You can’t deny that Apple produces beautiful products MacBook Pro and the even slimmer, lighter (and more expensive) MacBook Air will always have their fans. Although these ranges are several years old they still being updated and selling well. They have fallen out of the limelight a bit though with, the introduction of the iPhone 4 and the iPad ranges.
The whole market for very thin and portable laptops was the talk of the Tech news a couple of years ago. But today? Not so much from what I can see. Instead we’ve seeing a proliferation of devices not from Apple with their iPhone morphing into the iPad tablet, but also competing tablets such as Toshiba’s Galaxy.
Or maybe size really does matter to you – in which case there are plethora of 8″ screen netbooks costing a fraction of the Apple products – but with more power and including a full sized keyboard which even the fat-fingered can type on with ease (does anyone seriously type on a flat screen?).
Or maybe you just wanted to read – well Amazon’s Kindle will help you with that – but will also do basic web browsing.
One thing we can agree on – is that outside of the corporate world – the desktop is dead. Instead of having a desktop and a laptop, these days you are more likely to own a big laptop and a netbook or an Macbook and an iPad, or even an iPad and a Kindle.
If you are utterly confused – you are not alone. The geeks will buy the cool new gadgets because – well they are cool and new. However what is the average Joe consumer supposed to do?
Its not that hard. Consider three things: compatibility, functionality and price.
If you are a diehard Mac fan you are probably not going to move away from he Apple platform – if for no other reason that Apple’s proprietary software and formats will cause you issues on Windows and Android based devices. On the other hand you will find that mixing hardware that runs on Microsoft (netbooks and laptops) and Android (some phones and tablets) should work pretty seamlesly.
Functionality. If you spend all your day web surfing and writing reports then the world is your oyster. If however you use more specialist software double check that it works on your chosen hardware – software is the key – without it, however pretty the hardware, its nothing more than a paperweight.
Price. Smaller is generally more expensive in this part of the market – well traditionally for laptops – the Macbook Air was the most expensive laptop that Apple offered and competed with similarly priced offerings from Sony and Toshiba. iPads are cheaper – but if you are using them mainly to listen to music and read books – then the Kindle is a very cheap (probably hitting the $100 price point soon) alternative, as are a plethora of cheap netbooks. If price is your main driver Apple is never the option for you. That pretty bling does cost!
MacBook Air v. MacBook Pro, MacBook Air v. iPad 2, laptop v. netbook – whatever you decide to buy there is an awful lot of choice out there at the moment