Monday, April 30, 2007

Dear Bargainista - #10

Dear Bargainista,
My lovely wife is thinking of getting an Apple computer. Is this a wise move? Please advise and we will do whatever you say.

Regards, M.S.

Dear M.S.,
Here’s my two cents...
Home computers are a matter of personal preference.

For the last seven years, I have used both Macs and PCs at work. As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve always owned an Apple computer. I used DOS briefly in 1989 and didn’t touch a PC again until 1999 when I changed jobs and learned to use Microsoft Windows. Today, I use both PCs and Macs at work.

I prefer Macs for multi-media applications. To be honest, I’m not sure of the configurations on my PC but boy that sucker is fast. Like my home computer, at work I use an iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. In my experience, Apple computers are easy to use, easy to set up and intuitive. There’s no shortage of user information available on the Internet.

But don’t take my word for it...

Read Jay Moonah’s insighful post, The Cult of Apple - why I’m NOT buying a Mac”. PC and Mac owners also had a lot to say in the comment section.

Here’s what another Bargainista reader from Calgary had to say:
“Ah, the iMac Core 2 Duo.

I think Apple has had major manufacturing issues with this model.
They’ve been very, very silent about them, but I know the problems exist.

1. New iMac fails after one week of use. Spontaneously shuts down, turns
on only sporadically, then not at all.

2. Send new iMac (on Applecare, no less!) in for repair.

3. iMac languishes in repair shop for six (count ’em!) weeks while they
wait for a replacement “logic board” (which i take to mean “motherboard”
-- “logic board” is just a fancy, obfuscatory term). Turns out Apple has
a massive backlog of orders for replacement boards. Hmn... I wonder why?

4. I finally get the Mac back -- and something else is broken -- the
ventilator fan is toast; also, the unit was improperly reassembled, so
the DVD drive doesn’t eject discs properly (they get jammed and don't
come out while the eject motor chugs away)

5. I spend an afternoon on the phone with Apple in Austin. After
considerable back and forth (I manage to remain generally polite), I
finally convince them that it is time to replace the whole blooming thing.

6. Defective iMac shipped back, new iMac arrives... only it’s not new.
It's refurbished. It came out of the same facility I sent my toast iMac

Oh man. It leaves much to be desired. Lofty promises from Apple, but
lousy execution. This experience made PCs look good. I will reserve
judgment on the refurbished unit, but I don't know how I'm going to
explain that to my customer...”
Bottom line: Do your research!
Talk to your friends, family and co-workers - see what they have to say.
Read as much as you can. There are lots of reviews on the Internet.
Write a list of everything you want in a computer and buy the one that fulfills your needs
Check out the technical support service, warranties and any additional costs.

FYI, Apple recently introduced a free consulting service to help customers with their purchasing decisions. (I know, I asked how it differs from speaking with any sales associate. I’m not sure I fully understand but apparently, it is.)

And if you (or your wife) decide to make the switch, consider spending the extra $100 and splurge for Procare. You’ll get assistance migrating your files from your existing computer and up to one lesson a week on anything Apple along with some other services.

Last but not least, whatever you do, let us know what you bought. E-mail me or leave a comment.

Dear Bargainista would love to hear from you too! Want to weigh in on this issue? Have a question about shopping, fashion or food? E-mail us.

Technorati tags: Apple, computers, customer service, electronics, iMac, Intel, Microsoft, Windows

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:44 pm

    Apple are great machines. Just don't buy anything from them that is a 1st generation product.


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