My first gen MacBook just died. The system went spinning on the beach, froze completely (hour watch) and showed a flashing folder after a hard manual reboot. Now it is just making clicking sounds and showing a white screen on startup. I hope the hard reset didn't kill it. Ah well, the dvd drive is dead as well and the casing is cracking. I wanted to replace more than a year ago but decided to see it through to the bitter end. It lasted longer than expected. Almost no data was lost, since I have backups and time machine. More annoyingly is that I will have a new job after the summer, but I need a computer at my current job and I don't want to use an old windows PC lying around the office somewhere in the remaining time. I am the only mac user so far, although the iPhones and iPads are making a good impression on my colleagues. Also annoying is that refreshes are expected in the next few weeks. Not sure I can hold out that long. So, now what to replace my MacBook with? Here is my computer usage: I have an iMac at home (whose hard drive is also sometimes producing clicking sounds). The MacBook was used only at work, where I am mostly sitting behind a desk. A few times a year I give a presentation and visit a conference. The presentation are usually prepared well in advance, but are regularly adapted up to the day itself. I don't expect this usage to change that much at my new job, but you never know. Software usage: Scientific simulations, which took days to run on my macbook. VMWare for some windows only science programs. Xcode to program replacements for the above. adobe illustrator on occasion. everything else is fairly regular. Given my iMac, the iPad and the lifespan of batteries, I wasn't planning on buying another personal laptop anymore. My experience so far is that batteries die after 2 years. I also don't like the current iMac screen sizes that much as I saw them in the shop. 21" is too small, 27" too big. What happened to the 24"? My options: 1) now: new MacBook air or MacBook pro. 2) now: new iMac for my current work + iPad 2. Later: Buy a company laptop at new job and sell my old iMac. 3) now: new mac mini (server) for my current work + iPad 2. Later: Buy a company laptop at new job and connect mac mini to my TV. Use the iMac and mac mini for playing around with distributing computing. 4) one of the above, but in a few weeks after the next expected refresh round and suffer at the hands of windows in the mean time. Sandy bridge is expected, or not? I don't want to spend more than ~1500 euro of my own money on this replacement. Your advice?