Thinking about switching to Windows

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pavec, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. pavec, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

    pavec macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2017
    I have a 13' Macbook Air Mid 2011 and it's lasted me until now. Looks like the logic board went out. I got a replacement and it worked for a few days and then it stopped working like before. Luckily I got a refund but I don't want to keep trying to fix the computer anymore because of its age. So I did a lot of research and I did not like what the new 13' Macbook Pro's have to offer especially in regards to repairability, price, ports, and how you don't have access to the SSD if a failure occurs. Looks like you need to take it to Apple to get data off the SSD since they use a special tool. That means extra money and ontop of that I would probably have to get AppleCare just to be safe. So all this makes it very expensive compared to my other option, a Thinkpad T470. The thing is I like the Mac OS and I'm pretty much used to it but not sure about Windows 10 and it's stability versus the Mac. Also it seems that the Thinkpad is more durable than the Macbook Pro. I'm thinking long term and the Macbook Pro seems like it's fragile and wouldn't last. I read too many horror stories of things not working and people having to send it back for repair etc. There are some things that I do like which is the screen is really good, and wifi is faster than the T470 but other than that what else does the Macbook Pro have over the Thinkpad that's worth double the price?
  2. dburges macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm a heavy user of both macOS and Windows 10, and I generally like both systems; each has its strengths and weaknesses. I use Windows 10 on a powerful desktop PC I built myself as a server and video production workstation, and I use a 2014 15" MacBook Pro for everything else, including software development and light video work.

    Every time I have considered switching to a PC laptop in the last few years I have reconsidered it. I get thoroughly annoyed with Apple over their high prices and and father knows best, one size fits all attitude toward design decisions—but ultimately they build a rock solid product that they stand behind—especially for AppleCare customers. I have owned more Mac laptops than I can count over the years along with a healthy share of PC laptops, and without question the Macs have been better built and more reliable. So really, I don't think you can knock them for stability or reliability despite a few anecdotal reports to the contrary.

    Beyond that, there's the whole Apple ecosystem. Even though I build Android apps (among other things) for a living I personally use an iPhone. If you also use an iPhone, iPad, Watch, etc. you are really going to miss having macOS on your daily driver. iCloud has also (finally) improved to the point where it's actually useful and I have gone all in on the 2TB family plan. With iCloud Photo Library, Desktop and Documents all enabled, I no longer have any need for larger storage capacities on the various Apple devices.
  3. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2010
    My daughter has the same 13-in 2011 MBA. Went to 4 years of college and two years after that. In that time the only thing spent on it was a new battery and trackpad (end of year 4); swapped out the SSD for something 2x bigger (end of year 2), and a crash plan subscription, because I knew she would never back it up. I traded her up to a 2012 model, and will use this 2011 to swap out to my brother, who will send me back the 2008 MBP I gave him earlier (broken hinge). While I understand that YMMV, I've been pretty happy with our collection, in terms of how long they last. I was a little disappointed that my 2013 15-in MBP stopped working, and that it was $600 to replace the logic board, SSD, and display. But in the scheme of things pretty happy.
    Whatever your choice, you're mostly using an OS, and these are both pretty mature environments. FWIW I was reconstructing my Fusion/Win 7 environment, and that took me several hours, including over 200 updates for Win 7 alone. Somehow that was not available on a one of my backups. :-( Everything else was TM.
  4. brent12 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Oct 11, 2017 ---
    I wouldn't give up my iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch but I prefer my Dell over my Macbook Pro. Apple taught me to love the touch interface with my iPad but for a computer Dell gives it to me while Apple doesn't (other than the stupid in my opinion touch bar). Also the performance of my Dell 9560 was far superior to the Mac at the time, and I suspect still is.
  5. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    You're considering switching off Apple because of their hardware reliability and repairability? I would really take a very close look at PC reliability numbers before you do that. You're going to find that they do not compare favorably with Apple. And PCs tend to be more repairable because they need to be more repairable. What does that tell you?

    I'm also a little confused by your logic. You had a 2011 laptop that died this year. That's 6 years for a laptop. You do realize that's pretty good lifespan for a laptop, right? Also, you're talking about having to get AppleCare next time around but that only covers the first 3 years so what's your rationale for that given that your last laptop lasted twice that amount of time?

