Macbook Pro: why this general consumer went the Apple route

After years of catching heat from colleagues, friends and sources in the technology world for tapping on my Dell laptop, I jumped in and bought a Macbook Pro, after reading, seeking advice and asking a lot of questions. Suddenly, the passing of Steve Jobs had a more timely, personal meaning.

Like most, I grew up a Windows user. I was comfortable with it. I liked it, even. So, when I bought laptops — three since 2004 — I stuck with what I knew: Dell, following their college media blitz from that time (remember that timely ad campaign, video below or here).

That ended up changing, and I have some thoughts on why.

So I’m the exact customer the Windows-based computer companies should be chasing. Despite my reporting for a tech new site, I don’t chase elite brands and I don’t use software preferred on a given operating system. I’m a general consumer who will be buying electronics for the rest of my life. But, I’ve given up. I’m moving to an Apple world — slowly and, admittedly, with trepidation as I wish there were greater competition to create well-functioning technologies.

Here’s why:

  • Two out of three is pretty bad — Out of the three laptops I’ve owned, the last two had serious overheating problems developing just beyond their one-year warrantees. Doing anything about it proved aggravating and with two bad laptop experiences within a year — after a great experience with a Dell laptop that lasted me for almost five years, beyond my entire college career — I decided that was too much of a streak to endure.
  • Pay more, last longer — I gave up on the cheaper Microsoft-driven products. In addition to those laptops, I was suckered into getting a Zune, almost entirely because I wanted to fight the urge to buy an iPod like everyone else. The software was frustrating, the playback was OK, but most frustratingly, just weeks after the warranty elapsed, I couldn’t get any help. It was frustrating, and then I mostly decided that it was better to pay more to get something that would last.
  • Adulthood — A troubling brand reality sunk in. Suddenly, as a general user, Apple seemed like the adult choice for a laptop, moving beyond the college-focused Dell, for example. What’s more I have a bit more expendable income, so getting a product that I felt more confident in was worth a higher price tag.
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