Why I use a Mac instead of more for your money PC

I recently switched from PC (Lenovo running 8.1 Pro 64 bit) to a top spec Macbook. I know Windows very well. I used to build my own PCs. I expect to reinstall Windows OS every six months.

I absolutely understand the specification/price argument. For most purposes though, the higher specification hardware is not called for. Such hardware is over specified. Maybe not if you are doing complex 3d CAD, video processing, etc, but not for general Office and development work. More important for me than the performance is quality. It is not the case that Apple use the same components as PC manufacturers. Whilst they press, of course, for the best deals, their quality standards and tolerance specifications tend to be much tougher than those of most of the PC manufacturers (they have the buying might and margins to push this more than anyone else). They refresh products less often as well and tend not to have component drift in the same way as many JIT plants for PCs.

So, specification wise in terms of performance, the Apple computers are mostly not as high up the technology ladder as top end custom and high specification PCs. Nor are they, for that matter, as cutting edge other than when Apple themselves introduce new technology (such as 5K displays). However, when you have control of the operating system and hardware under the same roof, you can gain considerable efficiencies and stability opportunities.

That is not to say there are no problems with Apple computer, and some people suffer terrible problems. Operating Systems are complex, some things get corrupted, some combinations and usage patterns produce unusual conditions, even with tight control of the supply chain some problem hardware will get through, and some people happen to end up with a combination of components with many at tolerance extremes.

I find that control of the hardware extends to Windows as well. If I want to boot Windows on the limited set of hardware that Apple offers, the additional hardware drivers come from Apple rather than from lots of third parties.

For me already I have found on critical client work, Macbook is more reliable, more responsive, and more consistent in use than the relatively new Lenovo. There are many tasks that just work. As an example, I often use external monitors – often two in addition to the laptop screen. Plugging and unplugging these, shutting the laptop down, switching to a projector has always been a roll of the dice on every Windows laptop I have ever used. The Macbook (using displayport – dvi adaptors) made instant great use of the same monitors and projectors regardless of when it found them connected. I can close the lid mid-session on the Macbook, disconnect from the two monitors, and open the Macbook up again in a meeting somewhere else and carry on. More often than not, the Windows laptops crashed or went through considerable pain trying to return to a usable state (even if all looked okay, they would be extremely laggy for a good while). I am told that this Macbook capability with the monitors is recent. Certainly does not feel immature to me.

I do need to use some Windows only applications regularly, such as Microsoft Project 365. I use these under Parallels Desktop 10 VMs hosting Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit and have found these instances more stable with great performance than I found my Lenovo.

I find it more productive working with multiple desktops than simply with multiple windows. I could do the same on Windows, but only with an add on, not built into the OS (it is included in the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which I have working very well in another Parallels VM).

I find the trackpad and gesture support on the Macbook far better and more responsive than on any Windows laptop I have ever used.

Yes, I agree the environment is a little more restrictive. For me though, I am willing to give that up for the time gained for stability and reliability. It will be interesting if I still hold that view in 12 months time.

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