General Question

yoyoo29's avatar

Is it worth it to buy a Mac?

Asked by yoyoo29 (71points) March 10th, 2012

I have a PC with Windows, a laptop with Windows, an iPad 1, an iPhone 4S, and a PS3.
I want to buy a Mac Mini (the one at the lower price).
I have not decided because I haven’t used a Mac before.
In another train of thought, I think that the new iPad looks amazing.
I’m thinking about getting it before the Mac Mini, but I already have an iPad 1.
So what to do?

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47 Answers

tom_g's avatar

Disclaimer: I have never owned a mac and shouldn’t probably comment. However, I have 2 friends/coworkers who have made the Windows-to-Mac jump over the past year, and regretted it. Most of the people I know who love and swear by macs are people who have always had them (my friends in academia). Anyway, after a few months, each of these mac experiments ended in them selling their macbook pro on ebay.

I guess my suggestion is to probably hang out for a day in the Apple store and try to use a mac. See if you think the transition will be fairly easy. I once thought I’d be able to transition from Android to iOS, but found that iOS doesn’t work for me at all.

Also, it really depends on what you plan to use it for. If you’re torn between mac and an iPad, you’ll probably be ok with an iPad. If you were looking to run real full versions of Garageband, you’d have to go mac.

Silence04's avatar

No one else can answer this question but yourself…both windows and mac os can accomplish the same things.

InB4 relentless flamers and fanboys stating opinions as facts.

Thammuz's avatar

Not worth the money. You already have more than most people need in terms of electronics and there is nothing that you could do owning a mac mini that you can’t already do.

Rock2's avatar

Ask yourself if there is something you can do with a MAC that you can’t do with a PC.

Most people only use a computer to surf the net and email.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

It is strictly a matter of preference….we have one computer engineer in the family that swears by almost anything Mac and another who white hacks and works with facial recognition who could care less about using a Mac product….as for me, I like the iPad but I didn’t like the MacBook….

dabbler's avatar

In general the Apple hardware is top notch, and as noted the macs will do the same things Windows machines will do. Some people get a lot out of the whole integrated experience in MacOS which works very well, IMHO, until you need it to do something Apple designers didn’t think you should want to do. Then you’re just out of luck or in the same boat as adding a feature on windows.

The Mac Mini should not be considered in the same category as the ipad, except for very mainstream trivial tasks that don’t require much typing. The mac mini will be far more powerful for most image or video editing for example. If you want to watch netflix and youtube then they are both quite adequate. If you write a lot (fluther! email!) you may find the visual keyboard on any tablet a pain.

Look out that the newest mac mini’s don’t have an optical media drive anymore, no DVD! You can add a USB external drive easily, though.

We have a variety of machinery here, two Windows 7 machines, one XP, a few linux (fedora 14, puppy, olpc), two intel Macs, two powerpc macs(becoming more useless), and an ASUS transformer (android).
Windows 7 is as easy to use as MacOS, and has some trivial advantages depending on what you like (I still like that windows apps tend to make the keyboard menu apparent, whereas the mac apps make you mouse around to find things – keyboard is faster).

One nice thing about Macs is that they come with a good suite of utility apps like iPhoto and iMovie, etc. that are pretty capable for routine, simple work.
The Windows machines would be bristling with similar add-ons if Microsoft weren’t constantly threatened with anti-trust/monopoly lawsuits in the US and even more in the EU. The apps that come with Windows tend to be less capable but utile.

Thammuz's avatar

@dabbler In general the Apple hardware is top notch
Factually wrong. The only top notch thing in apple computers is the screen. Everything else is mid tier, mid-high if you’re willing to pay way too much for it.

DeanV's avatar

I’d go with no, for my uses. I think certian type of people can really benefit from a mac (those new to computers, graphic designers, musicians), but for the most part, as @Thammuz has said, you’re paying way too much for sub-par hardware.

dabbler's avatar

@Thammuz Well, I’ll agree not best of the best boutique quality. If you build your own machines or are willing to pay for exotic, you can get better hardware in every category.

