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Mac vs PC: The Next Generation

Apple’s MacBook Air family of notebooks is incredibly popular, especially in the tech journalist community. You can’t go to a press event without noticing that roughly 75 percent (or more) of the audience is tapping away on either 11” or 13” versions of the notebook.
 
This was even apparent during the May launch of the Surface 3 Pro.


MacBook Airs are very popular with general consumers as well, and Microsoft is looking to extoll the positives of its professional tablet series compared to its rival from Cupertino in new commercials. As expected, all three commercials play up the fact that the Surface 3 Pro:
  • Is just as powerful as a MacBook Air, despite the fact that it’s a tablet
  • Its primary tablet form-factor gives you standard multi-touch and pen support that the MacBook Air lacks
  • Its keyboard cover easily turns the Surface Pro 3 into a “full” notebook

Microsoft wants to keep drilling this into the minds of consumers so that they can realize that tablet’s don’t have to be primarily “consumption” devices — a charge that is often leveled against the Apple iPad.

 
This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has targeted the MacBook Air and its users. When the Surface Pro 3 was originally launched in late May, Microsoft made it a point show that the Surface Pro 3 is not only lighter, but also thinner than the MacBook Air. Microsoft’s Panos Panay even went so far as to “interrupt” his presentation to hand journalist Joanna Stern a Surface Pro 3 to replace the MacBook Air that she was typing on during the keynote.
 
In late June, Microsoft stepped up its efforts against the MacBook Air by offering users up to $650 to trade their notebooks in for a Surface Pro 3.

Sources: YouTube [1], [2], [3]



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Hard Sell
By Flunk on 8/11/2014 9:05:13 AM , Rating: 1
This is a pretty hard sell for me. Although I'm not an Apple fan, I've used a MacBook Air extensively at work and they're great little machines. Light, easy to use and the clamshell form-factor protects the screen when you're carrying it around.

But the main issue here is that the MacBook Air has a surprisingly good keyboard and touchpad and the Surface's touchpad is surprisingly crap. The keyboard isn't great either but the touchpad is really terrible.

I don't think the Surface is a bad product, but marketing it as a laptop replacement for people, particularly those who actually use it on their laps all the time doesn't make too much sense to me. Their competition seems to have them obviously beat there.




RE: Hard Sell
By retrospooty on 8/11/2014 9:10:55 AM , Rating: 3
MS's marketing has always been a big "WTF" on Surface. It is a great little product, it's just that it isn't a product that most people need. People seem to be happy using a full PC/Laptop and tablet (or even smartphone) combo.


RE: Hard Sell
By Samus on 8/11/2014 9:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I love my Surface 2 but as cool as the Type Cover is, the trackpad is still crap compared to even a $300 budget-laptop.

But as a tablet, it's an amazing device. I rarely find myself needing something other than the onscreen keyboard because the wide screen makes for comfortable pecking.


RE: Hard Sell
By hughlle on 8/11/2014 1:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
what has the SP2 trackpad got to do with the SP3 trackpad? They're completely different animals. Not saying that the sp3 trackpad is as good as apples, but it's a damned sight better than the sp2 one.

and as has been mentioned, who really needs a trackpad when you have multi-touch and also a pen. Plus if i wanted to actually do something of importance with a mouse, i'll use a real mouse, trackpads are ALL horrible imo.


RE: Hard Sell
By cknobman on 8/11/2014 9:57:43 AM , Rating: 5
What the hell do you need to use the trackpad for if the entire device works on and is built around touch???

I never use the trackpad on my surface pro just seems so outdated.


RE: Hard Sell
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2014 10:15:35 AM , Rating: 4
The trackpad is a completely obsolete input device. Meant to simulate a mouse at a time before multi-touch monitors.

Not sure why, with a digitizer (stylus) AND a multitouch screen, you would EVER resort to using the trackpad anyway.

Of all the things to criticize the Surface on, I don't see this being all that relevant. In fact Microsoft should kill off the trackpad entirely to show that Windows 8 is so fluid you don't even need one. MacOS when it comes to touch is kind of...meh.


RE: Hard Sell
By Gunbuster on 8/11/2014 10:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
I can never understand the trackpad argument. people prattle on over how one track pad is a little better than another while you can run a USB or Bluetooth mouse that is 1000X better than any trackpad.

