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mtmember
18th October 2014, 03:13 AM
My question may seem weird but I couldn't be more disappointed in today's apple products. So they decided to remove the internal drive from their macbooks, and call them notebooks now, just like everybody else?

My question...I thought this day would never come, but what would you suggest is the 2nd best brand of notebooks, next to apple?

nibbles
18th October 2014, 03:50 PM
Apple still sell one model with a DVD drive and an external DVD drive suitable for all the rest.

The day where they discontinue the 'original' MacBook Pro is imminent but so is the day the DVD dies.

Personally I hope both of these are sooner rather than later, for 95% of the time I don't need a DVD drive so I bought a MacBook Air and the few times I've needed one I've used an external one. Can't say I miss not having one.

Second best brand, well that'd still have to be Apple but with an external DVD drive.

MadKiwi
18th October 2014, 05:24 PM
For me there is a tie for second place for non Apple notebooks : HP and Lenovo

If I were in the market for a non Apple notebook I'd most likely go for one of them but in the real world having been a MacBook user for the past 2.5 years I can't wait to get back to a desktop and with Apple recent moves to make their machines non upgradable (as I only know of 2 Macs with user upgradable RAM now, the 27" iMac and the 13" Macbook Pro) I'm heading back to Windows based PCs.

Oldmacs
18th October 2014, 05:44 PM
I still use optical media a lot. They are the best archival backup and also the cheapest. If I just want to give a home movie to a family member, the easiest way is to give it on disk. Or to distribute photos etc. Dragging around an external optical drive defeats the purpose of a laptop for some, so keeping the Macbook non Retina around makes sense. People who don't want it have two other choices. Optical media is still the best way of viewing video, as 1. storage space for movies is just not there and 2. re buying 100s of movies and DVDs on iTunes would be an expensive exercise.

I sincerely hope they upgrade the 13 inch non Retina Macbook. They are the most logical Macbook for a lot of people. They're upgradable with Ram and HD, have all the ports you could want and of course the optical drive, and for some the large internal HD is essential. For a uni student, buying a 512 GB Retina Macbook Pro for $2,199.00 is completely undoable. I've also heard they sell very well even now.

Put a hybrid drive and hawell in the non Retina Macbook and rename it 'Macbook' and they'd be good to go.

I don't get the whole 'kill the product that I don't see much use of in my life' mentality.


Apple disappoints me for its new regime of budget cutting. EG. Keeping the iPod Mini 1, Mac Mini, iMac 21.5 inch, non replaceable ram etc.

iMic
18th October 2014, 07:41 PM
Personally, I can't stand them. Almost everything that made Apple appealing to me in the early 2000s is no longer applicable - powerful, easy to use machines with rock-solid software and excellent hardware longevity, including the ability to improve it as it enters its second and third years or as my workload becomes more demanding.

As much as Apple die-hards would like to believe that the removal of devices like the optical drive is because it's a dead medium, there's no doubt that it was a move motivated by Apple's desire to push users towards digital distribution methods like the iTunes Store and App Store. This is understandable, Apple is a business after all and business have to make money, but attempting to spin it as being beneficial to the end user somehow is a surefire way to set off my BS alarm. Now, those same users are attempting to justify the decision to solder components together as a means of making the machine thinner, lighter or - rather absurdly - more reliable, which simply isn't true. All it does is make the machine harder to upgrade and harder to repair when a component fails, sending you to the nearest Genius Bar, where what would have been $60 for a replacement memory module is now $600 for a replacement Logic Board.

I won't even start on the Genius Bar. Attempting to have a repair authorised whenever Apple's shithouse internal diagnostics fail to accurately diagnose a fault isn't something I would wish on anyone.

Recent decisions in the software area haven't been that brilliant either. Without mentioning the fiasco that is the iOS 8 release, there's also the fact that these new releases are mandatory. Some kind of issue requires you to restore your iPhone? You'd better sure as hell come to love the new release because you won't be activating that iOS 7 IPSW anymore. This is wonderful for iPhone 4S owners. We didn't need all that extra performance we had with iOS versions 5 through 7 anyway. I don't have much faith in Apple's ability to deliver a solid OS X release now either. Eight Developer Previews, Six Public Betas and Three Golden Master Candidates and they haven't managed to fix a simple corner transparency issue with the volume HUD when reduced transparency is enabled (http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2jiadq/yosemite_reduced_transparency_volume_is_ugly)?

While I respect the man for some of his past achievements, I can't help but think that Jony Ive is turning into a pretentious prat as well. Somehow he's managed to convince the entire world that skeuomorphism and detailed UI elements is subpar compared to gradients and alpha transparencies. A modern look is perhaps needed, but there's been many steps backwards in the design in recent years as well. You'll never convince me that system-wide Helvetica in Yosemite is better than the Lucida Grande it replaces, or that the new Finder icon is an improvement over the old one. Not to mention changes in applications like iTunes, an application often criticised for being somewhat cumbersome, where someone at Apple has decided that it's a brilliant idea to make it even harder to find and use the sidebar (http://www.tekrevue.com/itunes-12-sidebar/). I'm also not so much annoyed but saddened that we'll likely lose some truly beautiful UIs (take a look at OpenEmu (http://openemu.org) and Apple's own GarageBand (https://www.apple.com/au/mac/garageband/) for examples of it done right) in favour of pastel coloured blocks because of current trends in Apple's software design.


Someone will inevitably ask why I would spend so much time around an Apple related site if I feel this way about them, but my activity around such communities has dwindled in recent years accordingly. I still occasionally stick around to answer others' hardware questions on some sites.

At the end of the day, I'm aware that none of what I said above matters. Vote with your wallet and all. All I can do now is run these remaining Macs into the ground and not replace them when the hardware wears out or they stop being supported. After that, who knows. It depends what options are available in the industry around that time.


