What won't Apple employees tell you about the MacBooks when trying to sell you one?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Kbachand, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Kbachand macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    First off, I DO NOT want this thread to become a battle between macs and pcs. What I would like is for people to point out the problems with macs from personal experience. As of right now I am planning on buying a new MacBook in 2012 when the design overhaul takes place. I am a student and thus the laptop would be used for typical undergrad work (but I hope it will last me through some graduate work as well).

    I have heard mixed things about macs (such as overall computer running hot, pinwheel showing up a lot, and people saying OS X Lion is a lot like Vista's initial release [buggy]) and am becoming a little skeptical about spending $1000+ on a machine if it would end up becoming a high-maintenance investment.

    So tell me, what issues have you had with Apple's laptops?

    P.S. Feel free to tell me good things about the laptops as well. Trying a compare and contrast thread here.
  2. wickoo macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2011
    None :)
    Let me tell you, this MBA runs much snappier than I expected it to. It easily handles way more load than I initially planned to put on it. Lion is great, the hardware is great - I have nothing to complain about.
    It's so quiet it seems fan less.
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    They won't tell you about how Apple doesn't understand "cloud computing", or how a mac mini will run Photoshop without problems (I actually heard a "genius" telling an elderly couple that if they wanted to run Photoshop, they needed an iMac or Mac Pro). Also, mac's aren't the second coming.

    Joke about jailbreaking an iPhone to make it look like a droid, watch the ligitimate horror on the salesman's face when you say it, and then understand how much devotion they have to a brand name.
  4. shyam09, Nov 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

    shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    problems ehh, let me count the wayss:
    1. None
    2. Nothing
    3. do you still want me to go on?

    I honestly have no problems with my 2010 base 13" model [except that its a C2D, but im also waiting for the design overhaul :)]

    the only con to Lion is start up time seems to have extended [but it's a few seconds, nothing ginormous, and with SSD's i doubt you can even tell the difference]

    you get what you pay for: quality, great C.S. awesome design, and a wonderful OS, and of course the amazing unique, multi touch trackpad!
  5. SDColorado macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    They won't tell you how much cheaper memory can be purchased and how easy it is to install yourself, when they try to sell you on upgrading it :)
  6. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I don't know what Apple says anymore, but when I worked in Apple's sales division my main pitch was that a Mac "just works" because Apple builds the complete solution (hardware and software). iLife used to be a big selling point for Macs, but I doubt it is anymore, nor do I think it should be (except for Garageband, I opine that iLife has gotten worse over time). I was told to tell customers they needed to upgrade hard drives CTO at time of purchase because they weren't user-upgradable. However, the truth is that Apple itself on its own web-site provides a guide for installing new hard drives in MacBook Pros.

    At this point, I haven't used Windows in so long that I can't compare it to the Mac OS. I know that I used to prefer the Mac OS to Windows, but I couldn't give a fair evaluation now. I do know that Lion slowed down my computer and was buggy when I used it (version 10.7.1), and I downgraded to Snow Leopard and haven't gone back yet. However, I use my computer for very unique purposes heavily, and I doubt most users with newer, faster machines and more general needs will have the same problems I did.

    I have found Apple's notebooks in recent years to be extraordinarily reliable and their hardware support (fixing and replacing) is extraordinary. Their tech support is friendly and North American based, easy to deal with, but not helpful if you have any sort of complicated question. It's still miles better than the support I used to get calling other PC companies, though.

    I would probably still buy a Mac as my next computer, but I'm glad I don't have to make that decision right now, because I think they are slipping majorly on software quality and their attempts at Internet services are constantly interruptive to people like me who have been with them since December 2000 when I got an iTools account and try to stick with them, and it hasn't gotten better with iCloud (for example, I can't use iCloud on Snow Leopard but you can't use MobileMe on iOS 5, so if you don't want to use the newer buggier desktop OS, you can't use the new iPhone because its OS won't work with MobileMe, if you want to get the benefits of syncing the two at least—that's what I've been told by Apple when I tried to get clarification).

    If I weren't heavily invested in Apple, I might try a PC out. We'll see what happens once my current MBP needs to be replaced. I'm hoping Apple will have done some clean-up by then. In my opinion, they are at a low point when it comes to software.
  7. Confuzzzed, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

    Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    And, Macs, seemingly also enable you to go forward in time (I have the 2011 version of @shyam09's and it's also a good machine). Can't say anything bad about it.

    Ultimately, macs are just like other machines. Made from the same components that other computers are made from. But they are put together with more thought, using more robust base materials and design that actually serves a purpose. The machines are also pragmatic (gives you the spec that you really need rather than load it with spec that you will NEVER need; lets face it, most of us change our machines every 2 years so WHY buy spec to future proof you when the future is something to look forward to rather than fear). It is the software that makes the mac experience the wonderful walk through a meadow on a sunny spring morning rather than the constant battle to wade through trickle that the PC experience often ends up being.

