So I am someone who dapples with programs like Photoshop, After Effects and editing software like Avid. As a somewhat intermediate in photography I like my to utilize my system where necessary in order to output the best quality images and video sequences.

This has naturally shifted my attention to MAC, however, my dissatisfaction with what is out there has blown my mind.




Stay with me on this.

So, after going to the Apple store and talking with one of the 'Geniuses' on the floor, it really made me concerned in many respects. For example, how does the Company justify a price tag of R 18k for what, at a spec level, is a laptop with the parts of a R 4 - 5 thousand rand Windows machine? In some cases, the options in the store were worse.

I honestly could not bring myself to spend that amount on something with a 1.2ghz processor, 4 gigs of 1666+-Mhz RAM and a tiny 500 gig hard drive. Also, for a hefty price tag of R 21k, I could get the same device...just with a 256g SSD...no other drive. (Both were also 13inch in screen size)

I mean really, how can you justify this sort of price tag? So I looked for the answer elsewhere and here are some of the reasons why you should buy a MAC (Laptop):

The OS - Well, where I agree the interface and file system is great and the way it runs is smooth, it naturally takes some time to learn, as with all things. For this reason I do not have too many negatives, other than the way in which their updates are rolled out. If you have ever used programs like Pro Tools & and other software, you know what a nightmare it can be updating your system to the new and improved...well...whatever it is they actually update, and your work programs no longer work. I also recognize that it is up to the software dev to make sure their programmes run/work with updates, but it is a strangely annoying and drawn out process.

OS Specific Software - Well, yes, a ton of programs have been designed for a MAC- but nothing that doesn't have multiple Windows equivalents, even though they may not be as powerful. In the rare cases, where a really quality program does not feature on a Windows device, I really don't seem to mind.

No Viruses - We all know that is nonsense. All systems can be affected in some way or another with malicious software, but if I was going out of my way to infect systems with programs aimed at exploiting security and private information, I would aim it at the majority of systems used worldwide, which is firmly Windows based in most places. Also, if this was the case, explain the rise in MACOSX security features and software?

MAC is faster - With the rise in SSD's today, I really feel that is not entirely the case anymore. Some programs benefit from the hardware is certain ways, but again I cannot outwardly say that having the Apple logo on the back of my screen is going to help the system run any quicker these days.

MAC is for designers only - Well, that was the idea from uncle Steve back in the day. He wanted to create a platform where designers could push their craft in a digital space, especially animation. And I have to say that he achieved this goal and the technology landscape is better for it, but I have to argue that the competition has caught up in many ways, perhaps are even surpassing in some areas.

It has Thunderbolt - Sure, pretty cool for guys who need to transfer data quickly locally. Won't dispute the functionality of this, however, this is usually one tiny port on the side- one. I will also note the amount of extensions and accessories for this is pretty great, although in many areas- Apple has their grasp firmly on the distribution and pricing of these items, which do not always come cheap.

People use MAC for gaming more than Windows - That is an actual quote from a guy in one of the shops. Now, I am not saying you cannot use a MAC for gaming, I just feel that it's blatantly untrue to say a the majority of gamers are using a MAC based system. In all my years I have maybe come across two people who actually use their MAC for gaming, mostly titles like L4D and...well that is all I saw. The online hub does agree that, 'there is no reason why a MAC cannot be great for gaming, it is just pricey'. Could not agree more.

Great Device to Device communication - Have to give MAC this one- communication between devices like a MAC laptop, phone and iPad is fantastic. This is where the MAC Apps and functionality really show promise, does require some trial and error with the setup if you have different accounts for apps across platforms. What makes me mad about this is how many of the SYNC options between users and accounts is limited. Anyone who has ever been required to select 'Trust This PC' and then get told they have used up all their authorisations for their account will know what I mean.

Better Rendering - Yes and no. I was recently with someone who bought a MAC laptop for their media rendering. It was on special for 16.5k, 13", 500 gigs of space, 4 gigs of 1666MHZ RAM and Snow leopard OSX with an i5 that according to the spec was pumping out about 2.1ghz or so. So in essence, it met the minimum requirements for their program. This is the kicker, the program being used (Pro Tools 9 +10) repeatedly flagged the need for more RAM. The same program has been used on a Similar specced Laptop, no banner ever popped up. So with the rendering, it honestly is affected by what is inside the machine at the time- also, popping open the back to put more RAM in can be a process and costly if it is not done properly.

The casing helps with heat distribution - Yeah, I guess. Not really out to buy a fancy piece of metal, more of a piece of technology thanks.

It's Desinger - Another marketing point from the guys at the store. Where I really find the design, touch, quality incredible, it does not justify the price at level of performance. If I wanted a designer item, I would get something for that purpose, not something that needs to look good on the outside, but be a poor performer on the inside which might cost you more looking forwards.

Looks Better (screen) - Retina is the subject of many fiery opinions in some circles. I personally find that, whilst it looks very easy on the eye and makes real life seem a bit bland, it tends to make your images unnatural. What I mean is, if you edit your photographs on retina for say a social media platform, it won't do justice on other screens, a majority of which are not Retina. Just my opinion of course.

So all in all, when I find myself comparing prices and specs and software and the warranties and upgrade potential, I honestly always skew towards a Windows based system.

My general guide for this? I take my budget, let's say R 20k, and I compare on paper, Spec, functionality, warranty, upgrade potential and lifespan. Right now, if you were to do the same, you could get a 17" with a 1050 GPU, 1TB of space, 8 gigs of RAM, w10 i7 over 3Ghz and this only one of many options out there. To match a MAC system currently floating around online stores like Takealot and the like, you could dumb the price down below 10k comfortably- again this is dependant on what you need it to do.

So in closing, I find myself wanting a MAC, more for its appeal rather than functionality. With the global tech sphere always on the move, I see no reason to go the Apple route and with this change it is possible that MACtops may also become a tad more realistic.

If you are serious about your Apple get yourself a MAC Tower, iMac or even a trash can and fork out over 30k, that is what you have to do, but you need to do it right first time or suffer the Apple curse of entrapment.