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Not recent, but last time I bought a new MacBook Pro, it was $1800. Now starting price is $2400. Is there similar inflation for other laptop manufacturers or it's just Apple?

It's not just laptops. You could get an entry-level Power Mac G4 in 2003, or Power Mac G5 in 2004, for $1499 (~$2000 in today's dollars). Today the Mac Pro starts at $2999.

The cost of entry to the Apple world has gone down, but the cost of entry to the Apple pro world has gone up.

My goal memory/storage specs for my next laptop is 32Gb, 1Tb SSD. But that is only available in the 15" (I prefer 13"), and it costs $3600 (which is more than I'm willing to spend at this time).

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