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On Deciding to Purchase a Mac

I announced on Twitter today that I had ordered a MacBook Pro. It wasn't too long after that that I started getting some responses telling me I just spent a lot of money on something that wasn't worth it*. I've ran into this more than once since I decided to save money so I could buy a MacBook Pro. It seems that many people are under the perception that the cost of the MacBook isn't worth it. So I decided to document my reasoning for purchasing a MacBook instead of a PC (Windows or Linux based).

Construction - What other company touts a nicer looking notebook that's built like that. Sure, you can buy heavy-duty laptops, but for general usage nothing quite seems up to the task like the aluminum uni-body of a MacBook.

Looks - As I stated above the MacBook just looks good. Granted that doesn't actually mean anything performance wise, but it doesn't hurt.

OS X - Say what you want about Windows 7, but Mac OS has been ahead of the curve for years. Not only that but it's built on UNIX so you get the benefits of the a very stable OS without the hassles of the UNIX/BSD/Linux desktop.

Ease of use - I've been using friend's Macs a lot more often lately and once I got over the bump of a learning curve I started to find the OS more intuitive than any others I’ve used. I'll have to relearn a few habits, like the positioning of the close button on windows, but I think I can manage.

Service - What other computer manufacturer has multiple stores around the metro staffed with eager techs willing to help you out. With Mac, you have someone willing to help you a short drive/bus ride away if something goes wrong.

Family and Friends - I'll still be using Windows and Linux frequently, but as more and more of my friends and family purchase Macs I find myself less able to sit down and help them out. In addition, knowing enough about Mac OS to answer question on Twitter and other social networks doesn't exactly hurt my ability to build goodwill.

Apps - Windows may have a larger selection of applications, but Mac OS tends to get some high quality exclusives that Windows will never see. I can't count the number of Twitter links I've hit only to sigh and turn away because the software can only run on a Mac. That list includes Tweetie, TextMate, and Quicksilver.

Community - The Mac community is incredibly helpful and loyal. In fact when I finally decided to buy my Mac Book a lot of people wanted to come with me when I bought it. Who would ever come with me when I went to pick up my Acer laptop from Best Buy?

Let's see, what else swayed me

  • Magsafe power connector
  • Multi-touch Touchpad
  • The ability to run Keynote
  • Time Machine
  • Unix command line
  • Dock
  • Battery Life
  • Environmentally sensitive

Of course, it's not all roses on the Mac side of the world, there are a few things I really wish I wasn't going to have to deal with.

  • Mini-DVI Port - It's annoying that I have to buy a connector for my monitor and TV
  • The fact that the built in battery isn't user replaceable
  • Hard Drive Space - Compared to some of the PC offerings out there, the MacBook Pro is a little lacking

So yeah, I bought a Mac. It just made sense for me, especially as a notebook. Would I have made the same decision if I were buying a desktop computer? Probably not, but I went with a MacBook for the same reason I went with the iPhone, it met my needs with minor fuss better than other products available.

* It should be noted that I used to be dumbfounded as to why anyone would want to buy a Mac. The cost seemed crazy. My mind slowly changed the more I worked on friends Macs and the more research I did.

I'm a guy who has been running Linux on some machine in one form or another for over 10 years. I usually have multiple OSs installed on my main desktop and have been running a Linux media/web/whatever server non-stop for 2+ years. I’ve built the last 4 computers that I’ve owned as well. I’m not scared to get my hand dirty and troubleshoot a problem when things go wrong. The PC model has always worked for me, and I still think it’s the best method for innovation.

I believe in openness, but I also realize that the Apple formula for computing just works. It might not be as customizable or inexpensive as other options but when it comes to getting stuff done, Mac has it down.

Edit: I added the community section seconds after hitting publish.


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