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Considerations before buying a new pc notebook computer.

Interpreting a Customer Complaint.   Read customer complaints carefully for exaggerated or bogus claims.

You can't trust Reviews from PC World and MacWorld.  Disclaimer:  PCNS reports review findings from PC World Magazine.  PC World's Editor-in-Chief Harry McCracken resigned Tuesday because the magazine's publisher pressured him to 'avoid stories that were critical of major advertisors.'

PCNS Service Experience: The problems with syncing Macbook/Entourage and a Blackberry 8830.

should I buy a macbook notebook?


Apple Macbook PCNS is seeing a small but steady number of users switching to Apple's Macbooks.  Reasons why people switched varied.  Some people didn't like Windows Vista and wanted to try something different.   Many were frustrated by the constant barrage of attacks (Virus, worms, malware, and spyware) which constantly besieges the Windows platform.  Still others were attracted to the simplicity of the Mac OS X Operating System.  In any event, if you decide to take the plunge to a new Macbook, here are some facts:

1.  In general you will get less bang for the buck when comparing similarly priced PC's and Apple MacBooks, however, in theory, a manufacturer (Apple) which makes both the hardware and the Operating System will result in a more stable running platform.  

2.  Visit a nearby Fry's Electronics and visit the software section.  At the Frys in Plano you will find 4 aisles of Windows software, versus 1 aisle of Mac Software.  Much software exists for both Windows and Mac's on the Internet.  Consider what you want to do with your computer, and compare the software titles available for Windows, versus the Mac.  (Be sure to read item #5)

3.  Buy as much Mac as you can afford - at least 2 gigs ram, Core 2 Duo processor, and the largest hard drive you can afford. PCNS recommends this because if you don't like Mac OS X you can activate Apple's Boot Camp and install a Windows Operating System alongside Mac OS X, so you can go back to your Windows platform.

4.  When considering the purchase always opt for Applecare.  This is an enhanced three year warranty.   Macbooks, like any laptops are not immune from problems and lemons.  Read about the unfortunate users who bought faulty Macs from MacBookRandomshutdowns.com.

Some 15" MacBook Pro displays are Grainy, from Appledefects.com.

Some 15" MacBook Pro displays are thousands, not millions of colors.   From ColorBlindMac.com.   Class action lawsuit underway.

Know the company you will be doing business with in the future.

Dell helps users with vertical line display problems on Dell Inspiron 9200, 9300, and XPS Laptops, by replacing display free of charge within 3 years of purchase.   Apple Powerbook customers with the same problem get left out in the cold.  

5.  Applications:  Often a deal or budget killer, many Windows users do not realize much of their PC software has to be replaced when buying a Mac.  Your Microsoft Office for the PC platform will not run on OS X (the Operating System of the Mac) and you will have to re-buy Mac versions - such as Office 2004 or Office 2008 for the Mac, Quickbooks for Mac, and Adobe software for the Mac.  

6.  While the majority of users I see with new Mac's do not run any antivirus software, PCNS believes this tranquility will be short lived.  As Macs rise in popularity, so will the malware and virus writers start targetting the Mac.

Malware infections via IChat

Crimeware comes to OS X

Windows users unaccustomed to OS X may be unfamiliar with distinguishing a JPG file disguised as executable code.

7.  Yes, if people are buying Mac's only to get away from the Microsoft Empire, Office 2008 for the Mac Platform is, ur, written by Microsoft.  

8.  Apple releases a new operating system every 18 to 30 months.  The new OS X Leopard has had an uncharacteristic rollout.  Characteristic, in some aspects, to a new Windows Operating system.  Some users fear that Apple is more concerned with the IPhone, and is thus paying less attention to their Core Operating System.

OS X Leopard Finder Data-Loss Bug

Wireless performance much less reliable after switching to battery power.

Slow Firefox DNS Mac OS X Leopard

Apple's Leopard still plagued by lengthy bug list


The PCNS take:

All complex software, like an Operating System, have bugs.  That includes software from Microsoft, Apple, and Open Source, such as Linux.  Until the software writers can issue fixes, you should always be prepared to make workarounds.  Sorry if this upsets some users.  Users who think their Computers should be as reliable (and long lived) as an appliance - say a Microwave oven, will never be happy.   A computer is a much more complicated device.  Think about it - A Microwave oven heats your Lunch, Dinner, pops your popcorn, and defrosts your Turkey.  That's about it!  A computer processes and stores your family photos, music, videos, your household budget, your work presentation.  It allows you to telecommute, stay in touch with your friends and family, pay bills with online banking, buy and sell stuff, even get you a date, if you so desire.  So something's going to break.  Need we say more?

Apple Macbook image courtesy of AppleInsider.com