Why I’ll Spend $4000 on a 27″ iMac

I work from my home office in Canada, so on any given day I might spend about 30 minutes in my car. I like my car though. It is a nice sedan with leather seats and provides a very comfortable drive. I typically lease automobiles so that every 4 years I can upgrade to something new and minimize surprise maintenance costs.

What does this have to do with spending money on an iMac? Well, let’s compare the cost of a car with the cost of a shiny new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display and a few upgrades.iMac27-85PercentLet’s say the cost per month of a family car on a 4 year lease is about $500.

I tend to look at the lifetime of a new computing platform as being about 4 years, similar to my usual lease length. By that time, I’m starting to think about a refresh.

Amortizing over 4 years, the $4000 I could spend on a new iMac amounts to about $83 per month. I’ll sit in front of this machine for generally 10 or more hours per day.

Contrast that with the 30 minutes per day sitting behind the wheel of my car at $500 per month. The iMac is beginning to look like a deal, but let’s consider a few other angles.

When my wife and I have a nice meal together at our favourite restaurant, the bill is well beyond $83 with a nice bottle of Australian Shiraz, but we love it and it is so nice to go out together after a busy week or month. That aside, the cost of the iMac is still looking very reasonable.

For me there are at least two things that are well justified for my office in terms of paying a premium. One is a nice chair. If I’m going to sit in the chair for many hours each day, it had better be a nice chair. A one time cost of $1500 or more for the right chair is justified in my opinion, especially considering that a high quality chair will last for many years.

The other item I won’t economize on is a nice display. While I’m sitting in my chair, I’m going to be looking at the display most of the time. The iMac 27 inch display certainly fulfills this requirement.

I went to the Apple store last year to compare the Retina versus non-Retina iMac. At first the sales associate loaded the same image on each one. I actually didn’t notice a huge difference, so I asked for plain old text. Loading two documents side by side was an eye opener for me. Text is what I am looking at most of the time, and I noticed a huge difference on the Retina screen.

$83 per month is less than $3 per day. Wait a minute, the iMac is coming in at less than the cost of one Cappuccino per day!

OK I admit it. There is always a way to justify something that you want!

I’m not at the nominal 4 year upgrade mark yet, but I may have convinced myself that I’m close enough to soon be enjoying a 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Feels like a good time for a short break. I’ll hop into my car to go pick up a tasty Cappuccino and give this a little more thought …

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