“Factually wrong” Please provide examples. I’m curious what about the apple machinery you consider not at least as good as or better than any other big manufacturer ? That’s really what I meant by ‘top notch’.

I’ll also admit some clear problems where apple in on a bleeding edge design, ... the early slot optical drives broke down a LOT, the hinges on early airBook laptops.
I’m by no means an apple fanboy, (MacOS was simply pathetic before OS X) but I think that especially for those who are not too technically sophisticated apple has a lot of good offerings.

dabbler's avatar

@Thammuz and @DeanV “Paying way too much” ... that certainly used to be the case, ten, fifteen years ago, when you could cite double the cost and more vs Dell or HP or Gateway (back when Gateway made their own stuff, these days they’re a mediocre parts assembler).
But these days, while there is arguably a premium for spec-for-spec similar equipment, it’s not much. And if you’re getting an Apple screen, by the time you factor in another manufacturer’s premium display, you’ll pay at least as much for their system as for the apple.

Can you cite any examples of ‘paying way too much’ for contemporary apple gear?

Personally I probably wouldn’t have any apples on my own. But that’s because my desktops are either built from the chassis up or heavily modified bare-bones.
My wife has been an apple user since before I met her (16 years ago) and she likes ‘em, especially for her graphics work, and since OS X I have no objection. (Pre-OS X MacOS truly stunk due to its lack of virtual memory and multitasking).

Thammuz's avatar

@dabbler Right now, i have other stuff to do than provide you with the actual worth of the pieces in your average mac, you can look them up yourself, just go to the apple customization page, pich the best options available, write them down and the total and then go to some hardware reseller’s site. Guaranteed you can shave at least a third of the price for the same performance. Even considering a >fullHD screen.

As for “apple machinery” please provide an example of parts that are still manufactured by apple in apple computers. The processors are intel, the graphics cards are ATI, and the other components are essentially interchangable anyway. The only “apple machinery” they sell you is the screen, and possibly the webcam and speakers, which are absolutely irrelevant since they can be overridden anyway. And even then it applies only when you talk about simple Macs. Mac Pros don’t come with those and look at the cocking prices:

One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor
8GB (four 2GB) memory
Two 1TB hard drives
18x double-layer SuperDrive
Mac OS X Server unlimited-client license
ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5

The price? $2,999.00.

I’ve commissioned a better computer yesterday for 800€, here are the specs:

ASUS maximus 4
intel i5 sandybridge 3.4 Ghz, 4 cores, overclockable up to almost 5Ghz (with liquid cooling)
12 GB ram (3×4GB, there’s room for another chip, so up to 16)
nVidia GeForce GTX 560Ti 2GB DDR5 with CUDA

Let’s assume i would have to buy the Hard disks (i don’t, i will move the old ones) and it goes up to 950/1000, add the case and it’s around 1200. Still less than half what i’d pay an objectively inferior Top of the line Mac Pro server. And if i wanted i could move it right up to the edge and add a second GFX card and get right under 1500.

And even without that last thing it kicks its ass in every aspect.

dabbler's avatar

If you build your own/spec your own design, sure there’s an advantage right there, I already noted that.
That’s not a useful general purpose answer since most people can’t do that.
Are you installing the OS. Most people can’t do that either.
Also is your time spec’ing it out, and on any modifications worth nothing? It doesn’t cost you euros but if someone doesn’t know how to do that it’s off the table of options.

Do you have an example that has something to do with comparing apple to offerings from other manufacturers?

Qingu's avatar

For a desktop, probably not. Quadrupally so if you know how to upgrade/assemble computers and are so inclined.

For laptops, however, I definitely think Macs are worth it. I had a highly-rated Toshiba laptop and it lasted for a year. Then I got the cheapest Macbook and it lasted for five. Last year I got the cheapest 13 inch Macbook Air and I love it.

Laptops are more than a set of specs and components. Build quality and ergonomics matter a lot in your actual experience. So does control—apple’s trackpads are way better than any PC laptop I’ve used, and the OS is built around the trackpad, and the keyboards are great too. These qualiities are not “trivial” or “stylistic”—they’re the parts of the computer that you will use for hours every day. I think their high quality and longevity is worth the slight premium.

