Last year I started a podcast for my town, and I quickly realised that my aging desktop computer with its quirks and loud fans wasn’t helping at all. I was recording straight from the Mic via USB into my computer and the Mic I was using was what’s known as a “Condenser Microphone” which picks up every little sound in the room.
I asked around, despite my huge dislike and totally unwarranted disgust of Apple products in general, I had a hard time arguing that the new Macbook didn’t at least look nice, because it did.
Sure, looking nice shouldn’t be high up on my list of requirements, but it was there. What WAS higher up was performance and portability; because if I do end up podcasting in my shed, I don’t want to leave my device out there for risk of damage or theft. Obviously.
I spent many, many late nights researching Macs; trying to be objective and keep back my dislike of OSX. I’ve used OSX before and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the whole closing a window using the X and it still running and I just saw it as paying for Linux. I know many people love OSX, but I just think those people haven’t spent enough time with Linux and are comparing OSX just to Windows.
I spent a good few week researching, and it wasn’t helping my brain as I like to have an answer, but it was tough. After all these late nights looking at specs and looking at other devices, I decided it was between a Surface Pro, Macbook Pro (after I spoke to the very helpful people at Apple on the phone they said the Macbook I referenced earlier wasn’t powerful enough for podcasting, which I knew anyway, I just liked the look of the new design), HP Spectre 360 or the Dell XPS13.
Knowing I could get a great discount from Apple because my wife is a teacher (which in the end I actually found I can get on a few products but was far easier with Apple), I decided to go along and try a few Macs in one of their stores.
I tried them out, didn’t really think they were speedy but knew that they held their value well, meaning when it came time to sell it, it wouldn’t have lost as much as say the HP Spectre.
So I went from looking at a basic model Macbook and ended up increasing the specs, up and up, upgrading to a 13″ Macbook Pro with an i5 2.9Ghz and 512GB SSD, simply because each small increment took me closer to the next upgrade, and so on. I also didn’t want to get an underpowered machine because as with a lot of modern laptops now, the components are non-upgradable.
That fact I could pay with finance also swung it towards a Mac too, because there is no way I could afford such a big outlay in one drop, also the fact I could pick it up straight away from the Apple Store made me happy. So I ordered and paid for it, and went to pick-up the Mac when it was ready from the Manchester Arndale shop.
I quickly returned home, making sure that nobody was following me with such an expensive purchase when walking to my car, got home, and left it in my office in it’s bag. I can’t say I was particularly excited to get it out and play with it; which was worrying. I wanted to open the box, but I knew how much I detested the OS. I decided to put that behind me and try it that night.
I didn’t like it.
I didn’t like that Apple has a different keyboard layout to any other computer, ChromeBook, Laptop, PC etc. I didn’t like when installing DMG files you had to do a stupid song and dance if you want to have a shortcut in your applications drawer by dragging an icon onto a folder (ever heard of a simple check box).
It’s the ridiculous little things like this that had always annoyed me about Macs (what really started it was when they went fashion and had muppets with lots of money queueing up to have one just because they were shiny and a must have accessory and were so much more expensive then anything else).
It was also so stiff to open that when on my kitchen table I couldn’t open it with one hand because it would just slide away from me. A couple of rubber feet for grip would have helped.
I was concerned about the life of the device, I had been hearing rumours about a new Macbook Pro coming out, and as this was a 2015 model, I didn’t want to get shafted with a price decrease once this new one came out. If I’d got this the day it came out, I’d have been not as bothered, but as it was almost a year later, I didn’t want to be paying over the odds.
I did like some things about it.
I liked the force touch trackpad, it was responsive and I liked how wherever you clicked on it it had the same resistance. You could press in the corner and it would feel like pressing in the middle. I didn’t like the force touch OS integration with the stupid press then press a bit harder to do something different, I didn’t like that but I could ignore it for the fact it was simply a better touchpad and still is.
I really liked the battery life and the form factor. It was a lovely machine and felt like it would last. When speaking to Apple on returning it they did say it makes a great Windows machine and they also said, and I quote “OSX is not as powerful as Windows and Linux”.
The support you get with Apple is great, very fast telephone answering times, the person on the line was knowledgeable and I know for a fact if I buy Apple Care (which I did) I’d have second to none support in one of their “Apple Stores” (sorry, it’s a shop, Apple SHOP).
So the Macbook got returned, I was left wondering “what now?” this was supposed to be the best hardware (the software is shite) money could buy, but I wasn’t happy with it.
Well, I have a new device, and I’m writing this with it right now. Keep an eye open for the next installment of “what the heck did Lee buy”.