbook Pro you are getting far more than meets the eye. I was DEAD set against the Mac until I bought one.

  • wetworks

    I have been running a 15inch MBP for just over 3 years now. its a great computer and does most every day tasks with out any problems. What I find funny when it comes to windows laptops and MPB is that the specs on a MBP when released are quite a bit better than most any other laptop on the market. It took a year and a half + to start seeing windows laptops with the same specs that my now 3 year old MBP has. And Apple has done it again. I tried to find a comparable Dell or Sony laptop and the fastest cpu I could find was a quad core 1.8… and your still spending $2000+ to get into the top of the line computers. The key thing to remember here is "PRO" we are not talking about a common "netbook". Yes you will spend your hard earned money on a MBP but it will work hard for you for a long while. I look forwarded to the increases in speed with the 2011 MBP for my next video project.

    So my vote is. Worth it!!

    • pascal bui

      u need to open ur eyes. Theres the Dell xps 15 and 17 line, both of which come with sandy bridge i7 quad cores EXACTLY LIKE THE MAC, they come with nvidia gt 540,550,and 555, the latter two which are better then the ati 6750 in the mbp.. Theres the Hp envy 17 3d. With same cpu and faster graphics. Theres also the asus n43,n53 S line. There arent in the US as of now but same deal. And all of them are under 2000$ i can guarantee that. This year and a half thing u said is complete bs. When apple first came with the ix series laptop, how come they didnt have a quad core version????. I dont want to sound like a fanboy but i hate people who just post something they think is right cuz they dont take the time to window shop as much as i do.

  • sunspot

    When you factor in, the build quality, the incredible customer service and the highest resale value in the industry you quickly come to realize that apple products are worth every penny.

  • granlord

    I think you lot need to look at the bigger picture in computer design.

    you cant compare an acer just on the CPU speed, look at the architecture of a mac and it is far ahead of the average acer. and then ad the little bits like backlit keyboard (how did we live whit out it) multitouch track pad and on top of that a build quality that well…

    Then we have the OS it self easy fast and great.

    it is a shame that Apple have become the greed monger that MS used to be.
    Hopefully more people will realize that Apple are breaking older functioning systems with pointless software updates when new products are relesed.

    But it will be their downfall as well…… they used to care about their customers, now Steve Jobs is working on his one way ticket to greed hell!

  • John

    Yup, I do thing they are about three hundred dollars overpriced. But the build quality is superb and they make most WIN machines look like just. I just bought my wife an Acer i# processor model. About USD$640 compared to a MacBook Air ar USD1,850. Mac is better …. but $1,200 better. I doubt it.

  • Gary Kaplan

    Windows machines are worthless.
    I had to do a stock market trade, no internet connection. I ran network diagnostics on windows and it said I was connected. Worthless. Ten minutes later playing with it no better. On a mac it said I was not connected and to restart the router, OK, Worked.
    If your time has value then windows is expensive. time to wait for start up, scan for virus, dig in buried control panels, clean the registry, get someone to fix the registry you cleaned, restore the software when it is messed up etc, etc etc.
    All that time and aggravation adds up. If your trying to get some work done, its in the wan. If you need to do something you may be blocked or run a software obstacle course to get there late.

    • CookieMonster

      everything you just said means that macs are idiotproof.

  • andrew hoffman

    My daughter Has a Macbook Pro and when you see them working in the flesh you don't mind paying the money especially when you can pair it up with a bloody good smartphone.They'll have to watch out. For Samsung in terms of value,costm

  • brian

    Well here the most expensive is 3500$……