Yes, I know. I can see the eye rolling from all my still-using-Windows friends who know I’m an Apple guy. They just think I enjoy bashing Windows and “overpaying” for my computers. Well, ok… the former is true. :P
Every so often, I look for Windows laptops. I don’t want to buy them, but I want to want to buy them. In other words, I want one to be compelling enough so I can say, “Yeah, if I needed a laptop right now and something a bit cheaper than an entry level Mac, I’d buy *this* PC laptop.”
The typical reason to buy a Windows laptop is “Well, I want a cheap laptop.” The problem is, cheap Windows laptops are cheap… in every meaning of the word. Most laptops under $500 are running Celerons, Pentiums, Core i3s (maybe), or an AMD who-gives-a-shit. On top of that, they’re made of cheap plastic, are sluggish (due to the aforementioned selection of CPUs), and have a track pad that leaves a lot to be desired. They also LOOK cheap (subjective, perhaps, but one generally can tell when they have cheap looking hardware).
Today, at Best Buy, after sampling so many of the shitty laptops I just described, I came across an older ASUS laptop. It was selling for $429 and had a Core i5 chip. It was very responsive, had a good track pad, and was a looker. It was plastic, but didn’t look like a crummy piece of shit, nor did it feel like one. I asked the sales guy about the laptop and he told me they were out of stock, “but we have this ASUS Core i3 in stock.”
And there you have it…. the other problem with buying laptops (or computers in general). A typical consumer wouldn’t know the difference. Oh look! A Core i3. It’s made by Intel. The Best Buy guy™ recommended it. It must be just as good and, hey, it’s slightly cheaper. Sad to say, this particular ASUS suffered the usual Windows box problems of feeling sluggish and looking like cheap plastic.
Overall, however, ASUS is the manufacturer I’d buy from if I wanted a Windows box. The majority of their machines look and feel the way I’ve come to expect from a laptop. Apple sets the bar high! :D
Verdict for now: MacBooks are still far superior machines to 90% of the Windows counterparts.