Why You Really, Really, Really Need AppleCare on That Retina MacBook Pro

Illustration for article titled Why You Really, Really, Really Need AppleCare on That Retina MacBook Pro

Apple's retina MacBook Pro may well be the platonic ideal of a portable computer. It's fast, it's thin, it's brilliantly realized. Oh, and as iFixit has discovered, it's a gigantic—and expensive—pain in the ass to fix yourself.

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That Apple made the retina MacBook Pro a difficult nut to crack isn't a new revelation; iFixit already deemed it the "least repairable laptop" ever back in June. But now we know that if your fancy $2200+ does break, it's going to cost almost a new laptop's worth to fix it.

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Need to replace the FaceTime camera? You'll need to remove the LCD frame from the display first, which will break it, which means you'll need an entirely new assembly. Have to switch out one of Apple's proprietary components? Sorry, there's no third party analog. Oh, and replacing the battery alone will cost over $500 from a third party. Apple charges $200, but not everyone has access to an Apple Store (or can afford to wait for the mail-in service turnaround).

So look it may feel weird spending $350 on AppleCare for a rig that's already taking such a big bite out of your wallet. But there's maybe no other Apple product that merits that kind of three-year all-inclusive protection more. Because if literally anything breaks or malfunctions, it's going to cost a whole lot more than $350 to repair. If it's even possible to in the first place. [iFixit via 9to5Mac]

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DISCUSSION

franksmith03
Frank Smith

I gotta say, even as a devoted Mac user (with a few lapses due to intermittent poverty) for 23 years now, I'm as cynical as the next person when it comes to some of the company's evil practices (yet another $29 USB adapter, anyone?)...but all that aside, Apple Care is truly the most amazing and worthwhile "extended warranty" deal on the planet. And I've always been treated with great respect, concern and friendliness by all Apple Store staff.

When my early-2008 MBP went belly-up in countless ways two weeks before its Apple Care ran out last year, they replaced a ton of stuff, which is to be expected. But when even more things went wrong two weeks after the warranty ran out? I got, among other things, a new screen, no questions asked. And then, a whopping SIX MONTHS after the warranty ended, when my graphics processor went...a new one, just like that.

When all was said and done, my Apple Care on that machine got me, over the course of 3.5 years:

a new hard drive (larger than the original one)

a new motherboard (faster than the original one)

a new graphics board

two new batteries (about 1.5 years apart)

one new charger/cord

a new screen

a new entire bottom section of the computer

a new DVD drive

...and probably a few spare bits and pieces I'm forgetting

For all their bullshit, Apple has now got me as a customer for life, no matter how ridiculous their prices or conniving/money-grubbing their design decisions are...