    The reality is that computers die eventually. I had an iMac that died last year after 8 solid years of daily use. It was frustrating but don't confuse that frustration with unhappiness with the product. I mean, if you really want to switch to Windows, then switch but I wouldn't do it because of hardware reliability. Just be warned that you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

    Also, if you're worried about getting things off your drive in that situation, it implies that you're not backing up. And if you're not backing up, switching to a PC isn't going to help much.
  6. CrystalQuest76 macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2015
    West Cost A Lot
    It sounds like you are looking at the dollars and cents, which is always a smart thing to do. Keep in mind all the applications that you have purchased and acquired for your Mac. Now think about all the money that you will need to spend on Windows applications up to the same level. Use a spreadsheet program like Numbers that came with the purchase of your Mac. Think about all the short duration craplet software that will come with the Windows that you will have to spend money removing (time is money).
    Then if you see that you will save money going down the Windows route good luck.
    Saving money is not a crime.
  7. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    OP, you might as well go into a gathering of Republicans and state that you are thinking of going Democrat (or vice versa). Or Ford enthusiasts while thinking of going Chevy. Or Coke people while thinking of going Pepsi. Etc. If you are looking for objective feedback, you are asking a very biased crowd here.

    Suggestion: counter-balance the subjectivity by going into some Windows enthusiast forum and post the same message. Every bit of the anti-Windows "logic" you'll see in the responses that build up in this thread will be flipped by the incredible Windows-favored enthusiasm by that crowd. You'll get counterpoint like more power for less money, you can buy 2 or 3 Windows laptops for the prices of 1 Apple laptop, industry standard software that runs on more than 90% of all computers instead of niche software, much greater compatibility with most businesses, education centers and organizations. You can run software still NOT available on Macs. And so on.

    If you want to be talked OUT of such thinking- either directly or indirectly- you are asking the right crowd. If you want objective input from others, this site is overwhelmingly Apple people.
  8. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    That's all true and you're offering some great advice, but some of us have built up our Apple preference based on real-world experience and are not just playing my-team-vs-your-team nonsense. I've spent the last 15 years of my life doing IT work in mixed Mac and PC environments and I can tell you objectively that Apple's hardware outlives PC hardware by a long shot. Hardware issues are also a lot more rare on Macs. That's not an unreasonable bias on my part. It's just a fact that I've observed. Hell, we just took 6 Mac towers off our network 2 years ago that had been up and running since 2006—all of them without ever having had a hardware issue. None of the PCs we've had have lasted that long or gone without a problem.
  9. HobeSoundDarryl, Oct 12, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Yes, I'm not accusing any particular person of anything- just talking in generalities. Ask any biased group anything about their general bias and you should NOT expect objective feedback.

    There are definitely seemingly objective people that hang out here. I personally find their contributions to threads far more valuable than the Apple is God or Apple is the Devil extremists. The problem is that it's hard to tell the tangibly objective from the biased other than via the experience of reading threads here year after year and seeing passionate arguments always towing the company line or always ripping the company line.

    OP seems to be expressing some frustration with continuing with Apple. Whether he should or should not is ultimately his decision to make. However, asking a biased Apple crowd for input is going to get him "stick with Apple" sentiment.

    As someone with a lot of Apple hardware myself, I can passionately argue why OP should stick with Apple. Also as someone who has to interface with the rest of the "real world" a lot, I can passionately argue why OP should switch to Windows. Rather than taking either side, I simply point out that asking a biased crowd is going to get a biased (collective) answer. If OP wants to be talked out of going Windows, by the time this thread is done, he'll have a pile of rationale for that. Is that actually best of OP? None of us can (objectively) know (but many of us can absolutely certainly subjectively know;)) because we're not OP.
  10. DaveMcM76 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2012
    I found the purchase price "savings" of a pc laptop to be something of a false economy... I am a fairly heavy user and was burning through windows laptops at a rate of one every 18 to 24 months due to batteries dying and replacements being super expensive or super cheap explosive risks, and the pain of having to do clean installs every so often to combat the inevitable slowdown over time that you still get with windows. These weren't super cheap laptops either - I was usually spending £500 to £600 on them.

    A few years ago I got sick of all this and got a late 2013 MacBook Pro when they were released... It cost me as much as I'd have spent on 2 pc laptops - but at the rate I was getting through them I reckon I'd have spent that money on new laptops by now anyway - and 4 years on it still runs like new, the battery is still above 90% of it's original capacity (according to CoconutBattery) and I simply cannot fault it.

    Apple hardware certainly isn't the cheapest, and it usually isn't the fastest thing available but it is generally very well designed, well supported and reliable. If you think your old MacBook dying after 6 years was too soon you may well be very disappointed at the longevity of a pc laptop...