I see trackpads as a last resort. Who on earth would use one every day to get work down when you can go get a $40 mouse?


RE: Hard Sell
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/11/2014 10:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
If I'm at my desk, I prefer to use my Bluetooth mouse. But when I'm on the road, I'm 100% trackpad.


RE: Hard Sell
By kmmatney on 8/11/2014 1:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I prefer a mouse, but If I'm traveling or working away from my desk, the track pad works fine, and isn't a hindrance to getting work done. What I don't want to do is start touching my screen, and doing weird maneuvers to drag-and-drop. I don;'t see the problem with the track pad as a temporary mouse replacement while working on the road.

I also work a lot in Semiconductor fabs, and track pads work well with Nitrile gloves.


RE: Hard Sell
By Solandri on 8/11/2014 9:54:17 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Exactly. I prefer a mouse, but If I'm traveling or working away from my desk, the track pad works fine, and isn't a hindrance to getting work done. What I don't want to do is start touching my screen, and doing weird maneuvers to drag-and-drop.

Funny. Weird maneuvers to drag-and-drop are exactly why I don't use a trackpad except as a last resort. I carry a Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX in my laptop bag.

Drag-and-drop on a trackpad was tolerable when they had dedicated physical buttons. But trying to do it with the new clickpads is an exercise in frustration. When I have to use a clickpad, I use highlight, ctrl-x (cut), ctrl-v (paste) instead of drag and drop. (The trackpad is fine for other things like pointing, clicking, two-finger scrolling. It's just really bad at motions done while holding down a button like drag-and-drop.)


RE: Hard Sell
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2014 11:06:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's just another fanboi argument. Apple releases laptops with a trackpad, so naturally that trackpad (and everything else) is just omgwtfbbq leaps and bounds better than anything on Earth or the Universe.

All of a sudden it becomes THE selling point! You literally see people going "OMG I can't buy anything else, all the trackpads suck! Apple's is teh bestest" Just absurd fanboi dude-bro nonsense.

It's like trying to claim the door handles are why people should pick one car over the other.


RE: Hard Sell
By situ.125 on 8/11/2014 11:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
The track pad on apple products are way better than any I've used. I am hundred percent mouse guy first, track pad second, then touch the stupid screen.

For those of you that think touch screen is all you need... Try having a desk job and using your hand (lift/raising) for 5 plus hours to simulate mouse movements on a giving work day..


RE: Hard Sell
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2014 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
Why would you sit at a desk for 5 hours using a trackpad? Just plug a goddamn REAL mouse in!

quote:
The track pad on apple products are way better than any I've used.


Ugh thanks for making my point. Fanboi nonsense. Ever heard of a Thinkpad?


RE: Hard Sell
By Spuke on 8/11/2014 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Finally I can get in on this. Like the person below, I have also used the trackpad on MacBooks and find it meh too. Quite frankly, ALL trackpads suck and should be obliterated from the face of the Earth. I find a touchscreen a MUCH better interface and, of course, prefer a mouse the most. Also, tablets are better in mobile situations than laptops. Even the MacBook is cumbersome IMO (this is personal preference though). On the go? Touchscreen. At the desk? Mouse.


RE: Hard Sell
By Jim_Liquor on 8/11/2014 7:47:13 PM , Rating: 3
Reclaimer77 wins this one. If you are at a desk for more than 10 minutes, plug in a damn mouse. On the road... well since I think Apple products are overpriced pieces of useless trash and don't like trackpads from anyone anyhow ... touch screen. And I own a 1st Gen Surface with the type cover btw.


RE: Hard Sell
By TakinYourPoints on 8/11/2014 8:26:35 PM , Rating: 1
There's also multitouch gestures with the trackpad and how they are used with workspace and window management.

My Windows rig is a gaming beast, basically a launcher for Steam and Battlenet. My OS X machines are for work, and the workspace management (juggling virtual desktops, windows, etc) and using the trackpad for that are big reasons why. If I'm not on a trackpad then I can use a multibutton mouse to do the same things, but when I'm working in the field (which is most of the time) its honestly faster and more convenient not to break out the mouse unless I'm playing a game, which again is rare in the field because I'm out there to work.

