6.12.2011

Why I'll Never Buy Another Apple Laptop

Last week, after Apple announced it's new iOS5 there was a lot of talk/debate between Apple fans and those that aren't.

http://www.dantynan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/apple-skull-and-bones-275p.pngComing from a family with multiple relatives in the wireless communication industry, we're all avid Android fans, as anyone can easily read up the differences between Android and Apple's iOS's and see which is the better product/OS.

Unfortunately though, iZombies will be iZombies and refuse to look past the Apple label.

Having used Apple products in the past, I wouldn't say I'm anti-Apple, but when it comes to phones, hands down Android is the better OS of the 2 (and yes, I looked into both, as originally I wanted to wait til Verizon got the iPhone to get a smartphone for myself), and as far as laptops go, I will NEVER again waste money on one from Apple, as it proves to just be a money pit.

After I graduated from high school my parents let me get a Dell computer of my own for when I went off to college that way I could do email and write my papers and online research from the comfort of my own dorm room at my convenience rather than have to do all that during the open hours of the computer labs around campus. They tried to talk me into a laptop, since it was smaller and portable but I opted instead for a slim desktop.

Flash forward 2 years later, I was just finishing up my first year in the art program and getting ready to start my graphic design classes in the fall. A few other graphic design majors in my art classes were talking about getting Mac Powerbooks for the fall so that we could take our work back and forth to class with us and not have to rely on using the computers in the computer lab. Also, all the graphic design majors I worked with on the school newspaper had their own, older generation Powerbooks and talked about how much easier it was to do their work and how having one of your own was a must and also showed the professors you were taking things seriously.

So I looked into getting one myself that spring.

http://regmedia.co.uk/2005/02/24/pb_1.jpg

At the time, the G4 Powerbooks were the newest laptop Apple had and was the first laptop of theirs that was offered in the 17" model. The 17" was too big for my liking, but the 12" seemed too small so I settled on the 15", which was also within my approved credit limit, as the thing cost so much (almost $2000 with no addon options, aside from a mouse!) that I had to open an Apple credit line with my mom as a co-signer since I had no previous credit.

It arrived within a week and I spent the last few weeks of the spring semester getting acquainted with it. I also got some of the student software, such as Illustrator and Photoshop, from the VisCom computer lab. Over the summer I had an internship as the graphics intern at my city's newspaper and learned some Illustrator while there. When the fall semester started, I was all set with my new Powerbook.

I was one of 4 in my class initially that had one and we had a laptop station setup in the middle of the computer lab where our class was held. It was a pain though as at the time, they didn't automatically come with a wireless card so we had to take turns hooking up to the ethernet cable to pull images from online. But it was nice not having to rely on our work being saved on the lab computers or trying to store everything on a Zip disk.

The no wireless card though was becoming quite an issue though so I ended up asking for one for Christmas - more money spent the thing.

Later, when I started playing World of Warcraft, I started using my Powerbook to play it on as the graphics and drivers and everything on it were much better than those on my desktop PC (playing on my PC was a nightmare, as the drivers got so out of date).

Eventually though, 2 things happened.

1) Half the keys on my keyboard broke. I made due for awhile, however it got to a point where it was so annoying that I had to give in and fix it - something I had put off for awhile as I got a rough estimate from the people at the Apple store that it was going to be a few hundred dollars to fix and replace. So there went $300 towards that.

2) The thing got really hot and I got some nasty burns on my legs from keeping it on my lap. Eventually the burns died down and we bought a laptop "lapdesk" thing to put between me and the laptop but yeah... $20 there.

Eventually I had to upgrade my RAM too, as it only came with 256mb, so there went money into that.

Also, I went through several powercords, as the connector tip was very fragile and could get broken easily. Or eventually it would just die. I never bought these through Apple though as they wanted at least $60 for it. Instead I found a few tech sellers on eBay that could sell me the N-tips and power adapters for under $30. I went through 2 of these I believe, so again, more money.

And then my battery died.

I tried to see if I could just swap it out with Apple, but they had a recall on them previously which I had used and so I wasn't eligible for a battery swap. So I went online and found one for around $50, which was about $50 less than what Apple charged on their site.

http://www.giantmike.com/reviews/picts/panther.jpgAnd then the software... my Powerbook came with Panther and by the time I needed to upgrade they had just released Snow Leopard (I think). Unfortunately, due to my specs, I couldn't upgrade that far up, but I could upgrade through the next OS, which was Tiger, so I found a version of that for cheap ($50 or so) as I had to upgrade my OS in order to do anything - WoW, Flash website, etc.

