on May 30, 2014
I know the headline sounds fanboyish, but what can you say? If you've owned a Mac before, you know what to expect. If you never have owned one, let me tell you. From the packaging to the construction of every last part of the machine, Apple builds these things to the highest standard. You won't find a more solid machine out there. The unibody construction feels sturdy, and it's very light. The hardware is the best you can get at the time of construction. Whether you love Apple or hate them, there's simply no denying the quality. Yes, you can buy a similarly spec'd laptop for far less. But similar specs, does not make an equal machine overall. Let me explain why:
1) Future proofing. When you buy a Mac, yes it costs more. But rest assured, you won't need to upgrade again for at least half a decade or more. This is my first MacBook upgrade in 6 years, and the previous machine was only just starting to get slow enough to warrant replacement. It could probably easily have been stretched another year minimum. The only issue we had with the other one in all that time, was the hard drive died. That could happen with any laptop, and was a cheap/easy replacement. Macs are built to last. It's a big expense, but you won't need to spend money on another laptop for years.
2) Quality. Through my work I have worked on a lot of laptops, and desktops. Even in the $1,000 and above PC market, I've yet to find a Windows machine built to the standard of a Mac. They feel better in hand than anything else. The wear and tear is less than anything else. Though it must be said, aluminum scratches and gouges easily, however that can be said of plastic too. When you pick this thing up, it's extremely light, but also manages to feel SO sturdy. There's no flexing, creaking, etc.
3) Apps. This is purely personal. Everyone feels different about operating systems, applications, how they like to do their work on a computer. OS X just works better than any version of Windows I've ever used. It's intuitive, beautiful, reliable, safe. The applications available, both through Apple and third parties, are just far more carefully done. Everything screams quality, ease of use, but also workhorse. There's a reason Macs are the go-to in anything media related, and are fast becoming the same for everything from word processing and beyond. Most big name games are even being made for Mac now. The few areas they were behind Windows on, they are now easily on par, or exceeding by quite a large margin.
4) THE DISPLAY. My goodness. You hear people talk about Retina, and how beautiful it is. Words can't really explain it. You have to see it to believe it. The deepest blacks, brightest whites, absolutely NO light bleed, you cannot see pixels to save your life. The resolution is so high you can't even stand to use another machine after looking at it. The glossy display on this model is far better than my old one. My old one had high quality, but nowhere near this. You can look at this screen from any angle now, any distance, and it's crystal clear. It's just stunning.
5) Battery life. Apple advertises 8+ hours on this laptop in particular. It delivers. Of course that depends on what you do. I mean, if you watch YouTube videos naturally it will go down faster than if you're composing emails or working in Pages. But casual web use, word processing, and a bit of photo editing, it easily meets the advertised battery life. That was with brightness on auto, all settings as far as display and energy saver on default. If you "power saved", turned brightness all the way down, keyboard backlighting off, etc... You could probably easily exceed the advertised by a noticeable amount. It charges fully from completely dead in about 3 hours. As far as degradation over time, I can't say yet obviously. However on our old MacBook (6 years old mind you) the battery still is about half as good as it started. So I am not worried about this one at all.
You won't be disappointed. Some things to note however. Apple has moved to the "App Store" format completely. There are no discs with this device. Everything is done via the app store. It does come with iWork, iLife, Mavericks, all free, but no discs. There isn't a disc drive on this device at all. Personally I like it. I can't remember the last time I used a disc anyway. If you need to restore OS X simply download it from the app store, create a USB from it with Apple's included software for that, and install from USB. You can buy an external DVD/CD drive though if you like. It is supported.
There's a lot of hype with Apple products. There's a reason for that. They deliver.