Apple vs PC – Help me out

By glblguy

macvspcPosting here in the afternoon as I need some help. Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to be helping you out, but hopefully you won’t mind me asking a question for a change.

I need to purchase a laptop for my blogging and Empty Cabin Media work. For a few years, I’ve been eying up an Apple Macbook Pro and spent some time yesterday reading up on them and comparing them to similar Windows based laptops. The specific Windows based model I want is a Lenovo T500.

From what I’ve found, I can get a very nice Lenovo laptop with similar specifications to the MacBook Pro for anywhere from $1000 – $1500.00. The similar MacBook Pro I really like is $2500.00. Here’s my dilemma: I know the Macs are slick. They are light, easy to use, fast, and have some really really cool software, but to be honest they aren’t $1000.00 more cool. At least not to me. Not based on what I know at this point.

Upon further reflection last night, I decided that if MacBook Pros are $1000 or so more than Windows based laptops, than they must have some feature or features I’m not considering. I mean, I could buy two Lenovo laptops for the price of one MacBook Pro. I must not be considering something. Just for the record the following considerations don’t justify an additional $1000.00 for me:

  • MacBooks are really really “purdy” (as we say here in the South) – Completely agree, best looking computer on the market. But, so are BMWs…but I don’t own one.
  • MacOS instead of VistaYes I hate Vista, but I’d live with it to save $1000.00
  • Easier to useI agree with that too, but I’m a software/computer guy, so I’m real comfortable using computers, and even frequently use a command line (*gasp*)
  • Steve JobsI agree, cool guy and all, but I don’t think he needs my $1000.00

Now, it might seem like at this point I am anti-Apple, o’contrar monfrar. I really want an Apple. I’d love to run the Coda editor, Evernote for Mac, and Things. I also really like the OS/X operating system as well.

I know many of you have both Apple machines and Windows based machines. I would love to hear your input on my dilema/decision. I even know some of you that are personal finance/frugal bloggers that have Apple computers. How did you justify the additional cost? Why do you elect to spend the extra money for the Apple? Was it worth it?

<begin shameless begging>Hey, if you’re an Apple person or retailer and want to just give me one to review and keep. I promise I’ll write all kinds of good stuff about how great my new MacBook is, the software, the support, etc etc. <end shameless begging> <== hehe, can’t blame a guy for trying right?

Seriously, add a comment with your thoughts. It would really help me out.


43 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Apple vs PC – Help me out”

  1. nickel Says:

    I use a MacBook Pro and love everything about it. For web dev, keep in mind that you can install Parallels or VMWare Fusion and run windows alongside OS X, which is great for check cross-platform compatibility, etc. Yes, it costs a lot more, but I still love it.

    Another option if you care about having both platforms would be the Lenovo + a cheaper MacBook (not pro).

  2. Randy Peterman Says:

    I’m a pragmatist – I own two Apples and 4 Windows machines. I use my macs with parallels to run Windows on them for when I need to run Windows only applications and test on Linux installations. What are you wanting to do on this? You’ve not given us enough about what your current tasks are as well as a vision for where you’d like to be down the road. For example: if you want to create videos or podcasts the Mac’s iLife software is great for this so you’d be set to do that, but some folks find that they can get buy with Audacity on Vista for Audio, and Windows Movie Maker for video production.

    For audio recording I swear by my system over any windows experience I’ve had, but I also have multiple musical instruments I’ve paid money for and if you’re just going to throw your voice down on a track and export an MP3 then Garageband is not worth $1,000.

    If you’re going to do web development work and need to be able to either fix your own site or a client’s site on Windows, OS X, or Linux, then the Mac is the best, legal, way to go. You could run a Hackintosh, but that is not presently a legal operation :)

    So, what are you trying to do on this new machine?

  3. Jeff@MySuperChargedLife Says:

    I bought a used MacBook off Craigslist a while back. I wrote about my experience in this article. There is a lot of great input from my readers about Mac vs. Windows machines in the comments that you might find useful.

    Ultimately, I sold the MacBook. It was a nice machine, but I’ve been using Windows so long that it is just easier for me. Everytime I wanted to do something on the Mac, I had to Google to figure out how. On Windows, it all comes second nature. This might seem like a small point, but it isn’t. At least not for me. It took a big chunk out of my productivity using the Mac.