PS. According to Brian Stucki from MacMiniColo, the newly released 2014 model Mac Mini has soldered memory (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/17/mac-mini-soldered-ram/), making it impossible to upgrade down the track. However I'm waiting for iFixit's teardown to verify this since it seems ridiculous to retain the removable base plate and yet have nothing in there that's user serviceable.

kerr
18th October 2014, 08:49 PM
I still use optical media a lot. They are the best archival backup and also the cheapest. If I just want to give a home movie to a family member, the easiest way is to give it on disk. Or to distribute photos etc. Dragging around an external optical drive defeats the purpose of a laptop for some, so keeping the Macbook non Retina around makes sense. People who don't want it have two other choices. Optical media is still the best way of viewing video, as 1. storage space for movies is just not there and 2. re buying 100s of movies and DVDs on iTunes would be an expensive exercise.

You still choose to use optical media a lot. Cheapest and best to view, distribute, transfer and archive? It's all those things? You're joking aren't you? I might suggest that to my IT Director at work, he needs a good laugh.

I can't disagree that as time goes by Apple make more and more decisions that are not putting the customer first. Maybe that's just how business is done, but only a fool (that includes Apple Senior Exec) would believe that Apple can ever afford to rest on their laurels. The future success of Apple is far from guaranteed. I could very easily leave Apple and go to Windows and Android.

But when it comes to optical media, come on people, move with the times. For those that insist on persisting with records, videos, CDs, etc, you still can, you have options. But those of you stuck in the past are a dying breed. Teenagers and children don't care about physical media, it won't be long before the average kid has no idea what optical media is. Personally, I'm looking to the cloud more and more, personally and professionally. But perhaps I will keep one CD for my naked selfies, can't trust the cloud with those.

Oldmacs
18th October 2014, 08:50 PM
I will preface this as someone who can't stand the alternatives, and someone who is deeply in the Apple ecosystem. I'm a big fan of Apple, but 2013 and 2014 have been 'trying' as an Apple fan. With my own hardware, my Macbook Pro purchased in September of 2012, started mucking up, to the extent it would not turn on for a week, and I tried everything. Took it to the genius bar for whom it booted instantly. I suspect from reading things that there was something wrong with my battery and logic board. However the stupid diagnostics at the genius bar came up with nothing. So I was sent home with a laptop i couldn't trust. My Mac spent the rest of the year stuffing up, and the genius bar telling me there was nothing wrong, until this year, when finally even after showing the service battery icon to the genius bar at least twice, they replaced my battery, and my Logic Board. Good to have it finally fixed, but rubbish it took nearly a whole year. Adding to that Mavericks was a unstable, completely buggy mess, leading to my HD corrupting three times.

On the the software side, this year iOS 8 has been a mess for me, in comparison to iOS 7. Apple have managed it quite badly, and I know I'll be shot for bringing this up, but I unnecessarily lost the ability to use iPhoto which I paid for. Luckily Yosemite has been a success for me... so far.

On the general Hardware side, Apple has shown that it really only cares about the bringing in the cash, no longer the customer experience. While its probably led to the fantastic support the iPad 2 has received, the iPad 2 was kept around until March 2014, still selling at a premium price. The same thing is happening to the iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5. On top of that Apple's offerings this year have included an iMac with non upgradable RAM and now possibly a Mac Mini with non upgradable Ram. Macs are also sold with 4 GB of ram... and 5400RPM Hard drives. Everything should at least be 8GB and either SSD or Hybrid drives. 2013 and 2014 have also seen inflated costs for everything, while apple still doesn't pay tax here properly. Basically Apple is demonstrating it doesn't give a toss about users/it can't do anything wrong.

I can't even express how angry I am about the RAM issue. In the Macbook Air I guess thinness is the aim of the game so fair enough that you can't replace the ram. The Macbook Pro Retina... Ideally it would have upgradable Ram, but maybe at 16 GB should be standard. The Mac Mini, there is no excuse. Its a design that is semi built around the swivel plate at the bottom that is MEANT to be for replacing Ram. The iMac, bloody hell, its a desktop, it will barely get moved, so it should have replaceable Ram, even if it means the slightest bit of thickness. Non replaceable ram condemns a computer to a shorter lifespan. You can't upgrade to keep up with software releases, and if the ram dies, then thats a logic board replacement.

Hopefully 2014 will bring us a fresh direction. I'd like to see the iMac and Mac Mini with serviceable ram, an iOS release that focuses on efficiency, a new Macbook Pro non retina, a 4 inch iPhone 6 to to fit into the 2015 range.

Again, I'm in a position where I'd never swap to a different company, but I feel ticked off by Apple's actions of late.

Oldmacs
18th October 2014, 09:05 PM
You still choose to use optical media a lot. Cheapest and best to view, distribute, transfer and archive? It's all those things? You're joking aren't you? I might suggest that to my IT Director at work, he needs a good laugh.

I can't disagree that as time goes by Apple make more and more decisions that are not putting the customer first. Maybe that's just how business is done, but only a fool (that includes Apple Senior Exec) would believe that Apple can ever afford to rest on their laurels. The future success of Apple is far from guaranteed. I could very easily leave Apple and go to Windows and Android.

But when it comes to optical media, come on people, move with the times. For those that insist on persisting with records, videos, CDs, etc, you still can, you have options. But those of you stuck in the past are a dying breed. Teenagers and children don't care about physical media, it won't be long before the average kid has no idea what optical media is. Personally, I'm looking to the cloud more and more, personally and professionally. But perhaps I will keep one CD for my naked selfies, can't trust the cloud with those.

