Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Mar 2015 21:56 UTC

From complaints about the Intel Core-M processor to the color choices to the decision to use USB-C, it seems that anyone with skin in the Mac game has found something to pick on regarding the new Macbook. I think it's all utter bullshit.

The thing that spec monkeys need to remember is that most people don't care about what they care about. Most people buying new computers aren't interest in how many cores a CPU has or how many GB of RAM or storage it has. Very few of the people I sell computers to have more than a passing interest. They want to know what the computer can do. What problems it solves for them.

While the gushing, endless praise for Apple/Mac/OS X in the article borders on the nauseating (hey it's iMore, what did you expect), I do agree with the main point. A similar reaction could be seen when Samsung announced the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, where 'power users' started complaining about the non-removable back and lack of an SD card slot as if it these 'issues' matter one bit to the masses buying Galaxy phones (or any other brand, for that matter).

It's something I like to refer to as 'the bubble'. You can become so enveloped in the platforms and devices you use that you end up in a bubble. Your own specific use case becomes all that you can see, and because you read the same websites as other people inside your bubble do, it's easy to lose perspective of what lies beyond your bubble.

The end result is that you think stuff like removable batteries or SD card slots actually matter to more than 0.1% of the smartphone buying public, or that not having an USB port matters to the people buying this new MacBook. The same happened with the original iPhone, the first iMac, and god knows what else. A lot of people - vocal people - assume their own use case is the benchmark for everyone, and as such, if some new piece of kit does not fit that use case, it must, inevitably, fail.

I always try to make sure that I look beyond my own bubble - that's how I can lament the Apple Watch as a ugly, square, computery iPhone Wrist, while still acknowledging that it will most likely do quite well, because what I want in a smartwatch - watch first, computer fourth or fifth - is probably not what most other people want.

This new MacBook is going to be a huge success, and so will the new Galaxy S6. Nobody cares about removable backs, SD card slots, or ports.

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I like Apple hardware
by phoehne on Sat 14th Mar 2015 01:06 UTC
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I've owned a number of computers and I can safely say that the Apple computers I've bought have been very reliable hardware (save for my PowerBook 100 from the early 90's that crapped out after about 5 years - see what happens when you buy 'open box' for the discount?). I'm currently writing this on an HP desktop running Linux which is slated to become OpenBSD 5.7 when the DVDs arrive in May - I use other things besides Macs.

I think it's funny to watch a lot of Apple bashing, for example, when they got rid of the CD/DVD drive. Or they got rid of replaceable batteries. Or even when they got rid of floppy drives. For what the MacBook is, one port is probably sufficient. My guess is that 75% of the users won't ever attach anything to that port but the power adapter. Most people buying the MacBook will probably be people who just don't think an iPad is enough because it doesn't have a keyboard and can't connect to other 'stuff.' They'll share files using Box, Google Drive, or whatever. Email, web, casual games, and some casual gaming is probably the vast majority of the typical MacBook user.

I also find it funny that people will pick apart the specs and say 'look, you can get a 12" Lenovo Yoga for half the price from the dealmaster post on ars.' In some cases it's a completely apples to oranges comparison with different screens, different battery lives, different hardware. For example, a lot of laptops use SATA drives but Macs use SSDs that attach to the PCI express bus. They're a lot faster and on a faster bus. An better comparison would be to other computers also using M2 SSDs instead of standard SATA SSDs, for example. I've seen people complain about the lack of discrete video and point to some cheap, all plastic Dell with 3 hours of battery life a 1366x768 screen as being "a better deal."

Apple hardware isn't cheap, but it's usually fairly priced. But then again the not-shit hardware from Lenovo or HP is not cheap. If you actually price out equivalent hardware (although not always) you'll find that the Windows/Linux equivalent is about the same price. The good Lenovo (the T-Series), well decked out, is a 2,500 USD laptop. It starts much cheaper because you can get a low res scree, an i3 or i5 instead of an i7, and you can start with 4 gigs of ram. The T400 I had was great, with lots of RAM and (at the time a very cool) 7200 RPM drive, but I would't say a POS Yoga is a 'better deal' than a fully decked out T540.

Apple's also fairly spot on when it comes to how people actually use their products. I don't carry USB drives any more (external or thumb) and am almost always in WiFi range. I'm much more likely to e-mail a file, share it over Google drive, or push to github. In fact, it isn't really safe to plug thumb drives into your computer, but that's a discussion for another day. I do plug my laptop into projectors, which always seem to come with a 15 pin VGA cable.

Where I would fault Apple is that they make some things annoyingly locked down, like the Mac Mini. I also think they've let some of the quality slip in their software. It doesn't feel as stable as it did two or three years ago. My next work computer will most likely be an HP because the company I work for is getting bigger and they're making more noise about not wanting to support Mac Users. My next home laptop will probably also not be a Mac because I'm going to buy a plastic POS I'll replace in two years because I'm thinking about hacking on BSD. Instead of a nice, shiney metal box that will last me 5+ years, but I'll run FreeBSD in a VM, I'll be able to run FreeBSD natively without my fans going ape-shit. (Either way it works out to about 400-500 a year).

Edited 2015-03-14 01:14 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: I like Apple hardware
by Drumhellar on Sat 14th Mar 2015 20:38 in reply to "I like Apple hardware"
Drumhellar Member since:

Apple hardware isn't cheap, but it's usually fairly priced. But then again the not-shit hardware from Lenovo or HP is not cheap.

Apple hardware is competitively priced only - even cheaper - with recent refreshes. The trouble is, they go longer between refreshes than their competitors, and the don't drop prices. Towards the end of the product cycle, they are over-priced compared to the competition.

This applies to all their product lines. For example: The Mac Pro is almost a year and a half old, but has the same hardware and the same price. It was a good deal when it was new, but now, not so much...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: I like Apple hardware
by galvanash on Sat 14th Mar 2015 22:22 in reply to "RE: I like Apple hardware"
galvanash Member since:

Apple hardware is competitively priced only - even cheaper - with recent refreshes

I think people see Apple's pricing as high because (most of the time) on release of a new product they position their low end model (feature wise) to target the industry sweet spot. In other words they want their low-end model to compete with everyone else's mid-tier products. They want nothing to do with what the rest of the industry calls low-end.

So if everyone else is selling entry level machines with 4GB of RAM, they start at 8GB. If everyone else is selling entry level SSDs with 128GB of storage, they start at 256GB. If everyone else has entry level machines with 1080p screens and only offers hiDPI on the higher end models, they omit 1080p entirely. Etc. etc.

This way they can be competitive on price because they are hitting the competition where their margins actually are... It helps to mask Apple's high margins in a sense.

It also has the problem that invariably people who bargain shop ignore features when comparing entry level pricing, so it looks high to them, when in reality they simply are not comparing the same things. Luckily for Apple they don't really care to sell things to bargain shoppers...

Reply Parent Score: 1