June 01, 2015
Today I picked up my very first MacBook. I’ve grown up as a PC person and had my typical anti-Mac phase to go along with my PC enthusiasm. However, getting into computer science and the rise of the ultrabook market had started to soften my bias against the MacBook. I used to see MacBooks solely as overpriced, pretty laptops that are used by ignorant hipsters and consumers who know nothing about computers past how sleek the casing is. But with my MacBook purchase, I’m willing to give a little leeway to the MacBook user.
One big part of my PC enthusiasm had to do with the fact that the term PC basically encompasses everything non-Mac. So if you do your research like I do, you can find great values on PC hardware that Apple would overcharge for. The laptop I came into college with in 2012 is an Asus 15.6 inch powerhouse that only cost $1100, but it trumped the 2012 MacBook’s specs with a quad core i7 processor, 8gb of RAM, a dedicated nVidia graphics card and a full terabyte of storage space. I’m still keeping my Asus operational because it is still relevant in today’s laptop market and it’s super easy to upgrade (I’ve already upgraded to a 500gb SSD and a wireless AC wi-fi adapter). However with today’s push for ultrabook specs with portability in mind, PCs are no longer the top contender. Apple’s 2015 upgrade of the MacBook Pro brought its flagship laptop up to speed with the PC competition and then some. The baseline MacBook Pro include OS X’s Unix base (Unix = Linux & OS X, Unix is preferable to programmers), a super nice retina display, and 10 hours of battery life for 3.5 pounds and less than one inch thickness. That battery life is still almost unreachable by any PC ultrabook and with a student discount, the price of the MacBook is no longer an issue. Although my situation is unique since the MacBook was bought as a secondary laptop, I believe it is a great option for a primary laptop.
As stated earlier, during my days as a PC user and enthusiast, I only saw MacBooks as an accessory used by materialistic and dimwitted people who are too shallow to see past the large price tag and the pretty casing. While I still house certain feelings about other majors and certain MacBook users, my forray into the Unix world with my computer science studies and projects has revealed the value of the MacBook and OS X as a tool. I now no longer have to run a virtual machine of Linux on my Windows machine (because I don’t really want to deal with double booting Linux and Windows) and I now no longer have to carry around my 6+ pound behemoth of an Asus and worry about running down the battery before my next lecture, thus giving the MacBook some relevant value so I no longer see it as a pretty piece of metal. On top of that, the rise of Apple’s dominance in the tech market means that the tech industry’s use of Macs is widespread and I can no longer afford to ignore such a tool. While there are most likely still a good amount of college students that tote around MacBooks solely for the brand and the aesthetics, I am content with my MacBook purchase for my uses as a programmer and a photographer.