    Go for it, and know this. If there are any bugs (as there were initially with wifi), you have the best team striving constantly to solve them for you to give you the best possible user experience. You get regular updates and unlike other software, these are worth having.

    Ultimately, if you REALLY know what you are doing, I am sure you could put together a fine OS to run a PC. find the appropriate software to use in a piecemeal way, but if you value your time, go for the mac experience. It's all integrated and it's in one place.

    I can't imagine.

    Go for it.


    Friend, it sounds like you need to either (1) upgrade your hardware or (b) give Lion another twirl. With the greatest respect and I don't know what your hardware is or what it's used for. But with my experience, Lion works (and has worked) perfectly on 2011 machines but on my old machine (circa late 2007), it was buggy (but not terminally so and as you say in your post, the support has been so great they were able to help me configure the machine which was mainly weighed down by years of abuse and multiple 'migrations' so a lot of rubbish namely 3rd party software came onto it from previous machines). Name me another computer manufacturer that would do the same for you?
  8. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    MobileMe works perfectly with iOS5 and is fully supported, so that is incorrect.

    Pretty much this whole paragraph is a mess. I had no issues with SL, iOS5, and MobileMe. Likewise I'm having no problems with Lion, iOS5, and iCloud now. In the interim period, I had no problems with Lion, iOS5, and MobileMe.

    The only dependency is that you need all of your OS upgraded to the latest for iCloud.
  9. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    The most important thing to remember is that just because one person has a problem, doesn't mean that all people have that problem.

    That doesn't mean that the one person is exaggerating or lying about the problem. It may be a real problem. Just not a universal one.

    Or, in the immortal words of the US federal government, "Your actual mileage will vary."
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you're asking why the sales staff won't discuss negative aspects of Macs, they'll never do that, just as much as any other salesman won't badmouth the product they're trying to sell.

    As for problems with Macs, you have to remember that forums are vehicles to communicate and most people are more vocal about problems then positive aspects. While there are people who post the "I love OSX or MBP" threads more people are inclined to post a problem.

    This doesn't mean everyone is having any problems with MBP/MBAs or Lion.

    In fact, my 2010 MBP is running Lion flawlessly. It does not run too hot (temps in the 40 - 50c range) little to no pinwheels and Lion is fast, stable and a great OS
  11. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK
    A few years ago if you went in to a Toyota dealership, they wouldn't tell you about brake failures. Or many years ago Ford didn't tell you the Firestones on the cars they were selling would explode, killing you dead. Or even longer ago your Pinto would explode if someone drove in to the back of you.

    Or course Apple aren't going to tell you the problems with their computers, that'd just be stupid.
  12. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Things Apple employees won't tell you...

    • They won't confirm or deny rumors about future products.
    • They won't tell you that you are "wrong" if you complain about an Apple product.
    • They won't draw attention to the premium price you pay for RAM and HDD from Apple vs other sources like Crucial or OWC.
    • They won't tell you that iCloud follows a long string of mediocre Apple cloud offerings.
    • They won't tell you that some Apple products are available cheaper at Best Buy, MicroCenter or Target.

    I developed this list from my experience at the Apple store as well as reading this and other threads. There's nothing on that list that is such a big deal really. No hidden warranties. No deceptive practices. Apple has a strong product line with excellent warranty coverage and excellent customer service so there's really nothing for them to lie about.
  13. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    My impression was that the OP wasn't criticizing Apple for not screaming any weaknesses from the rooftops. OP was asking what experiences others had with MacBooks knowing that we would be more forthcoming about shortcomings than a salesman would.

    I don't believe s/he suggested that it was wrong for Apple salespeople to emphasize the good points and not mention the bad, but rather that s/he would get more (relatively) unbiased information from us..:)
  14. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    I had some initial issues with installing Lion from Snow leopard but that shouldn't be a concern for you.

    Don't buy RAM from Apple get it online it's cheaper.

    Have you thought about how you're going to migrate your data from your windows PC to your new mac?
  15. iRCL macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2011
    Better to spend $1000+ on something that is good compared to $800 on some absolute piece of garbage.

    If you have an Apple store just go there and check it out for yourself. They'll let you screw around on macbooks forever. They're not on commission so they have no incentive to sell
  16. chrono1081, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

    chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar

    You will find MUCH more negativity on a forum because people usually come here for problems and not to say "My machine works 100%".

    As for issues, I've never had any and I've owned two Macbook Pro's, the Mac Pro and Air in my sig, my parents, sister, brother in law, and 9 friends all have macs and none have had issues either (or I'd of heard about it).

    As others have said though, unless you are buying an air its cheaper to upgrade ram and hard drive space yourself.

