I can’t begin to tell you how much pain I’m in. The Mac tax is hurting.
There are new MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, and iPad Pros. They all look great. Each of them are a glowing example of the product lines they come from. Goodness knows people have been waiting for an update to the two little Macs for long enough. I’m pleased that those people got what they were waiting for.
I don’t need a new Mac right now, but I’m going to need one soon. I’m keeping my eye on what Apple are up to, always day dreaming about what new Mac might be spending a couple of years in my company. The trouble is that, for quite some time, there hasn’t been a Mac I want.
It’s no secret that Apple don’t like graphics. It’s like they’re allergic to any form of graphical processing power in the Mac line up. I’ve just watched them compare the graphics power of the iPad Pro to the Xbox One S. If only there was a MacBook Pro that could have the same thing said about it. I wanted to play computer games, so I needed a PC. That’s all well and good. I’m quite happy living on both the Windows and Mac OS platforms. Unfortunately my quest for graphics power lead me to see the Mac tax for what it is.
So let’s take the Mac Mini as a case study. I was kind of hoping it could be the machine to replace my MacBook Pro. On Apple’s store page, I’ve customised my hypothetical Mac Mini to have the Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It’s coming out at £1609. That’s not exactly cheap, but it’s a machine that will last me at least four years, would be used daily for work, and is a decent upgrade over my current machine.
Then we head over to cyberpowersystem.co.uk and use their custom PC configurator to put together the same hardware in a PC. That comes to £1039.20. That’s a Mac tax just short of £600. Wow.
If you’ve got £1600 to spend on a computer, getting a PC for that money will add a GTX 1070Ti graphics card, and upgrade your processor from the 6 core, 8th generation, i7 8700, to the 8 core, 9th generation i7 9700K. An extra £50 will get you a Core i9 9900K.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Apple are selling hardware that’s more expensive than it should be. There are ways they can kind of justify it, for example, that PC I put together doesn’t fit in a case like the Mac Mini. There’s a lot of clever engineering in that little computer. It just boils down to how important size, and operating system are.
And that’s how Apple have me. Mac OS. Windows doesn’t come close. Really. I’ve really been trying to find apps that work as well, or have the functionality, as Mac apps. It feels crazy to say it, but Windows doesn’t have software support anywhere nears as good as Mac OS. Is that difference worth the £600? No. But there’s not really a choice is there. If you want to run Mac apps, you’ve got to do it on a Mac. Those Macs are made exclusively by Apple, and they cost whatever Apple say they cost. It’s as simple as that.
Like I said earlier, the new Macs are nice. I might end up owning one. I’m not sure I’ll be all that happy about it.