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Apple Laptops

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iloveglee | 09:40 Thu 12th Sep 2019 | Technology
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I'm looking for opinions about Apple Laptops and whether they are better than a windows PC or not. My laptop is on its very last legs and I have to do something about it. I have only ever used windows before.

Our local John Lewis has an interest free offer on Apple Laptops and I'm tempted. I could never justify to myself to shell out best part of £1000 in one go, but spreading it out over 12 or 18 months will hardly notice.

My two issues really are, will i find it difficult to use, although I do already have an I-phone and I-pad which I find really easy. And the other thing is, are Apple Laptops really worth the extra money, and if so, why. I have already spoken to two people who have always used Apple, and they would never have anything different. I have also spoken to someone who uses Windows all the time, both at home and at work, and uses an Android phone, and wouldn't touch apple with a bargepole!!

I get all the stuff about apple as a company, frankly I hate all these tech companies that make billions and don't pay their taxes here etc etc, there's not much to choose between them. This is really about function, comparing an Apple with what I have been used to. I use google for e-mail, and chrome as a browser, and wonder if this will still work.

I have already had a long discussion about Chromebooks, and for a variety of reasons, I know they are not for me. I like stuff where I can see it, on my desktop, or on a separate hard drive, and am not keen about all this cloud storage.

Honest views and opinions, but with reasons why those opinions are held would be the most useful to me. i have two weeks to make up my mind.


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It depends on what you need laptop for. If it's just using the internet, word/spreadsheets, printing, storing music and photos then you can get something that is perfectly adequate for £300-£400 so it's hard to justify spending £1000. And if you can't afford it now but plan to pay it off over 12-18 months that will mean for 12-18 months you'll have less to save/spend on more important things- in my opinion
As F-F says, you need to consider what it is that you'll be doing with your laptop. Apple machines are superb for things like high-end video-editing but they don't offer you many advantages over Windows laptops (except for looking nicer) when performing most of the tasks that people commonly use their laptops for (such as emailing, word processing, web browsing, etc).

If you like using free software you'll find that there's far less available for Apple laptops than for Windows machines, meaning that you might end up having to fork out more money to get the type of software you want.

If you need/want an all-singing, all-dancing laptop, I'd urge you to consider this refurbished Windows machine (from a supplier that I totally trust). When they were new (just a couple of years back), you wouldn't have got much change out of three grand when buying one, so they're now an absolute bargain at £449:

I suggested the same machine to Saintpeter48 not long ago and, going by his post here, he's well satisfied with his purchase:
PS: If you're accessing your Google mail through Google's website then you'll still be able to get it in the same way on an Apple laptop. If you're accessing it via a dedicated email client (such as Outlook or Thunderbird), you'd need to investigate whether there's a Mac version of that client available for an Apple laptop. (If there isn't you could simply use an alternative app or use Google's webmail site).

Most browsers, including Chrome, are available for Apple machines:
I've currently got three apple laptops (15-inch Macbook Pro (2013), Macbook (2016) and new Macbook air (2018). I tens to buy the top-end variants. They are (very) expensive, but I would not use a Windows machine.

1. Operating system
1a. Where Windows forces you to do things in a certain way, MacOS does not.
1b. MacOS is based on a Unix variant, which is intrinsically more secure; Windows is based on a registry that opens the machine up to security threats
1c. MacOS forces developers to use consistent keystrokes across applications, so once you have learned to use the system, new programs become more intuitive.
1d. Macs go wrong far, far less often than Windows machines ( I also do maintenance for an array of Windows machines)
1e. updates to the OS are free downloads. Always. You can always choose to download an older OS and re-install, if you prefer an older version.
1f. No driver installs. MacOS does not use drivers in the way Windows does - however, you may need to check that your existing printers and other peripherals are compatible with MacOS

2 Build quality
2a, Simply the best. They are made from (recycled) aluminium and are very robust.
2b. Sound quality is great, despite small speakers
2c. Screens are high resolution and bright, vibrant colours.
2d Internal drives are SSD, so very fast start-up and file transfer
2e They are pretty compared to the black plastic Windows boxes.
2f, the keyboards are very low travel and permit fast typing. However, try one out, as some people do not like them. Personally, I love them.
2g. Illuminated keys with variable brightness.

3 Included software
3a, all the software you need for normal usage is included.
3b, (might be good or bad) Macs are the platform of choice of almost all graphics professionals, so the pro software (Adobe family; Movie editing etc) is usually designed primarily for Macs with WIndows as the secondary choice.