I choose to use it because its the easiest and best option for my purposes. Everyone has a DVD player. Burn a DVD and give it out, its the easiest way. Dealing with getting a movie to people who have a combination of no computer, iPads, Macs, Pcs, Androids is not an easy task. Especially for large amounts of data. Archival Blu-Ray/DVD is one of the best methods of archiving things. That would be the opinion of professionals I've talked to. Hard drives die. I've had heaps of Hard drives die, but never an archived DVD or Blu Ray. I keep backups in multiple places and buying a hard drive for each is just stupid money for something thats got an average 4-5 year lifespan if i'm lucky. Buying a DVD is the most practical way of watching a movie. I'm sick of dealing with iTunes movies, having to download and re downloaded, then taking it to a friends means taking a laptop and cables, or registering and registering iTunes accounts then going over limits etc. I've got 100s of DVDs and its simple. Put it in the player and watch. Put it in the laptop and watch. I would love to know how people with no optical drives and small SSDs are meant to manage large amounts of movies.

There are still a lot of people who care about optical media, and will do until there is a proper successor that is just a simple to use. The cloud is so overrated for so many things. iCloud has erased my stuff on more than one occasion.. My documents int eh cloud randomly disappeared off all my devices in August. Luckily I back up.

Its only a dying breed because Apple has told you its a dying breed.

LCGuy
19th October 2014, 12:28 AM
In all honesty, while once upon a time my optical drive used to get a lot of use, these days I use it maybe....once every couple of months? A week from now I'm replacing it with a Data Doubler with my old HDD (I'm sticking an SSD into the HDD bay), and while it might be slightly inconvenient to have to wheel out the external USB DVD drive every now and then when I want to use an optical disk, my guess is that most of the time I won't notice it. These days I transfer data either via the intarweb, my internal LAN, or USB drives. I use my Time Capsule for backups. And to be honest, given the quality of most optical media made in the past 10 years (the cheaper variety that comes in tubs of 25, 50 or 100, anyway), I trust a HDD a lot more than I do a recordable CD or DVD.

Thingme
19th October 2014, 05:39 AM
As a self-funded retiree I seem to have different priorities to some contributors here. The internal optical drive isn't missed as it's only ever been used for some third party software which I don't need any more — Photoshop is redundant overkill and expensive to keep updating, hence Pixelmator. All my 3rd party s/w is sourced from the App Store except for one huge game where downloading it would be ridiculous — X-Plane 10. Fact is you can't download X-Plane, it's DVD only. So I do keep a USB DVD drive for that kind of rare occasion. Optical archiving isn't all that important to us but anyway there are many backups maintained on other Macs and hard drives. HDDs are cheap — I have some 20 or 25 bare HDDs which can be installed in empty external cases for rare times they might need to be accessed.

I have a new Mac mini ordered. It's configured for the maximum of RAM so later upgrading is a non issue. I have the Retina iMac headed here too configured with maxed RAM — no worries about future RAM upgrading. Perhaps I am conned by Apple's Retina hype but I do love my 15" Retina MacBook Pro — best laptop ever — and an optical drive has never been needed. Also I am these days exclusively an SSD fanboy, none of that hybrid Fusion confusion — my newest PC build is pure SSD too. Yes the PC still heavily relies on the optical drive for s/w installations but that world is enslaved by Asian designers who resist change — Microsoft wanted EFI but we are still stuck with BIOS. Fortunately most PC games are on Steam and can be downloaded albeit at huge inconvenience when you have a poor internet connection like ours.

As for games on the Mac — we have none. It just doesn't make sense when we have a PC dedicated to games. That is until Bethesda brought the Elder Scrolls Online to the Mac. Installing that on the Mac from the Mac/Windows hybrid DVD set turned out to be an excellent decision as the game is far too big to download although the endless online patching can be a tad onerous. Probably about 60-70GB of patches and add-ons so far.

As for Yosemite — Apple continues to dumb down the OS. You can't do a simple Software Update any more because that option has disappeared from the -menu and extra steps are required —Mac OS is becoming more like Windows with each release with the devs hiding stuff where we then have to search for it eg., the user's home directory. I hate what Apple has done with Safari as it's completely broken my work-flow model. If it ain't broke then don't fix it. The flat condensed new look of Yosemite is perhaps a tad novel — i could get used to it — but the way the Apple has squished up the headers of most windows and removed the window title from many is a giant step backward for no reason I can fathom.

It's fair to say that Muggins is a fan of Apple's advancing hardware tech — there are no complaints at all from this quarter. But dumbing down the OS and making it harder to use is stupid. Change for change's sake is stupid.

Goodbye
19th October 2014, 07:18 AM
Its only a dying breed because Apple has told you its a dying breed.

No, it's a dying breed because not many people use it anymore. I work in a large retailer that sells computers (non-Apple), amongst other things, and we don't have that many that are equipped with optical drives anymore, nor do they seem to be missed by the majority of people who are purchasing them. No one asks if they come with an optical drive. Further, we are going out of selling the media too, because it sits on shelves for months getting dusty while USB drives are sold by the dozen every day.

Including an optical drive for the handful of people who actually use them anymore is not a smart move for a company like Apple. You need an optical drive regularly? Buy an external one. We sell those too - and they move off the shelves as slowly as the media.

Oldmacs
19th October 2014, 08:47 AM
No, it's a dying breed because not many people use it anymore. I work in a large retailer that sells computers (non-Apple), amongst other things, and we don't have that many that are equipped with optical drives anymore, nor do they seem to be missed by the majority of people who are purchasing them. No one asks if they come with an optical drive. Further, we are going out of selling the media too, because it sits on shelves for months getting dusty while USB drives are sold by the dozen every day.

Including an optical drive for the handful of people who actually use them anymore is not a smart move for a company like Apple. You need an optical drive regularly? Buy an external one. We sell those too - and they move off the shelves as slowly as the media.

