There’s a lot to love about Apple’s computers.
Primarily, macOS is the main draw. It’s a sleek, clean, and simple-yet-complex operating system that gets a lot right compared with the more complicated Windows 10.
But while they exude a sense of perfection, Apple’s computers aren’t always the best choice. There are several questionable aspects of MacBook laptops and Mac desktops. At least for me, Apple’s computers are actually shifting the spotlight toward Windows computers because of those often frustrating facets.
Here’s everything that’s wrong with Apple’s computers:
They cost a lot more than Windows computers.
Apple computers are generally more expensive than their Windows counterparts, even those that come with the same specs.
Take the $US1,500 Huawei Matebook X Pro with a Core i7, 16 GB of RAM, and a 14-inch display that’s sharper than those on MacBook Pros. To go the Apple route, you’d need to spend $US1,000 more for a 13-inch MacBook Pro with the same specs.
Many refer to this unofficially as the “Apple tax.”
Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pros don’t come with dedicated graphics chips.
None of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pros comes with a dedicated graphics chip, which would be great for professionals who want a compact 13-inch laptop that could handle visual-hungry tasks that benefit from a chip devoted entirely to graphics.
If a professional – or anyone – wants an Apple laptop with a dedicated graphics chip, they’d have to compromise and get a 15-inch model.
All of Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pros come with dedicated graphics chips, even if you don’t want them. And you pay for them.
All 15-inch MacBook Pros come with a dedicated graphics chip, which not everyone needs but everyone pays for regardless. And graphics chips tend to be expensive. There’s no option to buy a 15-inch MacBook Pro without a dedicated graphics chip.
As a compromise, you’d have to get a 13-inch MacBook Pro to avoid paying for a dedicated graphics chip that you don’t need or want to pay for.
Apple’s MacBook Pros don’t have the most popular ports to connect your devices — not even the iPhone.
There’s no doubt about it: The USB-C ports on MacBook Pros are better than regular USB in almost every sense.
The issue is that Apple’s recent MacBook Pro comes with only USB-C ports. There have been several occasions where I wished I had a regular USB port and an SD card slot. I needed to buy a USB-C adaptor so I could use my existing devices with regular USB. I’m not about to buy a whole new range of devices just to make the switch to USB-C.
It’s insane to me that I need to pay for an accessory to make normal, current, everyday accessories work with a recent laptop when my older model had all the ports I needed. It would be more understandable if everything was moving to USB-C, but that’s not the case.
Even the iPhone comes with a regular USB cable, which you can’t plug into a newer Mac without an adaptor for, say, charging. Just… mind-blowing.
Apple’s most powerful MacBook Pros don’t reach their full potential, even after Apple fixed the overheating issue.
There was some massive controversy when Apple’s 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro couldn’t cool the powerful Intel Core i9 processor well enough to stop it from throttling its performance to prevent heat-related damage.
It turned out to be a software bug that caused the thermal throttling, and Apple could address the issue with a software update.
It appears that Apple’s update helped a lot – but it also appears that the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s design still can’t cool the Core i9 processor well enough so it can reach its maximum potential. The Core i9 has can boost itself up to 4.80 GHz, but it maintained speeds between 3.1 and 3.5 GHz, testing by Apple Insider found.
To sum it all up, the Core i9 processor in the 2018 MacBook Pro doesn’t reach its top speeds, despite the update. The 15-inch MacBook Pro would need to have a beefier design with better cooling to support the Core i9’s power and heat.
Correction: A previous version of this post included pre-update benchmark results. The post has been updated to reflect post-update results.
Not everyone likes Apple’s “butterfly” keyboards.
Apple’s “butterfly” keyboards have recently come under fire from people who say they’re unreliable. And even when they work fine, a lot of people don’t like the way they feel. They have very short “travel” – the distance a key travels when you press it – that some say becomes uncomfortable after long typing sessions.
Many complained about the loud sound from butterfly keyboards on the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro. Apple took steps to make the butterfly keyboard on the 2018 MacBook Pro a little quieter and potentially more reliable. But that doesn’t fix the impression that it feels like typing on a solid surface.
The desktop options come with things you might not need or want, but you pay for them anyway.
If you want an Apple desktop, your only real options are the iMac and the iMac Pro. The thing about iMac computers is that they’re “all in one” computers, meaning they’re essentially a screen with a computer hiding inside.
The iMac and iMac Pro come with glorious 5K displays, and those displays have some pretty meaty specs that make them suitable for professionals. But what if you don’t need a 5K professional-grade display and you don’t really want to pay for it? Because you’re certainly paying for it when you buy an iMac, Pro or not.
There’s the Mac Pro, but I’d absolutely dissuade anyone thinking of buying it from doing so. It’s running on specs from 2013 and still costs $US3,000, which is not an acceptable price tag for such an old computer.
There’s also the Mac Mini, but no one should buy that either. They’re 8-year-old computers, and you can get much better desktops for the same price.
Some of Apple’s computers run on older specs but cost the same or more as Windows computers with the latest specs.
Apple still sells the Mac Mini – an 8-year-old computer – for at least the same price as up-to-date Windows 10 computers.
Apple also hasn’t updated the Mac Pro in nine years, and the cheapest model that Apple sells is $US3,000. That model used to cost $US4,000 when it was first released, but $US3,000 is still a bad bargain for a 9-year-old computer.
The MacBook runs on Intel’s 1-year-old seventh-generation processor from 2017, which is actually fine, but Apple hasn’t reduced its price.
The MacBook Air runs on Intel’s fifth-generation of processors from 2015, despite the “2017” spec update. The cheapest MacBook Air costs $US1,000, which is a poor deal compared with Windows laptops with better screens and more recent specs.
Apple computers just aren’t great for video games.
You can buy an Apple computer, desktop, or laptop with almost everything you need for playing video games. But there are two main things that stop Macs from becoming a realistic option to play video games:
- The graphics chips that Apple gives its computers aren’t powerful enough for many gamers.
- A lot of games aren’t available on Macs.
You can connect an external graphics card with a device called an eGPU, but those are expensive, and Windows laptops with good graphics chips built in are much better deals.
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