You also need to ask yourself what you plan on using your computer for. I mostly use mine for Internet, writing, listening to music—so the fact that the Air has an underpowered CPU means absolutely nothing to me (the SSD, on the other hand, makes the computer noticeably faster). But if you’ll use your computer for mostly video-editing and processor-intensive tasks then having top-of-the-line CPU components might be more important. On the other hand, if that’s your criteria for importance you probably wouldn’t plan on having the same computer for five years to begin with (like I do).

Thammuz's avatar

@dabbler Look up Acer Predator G7. And keep in mind Acer is notoriously overpriced.

Asus would be much better but unfortunately they seem to have problems with their website and i can’t actually read the catalogue to find a fitting example.

rooeytoo's avatar

I love the way such questions always start a war, who would believe it!

I personally love almost anything Apple (except Apple TV). We have a mini with a huge display and it is a great piece of equipment. I agree that Mac provides many programs that would be an extra expense with Windows.

For me the transition from PC to Mac was very easy. That was about 15 years ago. Now when I try to use a Windoze machine, it is a struggle for me. I guess it all depends on what you’re used to and what you expect and want from a computer.

jerv's avatar

Not if you want to do anything that even remotely resembles graphics. The low-end Mac Mini has the same GPU as my cheap laptop, and the higher model has something inferior to the built-in GPU on my $500 Gateway that I bought two years ago.

They finally upgraded the CPU so that it’s equal to a low-end PC desktop, but like the GPU, it’s still a laptop chip. You can get much better performance for the money.

The only thing the Mac Mini has going for it is the small form factor, but it’s lack of power is enough that I would not even consider one without at least a 50% discount. As it stands, I can do far more on a cheaper PC that is already 2 years and a generation behind. Hell, I can even run OS X on it!

@dabbler Apple is still not tops in reliability though, so saying that it’s “top notch” really is disingenuous. I won’t deny that Apple makes decent hardware that is generally above-average in quality and all, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best either.
You also overlook Linux ;)

@Qingu I find the Apple keyboards between “meh” and “BLEH!”, and abhor their oversized track pad. So while you are correct about ergonomics being important, it is also a highly subjective thing.
I am curious to see if the new Macbooks are really more reliable though; last info I found (a couple of years ago) placed Apple fourth in laptop reliability with Toshiba practically tied with Asus for first. On the other hand, my buddy has a Powerbook 180 that (aside from the long-since-dead battery) is still going strong. Regardless, I have had zero problems with my Toshiba in the last two years.

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Qingu's avatar

My evidence re: reliability is only anecdotal, I’ll admit. But I do place a high value on the actual solidity of Macbooks. My fiancee has a 2 (maybe 3 year now) old Lenovo laptop, which wasn’t cheap, and the thing felt rickety as hell. I often pick up my laptop with one hand and casually throw it around—you can’t do that with the Lenovo.

(I also can’t find any recent sources for this and it’s sort of shocking how much spam turns up in Google searches about laptop quality!)

Maybe other manufacturers have stepped up their game since then; or maybe your laptop spends most of its time in one place anyway. It is subjective, I just strongly feel that there is much more to a laptop’s value than gigahertz and ram.

(Also, has anyone mentioned lack of bloatware as a plus for Apple? It is amazing the amount of shit you have to set up and uninstall on a new PC, at least that was the state of affairs a few years ago.)

dabbler's avatar

@jerv Overlook linux? Nope, the question just seemed to be a mac /windows choice.
And it seems to me it was about regular systems regular folks would buy.
It sorta spun off.

I’m nearly always posting to Fluther on this linux box here (mentioned in my first answer), which I built a few years ago for about a third the cost for which anyone would sell me such a system. And the OS was free and familiar. But I can’t honestly recommend this sort of system to someone who doesn’t already know what that entails, even though I have no problem with it whatsoever.

marmoset's avatar

Has been absolutely worth it for me (since 1995).

I’ve worked with, and supported users of, Windows, Unix, Irix (a flavor of Unix) and Mac. Never any question that what I wanted to own myself were Macs.

jerv's avatar

@dabbler A few years ago, I would’ve wholehearted agreed. However, Linux has made enough advances in ease of use and (especially) installation that I consider going from Windoze to Linux about on par with going from Internet Exploiter to Firefox or Chrome.