I don't see why there is a problem keeping the MacBook Pro non retina around, it's not damaging apple in any way. Connecting an external drive to a laptop is annoying. Why don't we all accept each others opinions here. You all believe it's a dying breed, I don't and nonr of us are going to change our view.

I think I've shifted the conversation away from what really matters which is the non upgradable ram in the Mac mini.

Goodbye
19th October 2014, 10:15 AM
I don't see why there is a problem keeping the MacBook Pro non retina around, it's not damaging apple in any way. Connecting an external drive to a laptop is annoying. Why don't we all accept each others opinions here. You all believe it's a dying breed, I don't and nonr of us are going to change our view.

I think I've shifted the conversation away from what really matters which is the non upgradable ram in the Mac mini.

It's not what I believe or don't believe. I have first hand evidence that it actually IS a dying breed because less and less people are buying optical media. And do you think it costs nothing to have an outdated model still in production?

Oldmacs
19th October 2014, 10:58 AM
It's not what I believe or don't believe. I have first hand evidence that it actually IS a dying breed because less and less people are buying optical media. And do you think it costs nothing to have an outdated model still in production?

It costs less because of cheap components, and the fact they charge through the nose for it. I've heard it is one of the best selling MacBooks. Its the only sensibly upgradable one left, so i'm hoping it sticks around. I see a lot of people still using optical media through my first hand experience as well, so it is what you do and don't believe.

kyte
19th October 2014, 11:33 AM
Personally, I can't stand them. Almost everything that made Apple appealing to me in the early 2000s is no longer applicable - powerful, easy to use machines with rock-solid software and excellent hardware longevity, including the ability to improve it as it enters its second and third years or as my workload becomes more demanding. ...

<snip>

While I respect the man for some of his past achievements, I can't help but think that Jony Ive is turning into a pretentious prat as well. Somehow he's managed to convince the entire world that skeuomorphism and detailed UI elements is subpar compared to gradients and alpha transparencies. A modern look is perhaps needed, but there's been many steps backwards in the design in recent years as well. You'll never convince me that system-wide Helvetica in Yosemite is better than the Lucida Grande it replaces, or that the new Finder icon is an improvement over the old one.

<snip>


PS. According to Brian Stucki from MacMiniColo, the newly released 2014 model Mac Mini has soldered memory (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/17/mac-mini-soldered-ram/), making it impossible to upgrade down the track. However I'm waiting for iFixit's teardown to verify this since it seems ridiculous to retain the removable base plate and yet have nothing in there that's user serviceable.

Agree with almost all of your comments. I'm peeved about the lack of user upgradeability for the mini, some of us on pensions HAVE to do things piecemeal, looks like a new mini is out of the question for me.

Absolutely detest the appearance of Yosemite, hate helvetica but not passionately but I do hate that everything seems to be BOLDED now (perhaps thats helvetica anyway) and have spent the morning searching for a way to change it. We cant even change fonts and colours in iMessage anymore, FFS. I hate it. I really do. I hate it enough to downgrade to Mavericks again. Fortunately I switched off Time Machine and have not got any TM stuff from Yosemite. Yes, I hate it. My eyes, my eyes!!!

OTOH there are some aspects of Yosemite which appeal. Answering SMS on computer instead of having to find where you left the phone... this is good.

Thingme
19th October 2014, 12:19 PM
I don't like upgradeability all that much. I much prefer to configure the thing from scratch to max the RAM, and install the top CPU and GPU, so that I won't regret later about any initial reservations when I had the chance to build a top machine and didn't.

MadKiwi
19th October 2014, 12:30 PM
I don't like upgradeability all that much. I much prefer to configure the thing from scratch to max the RAM, and install the top CPU and GPU, so that I won't regret later about any initial reservations when I had the chance to build a top machine and didn't.

But that takes a level of money that some if us simply don't have. I prefer to get something that fits my need at the time and then have the option to add more memory/disk etc. later. With Apple gear this is getting increasingly difficult so it's time to go back to Windows based machines where I can add memory, CPU, disk, video cards at any time when I need or want them.

It's been a fun few years Apple but now it is time to say goodbye as your greed is getting too great.

simonm
19th October 2014, 12:39 PM
If you want upgradeability, pretty much the Mac Pro is your only choice. Ram, CPU, SSD and even potentially graphics cards at some point in the future are all upgradable and easily accessible. It's the only fully upgradable Mac. Everything else Apple sells is more like a device.

Having said that my fully upgraded rMBP is still fantastic. Granted it's only 1.5 years old (Early 2013 model) but it doesn't feel that long. With 768 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM I have no need to upgrade for the foreseeable future. However if I'd not maxed it out I would've been left wanting from the start.

My advice is usually to get the best you can possibly afford, and then some. Macs still maintain high resale prices if you get a decent model to begin with and look after it! My brother recently sold a 2-year old maxed out Mid 2012 rMBP for $2,600.

Apple is pretty much doing as little as possible right now and has been for some time. How hard was it to upgrade the Mac Mini but they didn't bother for a couple of years. Same for the AppleTV. And it's pretty much assumed that Pro owners (and laptop users) will have to wait until next year for a 5k Cinema Display for no other reason than Apple wanting to push the iMac because it has lower longevity.

If you can possibly stretch your budget to get a base model Mac Pro and possibly upgrade the video cards I'd do that, and upgrade the RAM and SSD later.

SRG
19th October 2014, 12:52 PM
It's been a fun few years Apple but now it is time to say goodbye as your greed is getting too great.

I am not so sure it is greed as much as an obsessive drive for thinness etc, that ends up meaning increasingly complex manufacturer that simply means it can't be upgraded by a user.

Don' misunderstand me as supporting that approach, I would rather see an ability to upgrade as I have with pretty much all my Macs.

