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View Full Version : Is Applecare worth it for MBA 11 in case SSD fails?




kkel19
Feb 11, 2011, 01:01 AM
Apple Genius tells me if SSD fails they would have to switch out the whole logic board which is probably true since everything is soldered on. She tried to convince me to get Applecare cause of this. But what are the chances of SSD failing in these MBAs?



tmoerel
Feb 11, 2011, 01:19 AM
Apple Genius tells me if SSD fails they would have to switch out the whole logic board which is probably true since everything is soldered on. She tried to convince me to get Applecare cause of this. But what are the chances of SSD failing in these MBAs?

I have no idea how long an SSD will last but..... the SSD is NOT soldered to the logic board and thus it can be swapped out easily.

Xeperu
Feb 11, 2011, 01:27 AM
Nice "genius" that knows either:

1. Nothing about her product.
2. Tries to scam you into buying applecare.

Probably both though. From my experience "geniuses" are not the "genius" they are made out to be.

You can just swap out the SSD. However I would advice applecare for the logicboard. Crapple is not known for it's durability on those.

IconicM
Feb 11, 2011, 06:47 AM
Although, the SSD is not soldered on, I wouldn't call it "easy" to upgrade either. Judge for yourself, here's the teardown by ifixit.com:

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Air-11-Inch-Model-A1370-Teardown/3745/1

I personally think the apple care IS worth the price. I got it on my 2.5 year old macbook and recently, my daughter spilled tea on the keyboard. Took it in to the apple store, and was surprised when the genius girl said they would cover it. She was going above and beyond, because I know this should not have been covered. Without the warranty, definitely not a chance. I saw the repair cost on her screen, it said $755 dollars. I think that's pretty good and that's the reason I will keep buying apple products and at least for more expensive equipment, I will buy apple care also.

grawk
Feb 11, 2011, 08:20 AM
Wait til the warranty is about to expire to decide. You'll have a better idea of whether or not you have a problem one by then. If they made financial sense for everyone to buy applecare, apple wouldn't offer it, because it'd lose money.

hfg
Feb 11, 2011, 09:45 AM
Keep in mind that there are cheaper places to purchase Apple Care. Try Amazon, B&H Photo Video, or even eBay.:)

jdsmoooth
Feb 11, 2011, 10:24 AM
I've used AppleCare on my iMac. I keep them for 2 to 3 years. Great service. I don't tend to get it on laptops... I usually sell mine and upgrade it about every year. It's not much more to do that, than it is to sell the laptop and get a new one.

Hellhammer
Feb 11, 2011, 10:28 AM
Although, the SSD is not soldered on, I wouldn't call it "easy" to upgrade either. Judge for yourself, here's the teardown by ifixit.com:

If you can hold a screwdriver in your hand, you can do it.

http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbook_air_11_2010_ssd_h/

IconicM
Feb 11, 2011, 10:45 AM
If you can hold a screwdriver in your hand, you can do it.

http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/macbook_air_11_2010_ssd_h/

I agree, it's not too hard to do, but I still wouldn't call it "easy". I define "easy" as in anybody can do it, not just easy for someone like you Mr. Hammer. I know some guys that are called mechanics that you would not want working on your computer.

Don't forget to get your special screw driver and do ground yourself.

On getting apple care from e-bay, I've always been scared those are not legit. Has anyone bought off e-bay and used your applecare with no issues?

Hellhammer
Feb 11, 2011, 10:49 AM
On getting apple care from e-bay, I've always been scared those are not legit. Has anyone bought off e-bay and used your applecare with no issues?

Don't buy from eBay. Apple changed their policy and you now need to provide a proof of purchase when activating the code and an eBay auction is not classified as one.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1085063

Amazon and LA Computers for example sell it with a discount

hfg
Feb 11, 2011, 10:56 AM
You do have to be very careful who you buy from on eBay, but valid Apple Care deals are there. However, after the policy change, there aren't as many "valid" eBay sellers of Apple Care, and the prices aren't a lot better than Amazon or B&H which are probably safer buys.