Balancing factors
1. Far fewer games are available for Mac platform compared to Windows platform.
2. if you buy software, Mac variants tend to be more expensive than Windows (but you shouldn't really need to buy any, unless you are a specialist).
3. The base Apple machines tend to be a bit under-powered, so you might want to add even more money for RAM memory or storage, to make it a useful machine.
4. All web-based software, such as GoogleMail work just as well on a Mac compared with the Windows unit.
5. Thunderbird, Firefox, Chrome and other browsers/email clients work just as well on a Mac as PC.

Overall, if you have the money, I do not believe you willl ever regret buying a Mac, unless you don't get sufficient RAM/storage at purchase. Current generation Macs are not easy to upgrade from the delivered model - sometimes you can add more memory, but check before you buy
Another potential drawback is the focus on the Thunderbolt/USB-C connectivity. You will probably need to buy a whole bunch of new adapters and gadgets to ensure you can use any existing peripherals
over priced, windows has abundant free software, windows machines
are easier to repair! are cheaper to buy, plus if your like me and like to tinker with it's innards you can, i refer to desktops pc's you can change out parts, laptops you can change hard drives memory etc, so much easier to maintain, and above all cheaper in the long run, if you ever have a break down.
- The best Microsoft software is available for Mac, Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc.
- As you already have an iPhone and iPad, all you photos contacts, music, bookmarks emails and notes will easily sync across all your devices.
- Many of your iOS apps are available on the Mac, (or soon will be).
- Software is available from the Mac App Store, similar to how you get software on your iPhone.
- The Operating System on a Mac is far more intuitive, and you are halfway there if you have an iPad.
Question Author
Well there's plenty of food for thought, as ever I appreciate that people take the time.

I do know that apple devices are far less likely to get viruses, and having had a trojan and rootkit on this machine, I don't want to go there again, it took a lot of sorting out.

There is no doubt that an apple will provide far more functionality than i currently use. But who knows, I am retired, so i may take up activities that an apple may make easier to do that I don't do know because it's such a pain. Maybe not, as yet I don't know what the future holds.

As far as making the monthly payments is concerned, this is why I am contemplating it now. We took some interest free credit on a piano just over a year ago, and it's just finished. We managed fine well paying a similar amount, so would do again. It's not actually an issue of not being able to afford it as such, it's just the shelling out almost a grand at one go. Not that we'd be losing much in interest on it, with interest rates being as they are currently!!

I don't use outlook these days for e-mail, I get it from my google account, outlook was forever causing problems and I gave up on it eventually.

I take the point about printers and peripherals, this is something I'll have to discuss. One of the main reasons for going into the store, is so that I can have a play on one. They are a much smaller keyboard than I am used to. I am a touch typist using all 5 digits on each hand, and cannot type any other way. My hands know where the keys are, but my brain does not. Weird or what!! So I definitely do need to have a go before I make a decision.

I certainly don't like tinkering with a computer's innards so this is absolutely not an issue. Presumably the word processing software I want I can get for free such openoffice or whatever is the current equivalent. I don't have microsoft office on here because I wasn't prepared to pay the price they wanted and it wasn't pre loaded

There's still much to consider. It's comforting to know, should I decide to go down the apple route, having an i-pad already will help to manage it. It's not especially what it looks like that bothers me, although the weight of it (light), is going to be a consideration because we are going to be travelling through europe on the train next year, and having a laptop along will be useful. I can, and often do, use my phone but it's sometimes a bit too small for what I need. As far as the i-pad is concerned, it's getting a little bit old and past its best now. (Aren't we all).

If you are looking to spend that much on a new laptop I can thoroughly recommend the Microsoft surface pro. I have one and it is a tremendous little bit of kit. If you look at one make sure that you get it with the keyboard cover and get the arc mouse to go with it. The keyboard is detachable and you can use it like a tablet and even with the keyboard attached the screen is a touch screen that makes negotiating the screen very easy. I would go back into John Lewis and ask to have a look at one before you bite on an apple that may turn out to be sour.;cl_adg=1273234608916492&;cl_crtv=79577205723694&cl_kw=john+lewis+surface+pro+6&;cl_pla=8ZCNC665SLQ5-2C9L&cl_pr=4583176783015206&;cl_dim0=XVzpcwAAAFMnB36l%3A20190912114411%3As&OCID=AID2000007_SEM_XVzpcwAAAFMnB36l%3A20190912114411%3As&;invsrc=search&s_kwcid=AL%214249%2110%2179577205723694%214583176783015206&ef_id=XVzpcwAAAFMnB36l%3A20190912114411%3As&activetab=pivot:overviewtab

as i mentioned apple products are very expensive to get repaired and only by there official outlets so iv been told, spare parts etc.
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