I just get get that beyond a certain point that things are so complex in a comfined space, most users are likely to break things if they are let loose in there.

The more advanced users like many of us are simply no longer the target market. They are clearly aiming at the average Mum and Dad user who want something that just works and they don't need or want to understand how they can upgrade it later.

MissionMan
20th October 2014, 10:22 AM
In some respects, I agree where they are going. The user upgradeability side is redundant in the current market. My guess is that less than 1% of the market would require laptop upgrades and they don't see this as an important part of their market. You can still upgrade some of their laptops with third party products, you just lose your warranty on them.

The optical drive I don't miss. I have an external for my MacBook air and I never use it. Maybe used 3 times in the last 2 years, not a whole lot and worth having as an external rather than internal. Even the photographers I know are moving to providing photos on USB stick because it's so cheap.

My disappointment stems from Apples refusal to provide any form of stylus functionality with the iPad. Current 3rd party styluses aren't up to scratch as they lack the OS level integration and with a couple of thousand styluses on the market, you would think they would have realised a large portion of the market need them.

changa
20th October 2014, 11:18 AM
My disappointment stems from Apples refusal to provide any form of stylus functionality with the iPad. Current 3rd party styluses aren't up to scratch as they lack the OS level integration and with a couple of thousand styluses on the market, you would think they would have realised a large portion of the market need them.

Stylus support? Is there really a large portion of the market using styluses?

I have worked for 2 of the largest employers in Corporate Australia where iPads have been deployed to most members of Senior Management (probably 10,000 people) and have never seen a stylus being used (or requested).

To be honest, I don't know anyone who uses a stylus for their iPad or anyone who has lamented the lack of a stylus.

There are undoubtedly a number of people who use styluses and would like stylus support but I would not think that constitutes a large portion of the market. It would be a very, very small portion of the market who need stylus support (given that Apple has sold 225 million iPads).

Oldmacs
20th October 2014, 11:23 AM
In some respects, I agree where they are going. The user upgradeability side is redundant in the current market. My guess is that less than 1% of the market would require laptop upgrades and they don't see this as an important part of their market. You can still upgrade some of their laptops with third party products, you just lose your warranty on them.

The optical drive I don't miss. I have an external for my MacBook air and I never use it. Maybe used 3 times in the last 2 years, not a whole lot and worth having as an external rather than internal. Even the photographers I know are moving to providing photos on USB stick because it's so cheap.

My disappointment stems from Apples refusal to provide any form of stylus functionality with the iPad. Current 3rd party styluses aren't up to scratch as they lack the OS level integration and with a couple of thousand styluses on the market, you would think they would have realised a large portion of the market need them.

I would think a heap more than 1% of the laptop market would like upgradability. I'm frequently upgrading RAM for pretty basic customers as they ask for more memory. I've had others ask for more storage, so I upgrade the Hard drive. Non upgradable/serviceable computers especially on the desktop side are a terrible idea. Especially since I know someone who had their just slightly over two year old laptop have the ram die. Because the ram couldn't be removed, it was a new logic board or new Macbook. Perhaps the Air gets pardoned as it is a super compact. The Pro should always have replaceable ram, Apple could innovate and make the connectors thin enough to allow it. The iMac and Mac Mini have no excuse whatsoever not to have replaceable ram at the least.

MissionMan
20th October 2014, 11:47 AM
Stylus support? Is there really a large portion of the market using styluses?

I have worked for 2 of the largest employers in Corporate Australia where iPads have been deployed to most members of Senior Management (probably 10,000 people) and have never seen a stylus being used (or requested).

To be honest, I don't know anyone who uses a stylus for their iPad or anyone who has lamented the lack of a stylus.

There are undoubtedly a number of people who use styluses and would like stylus support but I would not think that constitutes a large portion of the market. It would be a very, very small portion of the market who need stylus support (given that Apple has sold 225 million iPads).

I know of plenty of people who want a stylus and can't get one that works properly so they go without - its not out of choice, it's lack of options. The experience with styluses is second rate due to Apple's lack of OS or Hardware integration and those who have tried the styluses have found it to be a very poor experience. One of the best selling apps on iOS is...yes, a handwriting app called Notes Plus. Compare the number of Galaxy Note's vs other models and you'll find a fair amount of people who are buying them because they offer the stylus as an option.

So the short answer is people who try the stylus with the iPad find it to be a poor experience and go without because they don't have a choice, not because they don't want it.

Goodbye
20th October 2014, 08:02 PM
I'm sure Apple did their research and found that very few people actually ever did upgrade RAM or hard drives. They're not just doing it to piss a handful of people off. The fact that they're selling more and more computers points to the fact that not having user-upgradeable RAM or hard drives isn't really a factor for the high majority of people.

Oldmacs
20th October 2014, 08:19 PM
I'm sure Apple did their research and found that very few people actually ever did upgrade RAM or hard drives. They're not just doing it to piss a handful of people off. The fact that they're selling more and more computers points to the fact that not having user-upgradeable RAM or hard drives isn't really a factor for the high majority of people.

Regardless of what consumers are doing its a stupid stupid stupid idea. It would also not reflect my experience with consumers. Its an excuse for Apple making some more money by ensuring their computers have a shorter lifespan. If Apple was listening to consumers for everything, iOS would probably be the Macs only OS.

DagrtheSnide
20th October 2014, 09:27 PM
I'm sure Apple did their research and found that very few people actually ever did upgrade RAM or hard drives. They're not just doing it to piss a handful of people off. The fact that they're selling more and more computers points to the fact that not having user-upgradeable RAM or hard drives isn't really a factor for the high majority of people.

More likely, I'm sure Apple did their research and found they would make more money if people could not upgrade the ram or hard drives themselves.