    My Mid 2011 mac mini is getting a bit long in the tooth now speed wise but it runs High Sierra without any noticeable performance degradation over sierra and as it is my iTunes server and photo backup server (via PhotoStream) it has been running 24/7/365 for getting on for 6.5 years and only gets rebooted for software updates that require one. That is reliability that I've never experienced from windows on any hardware.
  11. BayouTiger macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    New Orleans
    I have to work with Windows software daily and have done so via VMware Fusion for years, but our office has moved everything to Office365 and Windows Server. It has been very successful and while the VM solution worked well, I have to jump on and off of lots of network equipment at job sites frequently and the extra layer was just more trouble than necessary. I tried the Surface Pro and while it did some things well, it missed on a lot of what I wanted in a laptop. I then got a TOTL Dell XPS13 and as sexy as the hardware was with the high res touchscreen and small footprint, almost nothing worked well on it. Screen scaling (a well known Window issue) was a nightmare and TB3 never worked correctly. Add that Dell is about the most customer unfriendly outfit I’ve ever dealt with.

    I then bought a shiny new 15” TB MBP thinking the 4lb weight would not be noticeable compared to my 2013 13” which was an awesome machine. I just never bonded with the 15,yes the speed was great, but the footprint and weight was just a little more than I wanted to use in the field. Knowing that the best PC laptops I ever owned we’re both Thinkpad T series I almost bought a new T470, but instead ordered a new X1Carbon. I have looked at them from afar, but having no decent outlets here I had never laid hands on one. Well I wish I had tried one years ago, just an amazing machine. The 1080 screen has none of the scaling issues of the hiDPI screens, the TB3 works flawlessly and the battery life is hours longer than the MBP.

    Yes I miss little things from OSX, especially Quicklook, Spotlight and Expose, and full screen apps are so much better on the Mac side, up Windows search is pretty close to Spotlight and the preview panel helps -but Quicklook is my most missed feature of the Mac, but having Windows10 Enterprise connected to our Windows Server makes the Laptop always connected via DirectAccess which is an outstanding feature.

    I will always have a Mac at home as I still love the Apple ecosystem at home, but the Thinkpad is definitely a keeper. It is a shame that Apple could not replicate the 2.5 lb, 2 TB3, 2 USB, HDMI, and even a mini Ethernet jack hardware. Did I mention that it’s 14”screen and it had a replaceable NVMe very fast SSD in that thin light body. If the screen was 16:10 or better 4:3 or 3:2 it would be perfect. Might even add an eGPU later.
  12. scotttnz macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    When IBM says Macs are cheaper than PCs in TCO terms you have to wonder.....

    I just sold my eight year old Mac Pro. It was still going strong, and the buyer intended to use it as a file server and will probably get years more use out of it. None of the PCs I’ve owned have lasted so long. However, I will be surprised if my new MacBook Pro has the same longevity, but at this point it’s more about MacOS and the ecosystem, which works for me. I’m happy enough using Windows 10 at work, but on my own time I prefer Mac.
  13. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth

    The new models,, but i've replaced my SSD in my 2015 Mac.... Its socketed and just pops-out after u unscrew.. Since Apple doens't sell the Early 2015 models anymore, i got mine of eBay.
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Pretty much agree with your take on Windows and the alternative - Apple hardware. I just have two minor comments.
    First, back when IBM made Thinkpads they were very solid laptops. Second, I admit I ended up a touch frustrated with some facets of the iPhone (been using them for years) and opted for the Samsung S8+. There is a lot to be said for the iPhone and sadly the one feature I wanted will never come. So android app builder, how about a good app to fully synch android to Apple computers. There are apps out there but still a touch cumbersome.
  15. ShMac macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm going through the same decision process but am further along. I ordered a Lenovo P51s, upgraded with 32 GB of RAM, with the hopes of liking it and saving money, while having more fast memory and a few other features. Just today I filled out the RMA page at Lenovo to send it back and pay the restocking fee.

    It is not absolutely horrible but...I don't like that the keyboard is offset and places my hands off-center, I don't like the feel of the keys quite as much, even after disabling some of the trackpad functions I still find myself accidentally activating "features" that slow me down, it has a hard time staying paired with my Bluetooth head phones for some unclear reason which is time consuming and a hassle, the plastic cover seems sturdy but shows any and all kinds of dirt and other types of contact way too readily considering how well I try to protect it. While windows offers more customization options overall their menus are more confusing and cluttered. The Edge browser seems to have a memory leak (although I could of course just use IE or another).

