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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New MacBook - is Applecare worth the $ ?

New MacBook - is Applecare worth the $ ?
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Aug 7, 2006, 04:50 PM
 
I'm looking at the mid-range MB, bumped up to 80gig and 1gig. Is it foolish, given threads posted here, to forgo Applecare on the new purchase?

FWIW, my present G4 iBook has had serious hardware issues over the past nine months, but all my previous Apple hardware has been reliable throughout it's working life.

I'm generally NOT a taker for extended warranties, but I've got some serious hesitation on this one...

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Tom P.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:01 PM
 
yeah considering many of us have already had our logic boards replaced. If you dont get it now just purchase before your year is up.
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:21 PM
 
jaydon said it best.
It is definitely worth it.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:21 PM
 
I haven't purchased AppleCare yet, and I don't plan to until at least December, probably when Leopard is released.
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:35 PM
 
Yes. Absolutely.
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:37 PM
 
You also have a year from purchase to save up for it, so that's another good thing to think about. BUY IT whether with the original purchase or later. You'll be glad you did.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:41 PM
 
I didn't buy it for my desktop iMac but my PowerBook had it and it paid for itself during the last year of warranty when an unfortunate mishap caused my PowerBook to fry itself. Saved me $3500 in hardware replacement costs by having my $299 Applecare.

Worth every penny. My new MacBook will get Applecare in a couple of months.
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Aug 7, 2006, 09:27 PM
 
In a word: Yes

Before my iBook G3 I had never purchased an Apple extended warranty. My iBook died a month after the normal warranty expired. And subsequently died 2 more times in the next two years.

I would have had no choice but to buy a new computer if I didn't buy that warranty. So I would STRONGLY reocmend it...
     
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:58 PM
 
Yeah, any apple laptop is, you never know what can go wrong, check out the bursting into flames forum in the lounge.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 02:17 PM
 
I've got the iBook G4 as well and Apple Care as well. Wouldn't be without it. No problem with my present book but past experiences, though rare, have me convinced that, if nothing else, one sleeps better having a phone number to call and, if necessary, a box to ship it to a repair center.
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:48 AM
 
Good points. I'll see how the MB is quality-wise, and decide when I get 3/4 through the 1-year warranty. If I had purchased applecare with my current iBook, I would not be purchasing the MB today. Live and learn...

Tom P.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 08:01 PM
 
This is a hard decision, considering that Applecare adds 25% to the cost of buying the Macbook.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 11:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather
This is a hard decision, considering that Applecare adds 25% to the cost of buying the Macbook.

Not at all you have one year from your purchase to add it on. save 21 bucks at month
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Aug 10, 2006, 01:28 AM
 
Extended warranties on laptops of any brand are a good idea. Laptops have smaller components, moveable parts, and receive much more wear and tear in normal use compared to desktops.

I don't usually get service plans or extended warranties on my desktops. When components in a desktop fail they are usually hard drives or optical drives (in my experience) and an upgraded drive is usually cheaper than the extended warranty. Only the bravest among us will ever open up our laptop.
     
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Aug 18, 2006, 12:10 AM
 
Applecare is amazing and I would consider it almost necessary when buying a mac product. At one point my mac wouldn't turn on and with just a phone call they were able to help me.

Also, my power chord was failing along with my wireless mouse. All products associated with your mb are also covered. I called Apple and by the time I woke up the next day I had a new mouse and power chord.
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 09:23 PM
 
Also, you can get discounts on Applecare from smalldog.com and you can even search on pricegrabber.com for cheaper Applecare.

surely, visiting these forums must have given you an idea that Applecare is a must-have?
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 09:58 PM
 
If you plan on keeping the MB more than the year warranty, then buy it. I used Applecare more than it's dollar amount on my iBook G3. I don't buy warranties for anything except laptops, and as stated you have until the end of your first yer to absolutely decide.
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 11:27 PM
 
I say don't buy it. You might not own that machine a year from now. If you do, then buy it at that time.