Oldmacs
20th October 2014, 10:10 PM
More likely, I'm sure Apple did their research and found they would make more money if people could not upgrade the ram or hard drives themselves.

Sounds about right. Sell Macs with 4GB of ram, which is already too little now, then in 2 years time they OS X 10.12 will cripple them. Because thats highly environmentally and socially responsible of them :) Eg, Macs that you don't spend massive amounts of money customising are going to be just like iPads and iPhones soon enough, 2-3 year lifespans, then in the bin.

MadKiwi
21st October 2014, 04:29 AM
Sounds about right. Sell Macs with 4GB of ram, which is already too little now, then in 2 years time they OS X 10.12 will cripple them. Because thats highly environmentally and socially responsible of them :) Eg, Macs that you don't spend massive amounts of money customising are going to be just like iPads and iPhones soon enough, 2-3 year lifespans, then in the bin.

I think this statement hits the nail on the head and with the money that Apple charge for their "superior" products I don't think that this is fair. It is pure consumerism and just a way for Apple to make more money.

I've been one of the Apple faithful for well over 5 years now but with the changes in Apple in the last couple of years with their massive push to making you upgrade every time they released a new product it's time to say goodbye. At least with a Windows PC I can update the CPU, storage, graphics card, memory, or even the motherboard and still keep a large part of the initial investment intact, and given the lessening stability of OS X these days a return to Windows is not going to be that bad as my experiences with Windows 8.1 both at work and at home are more positive than that of Mavericks or Yosemite.

Oldmacs
21st October 2014, 02:03 PM
2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability - Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/20/mac-mini-2014-teardown/)

Its confirmed. I've lost most of my respect for Apple.

iMic
21st October 2014, 04:02 PM
2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability - Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/20/mac-mini-2014-teardown/)

Its confirmed. I've lost most of my respect for Apple.

The Mac Mini was a wonderful little machine when I was working on them. What they've essentially done here is gone to great lengths to cripple the machine compared to its predecessor with no other discernible reason other than to maximise profits or to stop the machine cannibalising sales of their higher end models - models that the average Mac Mini buyer probably wouldn't have considered anyway.

I remember that when the iMac was new, back around 1998 or thereabouts, Steve Jobs commented on how consumer products were often slow or purposely limited. They weren't as good as they could be for a consumer model. However Apple wouldn't be doing that, instead they wanted to produce a machine with the best technology they had to offer. "Lets put a killer engine in this car" was the remark, although I don't remember exactly which keynote that was said at.

I do feel that those days are over. Not only is the new Mac Mini an almost completely sealed unit, it's also slower than the 2012 model it replaces in multi-core performance (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1804692). Not by a small amount either - around a 40-percent reduction in processing power. Haswell Quad Core processors use different sockets than the Dual Core versions (although the Mini's CPU isn't physically socketed, it's soldered into place), leading to speculation that the reason Apple has stopped offering a Quad Core version is because they didn't want to engineer a second logic board with the appropriate pin connections for the Quad variant of the Haswell CPU, essentially deeming the new, slower top of the line configuration "good enough".

Ultimately, I'm not a power user and my hardware demands aren't that intensive, although I do love to have some flexibility with the hardware. I always loved the Mac Mini for what it was and often thought that it had more than enough processing power for what I would want to do with it, even with the now reduced multi-core performance figures. However the thought of knowing that the previous model was much better in terms of performance and expandibility and knowing that this is what Apple chose to do with the current revision is enough to put me off owning one. It seems like many others are feeling the same way, as stocks of older refurbs and supplies and previous generation models at third party vendors seem to be pretty constrained right now.

kiwijohn
21st October 2014, 09:00 PM
Time to upgrade the good old late 08 macbook again. From that brief window when macs were super easy to upgrade.

MadKiwi
22nd October 2014, 09:45 AM
2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability - Mac Rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/2014/10/20/mac-mini-2014-teardown/)

Its confirmed. I've lost most of my respect for Apple.

Yep me too, I had hoped there was still one small hope for the Mac Mini but Apple have done it again and released another machine that you cannot upgrade if you need to.

It's just pure consumerism and the reason that they make obscene profits, if they fed just a little of their quarterly profits back in to the world economy, or even that of the USA then society would be better off.

Ok, I'm off to join the dirty smelly hippies that use Google devices for phones and tablets (no offence to Google users intended this is meant only as humor), and get myself a Windows machinewhere I can pick and choose parts and update when and if I need to or want to to replace my MacBook Pro - i wonder how much a 2012 15" Core i7 MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM is worth these days?

LCGuy
22nd October 2014, 07:57 PM
Time to upgrade the good old late 08 macbook again. From that brief window when macs were super easy to upgrade.

Meanwhile this weekend I'm sticking a new logic board in my late '07 MacBook. An upgrade that while completely unsupported, will get it all the way up to Yosemite.

PO15KA
22nd October 2014, 10:29 PM
Hi all

But isn't all this in line with what is actually happening to the PC market anyway?
Microsoft ruined windows with the release of 8, just a quick glance at the Harvey Norman catalogue and the PC range has been reduced to a three boring models somewhere on the bottom of a page while the touch screen one piece machines feature on almost two pages of the same brochure.

Yes there are many other vendors who can put together a killer PC but the average mum and dad have no idea and get put off by the unknown.

This reminds me of the days when AMIGA and Atari ST were around and an upgrade meant a trade in or sale of the old model in order to purchase the newly released one :) ...these companies are now a distant history

Marcin

Geoff3DMN
23rd October 2014, 12:15 PM
I'm sure Apple did their research and found they would make more money if people could not upgrade the ram or hard drives themselves.

I agree they've analysed this and I agree they'll make more sales and sell more higher end models but this will come at the expense of users who'll be forced into upgrading laptops more frequently or alternatively buying a version higher up the model range.