FWIW: I have purchased eBay Apple Care policies, both before and after the policy change, and they were accepted by Apple and in one case, warranty work was performed under the policy with no problems. I did have some trouble getting one policy accepted by Apple right at the time of the changeover, however the eBay merchant quickly provided me with a proper storefront receipt which was acceptable to Apple.

bobobenobi
Feb 11, 2011, 10:57 AM
Keep in mind that there are cheaper places to purchase Apple Care. Try Amazon, B&H Photo Video, or even eBay.:)

WARNING: Only buy Applecare from authorized Apple resellers. You may find that Apple won't honor an Applecare warranty purchased from eBay or B&H.

http://wheretobuy.apple.com/Catalog.html

ufkdo
Feb 11, 2011, 10:57 AM
I don't think I can delete/write 100,000 times the whole 128 GB in 3 years, but I cannot know how you use your storage as well.

hfg
Feb 11, 2011, 11:04 AM
WARNING: Only buy Applecare from authorized Apple resellers. You may find that Apple won't honor an Applecare warranty purchased from eBay or B&H.

http://wheretobuy.apple.com/Catalog.html

I believe B&H is an authorized Apple Reseller.

BlackMax
Feb 11, 2011, 01:35 PM
Given the 11.6" MBA is a new design, small form factor and no long term reliability metrics to go on... I am definitely purchasing AppleCare for mine.

Plus, having AppleCare will add to the resale value when the Ivy Bridge MBAs are released. :)

KPOM
Feb 11, 2011, 01:39 PM
In my opinion it isn't worth it. It's between 18-25% of the original price of the 11" MacBook Air. Odds are likely that you won't need it. If something fails, it usually fails in the first year, or after 3 years. That's why Apple sells these (to pad its margins).

IconicM
Feb 11, 2011, 02:27 PM
In my opinion it isn't worth it. It's between 18-25% of the original price of the 11" MacBook Air. Odds are likely that you won't need it. If something fails, it usually fails in the first year, or after 3 years. That's why Apple sells these (to pad its margins).

Do you have any personal experience to contribute, or are you just telling us what you contend?

I have had two lap tops and they both had issues, although minor, within the three year period. I'm not even counting this last incident where my daughter spilled tea on the macbook.

It's easy to say you probably won't need it, but with a laptop that you intend to keep for 2 years or longer, the risk is higher that it will have a reliability issue simply due to the fact that it's mobile. Just think about what a laptop is or can be exposed to versus a desktop.

A laptop has a much higher chance of....
being dropped (off your or starbuck's coffee table??)
being hit (travel??)
exposed to varying climates, cold (your home) to hot (nice day where you go to the park and browse the net in the lovely sun??)
getting kicked (your wife kicking your backpack out the way to vacuum??)
getting wet (getting to your car from the park where it started to rain or 3yr old daughter spills tea on the keyboard and thinks it's cool???)

Anyway, I'm sure you can think of your own reasons.

Hellhammer
Feb 11, 2011, 02:31 PM
AppleCare does not cover damage caused by misuse. If you have caused the damage (drop it, kick it, spill smth on it...), Apple will not cover it, not matter do you have AppleCare or not.

grawk
Feb 11, 2011, 04:05 PM
Statistics are more valuable than annecdotes, and all of your "use cases" would result in a denied claim.

If it made statistical sense to buy applecare, apple wouldn't sell it...but everyone has their own risk tolerance. For me, saving 20% has been the right call.

Do you have any personal experience to contribute, or are you just telling us what you contend?

I have had two lap tops and they both had issues, although minor, within the three year period. I'm not even counting this last incident where my daughter spilled tea on the macbook.

It's easy to say you probably won't need it, but with a laptop that you intend to keep for 2 years or longer, the risk is higher that it will have a reliability issue simply due to the fact that it's mobile. Just think about what a laptop is or can be exposed to versus a desktop.