    On the positive side, the Mac was fast and I hear that they don’t lose their performance like so many Windows machines seem to do after they’ve been running for several months. A fresh install of Windows always seems to scream, but it never seems to take long for that to change.

    I look forward to hearing what you decide!

  4. Jon Abad Says:

    I agree with Randy. Your desired use will matter the most and help you decide whether that’s worth the extra $1000 for the Mac.

    If you do switch to Mac, don’t forget to account for the extra costs in new software.
    If you choose the Lenovo, as you’re a software guy, i heartily installing the Windows 7 RC. It makes Vista a distant memory! Obviously, you should have a good backup option for your writing and other personal items, but the improvements are totally worth it.

  5. Erica Douglass Says:

    Hi!

    I have a Lenovo X200s and I absolutely love it. The thing gets 12 hours of battery life with the extended battery and weighs a bit over 3 pounds. It’s a great piece of hardware.

    I hate Vista, too, so I bought the XP downgrade ($79; option when you custom-build a Thinkpad on Lenovo’s site.) Also, watch the ‘deal’ sites — Lenovo does an awesome promo every 2-3 weeks.

    I’m not interested in either Mac OS X or Vista. Looking forward to Windows 7 and perfectly happy with XP for now. :)

    -Erica

  6. Erica Douglass Says:

    @Randy: For video editing on Windows, I use Ulead VideoStudio X2. It does the trick, and is not that expensive. RetailMeNot has some Ulead coupons that make it even cheaper, and there’s a 30-day free trial. One nicety is it auto-uploads to YouTube.

    For audio editing, I use Sony Soundforge — also a nice program and quite inexpensive. I outsource most of my audio editing these days, though.

    -Erica

  7. passatfreak Says:

    I’m an Apple freak, so way biased. Trying to think objectively, think of it this way: Based on how long you plan on keeping the laptop, which one will be more productive? Is the $1000 worth the productivity cost? That’s everything from time, profit, software issues, reliability and yes, asthetics.

  8. FFB Says:

    I don’t have a Macbook Pro, I have a lower model Macbook. I bought a refurbished model for $949.

    I don’t know if an additional $1000 is justifiable. I do know that my Mac works and it’s quick. I’m happy I didn’t go with another Windows PC (which needed to be re-formatted at least twice).

    I don’t think the differences between usability are that great. I switch between both since I have to use a PC at work. At home it’s the Mac and it hasn’t been a big deal using a few different key combos.

    Here’s one argument for ya – Less malware on the Mac.

  9. Matt Jabs Says:

    I’m an IT Manager and have been working with & supporting Windows, MACs, & Linux boxes for years…here’s my $0.02:

    Get a MAC if you need it run programs you cannot run on the other, cheaper platforms. Or if the efficiency of the MAC will pay for itself in the long run. Also consider your ability (or possible lack thereof) to troubleshoot problems in MAC OSX, which is built on BSD Linux.

    Get a Windows box if you are not confident toward the above points regarding MACs, are already completely comfortable with Windows, and/or a Windows box will supply all your needs regarding software & usefulness.

    Get a Linux box loaded with Ubuntu if you can find compatible software to fill all your needs. Another caveat here…I would suggest you know at least a little bit about the Linux OS just in case you need to troubleshoot a problem.

    It sounds to me as if you’re fighting off a serious case of the “Me wants!” and that deep down you already know what the wise & economical choice would be.

    For what it’s worth, I would just go with Windows and load an old copy of Windows XP on it (if possible). Unless I could run all my necessary apps on Ubuntu. If I could do the latter I would go with Linux hands down, after all…it’s free and I already know Linux.

  10. HisHersMoney Says:

    I have a MacBook (about 2 year old right now) and I have to say one of the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to keep their Macs longer. It is not unusual to see Macs that are many year old and still humming along just great.
    So far my Mac has held up without deterioration longer than any PC laptop that I’ve ever had. I did buy the extended warranty on it and have had to bring it in for two minor issues with the physical case but both were fixed in minutes at no cost to me. That’s a huge advantage in my book.
    I plan on keeping mine until it dies and can’t be revived!

