Gary is currently in Shannon, Co Clare (Oct 1st, 2014)
 

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So, I got a new computer

The laptop I’ve had with me since the start of my trip is in pretty rough shape. It is dented, the batteries (both) are pretty much shot and can’t carry a charge, the track pad doesn’t work anymore, and there are large openings in the case. I also think ants live inside of it.

In addition to all of that, the power supply is falling apart. Yesterday, I couldn’t get electricity to charge the computer. It had been getting to the point where I’d have to jiggle the cable to make it charge, but it finally just died.

I found an authorized Apple reseller just two blocks from here to check out getting a new power supply and battery. They don’t just do swaps for items which don’t work. I might be able to do that at a real Apple store, but that doesn’t seem to be the policy in Vietnam. The cost for a new power supply (the cord and the brick) and a battery were close to $400, which seems outrageous for what I’d be getting.

My hope was to keep my laptop hanging on till I got back to the US and get a new one, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. I was faced with the same dilemma you have when you have a crappy car. Keep pouring money into an old car, which you know you will have to replace, or get a new one. $400 for a power brick and a battery is almost the cost of a cheap windows laptop. I decided to bite the bullet and get one of the new MacBook Pros here in Saigon (oh yeah, I’m still in Saigon. I realized too late it would be easier to extend my visa here, so that took and extra two days).

I didn’t want to buy a new computer, so I wasn’t totally happy with the decision, but I sort of had to. The new MacBook Pros are nice. Many of the problems I had with my old one are addressed with the new design. The holes in my case wouldn’t exist with the new unibody “brick” construction method for the cases. My screen wouldn’t be as dirty if I had a glossy screen with glass. The keyboard wont get as dirty because the case seamlessly fits between the keys. The new trackpad, even though it has problems, should avoid the issues I had with my old one breaking. It is also faster and the hard drive is twice as large.

They also gave me a free 160gb USB external hard drive.

Most importantly it is slightly lighter and produces MUCH less heat. I used to almost burn myself if I had my computer on my lap. Now it just gets warm.

I’m going to send my old computer back home. It still functions and will function better indoors with less threat of moisture getting inside the holes in the case. It would work fine if you had an external keyboard, mouse and monitor…which is exactly what I might use it for in the future.

  • 8 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. MalHavoc says:

    I'm going to be replacing my Macbook Pro soon, probably with another one. I've had this one for almost three years, it has served me well, and has taken quite a bit of abuse. I even dropped it in a swimming pool once, and i had my old power adaptor catch fire right on my desk because of that design flaw where the low voltage side of the magsafe plug frays where it goes into the brick. Electrical tape is holding it together now.

  2. Marina5 says:

    hey! I'm new to your blog and I love it. I have a question for you. I'm planning on doing some traveling. Actaully, I'm a totally seasoned traveler, but never with a laptop. so this is my question. how do you do it? I mean, are you scared that someone is going to steal it from you. do you leave it in your hotel room?
    thanks!

    • Gary Arndt says:

      Just bring a cable lock with you and lock the laptop whenever you are out of sight. I see a lot of travelers with laptops now. You need to be careful, but it isn't something I really worry about.

  3. Nina says:

    Well, good luck to you with your MacBook Pro. Mine's survived 1 1/2 years and the only travels it had to endure was to University and back home, no moisture, no anything. I'm deeply disappointed. Friend of mine owns an old iBook for over 5 years now, they seem to be much more stable.

  4. Francoise says:

    Congrats on the new MacBook! :) Did you get the 13″ or the 15″?

    I'm still on an iBook which keeps on ticking despite cracks in the case and the odd spare part. The new MacBook will likely be my next computer as well. I'm curious to see how well the new MacBooks travel, do keep us posted.

  5. Mickie says:

    How much did it cost you there in Vietnam?

    • Gary Arndt says:

      From what I've seen on the web, almost the same as what it costs in the US. Unlike PC's, you wont see big discounts for Apple products. Honestly, I was surprised they had the new models here so soon. I figured it would take a few more weeks, and even then they'd probably be in Bangkok or KL before Vietnam. I was wrong.

  6. Tricon says:

    Gary,

    Glad you are doing well. I've been eyeing the new Macbook Pros myself, but mine will continue to suffice for now. It's a shame the damn batteries and power supplies are so expensive.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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