Help convincing me to buy a Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lurker53, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. lurker53 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    Preface: I'm not a troll, and I'm particularly looking at the MacBook Air (when they refresh it with Sandy Bridge)

    I've gotten ahold of some disposable income and since my iPad doesn't have an appropriate Ethernet adapter yet, it seems I'm stuck buying a laptop again. In case you're wondering why I need Ethernet in a wireless world, it's because my customers are cheap, have security policies against it, or just don't understand it. For work in my office, my iPad is sufficient.

    I'm not looking for a desktop replacement. I've already got my i5 2500K, SLI GTX 570 rig. I also already have an iPad 2 with its incomplete operating system (good enough for consuming content, not for manipulating it).

    The thing that caught my eye with the Air is its form factor, battery life, and relative performance. Keep in mind, performance won't be a factor until the Sandy Bridge refresh gets benchmarked.

    So, ruling out the following most common suggestions :
    Most advanced OS - arguable, this is where the community shows me the light
    Runs office - so does my Android phone, from a variety of vendors
    Good Support - a good option if parts break and need to be warrantied
    Compatibility - varies. I've run into a few copiers whose drivers don't play as nicely as I'd like them to
    No Windows viruses - My desktop doesn't get them either, because I'm not an idiot
    Preloaded software - Not a selling point, Google Apps are good enough for most of the listed things
    It just works - Very believable, as a lot of apple products are thoroughly idiot-proofed, though that sometimes hinders educated users (things like iOS' lack of a proper file system)
    Bootcamp/Parallels - Nifty, but limited storage (only up to 256 GB on the Air) limits the use of this.

    Beyond that, could I please receive a non-aesthetic reason to buy a Macbook Air over let's say, a Samsung Series 9?

    I'm really rooting for the Air to win this one. Chances are I'll be visiting my local Apple store and bringing up these same points with a sales rep. I'll be gentle :)
     
  2. gr8tfly, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    A couple of comments, first:

    The MBA doesn't have an Ethernet port, either. However the Apple USB<>enet adapter works fine.

    You mentioned under "just works" that IOS doesn't have a "proper file system". This is moot - Macs don't run IOS.

    Edit: Bootcamp/parallels - I have about a 28GB partition allocated to XP under Bootcamp; Parallels is variable - if you setup a VM drive, it will dynamically allocate space as needed. However, you might only need one version of Windows, so you can install it in a Bootcamp partition and boot natively when you need the maximum performance, or, much more convenient - use the same partition in a Parallels VM. Most of the performance difference would be graphics - otherwise, the VM does very well.

    As for the rest, I think you'll find all the Mac vs. PC ammo you're looking for by searching MR. Much as I enjoy evangelizing the Mac, I've found it better to send a person to sources which already have the "pros" laid out for you - otherwise, I'd mostly be duplicating their effort. Though, if you end up with some specific questions, I'd be happy to reply.
     
  3. aeneid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Just go into a store and use it. You can go on Apple's site to compare prices and technical details such as processor speed, ram, memory, etc. To really know why Macs are good you have to use it for a while. And iOS does not have a file system, where as OS X (the MAC COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM) does have a file system as evidenced by finder. There's no point asking for reasons you should buy a mac or not. You can no doubt find a PC with the same specs for cheaper or the same price. What separates Mac computers is the interface, and to know the difference you have to use it. So like I said, go to a store and tinker with for an hour. Try out Safari, Mail, all the apps and use that to make a decision.

    Cheers
     
  4. FrankHahn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #4
    I here give you a reason for the MacBook Air with my own experience.

    I currently have a 13.3" MacBook Air and an HP notebook. I use the HP notebook for Windows stuff only. My enjoyment of using a computer is totally different with these two machines. I definitely try to avoid using the HP notebook if possible, which may lead to my installing Windows XP or 7 on the MacBook Air as a second OS.
     
  5. peterski macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    hrmm... I'm only guessing you're talking about the esthetics of the machine... because if you think that you can't get a virus or have performance issues or BSODs on a partition (bootcamp/virtual) set up on your MacBook Air --- you might be in for a surprise. Eventually if you're doing the same thing (careless browsing/not having an up to date system, etc) on the Windows partition that you did on your HP notebook you might end up with slower performance, registry issues, and for sure you are just as susceptible to viruses/spyware/etc.

    I've encountered a quite large (surprisingly) group of people with the impression that just because they bought a Mac and installed Windows on it they're somehow better protected... because Mac's don't get viruses... I explain to most (in many cases) till I'm blue in the face that this is not the case... still most think otherwise, and then the inevitable happens... :rolleyes:

    Yes, with virtual machines you have the possibility to quickly fix the situation with snapshots and alike... but you're just as vulnerable to issues.

    If you're talking about esthetics and the over all wow factor (and not the Mac OS X experience) from using the MacBook Air then ignore everything I said above :D I agree, I currently can't find anything else out there that would look just as good (even though many would not agree with this)
     
  6. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    Apple trackpad + multitouch gestures- there is no substitute.
    On the 13" air, 1440x900 resolution vs 1366x768 on 13" series9
    Expose and spaces = awesome
    You already know you want the air or you wouldn't have asked the question:apple:

    Series 9 looks pretty good really. Vista drove me to look outside MS, and after spending a week or so figuring out how to do things in OS X, I have no reason to go back. The series9 isn't exactly cheap. If google docs really meets your needs, maybe a chrome book is for you.
     