  11. Katie Says:

    I’d suggest not going with a Lenovo. I purchased a Y410 less than 2 years ago and have already replaced it. It would shut down with the slightest use (the cooling system couldn’t keep up with the hard drive) at the most inopportune times. 3 keyboard keys broke off. I frequently needed to use it for data entry, and since the 2 and the 6 broke off, it was getting difficult. It’s also hard to find replacement parts, so I’d have had to send it away to Lenovo for a week, and that just doesn’t work with my grad school schedule. Lenovo didn’t sell the keyboard pieces I needed, and I couldn’t find them on ebay either. I ended up sucking it up and buying an HP since my qualifying exams are coming up, and I couldn’t risk my computer shutting down in the middle of a question. So far, I’m super happy with my decision. I’m sure the experience varies by the model (and that the Thinkpad would be better), but I didn’t like that I couldn’t just buy parts for it on my own. I think they did have more parts available for the Thinkpad though. The customer service experience with them wasn’t that great either. I guess that’s not really to say that I’m voting for the Mac, just that I’m voting against the Lenovo.

  12. Mrs. Micah Says:

    Wow, that’s hard. I like the idea of getting a Mac someday, but I don’t really need almost anything that’s Mac specific so I can’t justify the expense. However if it would make you happier working and your consulting business is coming along nicely so the price tag isn’t an issue—I’d say go with the Mac.

    Otherwise, a Vista solution would be buying XP. ;)

  13. Christy Says:

    I agree with Randy and the others – what you plan to do will make a big difference.

    We were perfectly fine with our windows computer until Dec of 2008 when we won a macbook air from an e-billing contest with one of our utilities. We figured we’d try it, and if the switch from windows to mac was brutal, we could always sell it.

    Within 2 days, I was completely in love, and the honeymoon isn t over yet. ;) We both have gotten into photography and have always wanted to record, and the software for both is fantastic. We’ve made dvd’s of our home movies and photo slideshows to send to family and I would never go back to “just” windows.

    For us, if given the choice now, we would save the extra $1000 and buy a macbook. It rarely freezes, the software is intuitive and it has been a switch I never intended to make, much less love so much. I was skeptical.

    Your situation will be your own, but if you are wanting to persue your creative side, I LOVE my mac. It was an unexpected gift to my husband and I, and has scratched a creative itch I didn’t know I had. :)

    Good luck!

  14. Shawna Says:

    Ok, so I can’t really help you out with your question, but I just wanted to tell you that I LOVE the fact you weren’t afraid to beg! LOVE IT! If I had a laptop to give you, I totally would! :)

  15. Stephanie Says:

    Once you go back, you never go back. I will say I work for a computer company and I wouldn’t want another PC if they gave it to me. I can do some really cool things on my mac and the added security of not having to worry about every stupid website I go to causing me to get a freaking virus (you have no idea how many times I have had to reimage my work pc because of accidental viruses). My mac I have had since 06, never had to reimage it. Still works as beautifully as the day I bought it. I love iPhoto and iMovie more than you could ever know. However, if you use a lot of office apps I couldn’t help you there. I know that Office is different on the Mac, but I have not become very familiar with it because I don’t really use it for personal things. All the personal things I do work perfectly on my mac. But on a side note, if I had to learn office on my mac I would rather do that then buy a PC for the use of Office. I love iLife and that is really the only thing I use.

  16. Stephanie Says:

    oops, once you go mac, you never go back :)

  17. Mr. ToughMoneyLove Says:

    I use a Windows PC. Wife uses Mac after switching from PC. She ends up borrowing mine to perform some tasks that are harder on the Mac. I have used hers as well as other Macs at client offices. It’s way overrated IMO, it is not intuitive if you are a veteran Windows business user, and not worth the extra expense.

    With cloud computing on the upswing, go for the browser, not the platform.

    I know this is contrary to Mac mythology and cultism but you asked, I answered.

  18. Jim Says:

    Take this for what it’s worth as we have two Macs and just retired another. My wife had a Powerbook that we bought in 2004 I think. Thing worked like a champ until we replaced it a month ago with a macbook. It wouldn’t have been replaced if it hadn’t been basically broken from being dropped. I have a first generation Intel iMac that runs like the day I bought it. I used all windows up until then and the big difference is that I have never had to reload my Macs, something I did every 6 months or less with windows. One question you need to ask yourself is do you really need a macbook pro? What is your reasoning behind the pro over the regular macbook?

