I had an epiphany while browsing Apple’s web site today. So, I turned to my husband and said, “Honey, my Mac is getting kind of old. Do you mind if I order a new one from the Apple Store?”
Foolishly, my loving, adorable, supportive, unknowing husband said, “Yes.” That single-word answer set the stage for a trip to Apple’s equivalent of Disneyland, a daydream, and a Mac that costs $18,000.
Be Careful What You Wish For
I’m a bargain hunter. I’m the resident Mac360 Value Vixen™. Here I was sitting at my Mac browsing through the Apple Store. Shouldn’t I really be looking on Craig’s List for a new Mac?
My first daughter and my most recent iMac are the same age.
Since I’ve had two daughters since then, and no new iMac, I concluded that it’s only fair to dream, right? After all, I was searching for a Mac. What could go wrong?
My first stop was the MacBook Pro. If you’re new to lust, this is a product you want to avoid. Add the Intel Core i7 option to the 17-inch model, max the RAM to eight gigabytes, drop in a 512 gigabyte Solid State Drive, add an external Apple display and you can kiss $5,000 goodbye.
Expensive? Yes. My desktop iMac cost half that amount five years ago.
Reality Bytes My Lust
For a moment I returned to my senses. The 17-inch MacBook Pro is hefty and powerful. My iPhone 4 is light and convenient. My two-year-old 13-inch MacBook Pro hardly gets used, thanks to the iPhone.
So, I scratched the MBP, and clicked over to the iMac. After all, would my husband complain if I replaced an aging iMac with another iMac?
Apple just makes those buttons too easy to click. Adding the i7 quad core CPU to eight gigs of RAM to a two terabyte hard disk drive and a Magic Trackpad, an Apple Remote, an Apple Battery Charger, and AppleCare moved the price tag to a more affordable location just below $3,000.
That’s a full $500 more than my original iMac from four years ago. Sigh. Then the epiphany struck me square on that tender spot between my forehead, credit card balance, and children’s education fund.
A voice called out to me, “Check out the Mac Pro, Alex.”
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Anyone who thinks that a college education fund for children is highly overrated must be trying to price out Apple’s new 12-core Mac Pro. Within a minute I had a Mac Pro priced out, ready to buy with a single click.
The base 12-core Mac Pro starts at a mere $4,999.
Already I’ve exceeded the MacBook Pro dream, the high powered iMac dream, and entered the stratosphere of total Mac delusion. “Honey, talk me down,” I cried. He never heard my plaintiff wail.
Alright, here are the five or six steps to move into Mac Nirvana, or ruin your credit rating, or deplete your children’s college fund, followed by the price to put on your children so you can pay for absolute power.
Click #1 moved the base price of $4,999 to $6,199 with the upgrade to dual 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” CPUs (12 cores total). I have no clue what Westmere will do for my Safari browsing, Mail, iLife and iWork efforts, but I suspect it will all be faster.
Click #2 added the 32 gigabytes of RAM option for a mere $3,550 (you know there’s something crazy wrong when the chips cost more than a fully armed iMac).
Clicks #3 through #6 added four screaming fast 512 Gigabyte solid state drives to my dream machine and catapulted the total to well over $15,000. Did that satisfy my lust, my craving for absolute power?
Clicks #7 and #8 added dual ATI Radeo HD 5770 graphic cards, each with one gigabyte of graphic RAM. Then, a click for dual SuperDrives. You know the Rule of Mac Dreams™, right? If there’s an empty slot, fill it up with something expensive.
Clicks #9 and #10 got me two Apple displays and a final price tag over $18,000. Since $18,000 was more than the down payment on our house, I decided to exercise some restraint. I didn’t add the Printer option, or MobileMe, or the pre-installed software options, but I did click to get AppleCare.
Absolute power must be cared for absolutely.
I did it. I satisfied my lust, my Mac cravings and, with proper restraint from years of pinching pennies, managed to keep my desire for absolute power to well under $20,000. All that was left were these simple steps. Click Add to Cart, click Check Out Now, Click the Buy button, and wait seven to 10 days.
In the end, I couldn’t pull the trigger.
My life flashed before my eyes. I realized what would happen. After placing me in a sanatorium somewhere in Rhode Island (we live in San Diego), my husband would have taken the children and started a new life for himself in Idaho. I would have been locked up with the rest of the institutionalized loonies who went crazy scanning for viruses on Windows XP PCs. My dream of owning the all powerful Mac Pro would have disappeared under a deluge of daily medication.
Still, thanks to the Apple Store, I had a few brief moments of lust and love in Mac nirvana. Isn’t $18,000 a small price to pay for eternal love? What price is your Mac love?