Is an Apple MacBook really what I need?

I am an Apple fan. Monday's Spring Forward event was interesting to me, but here are some thoughts:


  1. Does the average consumer really need the new MacBook


    [caption id="attachment_394" align="alignleft" width="300"]12" Apple MacBook 12" Apple MacBook[/caption]

    Only power users really need an Apple Mac, but I wouldn't recommend the new MacBook. It is pretty and thin, but Chromebooks are just as portable in a less-than-premium package. There are so many options to choose from. They have USB 3.0 and HDMI out; there is no need for expensive adapters. The new MacBook uses a new standard called USB-C. New is cool, but USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with your old USB drive that is just laying around. Most Chromebooks are in the $2oo-$3oo range. Save the $1000 and get a nice Mac mini for the house that you can access on the go with Chrome Remote Desktop. With Chrome Remote Desktop and Google Drive you will never be without a necessary file.


  2. Is it worth $1300 for the new base MacBook model?


    For power users, the 13" MacBook Pro has much better performance for the same money. They updated the trackpads and the processors with the announcement on Monday. The 128 GB Solid-State Drive will fill up fast, but you actually have USB 3.0 to hook up an external hard drive. For the best speed, you really want to get a USB 3.0 external hard drive. My 13" Late 2008 MacBook has gotten tons of use in the 6+ years I have owned it, and the processor is all that is slowing it down, at least by today's standards. If performance is not what you are worried about, opt for a Chromebook.


  3. Why should I care about the Apple Watch? With Chrome OS, I'm not convinced that I need a newer iPhone.


    [caption id="" align="alignright" width="175"] Withings Activité[/caption]

    Wearable technology is the hot item right now, but the starting price for the Apple watch is just too high. With Fitbit, Pebble and Withings, there are so many options out there. Apple is just establishing themselves as a premium brand. With starting prices at $349-$10,000, they really are expensive. My love for iOS is fading, so why would I commit to Apple that way by investing so much in a wearable?


  4. Is the premium price worth it any more?


    Apple is a premium brand. My MacBook and iPods and other Apple products have all served me well, but there is so much competition out there. If you really look at the specifications on the newest iPhones, they still only have 1 GB of RAM and there are plenty of Android devices out there with 2 GB or more and better battery life. My iPhone 5s's battery doesn't always make it to the end of the day without giving it a mid-day energy boost.


  5. Yes, Apple TV lowered the price to $69, but why couldn't they have lowered the price and upgraded the hardware?


    Apple has not upgraded the Apple TV in 2 years. Amazon and Roku are fierce competitors. I do not own an Apple TV, but would have bought one for AirPlay capabilities. I have a Roku 3 and a Chromecast in my living room since I am a cordcutter (I don't pay for cable TV). As a cordcutter, it is cool to hear of any cable channels offering their services without the need for an expensive cable subscription. Since I have never paid for cable, HBO Now isn't really a big deal to me, but it is a step in the right direction. $14.99 a month is just $5 less than it costs to have access to Sling TV. Side note: You can get 50% off a Roku 3 if you sign up for Sling TV. I opted for the Roku 3 because it has a headphone jack on the remote control to listen without disturbing others in the same room.


 

This is all a lot to digest, I know. I cannot recommend Chrome OS enough. I love Mac's OSX and how I have been able to upgrade to the latest and greatest operating system at little-to-no cost. You really do get your money's worth with a Mac, but the average user does not need an expensive laptop if the main object of the laptop is portability and an extended battery life. I wrote this on Chelsea's Acer C720 Chromebook.  I am not fond of the 11.6" screen, but she loves it! One Chromebook reviewer on Amazon said it best:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="184"] Acer C720 Chromebook[/caption]
...this is a device for those who want to simplify their computing/internet needs. Many do not think this is an actual plus but coming from a MacBook Pro 13" to the C720 is so refreshing. My main reason behind getting the C720 is the fact that I started to realize what I was actually doing with my MacBook Pro. I was essentially just surfing the internet and maybe watching few youtube videos. Which is a lot like having a ferrari in a big crowded city when really the main thing you need is a smaller car that can handle the streets."

Examine your computer habits. Do you really need the Ferrari of Computers or will the Honda Civic do just fine? We are in a very mobile world. Most people don't need an expensive laptop when a cheaper Chromebook will do. We have gotten two refurbished Acer Chrome OS devices for 129.99. The only drawback to buying refurbished Chrome devices is not receiving the "Google Goodies." Many new Chrome OS devices come with 100 GB of Google Drive space for 2 years and other special offers.

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