    I wanted to like it but for a computer that supposedly retails for over $2000 (I paid quite a bit less) I hoped to like it a lot more. I could live with it but considering I spend 2-10 hours per day with a machine, I want to really like it, maybe even love it, and I just don't feel that way about this Thinkpad. My 3 year old, less expensive, MacBook Air has better and slightly louder sound for goodness sake!
  16. MRevitt macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    As an IT unbiased consultant with over 30 years experience in the industry, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth to this conversation. And for reference I have used most operating systems over the years from CP/M and DOS, starting at 2.0, OS/2, just about all versions of Windows and even Linux, both Red Hat and Ubuntu.

    Like you I also use a old MacBook, in my case a 2011 MBP and I still get 6 - 8 hours out of its original battery. And other than changing the Hard Drive, which I have done 3 times to put larger SSD drives in when they get affordable enough, everything is still original. My daughter incidentally uses my old 2008 MBP for her college work, which is also all original and runs the latest version of OSX without issue.

    What do we learn from this, Mac’s and OSX last a long time and the OS is backwards compatible and more importantly works on old hardware. I can promise you that is a claim that Windows can not make as each Windows update requires ever increasing amounts of RAM, Storage and CPU. As a benchmark my 2011 MBP still has a 7 second cold boot to fully operational, which even a new WIndows PC can’t match. Like most people have expressed on this thread I also hate how much MacBooks cost, but then you get what you pay for and the TCO of the Mac is a lot lower than the alternatives.

    Finally I wanted to add my experience on compatibility. We live in a world where MS Office is the standard, and finally the Mac version of Office 365 is 99% compatible with Windows, they have even just fixed the VB debugger. I have a Windows 10 VM that I use for Visio and Project, very occasionally, but other than that do everything in the native OSX O365 apps. the only issue I ever see is a fonts issue in Excel where Windows renders them wider than OSX and so people have to widen the columns.

    For High Availability I use OneDrive, not as good as DropBox, but comes free with O365. Backups are Time Machine on my OSX server that runs 24x7 at home and every time I update a file on my MBP on the road it syncs back to my server at home and is backed up onto Time Machine, which by the way is the number 1 reason to stick with OSX.
  17. ShMac, Oct 19, 2017 at 12:28 PM
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    ShMac macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    A few more thoughts on my Lenovo I'm sending back...

    Since most of my uses are basic, the applications that come with the Apple for word processing and spreadsheets are more than adequate and are included at no additional charge whereas Microsoft apps require licensing fees. And, Pages will open .doc and .docx. I'm pretty sure the spreadsheet app will open .xls too.

    The Apple also comes with a dictionary and thesaurus pre-installed that has nice features. I downloaded what is supposed to be one of the best dictionaries for the Lenovo and I could not resize the text using ctrl-plus and ctrl-minus. This is annoying for me personally as I have become farsighted as I've aged. And, it was only a dictionary, not a 2in1 app.

    I opted out of both the 4k screen and touchscreen to save on battery life and because of other technical reasons. But, without sacrificing performance and screen brightness, this laptop still only maxes out at about 5.5-6 hours of web browsing and word processing even with the biggest upgraded 97 Wh battery. And with the extra weight of the thing, I'm not sure exactly, but I think it brought it to about 6 pounds. This is an anchor compared to a MacBook of any kind. And, the upgraded battery actually sticks out at the bottom back significantly--it isn't flush with the bottom. This does elevate the keyboard toward me a bit which I like but it prevents it from sliding smoothly into a backpack or case. A late-model Apple should match or exceed this battery performance without the extra weight or bulge. And, the screen is not exceptionally bright to begin with at full power. It seems pretty dark if I turn it down to save the battery.

    Oh, and if Microsoft comes out with a new Windows, which is likely, you will probably have to pay for the upgrade if you want it (and if it really is an upgrade). All OS and pre-packaged apps have upgrades that come free with your Apple. This is true of other Microsoft apps too but I guess is mitigated a little by the subscription style of licensing.

