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June, 2012- The Apple MacBook Pro models I wrote about below have now been discountinued and replaced with much faster and cheaper MacBook Pro Models: The 2012 Apple MacBook Pro lineup now consists of the Apple MacBook Pro in 13 and 15 inch versions and the MacBook Pro 15 inch with Retina Display.  The 17 inch MacBook Pro has been discontinued.  See the best prices on the new MacBook Pro models

The new Apple MacBook Pros are probably the best Apple notebooks ever to be released yet and offer not only faster processors but a new connectivity options with the Thunderbolt technology the next generation of input and output devices, according to Apple. HD Facetime, faster graphics and the fact that both the 15 inch and 17 inch 2011 Apple MacBook Pros round out the main and most notable upgrades for the MBP’s this year to date.

But if you are wanting to compare 2.3 GHz MacBook Pros versus 2.7 GHz MacBook Pros, you are limited to the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro which is currently available in these two configurations, with the difference being $300 between the two models: 2.3GHz vs 2.7Ghz MacBook Pros

That’s the first question I would ask when deciding what Apple MacBook Pro to buy, regardless of screen size or feature set.

Both models ship with the same 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM, and the hard drive space is minimally larger – 320GB versus 500GB hard drives when comparing the two 13 inch MacBook Pros leaving the faster processor vs the slower processor speed your main difference between the two 2011 13 inch MacBook Pro models.

Let’s assume you buy the 13 inch MacBook Pro directly from Apple and you don’t get any deals or any other MacBook Pro discounts. This means that excluding sales taxes and shipping the 13 inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro will cost you $1199 and the 13 inch 2.7 inch MacBook Pro will cost you $300 more at $1499.00. This, as I have noted in the past is a $300 price difference between the two.

Now, if money is not a concern, this is an easy question to answer: Buy the 2.7 inch MacBook Pro, but if you need the cheapest MacBook Pro currently ons sale then the cheap MacBook Pro is the better deal. You might also want to consider adding a warranty option to your MacBook  Pro and  ask yourself: is AppleCare worth it? Some may think the included one year warranty is all they need, while some might say portables demand extented warranty due to all the possibilities of things that can go wrong on your MacBook Pro

What is your time worth?

We also need to consider what you plan on using the MacBook Pro for. If the intended use of the MacBook Pro (and this advice applies to any model) is for business the choice is easy: Buy the 13 inch 2.7MHz MBP. Assuming you keep the MacBook Pro for a year, which is a reasonable time frame to buy and use a new computer, the added cost for the higher end MacBook Pro works out to just pennies per day and not even a dollar a day more. The cost to own the 13 inch MacBook Pro works out to $4.10 per day, so if you make money with your MacBook Pro and it’s more than the measly four bucks, you will be more productive, which results in even more money being made. It would not be hard to make over $4.00 per day with any notebook – Apple or otherwise. I know I do. :)

What is your MacBook Budget?

But, what if you’re a consumer who wants a more powerful, modern and faster computer than the current MacBook lineup that’s getting a bit old and are considering buying a 13 inch MacBook Pro. And even though it is not the cheapest MacBook you can buy you can swing the $200 more for the 2.3 GHz model, but when yo consider that you are not using this MacBook Pro for business and more as a portable computer for cafes and the couch, the added $300 on top of the added $200 for the Pro version brings you to $500 more than the MacBook line and with another $500 you could buy two MacBooks or buy a MacBook when you need a full sized keyboard with contemporary design but use that $500 surplus and buy a just released Apple iPad 2 with the same $1500 budget. For the consumer, the choice on what MacBook Pro to buy seems to me to be considerably tougher due to the fact that you have much more choices in how to spend your computer dollars. If you need to buy the cheapest Mac portable, then you should be looking at the MacBook line, but if you can afford it, I would buy the 2.3GHz MacBook Pro. Yes, this is the more expensive option but with that extra $200 you get a faster, more modern Apple notebook that at first blush might be the more expensive choice, but you may get more use and enjoyment over time.

Where the current MacBook might indeed be the cheaper notebook, it will also age faster and although fast enough for almost every task your average consumer could want, the 13 inch Macbook Pro is the better MacBook deal and the MacBook I would buy unless you really cannot afford the extra $200.

What about MacBook Pro screen size?

One other factor to consider when buying a new MacBook Pro is not only price and processor speed – but LCD display size as well. At $1499 the 13 inch MacBook Pro is just $300 away from a 15 inch Apple MacBook Pro at $1799, and with that added $300 to the overall cost of the 2.7GHz Macbook Pro 13 inch comes one thing that a lot of users value and that is screen real estate.

Not only do you get a bigger LCD display when you buy a 15 inch MacBook Pro, but you get a bump in processing speed with the 15 inch MacBook Pro offering Intel quad core i7 processors vs the $1499 13 incher’s 2.7Ghz dual core Intel i5 processors. The quad core processors run slower at 2.0 GHz, and not all applications will take advantage of the added cores yet, but if you’re a professional that can uses the MacBook Pro and needs lots of windows open or menus visable, the 15 inch MacBook Pro might allow you to work faster for no other reason than there’s more screen real estate and pixels to use and take advantage of. The cheaper 15 inch MacBook Pro is definitely a MacBook Pro to consider if the 13 inch 2.7 Ghz is also on the list of the MacBook Pros you are considering buying.

To summarize, it’s not an easy decision to choose between the 2.3 Ghz and 2.7 inch MacBook Pro when it comes time to buy a new Apple notebook but unless you really need the extra speed the .4 GHz and the 120 GB of extra hard drive space offers, it’s my opinion that the 2011 2.3GHz 13 inch MacBook Pro is the best deal on an Apple notebook computer available today.


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