@marmoset I used to think that until Apple stopped shipping Hypercard with every Mac.Then again, I wouldn’t mind an 11” Macbook Air… but I wouldn’t pay what they are charging for one, and would be seriously hampered by having less than 500GB of storage.

Qingu's avatar

I’ve found that the lack of storage on an SSD is well worth the speed boost it gives you. An external hard drive is pretty cheap anyway. Of course I don’t really have a lot of videos on my computer.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu To each their own, but I find that carrying around external stuff kind of defeats the purpose of a laptop. I don’t even carry my charger most of the time, rarely use my external optical drive, and only sometimes bother packing a mouse. I like to travel light, which is also why you won’t see me with a laptop bigger than 13”.

Rock2's avatar

As you can see from the responses, MAC people form a cult.

Ron_C's avatar

I notice that there are two types of computer owner, those that understand computer or want to learn and those that are only concerned with using specific programs.

Windows computers are in the first catagory and MAC in the latter.

I have attemped using MAC products and find the operating system very distracting. The reason is probably that I have been using DOS and Windows for the past 40 years. I think someone new computers using a MAC system will probably be stuck with them forever.

That being said, I hate the new Windows 7 operating system and am reverting to XP

Qingu's avatar

@Rock2, I haven’t seen any cultlike responses by Mac owners. I even said you’d be better off with a PC desktop. Also, I hate Mac commercials and marketing in general.

However, I do find the derision heaped on Mac owners by people such as yourself sort of cultlike, though. I bear no grudge for people who choose to spend significant time and effort building and maintaining their own computers. Good for you, I wish I had the motivation to do that myself sometimes. But is it really so hard to understand why others might not want to bother and just buy a computer that works simply, has nicely crafted hardware, and doesn’t distract from what you want to do with it? How is it “cultlike” if one of the main reasons you buy the damn computer is so you don’t have to even think about it while you’re using it, and you won’t have to buy another one for as long of a period as possible?

jerv's avatar

@Qingu Valid points. Look at how many people on the road cannot be troubled to even learn to drive safely, let alone check their oil every once in a while. The thing that gets me is that most of the things that Mac users use to justify their choice don’t hold up. The three PCs I’ve bought (instead of built) worked right out of the box; the only difference being that I had to use two more cords for my monitor. Maintenance takes care of itself after about thirty seconds of scheduling my defrag program one time. And as fast as not buying another one for years, I know people running PCs that were obsolete ten years ago and have a masochistic liking for Win98.

I get the desire for ease, but I find that people who have trouble with Windows tend to have other issues with technology, like ATMs. Not to mention that most things are no easier under OS X, and some are actually harder.

But I think the real reason for the backlash is that Macs don’t live up to the hype; it’s not anti-Mac, it’s anti-fanaticism. True, some go overboard, but the fact remains that Macs are merely decent, not “THE BEST THING EVER!!!!”.

Qingu's avatar

@jerv, your analogy actually justifies my point. I am not a car owner (city folk) but I would love to pay a small premium for a car that did not demand constant maintenance. Do people enjoy spending time and money for oil changes and other engine problems?

I see cars and computers as ultimately means to an end. Cars should move you from A to B comfortably and safely. Computers should let you use creative programs and the Internet comfortably and safely. Some people are into cars for their own sake. Some people are into computers for their own sake. That’s fine; both are fascinating and important to know about. But for most people they are primarily tools to do other things with, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.

I am not technologically ignorant; (I actually edit technology articles for a living). I just don’t want to waste my time and energy wrestling with technology when I could be spending my time and energy doing things with technology. And frankly I find your attitude—your reflexive suggestion that my desire here stems from ignorance, laziness, or both—a lot more annoying than these cultish Mac owners that I keep hearing about.

