So, I got a new computer

Posted: November 5, 2008    Categories: Vietnam

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.

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