domenica 4 gennaio 2009

Why I should or shouldn't by a Mac Book

This Christmas a friend of mine received from Santa Claus or his wife, actually I'm not sure of this, a 2.0GHZ Unibody Mac Book.
As I'm really curious to try it out this fact gave me the idea for this post: point out all the reasons I have to buy a Mac Book or not and shift from my Ubuntu box (an Asus f3jr) to a shiny OSX.
You can read this post even if you are a WIndows user as most of the points I've found are still valid.
In this article I'll only examine the Mac Book and Mac Book Pro as the new Macs are being presented only now and I'm not really interested in buying one of them either as I need a laptop.
So lets go ahead.

The Pros
  1. Wonderful design and manufacturing. If you're reading this post you know what I mean. In a word a Mac it's really cool!
  2. Weight. The aluminium body makes them weight less than the pc counterparts
  3. backlit keyboard (starting from the 2.4ghz Mac Book) it's a real pro for me and you can't actually find a PC with this feature
  4. Possibility to order it with a US International keyboard: if you are a programmer you'll understand the utility to have "{} ~" easily available.
  5. led-backlit display: thinner, less power consumption and weight are three good reason to have this display on a notebook
  6. DDR3: I don't understand why they haven't mounted it yet on the PCs.
  7. Hardware support out of the box: you haven't to tweak with kernel drivers or strange setup procedures as on linux (to be honest starting from ubuntu 7.04 this it's almost true even on my PC)
  8. Mac OSX: actually a *BSD kernel (which means UNIX) with a wonderful interface and usability (I haven't played a lot with it but as a linux user
  9. In a few month Snow Leopard will be out and for the firts time in OSX history it will be a truly 64 bit OS
  10. Support for all the software I need to carry out my jobs.
The Cons
  1. It cost too much for what it offers: you can buy a much powerfull pc for a lot less money (1000€ compared to 1500€ of the 2.4 Mac Book or 1300€ compared to the over 2000€ of the Pro series) Obviously they're not the same thing but a 50% extra sounds to me to much either.
  2. Many problems with the nvidia chipset (you can find a good article on appleinsider)
  3. The glass display it's really a to glary for my taste.
  4. I need to expand to 4gb of RAM for an extra 140€: as the Mac Books come out of the box only with 2gb while all the good PCs now have 4gbs on board. For what I do I often use virtual machines and they use a lot of ram. My asus has 2gb of ram and I bought it two years ago!
  5. If I buy OSX Leopard (10.5.x) now I'll need to spend an extra 100€ in a few month if I want to switch to Snow Leopard (10.6.x).
  6. Why do I actually need a 64 bit OS if I don't have more than 4gb of ram?
  7. Oracle DB It's not supported and I some times work on it.
  8. Sun doesn't release an official jvm and java compiler you have to rely on the OSX one (which to be honest it's certified and I don't know at present of any inconvenience with it)
  9. You can't play games: I have a small Vista partition (my notebook obviously came with it preinstalled) on my laptop from which I can play all the games I buy. On OSX there are only a few games and they cost much more than the PC ones which you can buy at the newstand for less than 8€ (with a magazine included). You can install Vista on your Mac with bootcamp or in a virtual box but you need an extra license already present on a PC.

Final Verdict
The final verdict to me is that there isn't a final verdict: it's up to you to choose which of this points are the most important.