Last weekend, I bit the bullet and bought a new laptop. Why? Well, my children are heavy users of our one existing computer, a 15-inch MacBook Pro which, I will readily admit, is a pretty sweet piece of hardware. But I was getting tired of a) hearing them bicker over whose turn it was to use the computer, b) being called on to mediate said bickering and c) never getting a chance to use the computer myself.
On a tangent, here's one of the crappy things about kids growing older: they don't go to bed hours before you do anymore. I used to get loads of great computer time after 7:30 when the wee ones were off in dreamland. Now I stumble into my own bed two seconds after I kiss them goodnight at 9:00 or 9:30!
So, I had been thinking for several months that it was time to get another computer (truth be told, the easiest arrangement would have been a MacBook for each of us, but that was not in the stars, for a lot of reasons). At first, I considered buying a used MacBook, but the factory refurbished ones were only about 10% less expensive than new, and I just didn't feel safe buying a laptop off some guy on kijiji. Even at a mere $700 (a bargain by Mac standars), it was still too much of a risk for me to feel comfortable with.
On the other hand, I wasn't going to shell out the $1200 (minimum!) necessary to get back into the Mac scene, especially since this was going to be just a supplementary machine, primarily to be used for web browsing, facebook and the dreaded Minecraft. So I did some soul-searching, and after a few months of research, I settled on buying a PC laptop. The prices were right, at about 60% of the cost of a MacBook, and (I told myself) it would be good for my kids to be equally comfortable in both operating systems (although both girls do use PCs at school so that was actually kind of moot, anyway).
In the end, I chose an acer ASPIRE with ample processing speed, memory and graphics. Plus a few weird things I'd never heard of before, having lived in Mac world for the past 13-odd years. For instance, this thing has a "DVD-Super Multi DL drive" and WiDi (yes, you read that right...WiDi, not WiFi). So if anyone can tell me what these things are for, I suppose I might be interested.
But I digress.
I bought the thing for my kids. And four days later, they're not using it. They're still fighting over the MacBook Pro. When they get to bickering, I can be heard saying, "why don't you just go and use the new laptop? That's what I bought it for..." And then I get the look. You know the one...the one that says, Mom, you're not going to like this but...
So it turns out that despite having all the same guts (processor speed, hard drive, memory), the new machine is, to use their words, "laggy". And it glitches. And it crashes. And I've got to agree: from my point of view, it's hard to use. I use the computer primarily for writing, and the PC keyboard setup is just different enough to throw me off. Plus, I've become quite dependent on Apple's autocorrect (yes despite all the hilarity surrounding the famous autocorrect fails). After a year of 'learning', my autocorrect is a pretty well-tuned piece of software and I really appreciate it. And miss it. Plus there's the matter of the PC's hugely annoying and totally non-intuitive track pad. When I use the PC, my cursor and mouse pointer are flailing all over the place. Grrrr...
So. Where does that leave me now? To tell you the honest truth, I am more than halfway seriously considering trying to return the new PC for a refund. I told the girls I'd give them three more days to show me that they are getting use out of the computer, and I'm trying to convince myself to learn to like it too. But it's not working out that great so far.
So where do you sit on this one? Are my girls and I just spoiled or is the Apple really a superior product?