Edit: I agree that Windows is not inherently harder to use than OS. But most Windows machines are sold with mountains of bloatware and require more security software. That’s a pain to deal with, it can be expensive to deal with, and I would dread having to deal with it again after 10 years of not.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu I don’t consider a one-time task that takes under a minute to be “constant maintenance”, at least no moreso than applying patches to OS X. And those that want a maintenance-free engine should buy electric cars; fewer moving parts, no oil changes, and utterly reliable due to their mechanical simplicity.

Also, I would think that by now you would already know how cynical I am.

rooeytoo's avatar

What are patches to OS X, I never put any patches on my Macs???

I don’t build my own computers or cars and I would wager that each year fewer and fewer people (of either gender) change the oil in the their cars.

I consider myself reasonably computer literate but I simply don’t like using Windows, I prefer Mac. I resent that implication that Mac users are a bit on the dopey side. There are a lot of smart people using Macs, we are not all dummies! (is there a Mac for Dummies book? I know there are numerous Windows for Dummies ;-)

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo It’s done automatically in the background; that’s my point. It happens with nothing required from you. As for the fewer and fewer people doing maintenance on things, I could go on a long rant about that decline in things such as child-rearing and romantic relationships as well, but suffice it to say that it goes beyond “pet peeve”.

And there are several Macs for Dummies books ;

dabbler's avatar

I agree with @jerv that “just works” easily applies to current Windows machines.

It will update itself automatically (just like a Mac) unless you tell it not to. And it will find and work with your peripherals as well as a Mac, probably with a wider range of peripherals.

As for security, the built-in, free, Security Essentials included with Windows is by many analyses as good as most add-ons for keeping malware off your machine.

I also agree with @rooeytoo that there’s nothing wrong or dopey about wanting to just use your computer and that’s that. And I think most users are like that most of the time.
If you just want to do regular stuff on a regular machine with no fuss, you probably won’t go wrong with a mainstream apple. It’s a safe choice.

Going for a windows machine means doing a bunch of comparisons between vendors, which I’d find fun but a lot of people either can’t or won’t be able to do. If you end up comparing feature-for-feature and picking up the cheapest you’ll find the price is that low because of bloatware subsidies. I can see where the regular consumer who wants a utility computer will have their eyes glaze over at all the Windows possibilities and be tempted to walk in the Apple store for something that just gets the job done.

I like my home-built linux box and do much of my home computin’ on it. If I had a better monitor on it, I’d probably do most of my home computin’ on it.
And I agree further with @jerv that linux is easy to install, no harder than WIn7 (which is also easy).
But I’m still going to say I can’t honestly recommend to most people that building a box and installing their own operating system is a good idea for them, unless they already know why it could be.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have made much of my furniture because I like it, it’s fun and relaxing for me. If I knew how to do it, building a computer might be as well, but I prefer to spend my time practicing the more primitive pursuits! Apple can build my puters for me!

@jerv – do you mean software updates? What is wrong with them, doesn’t windows ever update or fix bugs? ( I know they have bugs, I hear people complaining all the time!)

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo Nothing wrong with them.

The point I am making is that automatic updates are automatic updates regardless of OS. Saying that OS X is better than Windows because it requires less maintenance is a bit disingenuous since Windows does not really require more maintenance than OS X (just let it update itself), and the security software argument also falls flat because Windows has MSE and Linux is (for all intents and purposes) the same as OS X under the hood. .

Silence04's avatar

Everyone in here is acting like a child… If you want to drive a Kia, fine. If you like rebuilding and costomizing cars, that’s fine too. If you want to drive a BMW and have the money for it, perfect.

Point is (as with any type of product) it comes down to the experience you want as a consumer and what you’re willing to pay for that experience.

dabbler's avatar

Gee whiz @Silence04 I’ve gone to great lengths to make the same point.
Are you including yourself with us children? You did say “everybody”, maybe that was a compliment.

Thammuz's avatar

@Silence04 The question is not “Would i like to use a mac?”

It is “Is it worth it to buy a mac?”

It’s a question with an objective answer asked with enough context to actually be answered. It’s not a matter of opinion.

The OP already has 2 Windows computers, a PS3, an iphone and an ipad, whatever he needs to do he has it fucking covered. There is nothing, and i mean nothing, that he can’t already do that would be worth buying a Mac over.

