Upgrading Our Personal Laptops

I’ll be honest, I love new technology! Un-boxing a new phone or laptop has to be one of my favorite feelings. However, this new technology costs a lot so I’m always looking for deals or ways to save on electronics.


New MacBook Air

BestBuy recently had a deal for a 13″ MacBook Air with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage. It was $799 before tax. You could also apply a $100 BestBuy student coupon, which made it $699.99. After the student coupon and tax, it came out to $767. We also had an AMEX offer that provided a $25 credit when you spent $250. Total out of pocket cost ended up being: $742.

Windows to Apple

I opted to give my wife the brand new MacBook Air and I took her old MacBook Pro (Mid-2012). Prior to this, I had a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro that I got for Christmas back in 2014. It lasted about a year before it started to act up and give me issues.

I initially bought it because I liked the idea of a computer that could turn into a tablet. However, during my 1.5 years of using it. I probably used it in tablet mode maybe 10% of the time. Not worth it. Furthermore, I think the “convertibility” feature of the Lenovo Yoga actually was its downfall for me in the end. A few months ago, the screen started flickering for no reason. I’m fairly certain this had to do with the connections that ran through the convertible hinges of the laptop.

Anyway, I decided to make the switch back to Apple after toying around with a few different Windows laptops over the past few years.

Upgrading the MacBook Pro

One of the things I decided to do to the MacBook Pro that I inherited from my wife was to upgrade the storage and memory. I did a ton of research around what solid state drive to buy. Originally I was debating between the Samsung Pro 850 or Evo 850. However, these SSDs were rather expensive and I didn’t need anything too fancy. In the end, I decided to just go with a PNY 240GB SSD that was on sale plus I had some BestBuy Rewards to spend. Total out of pocket cost for the SSD was around $40. I also bought 2x4gb memory sticks for $45 to replace the 2x2gb memory sticks currently in the laptop. Add in an additional $10 for some adapters and tools, which brings my total cost to around $95.

Using this online guide as well as many other YouTube videos, I was able to upgrade the hard drive to a solid state drive. I also removed the optical (CD/DVD) drive and placed the old hard drive in the area where the optical drive used to sit. It took me about 2 hours to carefully install everything.

The improvement to the MacBook Pro’s speed and functionality is remarkable! It runs like a brand new computer. It now powers up and opens apps almost instantaneously. I love it! Anyway, we were able to save a ton of money by just upgrading this older MacBook Pro instead of buying a brand new one for me. My wife is also happy with her brand new MacBook Air.

I really like both of these laptops for traveling. They are both relatively lightweight. In addition, the MacBook Pro has some great software for editing videos, which I enjoy doing to document our travel adventures.