There are literally thousands of notebook computers available on the market today. With so many options available it is tough to figure out what the best bang for the buck is any more. I have to say that my experience (15 years in the high tech industry) has led me to say that as of today Apple is winning the war on the portable market. The MacBook computers are the best value on the market today for both student and professional alike. Here is a short list of reasons that in my opinion more than justify this thought.
1. Quality: The strategy that apple has employed through out its history is emphasizing quality over having a new model every week. Their hardware is reliable, their screens are bright and easy to read, and they are feature rich right out of the box.
2. OSX: The core Mac OS (currently code-named Leopard) is a stable and secure operating system that in this authors humble opinion kicks the butt of windows XP and vista with almost no real effort. Virus issues are lower on the mac than on the PC by a staggering amount. The environment is less likely to crash and applications that run on it run smoothly with far less trouble than on a windows PC. And as an added bonus thanks to technologies like Boot Camp and Parallels it is possible to run windows on your mac if you really had to.
3. Weight and Design: Simply put the MacBook just feels better to me than any PC notebook i have ever found, be it the unique power cord MAG safe connector, or the built in web cam, or the inclusion of features like a back-lit keyboard (MacBook Pro and MacBook air) the units just seem better built to me on every level. Battery life is usually way ahead of the curve when compared to PC's (authors note: the MacBooks have a power indicator attached to their battery so even with the unit powered off you can check how much remaining power you have left just another nice feature). Finally the MacBooks are very thin and weigh very little compared to PC notebooks of similar specs, The MacBook Air is of course the thinnest and lightest of them but the MacBook and MacBook Pro are quite impressive in their own right.
4. Amazing Apps: Along with the core operating system the Macbooks come with a suite of software that is fabulous. The OS includes a tremendous email client, Calendar and contact manager, Video chat tools, and my favorite Web Browser Safari. All notebooks also come with Ilife which frankly rocks for most peoples creative needs. Iphoto is a powerful image organizer with solid editing options built right in. Imovie is a great little video editor and has features that surpassed my every expectation in a free app. Iweb is a great tool for making your first web site, and has amazing tools built in to allow you to build a presence fast. If you a musically inclined person (i am not) garage band is a fun and from what i am told very effective way to produce music fast. Idvd is a great authoring tool that lets you build movies and slide shows fast and is one of my favorite tools to use day to day.
5. Price: I know this sounds counter intuitive but I assure you I truly do believe that in the long run Apples are more affordable than PCs. First off lets look at the base prices: $1099 for the base MacBook, $1799 for the base MacBook Air, and $1999 for the MacBook Pro. Those prices may seem high but when compared with PC Notebooks of comparable spec and quality they often time come out to be less than the competition. Next consider the cost of software, the mac already includes many of the tools you would need to purchase for your PC notebook. The cost of Work ($79.00) is less than Microsoft Office by almost half and frankly has in my experience a more friendly suite of apps some of which i think actually out do Microsoft's offerings by quite a bit. Then there is the issue of useful life span, Macs last longer, they will stay useful well into the range of 5 years and often times retain huge percentage of their value far better than the PC laptops do so even when you do decide to get a new one the mac will be worth something. On that note I will say that buying refurbished notebooks from apple is a great way to save a few hundred bucks with no real appreciable loss of quality, I also recommend looking on Craigslist or other classifieds, though this is a far less secure way to buy often the deals are well worth it.
I hope this information has swayed you to consider investing in the apple family of notebook computers. For me the difference has been amazing. Perhaps someday the PC will end up back on top but for now the credit goes to apple for producing one amazing product for a reasonable price.
Jason Seifert is a career computer technician with more than 15 year experience, servicing all of Orange County California.
Contact him at http://www.octechwhisperer.com or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org