Is the Mac the ultimate computer?

Okay so before I get in trouble, let me clarify the exceptions: most Macs aren’t controlling data centres, they are unlikely to be mobile workstations like PC laptops can be on the high end, they also aren’t ideal for gaming in any beyond-moderate sense of the word… BUT I believe this point still stands. And I’ll tell you where the notion came from… my time as an iOS only user, experiences back on Windows, trying Android phones and the Google ecosystem etc…

The Mac is the only computer that can run MacOS, Linux, Windows and emulate Android. It works fully with Apple’s ecosystem, as well as Google’s and Microsoft’s. Therefore, it can run virtually all software, it can be used for all services, e.g. iMessage, FaceTime, WhatsApp - things on this level, it’s hard to find something it can’t be compatible with.

I’ve debated going back to Windows for the more affordable and flexible hardware choices and better ‘value’, but then it’s hard to find a machine with quite the same rigidity and sturdiness, 500 nits of brightness, display with such rich colour and sharpness, long battery life and a flawless trackpad. Okay, so it falls down with the keyboards as of recent times, though that’s on the mend with the latest models.

Picture the average user: non technical, or the power user: technical and programmers, maybe designs websites. Then the professional user: editing photos or music or footage. Is there any other choice that’s quite as strong, complete and compatible than the Mac?


Well, technically any x86 computer can run MacOS, Linux, Windows, and emulate Android. Any restrictions on MacOS running on (for example) a plain old Dell computer are artificially created / enforced by Apple - as demonstrated by the hackintosh community.

And the “runs MacOS” seems to be the basis for the rest of your software comparisons.

I agree that Apple’s hardware seems better overall, in that they don’t use low-grade hardware to try to crank out a cheap product. If you have a Mac sitting in front of you, you’re at a certain level of hardware quality by default. But if you throw a comparable amount of money at a PC, I think you’ll wind up with comparable or better hardware.

The real strength of Apple, to me, is the tight integration between hardware and software.

And as a random side note, I find the developers of software for the Mac seem to care more.

But if I wasn’t going to run MacOS, I almost certainly wouldn’t pay Mac prices for hardware. And for somebody who doesn’t need to run MacOS, the experience may be better with a Mac - but it’s sometimes hard to argue that somebody should spend $1000 for a laptop when they can get an iPad (as Wolfie mentioned) for a few hundred dollars, or (frequently) a basic Windows laptop on sale for less than $200.

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Not fully. I need Windows to “fully” run Excel. And no VMs don’t count.

F%&§%&/§ing CUDA

Then why on earth Apple only gives 1 year of full support (“warranty”)? Personally, I stick to Apple. Corporate, HP. They are giving us 3 years on-site service for laptops WITH NO ADDED COST!!! TCO is way lower.

Apple rose from the clutches of death based in the very extensibility that you speak of. The move to a POSIX compliant OS, BootCamp and other options made spending the premium tenable.

Then the iPhone came and everything changed for Apple.

I think Apple got a bit lost up in the clouds and then reality set in. For a minute there they were too focused on an iPhone/iPad and a few years ago seem to have come to a crossroads. They did a small Re-Org of executive duties and refocused on the Mac and OS X more.

Apple’s ability to deliver the next thing is buttressed up to it’s movement to ARM based processing and with a presumed Architectural License Apple has the ability to deliver custom solutions in a way that they never had before even in the PPC days.

I suspect that in 5 years we’ll experience something like

  1. HandOff for Personas - Where I literally walk over to an iPad that my wife was just using. It recognizes me and almost instantly configures itself to the last state that I was in when i left. I place the iPad down and sit down in front of the family UltraWide iMac and it does the same thing.

  2. Apple Routers return - These will be like Plum devices that plug into walls and provide UWB location, Wifi mesh, motion sensors and more. You’ll be able to open an app and via AR show you tracked items, family members, pets and more are.

The Mac isn’t the ultimate computer but it was able to sustain the company so that it could create the ultimate computing experience.


I agree with @Wolfie. If I had to name a “Ultimate Computer” I’d have to pick the tablet, which today is called iPad.

We began transitioning our company from Windows to Mac in 2009. Within a couple of years many of our users were iPhone owners and several were replacing their old PCs at home with Macs. But before I retired in 2018, I was seeing executives starting to leave their MacBooks at work or replacing them with iMacs. Like several others I knew, they were preferring iPads and iPhones for home and travel.

