Apple MacBook Pro: Are they worth it?

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The short answer is YES. I recommend getting it with iWork and a .Mac subscription.

Here's why:
  1. The build quality is excellent.
  2. iLife is bundled. Everyone in the family can create beautiful
    • Photo albums and slideshows,
    • Movies from photos and videos,
    • Professional looking DVDs with animated menus,
    • Blog and website
  3. Add iWork '08 and you have a fantastic wordprocessor, powerpoint equivalent and spreadsheet for the home.
  4. Kids never tire of PhotoBooth - digital version of the crazy mirrors at the carnival.
  5. You can easily sync with a bluetooth or USB mobile phone.
  6. In Australia you can salary-sacrifice notebooks and laptops and claim back the tax and GST, effectively reducing the price by over 40% - not so with the desktops.
  7. Backup runs every week and takes one DVD to set up.
  8. I was sceptical about paying $150/year .Mac, but have found it to be useful for backing up contacts, documents and settings - this automatically happens every day. Alternatively you can sign up for gmail for free and use gDisk as an offline back up.
  9. If you are very technical then you will love the automation and scripting capabilities of the Mac and Unix under the hood.
  10. Installing and removing software is sooooo easy. Every program gets delivered as a virtual disk that sits on your desktop. Open the disk, double-click on the installer icon or drag-and-drop the application to your Applications folder and you're done.
Don't fall for all the hype:
  1. The value of Macs is in the software, not the hardware. You can buy much equivalent or better notebooks from Dell, HP, Acer and Toshiba for 1/2 the price. You won't find better software on PCs.
  2. If you need a Windows compatibility for work or anything serious then just get a PC. I need to demonstrate Windows software for a living so I use a PC for work.
  3. The operating system can and does lock up...regularly.
  4. Configuring some hardware, such as printers can be a for serious work and play, get a PC.
  5. Very few games are available. But you can run PC games if you boot the MacBook as a Windows machine using Bootcamp.
  6. Don't bother with MS-Office - get iWork '08 instead. If you need to read and write MS-Office documents, download NeoOffice for free.
  7. Don't bother with Bootcamp, unless you specifically need to run it as a Windows PC.
  8. Parallels or VMWare work well, but for the home as yourself why.
  9. Time Machine, the automatic versioning system, is great but requires a large hard disk.
  10. You will run out of disk space, as I did with the built-in 160Gb drive. So invest in 2 external drives: one for your data 100+ Gb and another for Time Machine (300+Gb)
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