Chris
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 01:04 PM
 
Chris has a good point-and one I sort of mentioned above. You don't have to buy extended AppleCare until the very last minute of your original warranty. If you still want to keep the machine, (or want to add to its resale value, since AppleCare is transferable) go ahead and buy it. Otherwise, you can save the money toward your NEXT Mac portable!

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Aug 20, 2006, 06:38 PM
 
Did you purchase your laptop with a credit card? If so, you might already get an extended warranty with your purchase.

I get double the warranty on my CC purchases, so two years coverage, without having to spend anything extra. I my case, I didn't consider it necessary to get AppleCare for just an extra year, given that I now have 2 year coverage.
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 07:02 PM
 
I've owned 5 PowerBooks and a current MacBook and have never purchased AppleCare. The only problem I've encountered was a failed HD in a 12" PB which cost $50 (plus the cost of the drive) to replace. I would say that, so far, I'm ahead of the curve, but I think I'll absolutely get AppleCare when the year is up on the MacBook. The battery just had to be replaced ($99, under warranty) and there will probably be unforeseen problems with moving to Intel that nobody knows about yet.
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 07:47 PM
 
I've had good luck, I guess, with my past Apple laptops. I've had issues, but all of them were corrected within the first 90 days. It's like insurance of any kind: if you can afford NOT to have the insurance (can you pay to replace the laptop if something super-bad happens like the LCD fails?) then don't bother -- cause the bad things don't happen that frequently.
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 08:56 AM
 
AppleCare is certainly worth it on any Mac, IMO. Especially on a laptop! In my experience, Apple's service and support has always been superb. Plus, now that Apple retail stores are in just about every major city across the states, you have the peace of mind knowing you can always stop in a store and speak to a real, live person about your problem. Many issues, like hard drive failures or bad memory can be replaced/fixed within a couple hours. Other things, like a broken power cord or a bad mouse are often swapped right out in 5 minutes. If you ever plan on keeping your computer for more than a year, I'd certainly pick up AppleCare.
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Aug 21, 2006, 10:53 AM
 
if you don't feel like getting it now, or don't have enough money right now that's fine. but you should be definitely getting applecare at some point before the year is up. my ibook was only 2 years old and the hard drive died, it cost $450 to replace it but i didn't have to pay a thing because i decided to pay $183 for applecare. so in 1 problem i have gotten my money out of it.
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Aug 21, 2006, 11:32 AM
 
If you have AppleCare and decide to sell your computer before it has expired, you can transfer the AppleCare to the new owner--a great selling point for a used computer!
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 11:32 AM
 
If you get it online with the education discount, it's $66 off, so $183. They don't require any identification or anything.
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 11:46 AM
 
BUY IT LATER!

Especially if money is an issue. AppleCare is 1/4 the cost of the 1.83 white MacBook! I'd wait till the year is up and still not buy it... just make sure you get your logic board replaced and everything else should be fine.
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Aug 21, 2006, 12:18 PM
 
If you do wait to buy Applecare, just make sure you don't wait too long. If you go one day over the normal 1-year, you cannot buy Applecare, and no amount of begging or pleading will help.

Also keep in mind that if you call Apple for tech support, and you are past your 90 days of phone support, they're going to want a credit card up front, and won't talk to you until you give them one. If it turns out to be an actual hardware issue (manufacturer defect), you won't be charged. If it's something that, for example, zapping your P-RAM fixes, you'll be charged $49 for tech support.
     
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Aug 21, 2006, 03:26 PM
 
As I always say: laptops are subject not just to manufacturing defects (as all computers are), but also to wear and tear (which desktops are generally not subjected to). It's almost inevitable that a laptop that gets carried around, opened and closed regularly, bumped, jostled, etc., will need a repair during the first three years of life.

One single out-of-warranty repair costs appreciably more than AppleCare.

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Aug 21, 2006, 04:12 PM
 
My opinion (and im sure its not the popular one since I'm on the PC side) is $300 is alot for a product that depreciates in value and in technology. With suckers all over ebay, I've always just sold my laptops after a year or two so I can upgrade to a newer, less problematic system with the latest OS.
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 01:50 AM
 
1. you can find applecare on amazon for $200 to $225. I paid $210 and $220 for the plans i bought for two new macbooks. this is versus a list of $279. Smalldog has it for $209 right now...