  19. Eugen Says:

    In line with the theme of the site – save your money ! I would say don’t spend 1000$ on a PC. Buy a PC, but get one that is less than 500$. Check for deals by vendors and unless you want the computer for CAD or gaming, you’ll be happy for saving the extra 500$ or so. The 500$ will not buy that much performance.
    Example : http://www.dealsea.com shows
    Dell Inspiron 15n 15.6″ Notebook $353, Jun 03

  20. Traciatim Says:

    Buy a PC. You can get pretty much any software that runs on a mac on a PC anyway. Unless you like paying for style over function, form over frugality, trendiness over intelligence. You get the point.

  21. Kelly Says:

    I agree with Stephanie, once you go Mac you don’t go back!

    We have 3 Macs and have had zero issues. I always had something going on with the PC that needed fixing before and they wore out so quickly! I consider our Macs an “investment” or at the very least smart purchasing since they will last longer and work better than any PC we’ve ever had.

    Do you REALLY need a pro? The hubby needed on for developing, and has been super happy with it. He runs Windows on it if he needs to view something or do something in Windows.
    I went with the MacBook since I don’t need all the whiz bang of the Pro.

    For me personally the Mac is WAY more intuitive and easier to use than a PC ever was.

  22. Gypsie Says:

    I didnt just drink the kool-aid, now I am serving it to my friends…

    I love my Mac and will never go back!

  23. Justin Says:

    Steve Jobs isn’t at Apple anymore, I doubt he will return. That’s one “pro” down.

    Wait until October and Windows 7 will be out, that’s two down.

    Have you looked for Windows equivalents of the apps you want to run? Have you considered that some software available for Windows just isn’t available on a Mac?

  24. Laurie Says:

    I ran my last Mac (g4) for 6 years without ever turning it off (except for power outages that lasted longer than backup system.) Not once during that time did the machine freeze up, catch a virus or worm, have an kind of exception or dll error etc. The only reason I bought a new one is because my husband (a CS professor) changed jobs and he’d bought that one with grant money so we had to return it to the school. They are STILL using those machines today another 18 months later in the labs.

    I’ve had my iMac 24″ and my husband has had his MacBook pro for 18 months. NO problems. Everything always works. Adding a piece of hardware takes minutes instead of hours (we do still have a pc – I hate the dang thing). And we both can run Windows also. So no problems there.

    We’ve been very happy with all the audio and video features. Personally I think the $1,000 is worth it for the extra 3 years you’ll get out of the laptop and the fact that you won’t spend your weekend at least once a year if not more often reloading your machine. But I guess if we still had debt I’d be rethinking that!

  25. Mat Says:

    Buy a license of Mac OS X and search a little around the internet and install it on a machine with the same hardware as the Pro. It won’t be as good looking but you’ll get the software you want at a normal price. The Macs of today use the same hardware as normal PCs, all that you pay extra is for the look and the mac hype.

  26. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    I would go with Apple because of:

    - Ease of use
    - Fewer crashes
    - Fewer viruses

    The non-frugal side of me likes the cool design!

  27. Ben C Says:

    As a user of both a personal MacBook Pro (3 years old) and a work provided Lenovo Thinkpad T61 (6 months old), I have to say that my MBP beats the Thinkpad hands down. The problem is that Lenovo loads all their proprietary software on it which makes it extremely unstable and Windows XP doesn’t help. Docking and undocking it will cause BSODs, Lenovo wireless software occasionally will not connect to networks it connected to the previous day, and occasionally it will just lock up. The lock up I think is due to Norton Antivirus. Windows XP just doesn’t compare to OS X in terms of style, functionality, and stability. I have yet to run into something I needed Windows for that I can’t do in OSX, games notwithstanding (I have an XBox360 for that).

    My suggestion is to look at the regular MacBook. I saw a refurb one at Apple’s site for $699. It was a white MacBook and I was tempted to jump on it. Plus with the AppleCare warranty you’re covered for 3 years. I would recommend an extended warranty whether you get new or used, Mac or PC. Laptops are too expensive to replace every 2 years, so the warranty gives me peace of mind.

