Jul 06

REVIEW: The Apple MacBook – It Sucks (or maybe I just don’t get it)

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I am fully aware that MacBook users are both loyal and true to their chosen computer.  I am loyal to some things to;  like Green Giant frozen vegetables and Kraft cheese slices.  In each view, the given product is far superior to anything offered by the competition.  Anyone who doesn’t get it, simply doesn’t get it.   I simply don’t get the MacBook thing.  The MacBook seems to affront every frugal living principle that I hold.

The Apple MacBook Sucks

I was given the use of a number of MacBooks in my classroom this year.   I felt very fortunate (and still do), that we had the chance to have free laptop computers in our classroom.  As I got to know the MacBook, however, I began to see a lot of cracks in it’s polished red apple veneer.   A lot of my students came to express the same frustrations over time; so I knew that I was not alone in re-evaluating the pristine Apple image when my students (who are far more tech-savvy than me) began to voice similar complaints.

With that being said:

There are a few positives about the MacBook:

– It looks great

– The ads are slick and make PC users like me look like tech-dinosaurs.  They attempt to make PC users feel inadequate by being ‘tech dinosaurs’.  The advertising is terrific as it plays on fear and fear of inadequacy.

– It offers some good programs that are unavailable on PCs

There are also a few significant drawbacks:

They are really expensive.  It costs about twice the amount of a PC-compatible laptop with similar characteristics.  From my perspective, I simply can not see how spending twice as much for something that is inferior (for my needs and purposes) makes any sense whatsoever.

Using them is a pain Unless you are used to using MacBooks, be prepared to unlearn what you have learned by using PCs.  The interfaces are very different, the same programs on the Mac platform are different, the keypad layout is different, file suffixes are different, etc, etc.

File formats are a real bother.  Let’s face it, most everything that stores data as a file uses the PC format.  Virtually everything including cameras and camcorders saves in a PC ready file format by default.  Apple requires that you convert these files into an Apple-readable format.  This is a real pain and an annoying and time-consuming inconvenience.

Apple connecting cables are required and are crazy expensive.   The MacBook does not have a VGA port.  It has a Mini DisplayPort.  Want to connect it to a standard LCD projector?  No problem, just fork over fifty bucks for a Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor.  This reeks of snobbery and greed.

The keyboard is way too far back.  You better have 11 inch, Nosferatu-like, fingers to reach the keypad.  Otherwise, get used to typer’s cramp.

Maybe I am missing the point.  There are a lot of loyal and loving MacBook fans out there.  I have been told that some specialized Apple software is often unavailable in PCs.  I have also been told that MacBooks are great for music and movie editing.  Seeing as how I am perfectly able to do these same things on my PC notebook, maybe I just don’t know what I am missing.  This is quite possible.  Maybe if you have a job where music and movie editing is your key role, the MacBook makes sense.  It could be worth the huge extra costs involved.  I just don’t get it from an everyday user perspective, however.

Read More Product Reviews HERE!

I would love to hear some feedback here.  Someone please enlighten me.  I don’t want to be an unenlightened and embarrassed tech-dinosaur if there is a good reason for me not to be.  I just don’t get it.

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Author: Jason Milburn Google

Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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  1. KS

    Your brief review has nailed several important issues regarding Macs that don’t get enough exposure. I’ve lost count of “Mac vs. PC” articles that don’t get past the superficials to the real facts. I was a Mac fan for years, until I noticed that software developers were favoring the PC–even in the graphics arena. If you get past the spin put out by Apple regarding its “superior” performance, and compare actual processors and other hardware, it’s quite clear that Apple’s margins are much higher than for PC systems. This probably explains all the cognitive dissonance by many Mac owners–the numbers don’t add up.

  2. Jason

    Dear KS,
    Thank you very kindly for your thoughtful comment. It is truly amazing how Apple can pursuade so many people to pay so much more for their products. Their marketing is simply outstanding. I don’t really know that much about the software side of things regarding Macs, but after reading what you have added here, it appears that software availability and quality is also a concern. While there probably are some legitimate applications for which the Mac is superior to a PC, the broad, mass-market hunger for their products just doesn’t seem to make sense. It appears to be a case of people willingly paying a lot more for very little (or dare, I say, even less). Thank you very much once again for your insight and for taking the time to comment. I hope to hear from you again sometime soon. You are always welcome here.

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