“I need an new reliable computer, what should I get?” The Ultimate Social Media Question

The other day, I was looking at a social media site and someone I know posted the question “I need to replace my older laptop. I want something cost effective and reliable. What should I get?” I cringed, because I knew what was coming. I tried to turn away, but I couldn’t help myself. I clicked on the comments link. Now, I don’t reply on social sites to questions like these. No good can come from that. However, I can’t help from reading the comments.

So what did I see in the comments? The usual, get a MacBook. Let me stop there for a minute. I’m not bashing MacBooks. They are great computers. I actually use one as my primary laptop (more on that in a minute.) Back to the comments, the problem I usually see is not that people say you should by a MacBook, its that the comments usually say if you buy a MacBook you will never have another computer problem, the Internet will work better because you have a Mac, you will never lose another document, it will never snow at your house again, and you will always have a smile on your face. Ok, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I’m talking about.

When I look through comments to posts like that I often see comments like these (paraphrasing):

  • “I hated my Windows laptop I bought on sale at a big box store for $349, but I love the ($1000+) MacBook I replaced it with.
  • “You can run Windows on it using Boot Camp or Parallels”
  • “Microsoft Office works on MacBooks and there is really no difference”

The Office comment is 100% not true, at least not yet. Every student and teacher in Fayette County Public Schools can download Office for free to their devices. Windows users can download Office 2013 and Mac users (using OS X) can download Window 2011. 2011 Is the latest version for OS X and it IS NOT THE SAME as Office 2013. Microsoft may release a new version for OS X this year. Maybe then they will have the same features, but as for now, they don’t.

The reason I use a MacBook is because I need to to learn and use some OS X software. I do run Parallels on it for a a few programs I need that don’t run on OS X. I also use Parallels so I can run Office 2013. This works well for me as my work laptop, however, this setup is not something I would suggest to the normal people in my family (that’s everyone but me). By the way, I do have the occasional issue with both Windows and OS X. I will now begin looking for the lightning strike.


So if you want a MacBook, by all means get a MacBook. Nothing wrong with that. I just question whether the average user who wants to check email, browse the Internet, and type some documents needs to fork out that kind of money. In fact, some could make the argument that a tablet would be better for this type of use. It all depends on YOUR preference.

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