A few weeks ago, I had a client greet me without a hello, just this question. I stared blankly at her for a moment. The client laughed and explained that she wanted a new laptop, and her boyfriend wanted her to buy a Mac. As her tech, she wanted me to tell her all the reasons why she shouldn’t.
Now full disclosure: it is well know that I am not a fan (that would be Jason here at Fixmycomputernow.com) of Apple, for a host of reasons. Some of them aren’t even all that logical or defensible. When it comes to my clients though, I do try to set that aside and give them the best “computing from the trenches” advice I can. So when a client asked me that question…I explained why she shouldn’t buy a Mac.
I talked hardware. I talked power. I talked price. I talked upgrades.
Four simple things that I think Apple gets wrong on every front.
Think my bias gets in the way of judging this? Take a read of this review of the latest low-end iMac via ArsTechnica. If you want to accuse them of having a bias, you really need to do more reading of tech sites:
This sums up everything wrong with what Apple puts out in its hardware. It’s overpriced, underpowered, nearly impossible to do the most basic of upgrades, while using the same basic hardware as its competitors.
Yes, an iMac uses the same Intel chips, motherboard designs and memory of a Windows system. The system in the above review is a basic i3, low-end chipset, nothing special in the hardware other than it being the “all-in-one” style that iMac’s tend to be. If we were to take a price-comparable Dell all-in-one PC, you’d find the Dell has a larger screen, a more powerful processor and actual upgrade options to it.
This is probably my biggest issue with Apple: upgrades. The Mac can’t have its most basic features upgraded over time. At all. On any PC, the first thing any tech will recommend as an upgrade as it ages is to add more memory. This alone can extend the life of a computer that may have been purchased on a deal with less than optimal memory, but it’s a useful upgrade under any circumstance.
On the reviewed iMac? Forget it.
I honestly can’t think of any good, consumer useful reason to do this. The only advantage there is to this is to Apple itself. It forces shorter lifespans of their own devices, forces you to replace entire units when small components break, and forces you to buy into their obsolescence plans for their products.
If you think about it, this actually runs through their entire product line, not just the iMac. On their famous mobile products, the iPad and iPhone, there are a host of features not available at all, that any competitor offers. Want to change the battery on your own? Nope. Want to add more storage with a cheap SD memory card? Nope. Want to attach a USB device for just about any reason? Nope.
Now look, I know that Apple fans will think I am simply trolling here, but let’s be fair. I am not, for one minute debating Apple’s various operating systems. Those are a matter of personal preference and I acknowledge that in certain circumstances Apple does have the best OS. If you truly love the OS, then you will most likely look past all of the above and not give a lick about any of those issues. If someone makes that request of me though, I am going to be honest in my opinion and warn them that other techies will differ.
“Why shouldn’t I buy a Mac?”
It isn’t complex. You pay more for the name on the front, while getting less actual functionality inside.
This is a comment that is sure to piss off a lot of readers. To those I ask a question related above. Why can’t I expand the storage on an iPad or iPhone when every other smartphone and tablet of any other maker can do it. Why would any computer maker solder easily upgraded components into the computer (and I fault companies like Lenovo for making models of their own all-in-ones that can’t be upgraded either). Why do you pay more for anything Apple just because of the logo on it (same goes for anything with Sony on it mind you)?
Answer me that. Until then, I’ll keep giving my 15 years of computing in the trenches reasons for not buying a Mac.