Applecare Protection Plan - MacBook and iBook from Small Dog Electronics

For 1st generation product from Apple it is DEFINITELY worth the money. I held off buying 1st gen product for YEARS but as the clock speeds finally increased I bought a 1.8 G5 iMac and now a couple of 2 GHZ Macbooks and all have had problems within the first few months and the G5 had problems right out of warranty. Thankfully I hedged my bets with Applecare. I always pass my one or two year Apples on to friends and family and I want them to work for 3 years. These days that means Applecare. All you need is ONE problem with a laptop for it to cost more than Applecare or even new. A logicboard replacement for a $999 iBook = $649. Do the math.
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by monkeybutler
My opinion (and im sure its not the popular one since I'm on the PC side) is $300 is alot for a product that depreciates in value and in technology. With suckers all over ebay, I've always just sold my laptops after a year or two so I can upgrade to a newer, less problematic system with the latest OS.
You're not looking at it from the right direction. NO computer is an "investment," so depreciation isn't a factor. In fact it's quite the opposite-and particularly so with PC laptops. This is because the PC laptop market churns so fast that repair parts are often not available outside the manufacturer's channels only months after a new model comes out, because a NEWER model came out!

The purpose of AppleCare for a laptop is to KEEP YOU RUNNING with your computer, rather than "keeping its value."

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Aug 22, 2006, 11:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter
You're not looking at it from the right direction. NO computer is an "investment," so depreciation isn't a factor.
Huh? NO computer is an investment? Then why is the whole market based on upselling grandma's into buying newer, faster systems so they can email their grandkids more efficiently? Most consumers buy computers with the hope that it WONT depreciate in value or in specs faster than they can afford to replace it.

Originally Posted by ghporter
The purpose of AppleCare for a laptop is to KEEP YOU RUNNING with your computer, rather than "keeping its value."
Im not trying to start anything, but how the heck is that true? A laptop under AppleCare has the exact same failure rate as one with NO warranty. So unless AC includes services like immediate replacement, insurance, data recovery or a magical "no downtime" guarantee then when your Mac stops running then so do you.
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by the macimum
Yeah, any apple laptop is, you never know what can go wrong, check out the bursting into flames forum in the lounge.
There was a time when it was much less necessary to buy AppleCare for your laptop.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Aug 22, 2006, 12:13 PM
 
well yeah apple care is a must for portables in my eyes , i bought it with my macbook. Also i bought a mac mini later on but without apple care.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 03:55 AM
 
They should offer a 1 or 2 yrs AppleCare. At a higher than proportionate price, of course. 3 yrs seems way too long imo. I'm sure people keep their laptops for a good number of yrs, but 4? What can it run by then? heehehe. But i guess it's a good excuse to get a new one after 4 yrs lol.
     
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Aug 23, 2006, 09:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by n8236
They should offer a 1 or 2 yrs AppleCare. At a higher than proportionate price, of course. 3 yrs seems way too long imo. I'm sure people keep their laptops for a good number of yrs, but 4? What can it run by then? heehehe. But i guess it's a good excuse to get a new one after 4 yrs lol.
You're confused about what Applecare does:

The standard warranty is 1 year.
There is no 2 year warranty.
Applecare extends the factory warranty to 3 years (by adding 2 more years).
There is no 4 year warranty.

