A question that always comes up whenever you reach the end of your laptop cycle and decide it is time to make a new purchase is: Should I buy a Mac? Or should I just buy a regular laptop running Windows?
There are a number of key points that you need to pay attention to whenever you’re about to invest in a new laptop. Generally speaking, the following are the advantages of a MacBook (regardless of specifications):
- Mac OS: There’s no doubt that, when compared to Windows, the Mac Operating System is extremely powerful. It’s much smoother, much more intuitive, and impressively faster. In basic terms, the hardware and software are much more compatible and work harmoniously, causing fewer crashes and problems
- Battery: You can never trust the lifetime that is listed amongst the specs of a given laptop – it is always exaggerated – but you can trust the fact that Mac’s batteries last significantly longer then the equivalent PCs
- Size & Weight: MacBook owners never need to worry about how big or how heavy the laptop is. Simply put, it is extremely portable. Also, although relative, many would agree that its looks out-do its competition with ease
- Lifetime: Depending on how you use your laptop, it will last for fewer or more years than the standard 3-4 years one would expect. However, the exact same use would give you more time on a Mac, than on a PC
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s because I haven’t laid out the disadvantages yet:
- Price: Fewer products are as over-priced as the MacBook. Starting at $1,000 for the most basic model, money has to be something you don’t worry about too much if you are to invest in Apple’s laptops. A regular MacBook Pro with standard specs will cost you no less than $1,700.
- Mac OS: Even though it has been listed as an advantage, it is still something of concern for the crowd that are used to Windows or Linux. Working with a Mac requires time for you to get used to it, and while many users overcome the hurdle and become satisfied users, some find the change too much to handle
- Software: If you’re a hardcore gamer, or work with specialized software, then you’re out of luck, as most of those applications are not made for Mac OS. Of course, you can always install Windows on a virtual layer on top of the Mac OS, but don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that the performance is the same
So whenever someone asks me for my recommendation for a new laptop, I always say: Purchase the cheapest hardware, and install Ubuntu. But then when I get the condescending looks associated with blasphemy, I say: If you do design or multimedia, you already know that Mac is better. If you are a regular user and have $1,500 available, get a MacBook Pro. If you’re a regular user with a regular budget (under $700), get a PC and install Ubuntu. But whatever you do, do not use Windows, and for God’s sake, do not buy a MacBook Air.