I have been noticing.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by MarkDau, May 4, 2014.

  1. MarkDau

    MarkDau New Member

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    I am a student and manage a computers department at an electronics retailer. I am noticing that MacBook Pros are very common with the college student demographic.

    I am not giving an opinion on the laptop itself here - moreso, the situation makes me wonder: what on earth are these people doing with a MacBook Pro? I can't wrap my head around why self-proclaimed "tech-illiterate" buyers decide on a $1K+ computer to use for social media and Microsoft Office? These kids are using their grants, loans & scholarships almost completely on a computer they only utilize .1% of.

    Is it really just for the logo on the back?

    • I understand the ease of use opinions
    • I understand the iPhone/iPad has prompted interest with this demographic
    • I understand the argument for security
    But even though all this makes sense to me - why a Macbook Pro and not a MacBook Air? In general it just baffles me why they buy a Pro machine to use, essentially, like a glorified tablet.

    I am not trying to be rude or condescending. I just don't understand why they feel they need a Pro machine when they could honestly use a Chromebook.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  2. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    They might be convinced to "buy up" in order to "grow into" a usage scenario, which invariably almost never happens anyway. ("This can edit video, I've always wanted to edit video!")

    Ultimately, yes, people can be hardcore loyal to a brand logo, particularly when someone cares about appearance. ;)
     
  3. MarkDau

    MarkDau New Member

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    I see how that could happen, but I am more suspicious it really is appearance related as you suggested! :p
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The iPhone/iPad have not merely "prompted interest", but have offered cross-platform services such as iMessage (enabling journaled and synced text-based and video communications on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook), iTunes synergy, and the same look and feel across devices.

    Microsoft is catching up.

    But hindering market share is likely that MacBooks can easily run Windows on a VM, giving students access to all software worlds. PC devices still do not nearly as easily or seamlessly run OS X. The Parallels software makers would likely have a wonderful product to make this possible, if the legal issues were not a problem.

    I am glad to see Microsoft producing high quality software for OS X, such as Office for iPad, and Office 2011 for Mac. OneNote has also quickly become a favorite by both camps.
     
  5. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    Engineering students that need power for 3D rendering, CAD, video editing and such?
     
  6. MarkDau

    MarkDau New Member

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    I understand what you're suggesting, though I think the semantics argument you've posed wasn't quite spot-on. My list definitely wasn't exhaustive, so though my wording may have been vague I definitely understand how people with iPhones/iPad would enjoy the benefit of using a single, consistent platform.

    Also, this is not a question posed against MacBooks. I even mentioned perhaps a MacBook air would make more sense. It's the usage of a Pro-class device for very basic computing that has me wondering. Thank you for the reply though. :)

    That is the thing though. When I am selling them, they say they use Office, use e-mail, and browse the web. When I see them on campus, it is usually in my management classes, being used for the same purposes. :p
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  7. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Business management classes? Being taken by ambitious people who want leadership positions? No correlation with "appearances" at all. ;) ;)

    Every single exec in my department has a black-colored racing Audi, BMW, or giant shiny SUVs with nary a spot of mud on the treads. Everyone uses their cars just to get from point A to point B, but they choose to be extravagant just because they can afford to.

    That's what I'd attribute to what you're seeing when people barely use the full capacity of the products they buy.
     
  8. MarkDau

    MarkDau New Member

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    I think you're on to something. :p
     
  9. daniielrp

    daniielrp Active Member

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    Parallels is a wonderful product, I can run Windows programs seamlessly on my iMac using parallels (though games obviously don't run as well). Also (off-topic), what legal issues do they have? I've run parallels for nearly 3 years and never encountered a legal issue, but my use-case is a bit limited.

    But this sort of program does make a Mac more enviable as you can have the best of both worlds, though I do agree with the consensus that a lot of purchasers simply buy it because it is Apple, and go for the Pro because the price difference is not a great deal compared to the "bottom of the scale" Air.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  10. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    And how would you explain 1st and 2nd year students who are signed up for English literature? In fact, I asked one of my colleagues - a senior academic and a well-regarded one at that - as to why he uses the Mac Pro and he had no coherent answer. I also noted that while he claims not to like phones, he does have the latest iteration of the iPhone. Now, I don't have a problem with his choices, but effectively, his use of the MacBook Pro is limited to (1) emails (2) surfing (3) writing his papers/ books (though he has not actually written a book in the last 10 years). Yes, I know he may have the disposable income (though I am sceptical of that too given that he has two daughters and one of them is in med school and he is paying the fees etc.), but it just appears incongruent as to why he would opt for the Mac Pro. I chalk it down to the "herd mentality", which I witness recently at first hand when I attended a major academic conference and where 9.5 out of 10 laptops/ tablets were sporting the Apple logo. Nevertheless, this makes me wonder, what is this mindshare that Apple has been to capture and how has it been able to do so? Aside from what is arguably a very well-designed trackpad (and accompanying software), what else is there which a top-end ThinkPad (say, like the Carbon 1) would not offer?

    I am puzzled by this - not so much by the iPad whose utility I can see (having experienced it first hand).
     
  11. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I love Parallels, and run Windows 8.1 on three Apple machines with it.

    For clarity regarding the legality of OS X running on a PC:
    OS X checks that it is only being installed on Apple hardware. The OS X EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) binds users to only operate OS X on Apple native hardware. A PC must be hacked for OS X to believe this licensing agreement is being honored.

    --------------

    Quote from Apple OS X Licensing Agreement:
    1. ...
    2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.
    A. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.
    ...
    ...

    --------------

    Microsoft has no such agreement regarding specific hardware manufacturers.
    I hope it changes one day, but that's the way it is. :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  12. Deckyon

    Deckyon Member

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    I have a feeling this whole thing comes down to something very simple, and very simple High School in thinking. "I want a MBP because friend A got a MBP." Think about all the other purchases most of these kids make, from shoes to clothing. They want to be be just like their friends, but different. People still see Apple as an "alternative" to the big bad Micro$oft. So, they can be "different" by getting the MBP but still run with their friends.

    As to the MBP over a MBA - salesmen. It is an easy upsell from the MBA when for "just a few $ more, you can get a much more powerful machine that will last longer and has comparable battery life." Lines I have overheard countless times in stores. Add in the Education discount and it is nearly a no-brainer. And, truth be told, a valid argument.

    No, for most high school into college kids and parents, it is less about the tech and more about the fitting in and slight upsell.
     

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