I feel like a Mac Traitor.. but there's more to it

On the same day Snow Leopard came out, which is probably a very good update to OS 10, I recieved my new Dell desktop. If you asked me anytime in the last couple of years what I’d buy for my next PC, I would have surely told you anything but a PC. Or in other words, probably an iMac or Mac Mini.

My 3 year old first gen MacBook’s hard drive recently broke, and as a result, it’s been sitting unused for a week or so. Not only that, but at the same time, our 6 year old Compaq PC got riddled with spyware and all that stuff. The internet wasn’t working for a time on that one PC, which at the time I couldn’t understand at all. Looking back, it was probably the spyware / viruses that were the culprit.

So due to this, and the fact that we were due for a new computer anyway, we decided to buy a new desktop. My initial thought was that I would go and buy a Mac Mini and share the cost. But then when I looked at the Inspiron line on Dell’s site, I realised that Dell were offering 4gb of RAM, an Intel Core 2 Quad chip and and far larger hard drive, for £79 less than the Mac Mini. I thought to myself, wow, I could buy this thing for less money, play games, most of which won’t run on Mac and have a good experience for less money.

I consider myself an Apple supporter but when it comes down to it, that pricing is simply daylight robbery. Yes, the Mac OS is more enjoyable to use for me, it’s known for being reliable, fast and stable as well as secure. I’ve never had to reinstall my OS until now but only because of the HDD failing. In fact, I don’t even know how to do a fresh install of OS X and I even can’t find my restore disc. Hopefully I can find it or work around it.

So yes, while the PC is cheaper and has better specs, you do have to deal with the security risk that is synonomous with Windows. It’s a trade off and while I do want to have at least one Mac in my life, I think having one Desktop PC for games, and a Mac laptop for everyday stuff is the perfect balence.

It’s a trade-off and for someone like me who tries to be as safe as possible online and only doing things I can be sure are safe, I can afford to make that trade-off. Especially with Windows 7 coming out and looking good. I love the dock in OS X and the fact that they are copying for the new taskbar is great for me. I will still prefer using Tiger and Leopard / Snow Leopard when I eventually upgrade, but Windows 7 won’t be too far behind.

Apple need to get their act together. We all know you can buy two laptops with better specs for less money than one basic spec MacBook, and with the economy the way it has been for a while, it’s almost unbelievable the they haven’t slashed their prices aggressively. I can’t think of many people who would pass up the opportunity to have 2 laptops for the price of 1, especially with the netbook craze at the moment. Apple have to get in that space quickly or they could see their market share in laptops diminish significantly.  They did an aggressive price drop with the iPhone so their logic to me seems arrogent.

I suppose if they are using superior quality components in their machines then it would be somewhat justified, but to my knowledge they seem pretty equal to comparable PCs. I may be wrong, but it seems like they are charging for things like their superior styling and their unibody enclosures, as well as their super-thin laptops. But most of all the software, which like I said, is still better, but the gap, to me appears to be closing. Yes, they are great innovations by Apple and yes, Dell’s laptops are ugly by comparison, but most people won’t care about that, and Apple have to take note.

From a personal standpoint. I would love to see Apple lower all their prices later this year and also introduce a cheap netbook. Maybe a 10 or so inch screen and fairly low specs for £200 – £250. To be honest they won’t do that, but I would love them to. If they brought the basic MacBook down to £600 or less, then that would probably shift a lot more units.