  28. Stacey Says:

    For what it’s worth, I was also afraid of Vista. My husband “surprised” me with a new laptop for work (never a good idea!) and it had Vista… I haven’t had a single problem yet.

    The only legitimate complaints I’ve heard from Vista have been from people updating their older computers with Vista, which really slows down computers with less memory. I haven’t shut down my computer in over a month and it’s still speedy. :-) I believe I have 3GB of memory, which is fairly standard now.

    I would take a look at what you’re using the computer for – Mac has some great applications for creative jobs, but otherwise it’s not worth the “Apple tax.”

  29. kim Says:

    I have a macbook, not macbook pro. It’s over 2 years old and I’ve had zero issues. I’m not tech savvy so I love the ease of use and ilife. My kids use macs in school and they are all able to use ilife almost independently ( ages 9,7,5) for their schoolwork. ( will the kids be using this machine as well?) My husband teaches so he is my mac support system. We finally talked my father in law into spending the money on the mac, because he was unable to troubleshoot his pc, and we could give him much more assistance with the mac. He says that he should have switched long ago because the mac is much easier for him to use.

  30. Craig Says:

    I switched from a PC to a Mac and love it. I also have VMWare so I can have the PC OS as well if I need it. It is more expensive but the reliability and performance can’t be matched.

  31. Kim Says:

    I run all 3. Mac, Windows, and Mandriva Linux (not ubuntu, please look at a few of the choices before picking a linux, unbuntu tends to lean towards newbe linux users, and to be honest it was my worst linux expeirence)

    I can use all of them fine but window is too much of a hassle IMHO. The viruses, the worries, the $$$$ every time you need to get software.
    I’m pretty good with mac as well since my Mom went to school with Steve and my Grandma was among the first to have a computer implemented into the class room, I can’t actually say something bad about it.:-P It is pretty, and all those accessories make it fun but “don’t judge a book by its cover” is a saying for a reason. Just cause it is pretty doesn’t make it better.
    I think you can tell I’m leaning towards Linux here. For one we just bought a laptop, wiped the windows and got the refund for the operating system. Already got $150 back on the purchase. Next anytime I want to do something new I can just download the software for free…FREE! We build web pages, edit video’s, and music, plus I do a lot with my pictures. Linux also runs on far less then window boxes require so they are much much faster. Finally we have never had a virus/trouble with our linux machine.
    Sidenote: We have switched our parents to linux and they had hardly any trouble adjusting, and trust me they aren’t computer people.

  32. Llama Money Says:

    Consider going the Hackintosh route. There are some laptops that work seamlessly with OSX. Currently I’m test driving OSX on a Dell Inspiron 1525. Install was cake, and I’m learning the OS to see how I like it. Great way to get the Mac experience ( most of it, anyway ) without spending all the money.

  33. Kristy @ Master Your Card Says:

    Ok, I use a Lenovo at work and it’s a piece of crap. We’re getting new lap tops some time this year. I haven’t looked at the version you’re considering, but just to tell you a little of my troubles. We’re in June and I’ve sent my lap top to IT to be “fixed” four times already. They’ve has to re-image it twice. You have your standard slowness from Window’s over time, but the swivel screen and stylus functionalities severely add to the problem. The computer can get a little hot and the cooling system doesn’t seem to keep up, which shuts the computer down, and I always lose work when it does that. In addition, Windows has a lot of communication errors that kicks me out of programs left and right. Some of them are wireless issues, but a good majority of them are the computer. I could go on, but I’ll stop there.

    In my personal use I’ve got an HP and I have to say, I hate it, too. Mostly I don’t like fighting with Windows, but the battery life is also a huge issue. When I replace my personal computer, I think I’m going to pay the extra money for a Mac just so I have piece of mind and can me more productive. I spend too much of my time waiting for Window’s to catch up to me. It’s extremely frustrating. But again, a lot of this is also compounded by my work computer’s issues. But, speed is a big one for me.