The final blow came soon after when the part inside my Powerbook that connects the powercord to the battery and charges it crapped out, only working half the time if that. I looked into it, it would be another couple hundred to get the part and get it fixed/repaired. We ghetto rigged it for awhile with electrical tape, but that only lasted so long.

After 5 or so years I had enough. I was upside down on my payments on it too, as in college I only ever paid the minimum, forgetting how high the interest rate was (19.99%!) and owed more on it than it was actually worth and need to put in more money than it was worth to keep it running. For that price, I could easily get a newer and better PC, which I eventually did. And the Apple Powerbook has been sitting for nearly a year and a half, collecting dust.

So basically, I don't recommend spending $1000+ on an Apple laptop if you can help it.

Sure it might be tempting - they're sleek, trendy, neat and expensive. But they're also expensive to maintain if anything breaks or goes wrong with it and it will quickly be obsolete as Apple's always coming out with a new OS every year or so!

Now don't get me wrong, I liked the iPods back in their heyday and had one and occasionally still use it (although my Droid kinda made that obsolete as I can easily store all my music on there or stream it from our desktop computer's external hard drive) and if I ever get back into doing some regular design work I wouldn't mind a spiffy, pretty iMac as Mac's are the preferred machines when it comes to graphic design and the iMacs I used in my college's visual arts labs were pretty nice, however don't waste your money on a Mac laptop - in the long run you'll just be putting more money into it when you could just get a brand new PC laptop.

Honestly, I love my Dell PC laptop I got last winter. It has Photoshop and Illustrator on it, and while it's different, it's not *that* different from casually designing stuff on a Mac and it gets the job done. Plus it runs WoW soooo much smoother than my Mac ever did. Not to mention, 10 years later, people still use Windows XP for their operating system.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, what a mess! Macs are so busy being sleek they don't bother to put in cooling systems that can handle *real* games.

    I've been pretty happy with my MacBook Pro, but it's certainly not as perfect as everyone who loves Apple seems to think it should be. About seven months after I got it, it started crashing a LOT. They say Macs don't do that. Ha! Well, luckily it was under warranty, so they fixed it for free, though it did take them six days to get it back to me. It was all relatively smooth for having my laptop crash, but still, my 3-year-old Windows laptop (an ASUS) hasn't crashed as often as the Mac. They shouldn't be so snobby about never crashing.

    I can't complain too much, though, as my advisor bought this machine for me (to use for work, but since it's a laptop...), because he and others in my lab group all use Macs. I don't hate Apple, but I think they're kind of overrated, and I don't like how people can be so blindly devoted to their products.

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  2. That sucks that you had a bad experience! I'm an apple fan! I love my macbook and it has lasted more than twice as long as my old compaq laptop. Any issue i've ever had has been fixed for free through the genius bar or tech support even when my warranty had expired. They also upgraded my OS for free when other minor issues were being fixed! Obviously, apple is not perfect, but I do love them!

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  3. I can't believe you had so many issues with apple. I've had my macbook for almost 5 years and the only problem I had was my hard drive and disc drive crashing at the same time (thanks to apple care it was covered free of charge) It does get warm, but I use it for browsing and using photoshop on occasion. I just wish I had the most recent OS because I'm still on tiger.

    My boyfriend got a swanky new Dell just three years ago and his hard drive crashed 3 times along with an endless stream of other issues before it finally died. It won't turn on or anything now. He's an animator and NEEDS a computer to work on. Flash is better on a PC but he's just sick of it. We plan to get an iMac quite soon though. I just wish all computers just worked all the time. I hate all the updates.

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  4. Yeah, all computers working as intended would be nice... in a perfect world, right?

    Another thing I forgot to mention... when CompUSA went out of business, in order to get my Powerbook serviced or even looked at for an estimate I'd have to drive nearly an hour and a half into the Chicago suburbs as that's where the nearest Apple store in our area is located! So yeah, I wasted money in gas and mileage and wear and tear on my vehicle too (another reason it took me awhile to get around to fixing the keyboard, on top of the fact I'd be without it for a week or 2 when I needed it for work at the time).

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