  7. lurker53 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #7
    I visited my local Apple store. I'm most likely buying the revised version. 100% set on it if they add the backlit keyboard back into it.

    The things that generally sold me were Expose (screw the accent, don't feel like looking for it), the way gestures were integrated into the OS was really impressive, and I'm obviously in love with the form factor and aesthetics. Also, disposable income allows me to buy shiny things with fruit on the back of em.

    As for the relative price, I'd still be looking at $1600 (the Series 9 is at $1650) due to my choice in storage capacity. The glaring difference at this price point is that the Air comes with 1 year support/warranty, and the 9 comes with 3.

    At any rate, thanks for the detailed responses :D
     
  8. peterski macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    I converted some time ago (6-7 years) and never looked back... I say go to the apple store and play around on the MacBook Air and try to replicate your daily activities... if you're happy with what you can do, buy it... if you're not... Samsung Series 9 would be my suggestion although most people adjust fairly quickly. As far as software goes, you'll find that there are a lot of choices out there to get things done and for everyday use (not talking about anything specialized) you'll find an equivalent or a better version of software on the Mac side. If you're not a power user of any kind you will probably find good apps on the Mac and never miss Windows.

    I'm not sure if relying on the Apple store employees could be fully suggested here, I don't have the best of experience.

    Windows viruses --- read my other post. You're still using windows OS so you can still get them.

    Virtual Machine is the way to go if you're sure about spending that kind of money, but want an easier way of transitioning vs. going all in... just my two cents
     
  9. aeneid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Congrats, but you should wait for the supposed July release of the MBA (if thats what you meant by revised). Also out of curiosity which are you getting 11 or 13? And might I suggest you get the maxed out RAM? Because that is something you can't change. It's soldered to the board, from what I read recently in a post. I just watched a video on upgrading the MBA SSD so I might also recommend just upgrading ram and getting the cheapest SSD and replacing it yourself. Not sure what the max SSD size is, but you might be able to get a bigger size cheaper. BTW if you're getting the Ultimate MBA, why not just get a decent 13'' MBP with SSD if that's what you want. same size at 13" then you can upgrade ram yourself much cheaper and install a pretty big SSD yourself. And it'll probably come out to the same price of 1600$. I have a 13" MBP base model from late 2010 and I've been damned satisfied. I want to get the 11" or 13" MBA after the refresh just because of portability. And I might also mention one last thing that the MBA with Parallels may or may not run fast enough for you. Report back and tell me what you think of what I said, and why you are choosing the MBA over the MBP.

    Cheers
     
  10. lurker53, Jun 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011

    lurker53 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #10
    I am indeed waiting for the Sandy Bridge revision as stated in the original post.

    I'm planning on getting the 13 inch, just using Bootcamp, and sticking to whatever the highest SSD offered by Apple is. $100 price difference isn't worth voiding the warranty on this thing, as short as it is.

    And the reason why I'm not going for a MBP instead are aesthetics, portability, and heat.

    EDIT: Although on second thought, I really could just throw a SD card into the 13" model for storage of files, and just have my main applications on the 128 GB SSD. At home I would obviously have access to the full 3 TB from my PC (generally I always have access to them in some capacity, even from my iPad).

    Edit2: On third thought, it might just have to be the 256 GB SSD. My Windows folder is about 16 gigs, so that leaves a very limited amount of space if I run bootcamp.
     
  11. aeneid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I must say that heat is not an issue especially at the 13 inch level. I've played COD MW and L4D on it in bootcamp and the heat is so minimal. If I were holding it on the bottom then it'd be different but seeing as how it's on my desk I can't notice it. Compared to my Dell Latitude that I used to own which had bad Nvidia graphics cards...that thing reached probably 100F at least. I remember having it on my legs and I felt it burning like touching an oven. Not trying to convince you to get a MBP, but the heat is a non factor. And for what you plan to do even more irrelevant. Are you going to upgrade your ram?

    Cheers

    Edit: I'm sure that the MBA doesn't have an SD card slot. JS. Considered getting a NAS with FTP enabled? You get global access. Or maybe something like drop box. You get 5 gigs for general storage.
     
  12. lurker53 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #12
    I'll cross the RAM bridge when I get there. With the current prices of ram it wouldn't surprise me if they make 4 GB the new baseline with upgrades going up to 8 GB.

    The 13 inch does indeed have a SD card slot, I have about 3 TB of available storage at home accessable through a VPN, as well as another 2 TB at my office. Data storage won't be so much of an issue as the 2 OS setup (Mac & Bootcamp) will be along with their relevant applications. Which is why I'll be going for the 256 GB or higher.
     
  13. aeneid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #13
    What will you be using bootcamp for? I mean, I have 250 gigs now in my MBP, and I play games in Bootcamp, so I think space shouldn't be an issue for applications at least.

    Cheers
     
  14. lurker53 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    #14
    Some of my company's products only support firmware upgrades from physical media, using a proprietary file system, and ofcourse a Windows-only firmware imaging utility.

    I'll also probably use it to fire up a game of League of Legends or something light like that every once in a while. I also don't know how well Mac plays with Active Directory. I know it has some implementation of LDAP, and Google will probably show me all the information I need, but just in case I'll have Bootcamp to fall back on.
     

Share This Page