Author Topic: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac  (Read 3623 times)

Offline Richie

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Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« on: July 01, 2016, 09:22:38 AM »
I need to buy a laptop for school next semester.  I've been a PC advocate and user for many years now, and at times, I have bordered on being an "Apple hater."  However, I'm beginning to get discouraged with the current PC laptop market.  I hate to say it, but it looks like everything sucks.  Even the current line-up of Thinkpads leaves something to be desired.  Part of me (a strong part of me) is strongly considering buying a Mac.  I have loved my experiences with the iPhone, and I figure the friendly ecosystem between iOS and MacOS will be good for my needs.  Does anybody have a compelling reason NOT to buy a Mac?

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Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« on: July 01, 2016, 09:22:38 AM »

Offline xbolt

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2016, 02:38:00 PM »
'fraid I know absolutely nothing about laptops. I hear the Surface is pretty good?

Offline 75

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2016, 04:58:30 PM »
I guess it sort of depends on what you want to do with your Macbook, I'll list some of my experiences below, though.

Overall: I only take out my Macbook pro once a year or less. I went back to Windows rather quickly.

What I like about my Macbook Pro

- Great to use on planes / buses / armchairs / couches / elephants / any place where it's not feasible to use a mouse. I never felt like I needed a USB mouse, which I can't say about any other laptop I've used.
- Great build quality, unlike most laptops it's extremely durable and compact.
- The charger cord is neat

What I don't like about my Macbook pro;

- The builtin keyboard is missing some keys I use all the time like "End", "Home", etc.
- The builtin keyboard has no numeric keypad
- The builtin keyboard rearranged a couple important keys on the left, CTRL, Alt, Fn, and the Mac equivalent of the Windows key are all jumbled around
- OSX Mountain Lion's UI is pretty but as far as usability goes it feels like Windows 7 with less features. I'm not sure if this has been improved for newer versions of the OS.
- Macbooks have very few USB ports
- Very expensive, too expensive for what you get IMO. $2000 can get you way better hardware.
- Software is more limited. I'd say the Mac has even less software available than Linux does.
- Strange unexpected restrictions, like not being able to dual boot into Windows XP? (Mac OSX only recognized Windows 7 and above, even though XP and Vista were supported at the time)
- Running a Windows virtual PC is okay for a couple applications here and there but it's no substitute for having a real Windows installation. This includes Parallels desktop and VMware as well as Virtualbox; Virtualbox is my favorite so far.
- As far as I know there's no way to upgrade the RAM


The only laptop make / model I would recommend is a business grade Dell laptop; they're pretty much indestructible. I've taken it on planes, dripped hazardous chemicals on them, they keep working no matter what.

We use this computer at work: https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Latitude-E6430-Professional-BlueTooth/dp/B00THOL6J4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1467403052&sr=8-2&keywords=Dell+latitude+e6430 . Unlike most laptops, these are very easy to take apart and upgrade.

These newer all black Dells http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/latitude-e5270-laptop/pd?ref=3366_title have a plastic case and it doesn't feel as good as the old ones, but I haven't used them for very long, they're probably okay too. According to the IT department these are harder to maintain.

If you need a CD drive make sure it has one, these newer dells are stripping out USB / VGA ports so very carefully look at the specs.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 05:10:48 PM by 75 »
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Offline Awesomedude249

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2016, 06:18:01 PM »
Macs become worse a couple years after you buy them, having personal experience (as I have 4 siblings who all have macs that they bought new and all of them worked much worse after 4 years even though 2 of them just did casual internet browsing and writing.)
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Offline darkstone

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2016, 07:49:55 PM »
I have to throw in my two cents here. I have used Windows PC's since I was a baby, probably, when my dad set me in his lap and let me bang out keys (and somehow I broke the computer, they say).
I got a PC to play my own games before I was 4 years old. And when I was 4 years old, Dad and Mom got me another PC, in order to run newer games. That became the PC I modded on, played Minecraft on (offline, never connected to the Internet) and first caught the magic of Chex Quest on.
This is beside the point. My point is about Macs. A PC, however it may balk, can be modified quite easily. There's a setting somewhere to let you into the innards and it can be changed.
The one time I used a Mac, it was like when Alice had been thrown into wonderland, or worse. All of a sudden I was in unfamiliar territory and couldn't manage anything. Command prompt language different. What's this thing that's an equivelant of a task bar, but SCROLLS?