Given the same applications on both operating systems, I'll do it on OS X most of the time. The multitouch trackpad is a huge reason why. Everything is just much much faster and more easily organized.


RE: Hard Sell
By Reclaimer77 on 8/12/2014 8:39:07 AM , Rating: 1
Bla bla bla same old Apple asskissing BS bla bla


RE: Hard Sell
By TakinYourPoints on 8/13/2014 1:55:15 AM , Rating: 1
You should head up to Google some time and tell the engineers there what Apple a**kissers they are. I'm sure they'd love to know what a low level... whatever you do thinks.


RE: Hard Sell
By Apone on 8/11/2014 12:20:06 PM , Rating: 1
@ Reclaimer77

Yeah I know people who have bitched, moaned, and could not stand simple touchpads on Windows notebooks ("Ugh, I need a USB mouse!") but stopped the whining when they switched to a Macbook. I've owned two Macbooks and I honestly think their trackpad is just "meh" so it's the Apple koolaid (as usual). And these are the same people who praised Apple for releasing a separate Magic Trackpad like it's never been done before.


RE: Hard Sell
By dew111 on 8/12/2014 5:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
On my surface 2, sometimes I use it for a website with a mouse hover mechanic. Sadly, a lot of websites still have hover menus. But other than that, no I just use the screen.


RE: Hard Sell
By althaz on 8/11/2014 11:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
The trackpad on the Surface 3's type cover is WAY better than MS's previous attempts, btw.

It's also worth mentioning, that according to most studies and surveys done on the subject, almost nobody uses the keyboard on a laptop in their lap. A laptop IS better than a Surface Pro for typing in your lap - but less than 10% of the population does that. Microsoft's target market is the other 90% - people who create at a desk and consume on their lap. SP3 is obviously about 100x better than any laptop at that - but the question is, is it better than a laptop plus a tablet?


Comedy
By Jim_Liquor on 8/11/2014 7:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
LOL ... so cause "tech journalists" (is that an actual term??) and Hollywood brats use Mac whatever, that makes them "incredibly popular"?

News flash: 5% market share.

Another news flash: No one uses them for anything but email.

Macbooks are incredibly overpriced and perform badly compared to any, ANY similary priced Windows machine. BUT LOOK ITS SHINY!!!!!!!!1




RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/11/2014 8:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
Google has about 45k Macs running OS X deployed, almost as many as they have employees. Go up to Mountain View some time, its Macs at Google as far as the eye can see. You sure as heck won't see machines running Windows. Same deal at Facebook, etc.

Everyone I know that programs for open platforms like the web does it on OS X. My buddy that does security for Fortune 500 companies, OS X. My friends at Google, OS X. You can't even compile Android source in Windows while you can in OS X.

Many programmers not using Windows IDEs (ie - .NET) use OS X or Linux because developing for open platforms with Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, etc, is a huge pain in Windows compared to doing it on something UNIX based. With OS X its the best of both worlds, a UNIX CLI and integration + lots of applications.

So yeah, 5% marketshare. Its also 90% of OEM hardware over $1000 and is most of what you'll see in Silicon Valley and the film industry. Decidedly high end usage. The post houses here in Los Angeles mostly run on OS X and Linux, a *nix legacy going back over 20 years with SGI IRIX. When I'm working on a film set its all Macs. Digital Domain, Rhythm and Hues, Blur, Incendio, Company 3, you get the idea...

Not everything is spreadsheets and games, and this is coming from someone who's been building his own Windows gaming PCs for 20 years.


RE: Comedy
By Jim_Liquor on 8/11/2014 8:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
So, your argument is the left wing commies at Google use them, therefore I should?

Not happening. Sorry. Overpriced, crap OS, under-performing. I don't care if Jesus Christ uses one, I am not gonna.

Please continue your little fantasy world tho, its still a free country ... sorta...


RE: Comedy
By Solandri on 8/11/2014 10:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of the programming staff at Google (and other large software companies) are Unix gurus. OS X is essentially a GUI running on top of (a modified version of) BSD Unix.