A laptop has a much higher chance of....
being dropped (off your or starbuck's coffee table??)
being hit (travel??)
exposed to varying climates, cold (your home) to hot (nice day where you go to the park and browse the net in the lovely sun??)
getting kicked (your wife kicking your backpack out the way to vacuum??)
getting wet (getting to your car from the park where it started to rain or 3yr old daughter spills tea on the keyboard and thinks it's cool???)

Anyway, I'm sure you can think of your own reasons.

gnasher729
Feb 11, 2011, 05:31 PM
I agree, it's not too hard to do, but I still wouldn't call it "easy". I define "easy" as in anybody can do it, not just easy for someone like you Mr. Hammer. I know some guys that are called mechanics that you would not want working on your computer.

"Easy" = anybody can do it who is a bit careful and has half a brain. I'm sure there are guys that are called mechanics who don't fit that definition :D

This one is easy - removing screws, pulling the drive out, pushing the new one in, putting the screws back on. Even slightly easier than swapping the drive on a new MBP, and that is dead easy. Now the old MBPs prior to unibody, or a current iMac, _that_ is not easy.

IconicM
Feb 11, 2011, 06:08 PM
AppleCare does not cover damage caused by misuse. If you have caused the damage (drop it, kick it, spill smth on it...), Apple will not cover it, not matter do you have AppleCare or not.

I know, you're right, they should not by the letter of their law....but they covered it for me. And maybe for others too. I'm just saying that with out applecare there is no chance they would cover it. With Apple care, then you're at least able to plea a case.

solowmodel
Feb 12, 2011, 08:00 AM
I personally think the apple care IS worth the price. I got it on my 2.5 year old macbook and recently, my daughter spilled tea on the keyboard. Took it in to the apple store, and was surprised when the genius girl said they would cover it. She was going above and beyond, because I know this should not have been covered. Without the warranty, definitely not a chance. I saw the repair cost on her screen, it said $755 dollars. I think that's pretty good and that's the reason I will keep buying apple products and at least for more expensive equipment, I will buy apple care also.

Same here. I've had damage that should not have been covered, replaced for free.

I've had educational discount though so slightly different for me; nonetheless will always be buying Applecare in the future.

mpetrides
Feb 12, 2011, 08:29 AM
I almost always buy Applecare for any laptop simply because the cost of replacing an LCD screen is so high. Add the question of SSD longevity to the equation and Applecare seems a no brainer for a MBA.

IconicM
Feb 12, 2011, 10:14 AM
I should have been more clear about the examples I gave previously. I was only saying that a laptop will experience much more wear and tear which when added up over time will be more likely to lead to a repair issue. A desktop does not experience all those wear and tear scenarios so I'm thinking it will be more reliable. In my experience, this has been the case, I have had less issues with my desktops.


Statistics are more valuable than annecdotes, and all of your "use cases" would result in a denied claim.

You get on me for providing my experience and anecdotes and say that statistics are much more useful, yet you only give us your opinion. You didn't even bother to state your experience, much less post any statistical data???

I did go look for some data. I don't consider Consumer Reports the end all be all of product reviews that some people do, but this is what they say...


Desktop computers
============================================
Brand_______Repairs and Serious Problems (%)
Apple_______12
eMachines___17
Compaq_____18
Dell________19
HP_________20
Gateway____23

data taken from 2006-2010, from over 30,900 CR readers
============================================


Laptop computers
============================================
Brand______Repairs and Serious Problems (%)
Toshiba____15
Acer_______15
Apple______17
Lenovo____17
Gateway___17
Sony______18
HP________19
Dell_______20

data taken from 2006-2010, from over 43,000 CR readers
============================================

Just looking at this one single data set, Apple has 5% fewer issues with their desktops. Dell & HP have about the same number of issues, a difference of 1% is not significant. Gateway (are they still in business??) had more problems with their desktops. Overall, from this data, you could not conclude that desktops have fewer problems. On the other hand if you only look at Apple, then yes, laptops have more problems:D.