No. I would not recommend a Mac, just 'cause they are A) stingy (I've never seen one for cheap enough that you could afford it without being a rocket scientist for NASA), B) not moddable as far as I know (they won't let you in and control their settings like even Windows 7 will manage with enough prodding), and C) their UI is simply stupid. It's ugly and does't work.
You've heard my opinion. :P

Offline Richie

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 10:50:24 PM »
I have been convinced otherwise.  I went to an Apple store today, just to mess around with some Macs.  I was not pleased.  At all.  The lower level Macs have these awful new keyboards which are so shallow, it feels like you are typing on a tablet.  Also, one port on the entire laptop?  If you're charging, you cannot plug in anything.  To get everything I want (real keyboard, ports, etc.) I'd have to spend over $2,500!  No thanks...

Now, I'm leaning towards one of those sexy carbon Thinkpads.

Offline Boingo the Clown

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 01:24:19 AM »
I made a nice cartoon strip about Mac vs PC about ten years ago.  It might help.

http://www.doomlegends.com/PCvsMac/index.html

I made two others at the time.  Warning: These ones are not kid friendly. (Language, adult themes)

http://www.doomlegends.com/PCvsMac/iTunes.html

http://www.doomlegends.com/PCvsMac/interfacing.html

Note: The first panel in "Interfacing" was removed, because a Russian website was deep linking to it, and not providing a link to the cartoon.

Offline 75

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 10:51:45 AM »
Quote
Also, one port on the entire laptop?  If you're charging, you cannot plug in anything.  To get everything I want (real keyboard, ports, etc.) I'd have to spend over $2,500!  No thanks...

Seriously? Wow, it's even worse than I thought. The sad thing is most non-Apple laptops copy Apple, so that might be the "new trend" in a few years (I hope it doesn't catch on, though)...

Comics

Those are great!
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Offline matthias720

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2016, 11:42:52 AM »
There's a reason, Richie, that the forbidden fruit is believed to be an Apple. :P
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Offline 75

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2016, 01:01:04 PM »
Now, I'm leaning towards one of those sexy carbon Thinkpads.

Not sure if this matters to you but it looks like these laptops have no ethernet port , I remember that these laptops seemed to be well built but they were a hassle in the field when trying to connect to networks.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/x-series/x1-carbon/

EDIT: One last thing, I recommend staying away from consumer grade laptops of any brand, just about every non-business class brand of laptop I've seen has fallen apart within a couple of years (Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba), whereas the pro version of the laptop tends to last (Dell Latitude series, HP Probook Series, etc.)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2016, 07:25:18 PM by 75 »
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Offline Boingo the Clown

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2016, 12:28:57 PM »
The PC magazine website popped up at the top of my search.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369981,00.asp

If you are using a laptop for school, I would recommend going for something cheaper that will be sufficient for use in class, and fairly durable, but won't make you cry if it gets swiped in the library, crushed under somebody's butt cheek on the bus, or dropped on the sidewalk.

Cheap = expendable 

If your important data and your apps are on a flash drive, and that flash drive is in your pocket, then you will still be okay, even if your laptop ends up in pieces, or at a pawn shop.

Save your money for a nice gaming machine at home.

The cheapest ones listed are:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2497959,00.asp

and

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2488836,00.asp

Offline Richie

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2016, 09:14:25 AM »
Now, I'm actually leaning towards a slightly higher than entry level Dell Inspiron.  They have deals running for college students where you get a free TV with purchase of a laptop.  This would be much easier on my wallet.

Offline Atariangamer

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2016, 11:06:08 PM »
I'm crazy late to this, but figured I would put in my two cents:

The only reason I would ever go Apple is for battery life. The MacBook Air (and regular MacBook now) can run for ages on word processing and web browsing, which is what I typically use a laptop for. However, price, lack of upgrade ability, and possible fragility puts them away... but you already knew that. :/  My current job issued me a Dell Chromebook, and as long as I have internet access (everywhere in the company), it runs for 8 hours easy doing everything I need.

I'd echo 75 on steering clear of Inspiron. We use Latitudes of various types for schools, which usually means they get abused (both by students and faculty). Aside from the deliberate damage, like someone attempting to pull the keys out of the keyboard, or jamming something into the ports, they hold up well to being knocked about. I've also seen Asus machines hold up well, at least in my experience.

But, I would also follow Boingo's line of thought... if you get a dirt cheap one and rely primarily on external/cloud storage, it getting broken or lost won't be as harmful.
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Offline Boingo the Clown

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2016, 12:40:03 PM »
If Macs and PCs were cars:


Offline Richie

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Re: Talk Me Out Of Buying A Mac
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2016, 05:48:50 PM »
I'm happy to report, you guys successfully talked me out of a Mac.  I ended up purchasing this model Dell.  I'm surprised by how great the build quality is.  It's just like using a unibody MacBook!  My only complaint is that it came with TONS of bloatware.  More than I've ever seen preinstalled before.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-13-9350-laptop/pd?oc=fncwt5153bso&model_id=xps-13-9350-laptop

 


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