Are you on the lookout for a hot piece to play with on your lap, or as you laze in bed' A lesser loaded question: looking for a new laptop'
You’ve heard of the Mac, but don’t really know much about it, right' Or want to stay out of those “compatibility problems”'
The Mac has a cult following that swears by it, and fiercely fights the vast ‘Win-doze’ majority. Over the years, the Apple product has increased its clientele greatly. However, Microsoft is no electronic rabbit and has launched a new operating system called Vista, though people say it merely highlights how good the Tiger — the Mac operating system (or OS) –– is.
A bulk of you will have a Windows-based PC manufactured by Dell, Toshiba, Compaq or Sony from your company as a corporate, electronic dog collar. For those of you who can decide for yourself, here is a shameless, though altruistic, pitch for the Mac. So, pray, why the Mac'
No crashes: The Unix-based OS in the Mac is rock-steady; it just keeps working on and on.
No viruses: Too good to believe, unless you try it. Windows folks deal with 1,14,000 of these bugs!
Aesthetics: So stylish that every movie (Swades, for one) that must show a notebook shows one with the classic bitten apple.
Awesome multimedia experience: As a surgeon, in those days when I was using a PC, I couldn’t ever edit any surgical video. I spent thousands of rupees, also ruining Sundays, before I could make it fit for a presentation. One needs to be up there near Bill Gates to do the job, or so I thought. Till I bought a Mac. I turned into a veritable multimedia guru, with the intuitive editing and DVD making system in iMovie, the Mac program for this purpose. This is one of the programs constituting the iLife suite of applications that make for the Mac’s definitive multimedia experience.
iLife consists of apps like iDVD, iTunes, iPhoto, iWeb, etc., that seamlessly integrate to allow you to do things that much easily. Also, you’d never seem to need to install or configure any driver. For example, plug in your Cybershot or your Casio digital camera or what have you, and iPhoto will take up your pics at once.
With a high-res screen, an in-built iSight web camera and a user-friendly interface, the Mac is an easy, one-click stuff for those keen on video-chatting or making their own websites, blogs, etc.
Okay, so what exactly do folks at Windows do better' The answer is: belong to the majority, the herd, and suffer in common with the virus-ridden world. Besides, the price of a Windows-based notebook may be cheaper than a MacBook.
The Mac OS, the Tiger, will have a newer version this month — the Leopard. Vista, popularly called a Tiger “me-too” product, will look more aged with this launch.
As a zero-maintenance, no-hang-ups system, the Mac is a sure winner. The only hitch is that it is slightly heavy on the pocket. However, a good high-end PC laptop too costs up to Rs 2 lakh.
And the compatibility issues are no longer relevant, with a wide variety of open source software that allows you to use PC applications. I think the most common Windows application that is universally used is the MS Office. Well, the Mac can do MS Office. Word doc, Excel file, PowerPoint presentation (though if you try Keynote, you will puke at the thought of PowerPoint), the Mac does it all.
The MacBook comes in two basic forms. The newer one is called the MacBook Pro, which is the higher end version. The older one is the MacBook. The basic model (Intel Core 2 Duo processor with more than 2 GHz processor speed, a 200GB memory, and up to 2 GB RAM), costs Rs 60,000-80,000, while the MacBook Pro, loaded even heavier, costs between Rs 1,18,000 and Rs 1,63,000. Of course, you get all the bells and whistles, including Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity, Bluetooth, etc., allowing you to join open wireless networks in coffee shops, hotels and airports without any hassles. The MagSafe power cord adapter is a typically cool-drool Apple brainwave: the power cord connects to the laptop magnetically, and gets pulled off automatically if you trip over it by chance, saving your machine from crashing down. With a standard 8x double-layer burning Super-Drive, it burns DVDs faster than previous models. As they say, the bang-to-buck ratio is higher in a Mac.
All said and done, don’t jump the gun, because new Mac notebooks are expected to be launched soon. For all you know, these may come armed with things such as touch screens and other irresistible stuff other corps can only dream about.