Quite frankly, OS X is the best Unix GUI out there. Linux may dominate the server environment, but it's not at all surprising that a lot of Unix people go with OS X on their desktop/laptop machines. Most of the oversimplified controls and lack of options that OS X is rightfully criticized for simply don't apply when you can manually modify the appropriate Unix config files with a text editor. That combined with a strong anti-Windows streak among most Unix types tends to drive them to Macs.


RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/11/2014 10:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying you should use it, I'm saying that OS X is very popular among professionals in many different fields.

As for overpriced, their laptops are priced very comparably to other OEMs out there. Build quality and warranty are great, the OS is fast, and its UI is excellent.

I wish you'd said "left wing commies at Google" earlier though. It would have saved me a lot of time knowing that I'd be responding to an idiot instead of someone possibly looking for answers in a discussion.


RE: Comedy
By Reclaimer77 on 8/12/2014 8:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm saying that OS X is very popular among a teeny tiny insignificant portion of the population. So actually what I'm saying doesn't matter


You've proved nothing. VCR tapes are still very "popular" going by your definition, that doesn't mean we should all be using them.


RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/13/2014 2:01:06 AM , Rating: 2
Since when did I say you should all be using them? OS X is very popular among programmers, engineers, researchers, and content creators, often for reasons that have to do with it being a POSIX compliant UNIX operating system with broad application support. That's all.

My god you're dense.


RE: Comedy
By Jim_Liquor on 8/12/2014 9:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wish you'd said "left wing commies at Google" earlier though. It would have saved me a lot of time knowing that I'd be responding to an idiot instead of someone possibly looking for answers in a discussion.


Hahah so I call a spade a spade and now you don't want to win your own argument there frootyass?

An idiot can be defined by several standards, none of which apply to me. However a few can be applied to you: Apple iTard and/or Google left wing nut.


RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/13/2014 2:03:04 AM , Rating: 2
And you think a gen 1 Surface running Windows 8 is a good product.

Harsh.


RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/11/2014 10:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
And speaking of overpriced, you paid $130 for a bad keyboard to plug into the worst performing tablet out there.

You'd be better off spending your cash on a Lenovo touchscreen laptop or something. The gen 1 Surface is such a POS.


RE: Comedy
By Jim_Liquor on 8/12/2014 8:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
Kinda got the keyboard for free there, jackass. And it works quite well. Thanks for thinking of my comfort and safety tho!

It's obvious you are an Apple iTard and will never be swayed, so I am not about to defend my choices of anything to you. But, please, keep telling other people what to use...


RE: Comedy
By TakinYourPoints on 8/13/2014 1:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
You can use whatever you'd like. I use PCs, Macs, I have a Linux partition for fun. All kinds of stuff.

I think the third gen Surface is pretty good. I'd still recommend a normal laptop over a Surface unless you're an artist who has use for the stylus. Friend of mine uses it for illustrating when he's out and about, pretty cool.

Otherwise there are much better ways to spend your money, especially with how bad the Type Cover still is. If they improved that and dropped the price it'd be much better. $130 extra for that POS makes no sense.


There may be some truth to this
By amanojaku on 8/11/2014 9:12:10 AM , Rating: 2
Not having owned a Surface I can't say how well it performs, feels, etc... I do know that an acquaintance received one as a re-gift and loves it. This individual owns an iPhone, used an iMac at work, and expressed interest in a Mac for personal use. So I was rather surprised to see her rocking a Surface. Her younger cousin refused it for Christmas (!) and she ended up with it. She can't believe how useful it is for work and and has nothing bad to say about it, stating she can't believe she ever lived without it.

An Apple fan, loyal to the... core. Gushing... over a Microsoft product. I wish I had a camera - I could have sold millions of Surfaces with that endorsement.




RE: There may be some truth to this
By Manch on 8/11/2014 9:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
Refused it for Christmas?! Wow! Thats just wow!! You're friend lucked out then. I got the original Pro on sale for $500. I love it. I use it as my work laptop and then as a tablet\media center at home. I dont find it too heavy like a lot of reviewers complain about. I thought about getting the battery cover but I just dont need the extra juice. I'm nev er that far away from an outlet.


Stop showing the Start Screen
By Bateluer on 8/11/2014 2:01:26 PM , Rating: 1
Its an instant and immediate deal breaker. :/




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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