    And, on the quality front as described by the guy before me. I've owned 2 Apple MacBook pros that both lasted 7 years before dying unnatural deaths. In other words, the hardware didn't fail. One fell into a pool of water. Another one was destroyed by a malicious jerk I made the mistake of being in business with. My current MacBook Air seem to still be going strong after 3 years. It was acting up but I deleted some stuff from the hard drive and unloaded a piece of invasive gaming software recently installed and it is once again performing like a champ, although a champ with only 8GB of soldered in RAM. It has also been dropped once onto carpet--not too bad but enough to slightly dent one corner where it struck and that has not seemed to affect it whatsoever except cosmetically.
  18. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Now days though with MS and Adobe going all cloud based subscriptions, there is little worry to know if a machine will work with x software. Still plays a part, just not as much as it did. And while u can say older hardware is supported on OS X, it's Microsoft who still provide *longer life* compatibility... Apple switches u off if they decide to between versions of OS's (Yosemite to MacOS for instance, all my custom apps broke, and needed to be re-ported), compared to Windows where the majority of apps will still work (all except CPU tasked like the old Rebel chess)
  19. minimo3 macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2010
    I switched from a 2015 MacBook Pro 13" to a Thinkpad T470s two months ago. I'm very happy with the switch. It's solid, very light, comes with a boatload of ports, touchscreen, core i7, 16GB ram, 500GB SSD for about the price of base MacBook Pro touchbar. They keyboard is fabulous, I'd forgotten how good it feels (even compared to my daily use cherry mx blue mechanical). The only thing it doesn't do as well as the MacBook is that it's slower to resume from sleep.
  20. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    i always have to wonder what people are doing to their PCs that they dont last - are they just buying the cheapest PC they can find and then being surprised when it breaks after a few years?
    I'll be the first to admit that I do think Apple hardware design is superior - but they're running the same memory chips, the same processors, the same vendors for drives, etc. there's only so many companies that make these things. Take apart your MBP and it will have the same samsung RAM chips that any PC might ship with... just soldered on.
    the data center I work at, we recently had a client who recently upgraded his server after 13 years. This guy still had a Prescott-era Celeron D and the only reason he did it was because his 80GB IDE drive finally gave up the ghost. Now I'll point out - he was running FreeBSD on this thing, not Windows, and that makes a huge difference in the longevity - but this argument that PC hardware is inherently inferior to Mac is disingenuous.

    I recently had a convo with my mom where she was complaining non-stop about the problems she keeps having with her Lenovo laptop, its cheap, its slow, windows sucks, etc.... she paid $300 for it and it came with a bloated-out version of windows. what else could she possibly expect? Worlds different than my video editing machine with store-bought 10 Pro with zero bloat and an impossible amount of RAM - and its running tower mac pro era xeons which are now 7ish years old.

    the point is - it comes down to the workflow and how much you want to spend. internally, these machines are near identical anymore so it really comes down to software, workflow, and software TCO. Dont believe the hype that PC hardware is somehow inferior or cheaper, unless you're one of those people who has to spend the absolute minimum possible on your hardware investments. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to technology.
  21. ShMac macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    There are important hardware differences other than these (like the screen and keyboard), and this reminds me of one more thing about my EXPENSIVE Lenovo I'm about to send back. It takes around 4 hours to charge from 10% to 100% while hibernating!
  22. kazmac, Oct 20, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    kazmac macrumors 601


    Mar 24, 2010
    in stasis
    6 years is a great run for a laptop.

    Try the ThinkPad. If that doesn't work, there are older MBPs to consider.

    There is potential for every computer to fail regardless of who makes it. Just depends on the machine and sometimes the software.

    My former 2010 21.5" iMac (now in the hands of a good friend) gave me 6 years of loyal service and is still working just fine for his family (that would be 7 years now.) And this 2013 27" iMac while a bit slow, still does almost everything I need it to. Apple's customer service (when they do right by customers) is the best. Dell is the absolute worst.

    I presently own an Acer Swift 3 out of necessity. I know this laptops' limitations and am not surprised by how crappy it is (for being almost $700 machine), however, it does what I need it to and I ultimately refused to spend more on a PC so I completely get if it will tank after a couple of years.

    As long as Apple makes computers, I cannot see myself using any Windows machine as my daily driver at home. Not a fan of the OS (but will use it for work) and certainly not a fan of the "customer service" (read lack thereof.) Many PC makers are pushing the envelope and building nice and pricey machines, but just be aware of the differences between OS.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck, but as others have said research the customer service and other such things before you jump. There is sound advice in this thread (for and against PCs.)

    EDIT: I know someone else said that Mac Office is 99% compatible with Windows. That may be the case, but Windows Office much different than the Mac version. Access and several important features in Excel are Windows only. That was the only reason why I bought the Acer since Bootcamp refused to load W10 on my iMac (in a way I am grateful for that.)

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