In reality, I think there are so many variables in real world use of a laptop from one user to another that make it extremely difficult to develop meaningful statistical data.

So for now, as someone already mentioned, PC parts are a dime a dozen, Mac parts not so much. I will continue to buy apple care...

grawk
Feb 12, 2011, 12:19 PM
I agree that laptops have more problems. It's just that most of the "more problems" aren't covered by applecare. On top of that, even the consumer reports data, 17% of apple laptops have problems. Given the assumption that a certain percentage (probably high, but not necessary for this argument) is in the first year, and covered by warranty, that number is still lower than the percentage of the price you'll spend on applecare itself. If instead of buying applecare, you self insure, you'll probably come out ahead. But everyone has their own level of risk tolerance, and the fewer computers you buy, the more reasonable the insurance policy provided by applecare probably is.

kkel19
Feb 12, 2011, 12:30 PM
I have a 17% off employee discount for applecare. debating on that or squaretrade

Apple OC
Feb 12, 2011, 12:39 PM
Apple Genius tells me if SSD fails they would have to switch out the whole logic board which is probably true since everything is soldered on. She tried to convince me to get Applecare cause of this. But what are the chances of SSD failing in these MBAs?

I say go for it ... a great peace of mind just incase of your logic board fails.

well worth it ... plus the discount makes it easier on the wallet :cool:

jamesryanbell
Feb 12, 2011, 12:46 PM
I don't think it's a mistake to buy it because of the concerns of the reliability of the SSD (no one really knows the lifespan for sure). Shouldn't be a problem, but you never know.

I ended up NOT getting AppleCare on my 15" MBP (late '08), and I've never had a problem. Used the same money and then some for external drives and a main HD upgrade. :)

iRun26.2
Feb 12, 2011, 04:18 PM
In my opinion it isn't worth it. It's between 18-25% of the original price of the 11" MacBook Air. Odds are likely that you won't need it. If something fails, it usually fails in the first year, or after 3 years. That's why Apple sells these (to pad its margins).

I agree. It's like buying insurance for something that you can afford to pay for if necessary. It is stacked in Apple's favor to make money.

My Rev. A MBA works perfectly fine to this day. Buying Apple Care for it would have taken away money from buying my new one. My new 11.6" has already taken several tumbles and looks and works great!

Ronnoco
Feb 12, 2011, 05:13 PM
I wouldn't own an Apple notebook without AppleCare, ESPECIALLY an ultra-light like the MBA that is consistently on-the-go...B&H Photo has a pretty good price on AppleCare...

scenemissing
Feb 12, 2011, 10:21 PM
Swapping out the SSD is really really easy. The most difficult part is getting the 5 pointed screwdriver - but ifixit.com sells them. You unscrew 10 screws from the bottom plate, and 1 from the SSD. There is no way to mess it up. It's the only easily replaceable part on the thing.

ZipZap
Mar 2, 2011, 04:25 AM
Do you have any personal experience to contribute, or are you just telling us what you contend?

I have had two lap tops and they both had issues, although minor, within the three year period. I'm not even counting this last incident where my daughter spilled tea on the macbook.

It's easy to say you probably won't need it, but with a laptop that you intend to keep for 2 years or longer, the risk is higher that it will have a reliability issue simply due to the fact that it's mobile. Just think about what a laptop is or can be exposed to versus a desktop.

A laptop has a much higher chance of....
being dropped (off your or starbuck's coffee table??)
being hit (travel??)
exposed to varying climates, cold (your home) to hot (nice day where you go to the park and browse the net in the lovely sun??)
getting kicked (your wife kicking your backpack out the way to vacuum??)
getting wet (getting to your car from the park where it started to rain or 3yr old daughter spills tea on the keyboard and thinks it's cool???)

Anyway, I'm sure you can think of your own reasons.

You cant really use your "Tea" incident to support your position as Apple should not have covered that repair. Others cannot expect they will cover accidental damage either.