Linked by David Adams on Mon 25th May 2009 21:22 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Over the years, we've occasionally run an "Ask OSNews" feature, wherein a reader asks us a question and we answer it publicly. Lately I've really been enjoying Slate's Dear Prudence advice column and the ever-interesting Straight Dope, and I thought we should see if we can get more OSNews readers to submit questions, and turn Ask OSNews into a more-regular thing. If your question falls outside of our domain expertise, we'll try to track down an expert to help out. And of course, our responses will always be supplemented by further advice from OSNews readers in the comments. Questions are welcome on any topic ranging from OSes and computing to science and geek culture. Contact us with your questions. (Please include "Ask OSNews" in the subject). Today's question is from a young student in Hungary who's seduced by the faraway siren song of Apple's marketing and wonders, "should I switch?"
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Be Open
by plums on Tue 26th May 2009 10:43 UTC
plums
Member since:
2009-05-26

I hate it when I see anything being judged poorly because it does something differently.

Technology interaction is a little hobby of mine. As such I have thoroughly roadtested many OS's, later inlflicting them upon less savvy users to see how they get on. To sum up my feelings:
Windows: Honestly a good OS when you take into account the developers were wearing skii gloves. The interface can just be so bone headed. All the same it is functional although fragile.
Linux: Fighting the cause but missing the point. Feels like its your own though. Can require some graft.
OSX: Organic. Luxury Hotel with rules. Most them good though.

OS
OSX thinks differently similar to how gmail does things differently and at first very oddly. But pitfalls included overall functions much much more efficiently and more reliably. Genuinly a pleasant place to be. Once used to it you won't have to fight the OS all the time. Vista/7 control panel anyone!

Hardware
As for the hardware of course you can find cheaper laptops. But all laptops are far from created equaly. Putting a BMW engine in an old Skoda may make it fast but it won't make it pleasant. Over in the US, possibly here in the UK too finding a laptop of a similar build (business laptops like thinkpads,elitebooks and latitiudes,) 'full' complete feature set (bluetooth webcam etc) and spec results in similar prices. It's not that they are simply overpriced just that the money goes into other aspects not just the specs. They also have these lovely little features not found elsewhere which may not be obvious benefits but when using day to day its like sitting in a comfortable car that has power steering: Magsafe, Large Multi touch trackpad (truly changes the way you use your computer when utilizing all the gestures,) elegant design, amazing keyboards, comparitivly good lcd's, quiet operation, magnetic latch, slot loading optical, no air vents on the underside, best in class battery life, external battery indicator, better speakers, anologue and digital input and outputs from and only 2 ports.

Personal View
Reliability and some peoples bad experiences. I have had them too. But you cant judge the reliability of millions of laptops on a couple laptops one may have owned. Bear in mind though REV A/MK 1 models are to be avoided.

This may be sounding pro Mac but thats largely because its the focus of this discussion and somewhat because it has become my preference, atleast when making recommendations.

Let me be clear about something. I have no love for Apple only some of their products.

Ultimately the cost appears to be prohibitive in Hungary so unless I had money to burn I'd go with a business grade laptop and shove on Windows 7 or your favourite flavour of Linux. Whatever you do though I would certainly recommend getting your hackintosh on, see for yourself.

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