You can like macs. It’s fine, really. Most people who work with computers for a living (I.E. programmers) will tell you why it’s not as good as people think it is, but it’s your experience and you’re free to enjoy it.

What you can’t claim, under any circumstance, is that macs are a) not overpriced and b) worth buying for everyday use. Macs are good for everyday use, but everyday uses are not worth paying a kidney over. Especially when the alternative is a 400 bucks laptop that in the hands of an inexperienced user will last just as long, (i.e. not much).

The only instances in which macs are not a waste of money are when you have to work with picture editing, video editing, that kind of stuff. In that case, they’re as good as can be, but even then only professionals actually need them.

Qingu's avatar

@Thammuz, “What you can’t claim, under any circumstance, is that macs are a) not overpriced and b) worth buying for everyday use.”

Actually you can. My $1000 macbook lasted five years and was incredibly comfortable to use every day. My $1000 Toshiba laptop (contemporary with said Macbook) lasted one year and was rickety, blistering hot, loud, heavy, lasted an hour and a half fully charged, and constantly needed updates and attention.

There is more to a computer experience than the components inside a computer. Especially for a laptop. If you don’t understand why people value things like keyboard and trackpad comfort, light weight, battery, ergonomic design, and a sturdy build quality, I honestly don’t know what to tell you. It’s like arguing that a Toyota is overpriced because you could buy a car for half the price with the same exact engine, but with less comfortable seats, less fuel efficiency, less leg room, that will last half as long before breaking down.

Also, I don’t even think it’s true anymore that Macs have an advantage for photo and video editing? That’s the traditional divide, but I distinctly remember reading that PC’s have caught up. You can certainly use Photoshop and a Bamboo tablet on a PC. Basically I remember this being true around the same time that “Macs are just an expensive fashion statement” was true—ten years ago.

Thammuz's avatar

@Qingu My $1000 Toshiba laptop (contemporary with said Macbook) lasted one year and was rickety, blistering hot, loud, heavy, lasted an hour and a half fully charged, and constantly needed updates and attention.

You should have researched more. I’ve got a 650 bucks sony vaio, it works like a charm, it’s more powerful than most macs on the market and hasn’t had a problem since i bought it, and i’m not paying any particular attention to its well-being, either.

If you’re saying that buying a mac you’re more likely to have a good product, sure, why not. You also have a good product if you buy Sony, if you buy Asus, if you find another good builder of laptops or desktops. And every single one of them will cost less for the same performance.

Also, yes, computers are just their components, and possibly the strings attached by those who designed said components, but that aside the experience is completely customizable. Unless you buy a mac, that is, in which case it’s all designed by Apple.

You can certainly use Photoshop and a Bamboo tablet on a PC.
Sure, but for once the experience being stringently regulated by apple does good in ensuring no conflict with specialized hardware that can be a bother on other systems. When you’re doing that stuff for a living you might want to make sure you’re not forced to do overtime to fix your shit. Also, bigger resolution out of the box works best for that stuff.

Basically I remember this being true around the same time that “Macs are just an expensive fashion statement” was true—ten years ago.

Then it must not have changed much. Macs still are basically an expensive fashion statement, as demonstrated by the fact that most people are willing to pay through the nose for stuff they could have for a third of the price, for no discernible reason other than “it looks cool”, disregarding the fact that it’s compatible with maybe a third of the software that was ever developed.

Qingu's avatar

@Thammuz, I feel like we’re not speaking the same language.

How much does your Vaio weigh? Do you worry about throwing it onto the couch or putting it roughly in your bag? What is its enclosure made of, and do you worry about it cracking or splitting? These are all aspects of a laptop that have nothing to do with “components,” and I think they’re pretty damn important.

But let’s talk performance. Does your Vaio have an SSD? For my purposes—and for most people’s purposes—solid state hard drive makes much more visible difference in performance than being “more powerful than most macs on the market.” Apple neraly cornered the market on flash and so they are actually quite competitive with other manufacturers; Airs remain cheaper than most comparable computers on the market.

The cheapest Sony with an SSD comes in at more expensive than a comparable Air. It has a higher resolution screen though.