Take me for example, I tend to buy entry level MacBook Pros and Airs (or maybe 1 step up from base) because I've needed seen the value in what Apple charges for extra memory and extra drive space and processor speed is largely irrelevant for my usage.

Previously I'd have bought a base model laptop and then gone to a RAM supplier and installed memory and saved myself some $ because Apple memory prices are higher than after market suppliers. Or I'd have bought an SSD as an upgrade after I'd owned it for a while to extend it's usable life span.

Now I can do neither so I have to pay more and pay upfront to get that life span or I accept a reduced life span and upgrade more often.

harryb2448
23rd October 2014, 12:34 PM
Trying? Trying?

You guys are pullin' our whatnots!

Now what was trying was removing the floppy from the original Bondi Blue iMac. I desperately need my floppy back. Now let's get started on Zip drives? Sales are up so something must appeal to somebody somewhere?

Orestes
23rd October 2014, 01:15 PM
Apple still sell one model with a DVD drive and an external DVD drive suitable for all the rest.

The day where they discontinue the 'original' MacBook Pro is imminent but so is the day the DVD dies.

Personally I hope both of these are sooner rather than later, for 95% of the time I don't need a DVD drive so I bought a MacBook Air and the few times I've needed one I've used an external one. Can't say I miss not having one.

It might be fine for you, but it's not for others. Soldered on RAM and lack of any sort of expandability doesn't exactly say Pro to me. Really Apple should have done away with it all and come up with a new label some ideas:


MacBook Consumer
MacBook Newb
MacBook Not For Pros
MacBook Because Everyone Else on my University Campus has one


Just to list a few, but lets face it Apple doesn't care about Pros anymore, where was that last Mac that supported an expansion card of any sort, or the ability to add your own RAM and hard drive combinations or upgrade to BluRay or whatever. They don't exist... Apple sells one MacBook with any sort of upgradability and its 2 years old now and set to go away soon enough.

Apple just doesn't care for professionals and has become another mindless computer retailer with little difference from Dell except the OS in the box. If it weren't for my preference in running OS X over Windows, I'd have opted out of the environment a long time ago.

Oldmacs
23rd October 2014, 02:12 PM
It might be fine for you, but it's not for others. Soldered on RAM and lack of any sort of expandability doesn't exactly say Pro to me. Really Apple should have done away with it all and come up with a new label some ideas:


MacBook Consumer
MacBook Newb
MacBook Not For Pros
MacBook Because Everyone Else on my University Campus has one


Just to list a few, but lets face it Apple doesn't care about Pros anymore, where was that last Mac that supported an expansion card of any sort, or the ability to add your own RAM and hard drive combinations or upgrade to BluRay or whatever. They don't exist... Apple sells one MacBook with any sort of upgradability and its 2 years old now and set to go away soon enough.

Apple just doesn't care for professionals and has become another mindless computer retailer with little difference from Dell except the OS in the box. If it weren't for my preference in running OS X over Windows, I'd have opted out of the environment a long time ago.

The only Macbook that could truly be considered the 'Pro' Model is the 13 inch Non Retina... Its the only upgradable model. I have some hope that due to its popularity Apple will give it a upgrade early next year. Why couldn't they put Retina in the 13 inch Non Retina model's body? Expandability + Retina + Two Storage drives/Optical Drive ???? That would my dream come true.

Just because the rest of the market is doing something, doesn't mean that Apple should. Thats what Apple's meant to be. Think Different.

I can see a whole heap of people lasting 2-3 years with these Mac Minis. 4GB of Ram and a 5400RPM HD is extremely slow. Hello more e waste, because yes they can be recycled but its far better for the environment to hang onto a Mac for say 4-5 years then 2-3 years, as recycling is costly and uses a lot of energy energy and so does creating a new Mac to replace the recycled one.

I can't see how ANYONE could spin this off as a good thing. Especially for the Mini as there is absolutely no advantage to having soldered RAM in a case made to be RAM expandable.

My family have a 2008 Macbook White which is still in regular use after 6.5 years. Why? Because an inexpensive RAM and SSD upgrade have massively increased its usable lifespan.

Drifter
23rd October 2014, 02:15 PM
Its confirmed. I've lost most of my respect for Apple.Being only a Mac Mini convert since 2011 it seemed to me Mac was the way to go.Now after this debacle with the new Mac mini being unupgradable, its made me think that my next PC will be a a small form factor Windows machine. Thank God I do I have a Windows machine if my 2010 Mini dies. Atleast it has a DVD drive with which to rip CDs and create DVDs.
Lucky for me Ive been able to sort out windows 8.1 to my satisfaction.

Oldmacs
23rd October 2014, 02:18 PM
Trying? Trying?

You guys are pullin' our whatnots!

Now what was trying was removing the floppy from the original Bondi Blue iMac. I desperately need my floppy back. Now let's get started on Zip drives? Sales are up so something must appeal to somebody somewhere?

The floppy drive was well well well well outdated in 1998, where as upgradbality is not something you can randomly add back on. I'm far more content to loose an optical drive if it means keeping the ability to upgrade, as the optical drive can be added back with an external drive (Even if that would annoy me)

Geoff3DMN
23rd October 2014, 02:19 PM
Now what was trying was removing the floppy from the original Bondi Blue iMac. I desperately need my floppy back. Now let's get started on Zip drives? Sales are up so something must appeal to somebody somewhere?

Yes yes I already explained why sales go up with reduced upgradability, it reduces usable life time and reduces time between purchases. That doesn't make it a good thing for the end user, it just means Apple make more sales (and more power to them, they're a business in it to make money after all).

And comparing removing drives with making memory non-upgradable is disingenuous.