  34. Sylvia Says:

    I used to love my old Dell, but I finally replaced it with an iBook purchased from my sister a number of years ago. She had it for at least three years and I used it for another three, and the only reason I don’t have it any more is because my son dropped it and broke the display (it still booted fine but the external monitor got to be a pain). We have an iMac desktop and a HP PC for the kids, and I can honestly say I will never again use a PC for anything unless I absolutely have to. The Mac boots in a fraction of the time, the operating system has a lot fewer problems than Windows, and yeah, it’s slick. Even the kids hate using the PC and prefer the Mac. I doubt we ever buy another PC.

  35. glblguy Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe the amount of response this post received. I think the only people that didn’t respond were the Apple folks giving me a free one ;-) I’m patient though…

    @Everyone – Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, you’ve really given me a great deal to consider and I appreciate it!

    To address a few comments:

    I would be using it to surf the web, blog, do development of my websites and blogs, Photoshop graphics, manage by photos, limited video, and some word processing/spreadsheet work. 90% of it thought will be development of websites and associated graphics.

    On Lenovo – there are two types, real Lenovo computers (the value lines) and the ThinkPads like the one I am considering. I have had mnay laptops over the years from my employers, and hands down the Lenovo Thinkpads (previously IBM) are hands down the best. Sure, they have issues, but are the most durable I’ve had.

    Software wouldn’t be too much of a concern. I guess I would need to purchase a Mac version of Photoshop unless I just ran it under Windows which is most likely what I would do…at least in the short term.

    So one more question. A number of you recommended the regular Macbooks…my only concern with them is the 13″ screen. Seems very small to me, especially for the graphics and development work I do. I was leaning towards the Pro for the 15″ screen.

    I did find some good deals on refurbished machines, so that does reduce the price difference a little more.

    Thanks again!

  36. nickel Says:

    @MattJabs: You can always tell a Windows guy by the fact that he capitalizes all three letters in MAC. :)

  37. Marguerite Says:

    I bought my first computer almost two years ago. I had used computers at friend’s homes and in libraries, so my sole experience was on Windows based computers.

    My uncle, who is a retired systems analyst, strongly recommended that I get an Apple computer. He also had persuaded my sister to get one several years ago. She has always used Windows based computers and it took her some adjusting to get used to the Apple operating system. When I had to make the decision on which to get, she is the one I asked for advice, since she now has both. She told me she now prefers the Apple, since it is easier to use and she found it to be almost intuitive. The way she explained it, it seemed like the computer knew what she would want almost before she knew it herself, and would practically hand it to her.

    A friend of mine got tired of buying a whole new computer every two or three years and bought an iMac. After having only windows based computers her whole life, she is now in love with Apple and will never go back.

    My niece just finished her freshman year in college. Before she left, she got to choose which laptop she would be taking to college. She has experience with both systems and she chose the MacBook.

    Probably the most useful advice I got was from the author of a book on how to buy a computer. I sent him an email asking whether I should go with an Apple or a PC. His response was absolutely go for the Apple. He said he would not own Windows based computers if he didn’t need them in order to write about them.

    In the time I have owned this MacBookPro, it has never given me a problem. It is so easy to use. I love how everything seems to be drag and drop. Saves a lot of time. I love not having to fear strange websites or my friend’s emails in case they harbor viruses, spyware or other nasties.

    I love it so much, I bought an iMac for home, and use the laptop to go places.

  38. Tony Says:

    I fought this myself. Ironically, I type this on a 24″ imac purchased three days ago. what did it for me was all the bloatware that software makers are paying the pc manufacturer to put on the computer. Also, you will get a computer that will last you years longer than a PC would. Best Luck in you decision!

  39. Prasanth Says:

    Buy a windows machine and save the $1000 for something else. Nothing against Apple but not worth the extra $$$ for the kind of work you want to do.

  40. Jennifer Says:

    First of all, if you do web development, Macs come with Apache and PHP as part of the OS. You only have to enable them, and you’ve got your own internet-connectionless sandbox. You can install MySql, too, to complete the picture. There are walkthroughs on the web that help you do these things.