The availability of virtually unlimited computing power and storage in the cloud is reducing the requirements of the tools we need to accomplish our tasks.

Years ago I decided, my Mac is macOS only. Not interested in running VMs and maintaining several OSes (I still remember that Windows VM I had just to sync my sports watch…). For private usage, Excel on macOS is good enough and “full” Excel runs on my corporate Windows laptop.

Can’t confirm that. We have ~1300 HP laptops, ~500 HP PCs, ~30 19" HP servers. Broken ones are very rare and I’d contract HP again. As for a corporate network: Windows (running in/as a domain) has huge advantages over macOS.

I had a mid 2014 MacBook Pro 15 inch, best machine I ever had without any kind of doubt. I have the 16 inch now and it is shaping up to be even better. If it lasts, touch wood, it will make that grade. That is if there are no screen peeling or keyboard issues. I am not expecting keyboard issues and I love the touch of this one and the screen peel I got with my 15 inch was repaired free of charge under a program.

It worked fine for nearly 6 years and one new battery. I pounded it too. Last non Apple device I had was a Dell that developed an annoying broken pixel that looked like a ‘period’ in the middle of my screen after a week. The response from the seller and company… tough luck. I was away at that time for a week or so at once, I remember the hour and more that I spent every time I powered up again with updates. Also within a week I got a deep virus from a thumbdrive somebody had used in a library. I know all ‘luck’ but not really in my view. I take @Wolfie 's points, he is right but overall and with those caveats I would say Macs are way better and put it this way: If your software or web or company allows you to use a Mac, do so.

Never again. My wife uses Windows and other devices so I keep an eye on them: some or ok but never comparable to Macs.



(Discourse: my whole answer is “Yes.”, leave me alone.)


I’m sorry, but I’ve got a 2011 macbook still going strong, a 2011 mac Mini running most of my business needs, a 2013 iMac and a 2015 macbook Pro.

Focussing on the machines that can run more or
less the latest OS: where in the Windowsverse can you find that hardware/software combination? Where can a 7 year old machine get the latest updates and not grind to a screeching halt? Where in the Windowsverse can a 5 year old laptop deliver at least half a working day of pure computing power without charge?

I’ve run windows systems for a looooong time before I switched, and I’ve never ever looked back. (And I don’t want to :-))

Not because I’m an Apple fanboy or anything similar, but just because I get incredible value for money out of the hardware and software I purchase.


Why would they even be anywhere near a Windows machine???

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I like my Apple products – iPhone / iPad / Watch / MBP – but I would never think of them as the ultimate anything. They do what I want and I like how they do it.

Sort of like wondering if peaches are the ultimate fruit.

Same here (except for the watch, I dumped it). Right now, a MBP+macOS is the best tool for my stuff. But it’s not “ultimate”.

Its a tool that should suit your needs.

If you just browse the web and have some basic needs for word processing and spreadsheets. Get a Raspberry Pi 4. Buy the kit for less then $100 use any old keyboard & mouse. And hook up any display with HDMI and you are in business :slight_smile:


I’m not Lars, but as somebody with a Mac Mini that I do some VM work on I can say that having to fire up a Windows VM in Fusion that’s going to suck away 3 gigabytes of my memory just to work in Excel is….startlingly non-optimal? :smiley:

And more than that 3 GB of RAM if you want that VM to run well.

Same experience with a 2012 Mini. I replaced the internal HDD with a huge SSD a ways back, and it’s now my “server”. I bought a high-spec 2018 Mini to replace it for my daily work.

I have unpleasant memories of replacing inexpensive Windows machines every few years. I mean, they’re cheap enough that you can totally do that and potentially even be money ahead - but it’s a hassle.

And I know that there’s good Windows hardware out there. It’s just expensive enough that it’s not what most people buy. :slight_smile:

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Out of curiosity, what does that say about Apple’s default 90-day warranty? :smiley:

Apple provides a one year warranty. The 90 days is for telephone support, after which, telephone support would be on a pay-per-use basis.


Which is IMHO the worst, considering they pride themselves on being “best” and the products are expensive. That’s why I don’t get the excitement of being able to “get Apple Care”.
I already outlined HP. I just looked up the warranty of my Canon printer: two years of full on-site warranty. You call them, they come to you and either fix or replace it. Not “going to a Canon Store” and dealing with a “Canon genius”. After that, I can extend it.
I never understood why Apple has such short warranties…

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For a $199 consumer printer?

Ah, that’s right. My bad. I stand corrected. :slight_smile: