Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Updated Retina MacBook Pros from NUS

_DSC1063The National University of Singapore (NUS) updated its notebook tender for 2014 last month. For people looking to buy a Retina MacBook Pro, the tender became immediately obsolete, because Apple announced a hardware refresh and a price cut across its entire Retina MacBook Pro line. NUS halted the Retina MacBook Pro sales, but they’re now back with the new models and new prices!

If you followed my previous post, the NUS prices prior the Apple update was rather unattractive. With the new update from NUS, how does the NUS offer stack up? It’s better, a little, across the board, if you compare with purchasing from the Apple Online Store, with educational discount, and including AppleCare Protection Plan and accessories.

However, if you are willing to consider best sourcing, you can get even better price. See the comparison below.

NUS Price Apple Online Store Price Mixed Source
MacBook Pro 13″ 2.6GHz with Retina Display, 8GB/128GB $1882 $1902 $1823
MacBook Pro 13″ 2.6GHz with Retina Display, 8GB/256GB $2150 $2202 $2123
MacBook Pro 13″ 2.8GHz with Retina Display, 8GB/512GB $2530 $2602 $2523
MacBook Pro 13″ 2.6GHz with Retina Display, 16GB/256GB $2375 $2454 $2375
MacBook Pro 13″ 2.8GHz with Retina Display, 16GB/512GB $2755 $2854 $2775

The prices in the mixed source column assumes this:

  • Buy the Retina MacBook Pro from the Apple Online Store with education discount.
  • Buy AppleCare Protection Plan from a friendlier (but still completely legitimate) source.
  • Buy the Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter from the Apple Online Store.
  • Buy the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter from a third party source, such as Qoo10.

With mixed sourcing, NUS price is better by $20 only in the highest end configuration. Consider, also, that you might not need the accessories. For example, do you really need that Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter? Haven’t most of us all gone wireless? If you really do want wired network connection, you can also consider a cheaper USB dongle from Amazon.

As I also posted previously, buying separately has the added advantage that you don’t have to buy everything at the same time. It may lesson the financial burden a little bit if your AppleCare Protection Plan is purchased later. You can commit to AppleCare Protection Plan later, so long as you purchase and register the plan within the first year of your hardware purchase.

So if you ask me, I think mixed sourcing is a great way to go.

The more difficult question to answer, though, is if the time now is right to buy a Retina MacBook Pro. I’ve discussed this a little in my previous post. Check it out there!

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