Chris
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 02:00 AM
 
I agree with all those who suggest getting AppleCare, as I've had hardware problems with several Macs (including my G5) and would have spent far more than the price of the AC to fix them if I didn't have it.
BUT, that's not the only reason to get it
With AC, you also get unlimited telephone support from Apple for hardware AND all Apple software for 3 years.
That includes every problem you encounter along the way with the OS itself, including upgrades, all of the iLife programs (iPhoto, iDVD, etc), and whatever else comes from Apple.
There have been a number of calls I've made over the last several years that got me long, serious troubleshooters, ending with everything being OK again, even when no hardware problems were involved, all at no charge.
Now, without the AC, my only alternative would have been...well, I guess coming to user groups and asking if someone could help me figure out my problem or hiring someone to come figure out what I did wrong when I paralyzed my system, re-installed something, and then made everything totally unstable.
I might add as well that the people you talk to in tech support aren't in India, speaking barely understandable English. They're here! They're pretty smart and they're helpful.
So, by my lights, just having people to call when things go wrong is almost worth it alone. When your logic board goes (and it probably will if my experience is a guide), and that repair is free, that's almost like a free extra.
     
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Aug 30, 2006, 02:09 AM
 
Here's my deal, I've been a computer tech for awhile now and pretty handy w/ troubleshoting hardware and software wise etc. Because of this I'm not too certain if AC is right for me, or rather taking full advantage of it.

Chances are, I won't be using AC's phone support for any type of software. And the only thing I can think of is if my mbp somehow goes haywire and screws up w/in the next 2.5 yrs. While insurance is great, what are the chances of a normally used mbp breaking w/in that time frame?
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 12:12 PM
 
I paid £50 ($95) for AppleCare for my MacBook that is.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 03:50 PM
 
This is my first post. I'm a very long term PC enthusiast (~1987/88, hardcore from 1991). Whilst I'm now strictly non-professional when it comes to computers, I would consider myself an expert on computer hardware and particularly x86 hardware. I was never pro-Mac, although I have always acknowledged and respected the efficacy of the OS, and particularly OS X. I work in the Chemistry Department of a University and I'm writing this from a G4 running OS X tiger (not my own machine though).

I'm poised to grab a MacBook non-pro as soon as Merom ships in them (assuming it will). This is the first time I've ever considered buying a Mac. Short and sweet, it suits my purposes (and set budget) better than any PC competition right now and I can run any of my favorite applications on it using bootcamp if necessary.

I've read all the posts in this thread and I would like to say two things about Applecare.

1) It's rather disturbing that mac enthusiasts so willingly accept as a given that they have to get an expensive extended warranty on their machines. Laptops have more issues on average than desktops, this is true, but I think the need to purchase Applecare on a macbook says more about Apple's quality control than anything else. Someone else hinted at this too but I've no qualms about stating it plainly. The fact that AC seems so essential is actually making me rethink the cost effectiveness of my prospective purchase.

2) These new macbooks and mbp machines should be more user-repairable due to the fact that the HD and the RAM can now both be swapped out easily. It seems to me that the only part we're seriously gambling on is the motherboard (I believe people here are referring to that as logic board, right?). So AC should on paper be less necessary on these machines since we can repair more ourselves. This of course assumes parity of Q/C with previous years' models.

So even with my education discount on A/C, my preferred macbook option just took a jump from US $1199 to $1382, all plus sales tax at 8.25% (thank you Texas).
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 05:01 PM
 
The conventional wisdom seems to be, "see how the first 10 months of ownership shake-out, then decide if the AC purchase is justified before the 12 month warranty expires".

If you're OK with the "simple stuff", then you can eliminate 'software issues' when your 90day tech support runs out, and still have warranty hardware coverage.

Regards,

Tom P.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 07:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by luckyjoe
I'm looking at the mid-range MB, bumped up to 80gig and 1gig. Is it foolish, given threads posted here, to forgo Applecare on the new purchase?

FWIW, my present G4 iBook has had serious hardware issues over the past nine months, but all my previous Apple hardware has been reliable throughout it's working life.

I'm generally NOT a taker for extended warranties, but I've got some serious hesitation on this one...

Regards,

Tom P.
coming from someone with a bad logic board (firewire messed up, and lower memory slot will not recognize memory) i would say, yes, on a laptop it is definite must.

or it will be for my new purchase.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 07:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mavortium
This is my first post. I'm a very long term PC enthusiast (~1987/88, hardcore from 1991). Whilst I'm now strictly non-professional when it comes to computers, I would consider myself an expert on computer hardware and particularly x86 hardware. I was never pro-Mac, although I have always acknowledged and respected the efficacy of the OS, and particularly OS X. I work in the Chemistry Department of a University and I'm writing this from a G4 running OS X tiger (not my own machine though).