I have had my Air for over a year. It has an ancient dual-core CPU, 2 GB RAM. The only time I had an issue with its performance was when I was doing video editing. This is because for most things that I actually use a computer for, solid state makes a much larger difference in performance than CPU or even RAM. (If I used my computer for gaming, that would be another story—but I don’t.)

The bottom line is that people buy and use computers for different reasons and different ways. If you are in the market for a desktop computer that you want to play games on, I agree, you would be stupid to buy an iMac. If you are in the market for a lightweight, durable, comfortable computer that you will use mostly to write and Internet on, then I think a strong argument can be made for a low-end Air or even a Pro. If you want a very cheap laptop and you don’t care about portability or durability then maybe you should get a netbook, although I have yet to meet any enthusiastic netbook owners.

jerv's avatar

@Qingu Actually, I loved my old netbook. I like that firm factor, and was happy when the 11” Macbook came out despite it not having half the storage I need. I put my little Acer through Hell and it held up fine. I only got rid of it because I got a good deal on a 13” Toshiba which has held up for two years so far without issue. Then again, I tend to be slightly gentler with my toys than a toddler, so you won’t see me rising my laptop like a frisbee very often.

You are correct about different people having different needs. I need my desktop systems to have better graphics than a laptop GPU can offer, so desktop Macs make no sense for me. I need more storage space than any reasonably priced SSD offers, so Macbook Air is likewise inadequate for my needs. And the OP already has plenty of computing available, so a weak, low-spec Mac makes no sense for them.

chewhorse's avatar

From what I’ve discovered, a mac is more durable, better secured (thus less updates) and gives the owner the impression that he/she owns the best but other than those examples a mac and a PC operate basically the same.. It’s like buying a ford or chevy compared to a caddie.. They all roll down the road, suck or save on gas, but in comparison the caddie is built to go approx 200,000 miles farther than it’s competitors before it needs major work (depending on how it’s treated of course) ..

jerv's avatar

@chewhorse Like many, you seem to think that PC=Windows.

As for “better secured”, you might want to take a look at why that is. Simply put, any claims that Macs have for security go for Linux as well.

Also, infrequent updates is actually the opposite of security since any threat that has emerged since the last update is one that is not protected against. About as close as Apple gets to security is the fact taht they were only about 4% of the market. Now that they are closer to 14%, well, Mac malware is exponentially more common. On the other hand, some Linux distros have good enough security to be trusted in high security settings; banks, DoD, government… places that need just a little more security than the average home user.

Given that Apple runs on Intel chips and (aside from the Mac Pro, which is a workstation/server-class machine rather than a consumer-grade one) have non-ugradable GPUs that are insufficient for gaming or any serious work like graphics design (Apple’s former strong point), CAD/CAM, or anything like that, I will actually agree with that part of your analogy.

Why? Like Apple, Cadillac tends to use a lot of proprietary borderline-experimental stuff that often breaks, are far better at luxury and comfort than at performance and you pay a hefty premium despite the unreliability. By contrast, Toyota spans the range from econoboxes to sports cars, I’ve seen a lot more Toyotas over 250k with little more than oil changes than I’ve seen Caddies go 50k without an overhaul. Inexpensive, reliable, can be repaired for cheap in the event that you do somehow get unlucky…. PCs are more like Toyota. Some have fancy trim and go by the name of Lexus, but the innards are the same.

Thammuz's avatar

@jerv I am stealing that analogy.

chewhorse's avatar

The true difference between owning a mac compared to a windows PC (I’ve owned both) is the price.. Now if you think the difference in price will make you happy or give you more prestige then go for it.. At the very least you won’t have to update or replace a mac as often.

jerv's avatar

I have to admit that aside from the dead battery that chains it to a wall outlet, my old Powerbook 180 is in great shape. But it has a hard enough time with modern software (anything within the last 20 years or so) that I consider it’s durability a dubious achievement. My opinion is that anything that lasts long enough to become irrelevant lasts long enough for me, and being able to reuse 80% of my system and only pay to upgrade the other 20% when my system can no longer do what I need it to do.

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