    My story: I switched from a custom Win XP desktop to a MacBook Pro (my first Apple — the late 2008 aluminum redesign) in Nov. of last year, expecting to use the MBP as a companion to the PC. I have a lot of $$ invested in Windows-based software, everything from Quicken & You Need a Budget to graphics-intensive online games. I bought the MBP with the thought that I would gradually transition to Mac versions where possible as I upgraded/replaced software and keep the desktop for that which could only run on Windows. I did pick up an OEM copy of WinXP (~$100 on Amazon) to stick on the Mac using Bootcamp so that I could run those apps on the laptop if I wanted.

    What I found — to my great surprise — was that the MBP quickly and completely replaced the desktop. I cannot express how much I love the lil’ guy — in fact, the PC isn’t even hooked up anymore. I use Evernote and other Mac-only software, and have found that they do live up to a lot of the hype. Much of the Mac software is interconnected. A birthday from the central address book shows up in iCal, for instance. But the real shock was how the Mac runs Windows — MUCH faster than any laptop I’ve seen that’s theoretically _made_ to run Windows. (I don’t use any of the Parallels/VMWare type programs to run both concurrently, so I can’t speak about that.) We chose the Pro for the graphics capability, and it runs the Windows-only 3D games (Everquest2, etc) not only without a hitch (with a minor concession — see below), but with the settings cranked up. The games are absolutely gorgeous.

    Being one of the early adopters of the aluminum body came with a price, though. My version has heat issues when in Windows with the video card being taxed, such as when running a 3D game. The computer must be vented in this situation or else I get the “black screen of death” that may or may not be the fault of the graphics card or the aluminum enclosure. The resolution for me was to get a cooling pad that props the laptop up at a very slight angle (more comfortable anyway) and wait for the internal temperature to trigger the fans to ramp up, which happens within 30 seconds of loading the game. After that, it’s fine. I’ve been following some threads on Apple’s discussion boards about it, and it appears that the problem may have been remedied by now.

    If you switch, you’ll see for yourself what everyone’s talking about with respect to OSX the first time you connect your printer. It goes something like this: Plug in printer. Click on your browser’s (or Word’s, or whatever you’re using) print command/button. The end. (What? No “Select your printer from a list” dialog? No “Have disk?” button? No fighting with driver upgrades at 3 in the morning before a deadline? NOPE!)

    Getting used to the different commands was about 75% intuitive for me. One of those “switch from the PC to the Mac” websites (or books – O’Reilly’s got a nice one) helps with whatever’s not as obvious.

    Finally, the cost was a huge hurdle, and the purchase was not one we made lightly. We put money aside for a year to pay for it, knowing that for me, a mobile computer was moving from “cool to have (ahhh, one day)” to the “I really could use one” category. We decided that in the long run, buying something that is built to last, offers great flexibility in terms of the operating systems and software, and comes with that famous “It just works!” usability was the best way we could spend our money. We have not been disappointed, and are now starting to save for my husband’s Mac that we’ll buy when his PC can’t be economically upgraded anymore.

  41. Lou Says:

    I started computer life on an apple IIe, had to change to PCs for work reasons and came back to Mac when I retired. I found them worth the extra price because:
    1) they don’t “freeze.” That control-alt-delete thing was a pain in the butt.
    2) they don’t get viruses from the Net
    3) there isn’t as much software, but what there is really works – no junk
    4) Reliability My partner has a laptop = actually he has 3. On average, he sends one or more away for repair 2-3 TIMES PER YEAR. A recent repair involved 3 separate times sending the thing to California before the fix worked. He spent hours on the phone with India over each remailing. My iMac lasted 5 years- needed repair once. My current desktop has not needed a repair in the 2 years I’ve had it.

    So the cost is not just the upfront cost, but the premium is what you pay for lack of aggravation. It’s really worth it.

  42. laptops batteries Says:

    Within 2 days, I was completely in love, and the honeymoon isn t over yet. ;) We both have gotten into photography and have always wanted to record, and the software for both is fantastic. We’ve made dvd’s of our home movies and photo slideshows to send to family and I would never go back to “just” windows.

  43. Katie G. Says:

    In my eyes, spending the extra $1000 was worth it. My Macbook Pro runs the same as when I first bought it, there are no viruses, and no “illegal operations” performed. It’s also a lot easier once you get used to the new commands than Windows. There really is no headache, no annoying upgrades popping up a few times a day, and the shelf life depending on how much you use it, is 2-5x longer than a Windows.

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