I'm poised to grab a MacBook non-pro as soon as Merom ships in them (assuming it will). This is the first time I've ever considered buying a Mac. Short and sweet, it suits my purposes (and set budget) better than any PC competition right now and I can run any of my favorite applications on it using bootcamp if necessary.

I've read all the posts in this thread and I would like to say two things about Applecare.

1) It's rather disturbing that mac enthusiasts so willingly accept as a given that they have to get an expensive extended warranty on their machines. Laptops have more issues on average than desktops, this is true, but I think the need to purchase Applecare on a macbook says more about Apple's quality control than anything else. Someone else hinted at this too but I've no qualms about stating it plainly. The fact that AC seems so essential is actually making me rethink the cost effectiveness of my prospective purchase.

2) These new macbooks and mbp machines should be more user-repairable due to the fact that the HD and the RAM can now both be swapped out easily. It seems to me that the only part we're seriously gambling on is the motherboard (I believe people here are referring to that as logic board, right?). So AC should on paper be less necessary on these machines since we can repair more ourselves. This of course assumes parity of Q/C with previous years' models.

So even with my education discount on A/C, my preferred macbook option just took a jump from US $1199 to $1382, all plus sales tax at 8.25% (thank you Texas).
ac should definitely be factored into the cost of apple laptop purchases. but to be fair, by sister had a dell laptop (no flames please) and she had their warranted in-home care that needed to be used often.

i am not sure if it is the nature of laptops or just apple and dell ones, but i've had trouble with my powerbook too. logic board failing, etc. so my next macbook purchase (looking at the black, but might consider the white) will definitely be factored in with ac.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 09:02 AM
 
Houstonmacbro,

Those things are covered by the standard factory warranty.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 09:05 AM
 
not after 2 years.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 05:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by houstonmacbro
not after 2 years.
I agree with you then. I thought you were referring to a new purchase.

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Sep 3, 2006, 08:27 PM
 
You're right, AC adds to the price of Apple computers.
I think if I was an expert with PC's, I might buy one of those and handle any problems with it myself.
Instead, I'm a very experienced Mac user. I've had lots of them over 20 years. So here's the bottom line: I've had more Apple equipment problems along the way than I think I should have had. Has it been dollar-for-dollar worth it to get repairs done under AC, rather than pay for the repairs as they're needed? I don't know; I haven't kept track.
I like knowing it's there, that I can call them and sometimes work it out over the phone and that with AC, they'll get your repair done really fast. When my G5 (desktop) firewire ports stopped working, they sent a repair guy to my house with a new logic (mother) board to fix it the next day. I'm sure if I brought it in without AC it would have taken a week.
But it's like any insurance. You buy it, and if you don't need it, you cand either kick yourself afterwards for wasting the money or be happy that luck ran your way.
     
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Sep 5, 2006, 10:04 PM
 
why get applecare when you've got a full 12 month warranty and can sell and upgrade to the next-years' model for a fraction more than the cost of your applecare? mac resale is super strong on ebay.. you're best off saving the bucks, selling on ebay at the end of each warranty year and getting a brand new machine. will cost more but not much, and you'll have the newest model. warranty is never a problem this way.
or even better, sell after only 11 months so you can advertise with a month left on warranty, even better for resale
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Sep 6, 2006, 02:49 AM
 
Yes.

If you are still hesitant, consider how long you plan on keeping the MacBook.

If it is 2 years of less, you might already be covered for 2 years by your credit card company if that was the form of payment. AMEX covers stuff for double the standard warranty. Bought my new camera with AMEX. Pretty cool.

Now, if you plan on keeping it more than 2 years, definitely get AppleCare. Remember, AppleCare is transferable to the next owner and raises the value of a used portable.
MacBook Pro
Mac Mini
     
 
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