Why A PC Diehard Bought A (Used) MacBook Pro (Op Ed)

We live in a world where there is a rift that lies between computer users. In this world, there are generally only two options when it comes to the computer you plan to use -- PC or Mac. Through the years it has been an endless battle between those power hungry enough to build their own PC and those who wanted the simplicity and elegance of a Mac. 

Through all of this turmoil and chaos in the computer world arose those who believed that PCs and Macs each had their benefits and elected to use both. Is this complete sacrilege? Or is the great debate finally coming to a close?

It wasn't until very recently that the thought of possibly owning a MacBook entered my mind. I was undoubtedly a PC guy through and through.  How could someone possibly choose something so simple and linear when it was possible to build your very own battle station that could blast any Mac back down to its original form as a fruit?

I built my gaming PC for just that reason -- gaming. My 6-core AMD FX-6300 and Nvidia GTX 660 GPU came roaring to life when I pushed that power button. I could run all the games I wanted with no problem, and I had all the functions of a normal PC at my disposal. Knowing that even this spectacular PC wasn't even close to the top of line made me even more secure in my PC master race ways.

However, there came a time when I found myself away from my desktop PC for long periods of time. I needed a computer to go, so I opted to buy a tablet with all of its accessories to keep me going throughout my daily travels. A Microsoft Surface RT was my choice of mobile device, but I found it to be a poor excuse for a computer. Windows RT's struggles are well-documented, and as an end user, I can say that the criticisms were warranted.

I grew tired of the inconvenient updates and the inconsistencies of Microsoft products and the devices that come with them. The Surface RT, among many other Microsoft products, drove me to the decision to break my moral code and introduce a new type of computer to my arsenal.

I decided to break down and buy a MacBook Pro.

As soon as I went online to look for a MacBook Pro, I remembered one of the main reasons I hated Apple: Its prices are insane. The least expensive MacBook Pro was $1,200 with completely unimpressive specs. I could buy an Asus ROG G Series laptop with better specs for less than half the money. Undoubtedly, the thought to buy an impressive PC laptop crossed my mind more than once, but I didn't want power (and more potential issues); I wanted a sleek, durable MacBook Pro.

Knowing that Apple products are very well-manufactured and seem to last as long as you need them to, I elected to buy a used MacBook Pro.  The decision to do so over buying a new PC, even for a diehard like me, wasn't as difficult as you might think. I was entirely too fed up with Microsoft at the time to even consider looking at any more of its software.

After some searching, I was able to find a late 2011 Pro with an Intel Core i5 (2.4 GHz) for $600. After ensuring that the lithium–polymer battery didn't need to be replaced, as they usually do after 4-5 years, I purchased my first Apple product.

It's been about a month since I bought the MacBook Pro and honestly, I couldn't be happier with it. I needed a laptop that could handle everyday student needs and make my life easier, not more difficult. I can say that this laptop accomplishes both of those things. Its aluminum unibody enclosure makes this Pro feel almost indestructible. Even though it's 4 years old, it barely has a scratch on it. 

The battery life average is just under what Apple claims a new 2011 Pro should offer. The Core i5 can handle the 4-years-newer OS X Yosemite without any chug. I don't have much to say on the topic of the Intel HD Graphics 3000 because I'm not gaming or doing anything too graphically intensive on this. All in all, there is just something charming about this Unix-based OS. In fact, the complete aesthetics of this laptop are far superior to any other device I've owned.

After becoming a fan of the MacBook Pro, would I say that this computer is worth the $1,200-$2,500 new? Absolutely not. But there is just something special about this laptop that I almost can't explain. It is what it claims to be -- simple and elegant. And after dealing with computer complications for years, this is a nice change. Especially for $600.

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  • fyend
    When did Tom's start writing comedy?
  • dovah-chan
    Oh hush. I'd buy a mac if I had the money just to admire the build quality. I absolutely love spaces too. But the cost/stigma to it is just not worth it. I definitely wouldn't use OSX to say the least. Automatically would have installed Debian/Arch on it.

    Hoping everyone has watched this video
    Linus said:
    Some people just want the experience of driving in a jaguar, rather than just hot-rodding a neon just to go fast.

  • synphul
    I have to agree. Since we're sitting around the water cooler sharing things we've been happy with, a number of years ago I picked up a used dell inspiron laptop that had a nice screen and worked good too. What does this have to do with anything? It doesn't even fulfill the title by addressing why the author bought the macbook. On a whim? Because they didn't like windows? Proof that a macbook is more durable in any way? Confirmation of anything other than what we already knew, macbooks are overpriced? It's not bashing on apple or on the author really, but seriously. If going through the trouble to share something at least put some meat in the story. This sort of went nowhere like someone got bored and started sharing photos of their kids in the breakroom. Begs to be responded to with 'cool story bro'.
  • ammaross
    The author tried to use Surface RT as an operating system.... Granted, he's 100% correct about his laptop being a good workhorse homework machine, but that also tells me he's a Lit/Writing student and not one that needs something more akin to Mathcad or business tools from the likes of SAGE for school.
  • NightLight
    to the man who wrote this arcticle: you're fired.
  • er0shima
    Simplicity and MAC on the same sentence?? I never thought I'd see that day...
  • Lavidicus
    I completely agree with the author, I too am sick to death of Windows 8 and forced inclusion on any new laptop purchased today. As a cheaper alternative to the author's suggestion, I've recently put VMWARE workstation on my Windows 8 laptop, and started running Mac OS virtually on my Sony laptop. Almost for the same reasons, I have decided my next laptop will be a Mac, but I cant justify the cost of purchasing such an expensive laptop. Great article, Thank you for sharing!
  • dovah-chan
    Incoming wave of people who are going to call me a <removed> for admiring great craftsmanship and beautiful design despite getting parts in the mail ready for another build to place elsewhere in the house (http://puu.sh/fz45L/7114e150c4.jpg THIS BOX IS SO CUTE OMG)

    Watch the homophobic slurs. - G
  • Morbus
    - I wanted a MacBook Pro, and now I love it, but I have no idea why.
  • burkhartmj
    My problem with this article is that it hinges on bad experiences with a bottom of the barrel device, even by MS's standards. This article would have been easier to run with if the experience was with a legitimate Windows 8 device, at least a Surface Pro 1 . Course I've also appreciated Windows 8 from day one, and absolutely love 8.1.

    I think you meant to compare the entirety of your extensive experience with MS products to your MBP, but it came off more as "Surface RT vs MBP," which is an utterly laughable comparison. You also failed to clarify what you even do and why it's better on a MBP. Considering the purchase of a Surface RT in the first place posits the answer as 'not a whole lot," that would then beg the question of why you didn't get a used Macbook Air for cheaper. They are after all the darlings of Apple for people who need to type a lot and not much else. Also, the whole thing about it feeling "somehow special" really only serves to invalidate your entire piece, because it sounds like all of the pretentious nonsense that got people to start hating Apple fanboys in the first place. There's nothing special about your laptop other than that it's new to you.

    I don't really care what you prefer, but if you're going to do a very obvious flamebait op ed, at least try to fill in the experience and provide a clearer perspective. Right now it just looks like you needed an excuse to get an Apple device that is likely way more powerful than what you need so you blamed something more akin to an iPad with a keyboard, then wanted some validation in your purchase.