    Oh, and with temp "issues" 99% of that is usually just B.S. People don't seem to realize when you do stuff on a computer, or when its on a soft surface like a blanket it gets hot. Not to mention Apple computers are made of aluminum so it acts like a giant heat sink. If a computer truly overheated then you would see it shut itself off. I have yet to see that on this forum.
  17. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Each year I upgrade to the newest MacBook Pro & ThinkPad T series. These two are the pinnacle of their respective platforms (PC & Mac).

    My personal favorite remains the MBP. Even considering the heavy premium price. ($1k more than the equally configured ThinkPad).

    Both have truly excellent operating systems, are fast, stable & very reliable. The gap between the previously easier to use OS X vs Windows, has now closed and each have nearly identical experiences to offer.

    I'd highly suggest the Mac if you can afford it. Conversely if you enjoy high quality at a great savings then look at Lenovo ThinkPads. Either way you can't go wrong. Both are very well made and last for years.
  18. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    They won't tell you that you're getting a 5400 rpm drive, even on a $2,500 machine.

    I note that they're now putting that spec on the front page of their site, though. So that's progress.

    But my trip to an Apple store in August yielded only "And you get a 750 gig drive!"
  19. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    To be honest...the "Specialists", "Geniuses" etc have it drummed into them that Apple is the bees knees so admitting any kind of shortfalls of their products is a big no-no.

    Also, they know considerably less then people give them credit for. This isn't just me being elitist, it's a sad truth. I've put so much faith into the Genius Bar when it comes to my Macbook Pro, but they are just a pain in the arse to deal with sometimes.

    Like when they were fixing my screen (bright spot, manufacturing issue), something went wrong with my bluetooth module, that was another visit back and another week long repair (they didn't admit fault, but AppleCare covered the cost). Or when my Macbook KP'd on me, it took more then one visit to sort it out (they said software issue, evidence said nvidia graphics chip issue...), and a TWO WEEK repair job...

    They are polite and courteous though :eek:

    edit: Oh about the Macbook Pro... love it, mine is 4 years old now and still going strong. Apart from the few hiccups mentioned above, I've had zero issues with my machine. I suspect it will last another year without issues, then I can upgrade when the refresh comes along.
  20. Kbachand thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    Just clarifying, I'm not asking why Apple won't tell you bad stuff about their products (that's common sense right? ;)). Thanks for all your replies by the way!
  21. Kbachand thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2011
    Not yet. My biggest concern is my iTunes library. Do you have any recommendations?
  22. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000


    Aug 7, 2011
    Liverpool, UK
    There may be a migration assistant that actually helps you migrate your data from your PC to your new mac although personally, I'd want a clean break from the 3rd party (and their bugs) which you may have accumulated over the years.

    There is a way to use migration assistant Mac to mac to allow you to selectively migrate user data such as music and photos but I don't know if that also exists with PC to Mac migration assistant. If you are buying your Mac from an apple store, I would take your PC laptop with you (if it's a laptop) and they will help you set it up. Free service! Well worth doing.

    So the cleanest thing to do is manually copy your iTunes library (if you can find it press WIN + E, Libraries, iTunes, iTunes Media, Music) onto an external hard drive and then manually drop these into your music folder in iTunes in Finder. rip a cd or two first to make sure you're dumping them in the right place as each iteration of iTunes seems to move the location a little bit.

    There may be more elegant ways of doing this but that's my industrial method of last resort.
  23. katewes macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    They won't tell you that, for a good number of people, the glossy screen can give you headaches and eyestrain under certain lighting conditions, e.g. when your Mac screen faces a window with lots of sunlight - particularly when there are windows on all sides of a room, and turning the screen does nothing to reduce glare. If you search for MacMatte petition, and see the petition, search for "headache" and eyestrain among the petitions to see how many people bought their Macs without being aware of this problem and have subsequently suffered damage to their eyes.
  24. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    ^^ I agree.

    Apple won't tell you the you cannot cut/paste items when you use finder. OS X prefers drag and drop for this. I though thid was annoying at first, but you have to break the habits.
  25. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    Power used exceeds power supplied by adapter

    I have a late 2011 MBP 15 (2.4GHz i7, 6770m video, Hi Res). Under conditions that utilize the CPU and CPU to high degree, the 85 watt power supply will NOT provide enough power and the battery will be used.

    For example, if I play Civ 5 after a short period of time the charging light goes from green to orange. I have played for a maybe about 6 hours and when I stopped the battery was under 50%. The system was plugged in the entire time and started off fully charged.

    That is plain and simply a horrible design. I'm worried about what happens 2 years from now when the battery is much weaker... will the system crash when the battery dies even when it is plugged?

    Whoever at Apple thought this was OK should be kicked in the head.

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