There’s a post on TUAW about the kind of incident we’ve all heard of. One minute your laptop is fine, the next minute it’s not. Of course, this is usually how things break, but the point is something you rely on is no longer working, and in this case the necessary fix was not cheap.
Had the laptop been under an AppleCare extended warranty ($249 for a MacBook), this would have been covered. It turns out the repairs were much less than initially thought, but the eternal question still rages: Do you or don’t you purchase AppleCare protection for your Mac?
For me, the answer’s an emphatic “yes”. Any quality PC is a pretty big investment, yet subject to break. The likelihood of breaking increases for a laptop, since you have the variable of harder treatment as it’s moved around. An extended warranty is generally a small price to pay for the assurance you can use the machine for years if you want to.
The TUAW article goes into detail for cost of the warranty vs. machine cost, etc., but ultimately (as they also mention) it’s about piece of mind.
The beauty of AppleCare is that you don’t have to buy it at Mac purchase. You have until the one-year warranty expires. So you can budget for the hardware, tax, shipping., etc. and not worry about the additional warranty expense for another year. My iMac and white MacBook have AppleCare, my unibody 13″ does not. It’ll be a year old in October, and I’ll buy it then.
AppleCare ranges in price from the Mac mini to the 17″ MacBook Pro. It represents relative prices (and expense of repairs) for the various models. When considered as a percentage of the cost of the machine, and amortized over the length of the contract, I think it’s well worth it.