There were external drive options for floppy drives, there are external drive options for CD, DVD, Blue Ray and Hard Disk.

There is OTOH no practical way to bump memory capacity when the memory is non-upgradable and that's the big issue, non-upgradable RAM.

Orestes
23rd October 2014, 02:33 PM
The only Macbook that could truly be considered the 'Pro' Model is the 13 inch Non Retina... Its the only upgradable model. I have some hope that due to its popularity Apple will give it a upgrade early next year. Why couldn't they put Retina in the 13 inch Non Retina model's body? Expandability + Retina + Two Storage drives/Optical Drive ???? That would my dream come true.

That would be my perfect Mac, 13" non-soldered ram, Retina screen, and an upgradable drive bay, but this isn't going to happen with Apple the way it is. I've been buying Apple products for 15 years this may be my last. I'm seriously thinking about going Surface Pro for my next laptop if upgradability is out of the question.

Go even more minimal, because what's the point of a laptop and the size/waste of it all when you can't upgrade the thing. If I can run Photoshop, Lightroom, etc on it and it works in the field then its good enough for me. I'll just add some more storage to my NAS to make up for the 2TB I'd be lacking internally.

Oldmacs
23rd October 2014, 02:52 PM
That would be my perfect Mac, 13" non-soldered ram, Retina screen, and an upgradable drive bay, but this isn't going to happen with Apple the way it is. I've been buying Apple products for 15 years this may be my last. I'm seriously thinking about going Surface Pro for my next laptop if upgradability is out of the question.

Go even more minimal, because what's the point of a laptop and the size/waste of it all when you can't upgrade the thing. If I can run Photoshop, Lightroom, etc on it and it works in the field then its good enough for me. I'll just add some more storage to my NAS to make up for the 2TB I'd be lacking internally.

Sadly I think the best we will get is a Macbook Pro... Even that would satisfy me. Although won't need a new Macbook for quite a few years, and even a Haswell MPB would be a bit outdated in 4 years time!

kyte
23rd October 2014, 03:16 PM
I think I'll be looking for something hackint0shable. My old netbook was fine for a while but it cant go higher than SL. Also, the screen tis too small for anything more than, well, being a netbook. I can't afford to be upgrading because the hardware isnt user-serviceable. Why should I be penalised because I am not in the income bracket they want to sell to. Stuff that.

Orestes
23rd October 2014, 04:14 PM
I think I'll be looking for something hackint0shable. My old netbook was fine for a while but it cant go higher than SL. Also, the screen tis too small for anything more than, well, being a netbook. I can't afford to be upgrading because the hardware isnt user-serviceable. Why should I be penalised because I am not in the income bracket they want to sell to. Stuff that.

Yeah there is a serious income bracket pinch, like $3000 for the new Retina Imac 27" here in Australia, the $2500 (US) price is far more reasonable.

We shouldn't be penalised really, I mean I've had my 13" MacBook Pro for almost 4 years and it still feels like a new Machine, and is competitive with new machines on the market, only really the 13" MacBook Pro with the 2.9ghz option from 2012 beats it in terms of specs I'm actually interested in.

If they get around to writing drivers for the Surface Pro 3 that's where I'll be looking, otherwise I'll go for a hackintoshable Laptop also. I prefer OS X, but the hardware options just aren't there for a user like myself from Apple anymore.

A surface Pro like device with Launchpad would be another ideal device for me.

kyte
23rd October 2014, 05:50 PM
Actually, I've just done some reading at insanelymac.com and really, a hackintosh isnt a path I want to go down again. Its frustrating and annoying, most of the time. And then, things dont work properly. I think I'll wait til 13" rMBP which have already had their RAM and Drives ordered to the specs I would like, start turning up on the second hand market, as people upgrade, a couple of years from now. I dont mind being a tad behind.

Orestes
23rd October 2014, 08:16 PM
A hackintosh is only ever as painful as the hardware you choose to run on it. If you get common hardware it shouldn't be painful at all... Just don't rush into things and be prepared to leave things alone if they're stable.

mtmember
25th October 2014, 11:45 AM
Apple still sell one model with a DVD drive and an external DVD drive suitable for all the rest.

The day where they discontinue the 'original' MacBook Pro is imminent but so is the day the DVD dies.

Personally I hope both of these are sooner rather than later, for 95% of the time I don't need a DVD drive so I bought a MacBook Air and the few times I've needed one I've used an external one. Can't say I miss not having one.

Second best brand, well that'd still have to be Apple but with an external DVD drive.

Each to his own I guess. You like carrying around an external drive, who am I to argue. :)

Oldmacs
25th October 2014, 01:07 PM
Each to his own I guess. You like carrying around an external drive, who am I to argue. :)

My point of argument is that people who like no internal drives already have two options, the Air and the Retina pro, and those who like internal drives have the non retina pro. That would be all well and good, but those same people who like the lack of optical drive are demanding the non retina pro is discontinued. Why can't it be left as is? Apple keeping the non retina pro around isn't going to kill anyone.

MadKiwi
25th October 2014, 01:09 PM
It also seems that second hand Macs are no longer holding their value. I just did a check on MResell for my 2012" 15" MacBook Pro (i17 2.3GHz) and it values it at only $769.00 , pretty shocking for a machine that cost around 3 times that amount new!

grizabellachinchilla
25th October 2014, 01:15 PM
It costs less because of cheap components, and the fact they charge through the nose for it. I've heard it is one of the best selling MacBooks. Its the only sensibly upgradable one left, so i'm hoping it sticks around. I see a lot of people still using optical media through my first hand experience as well, so it is what you do and don't believe.

Just a word of support for optical drives. My MacBook Pro from 2011 has one and I need it for my husband to use X-Plane 10. I'm not too keen on having to buy anything else so that will run - it cost enough just to buy the software!

Oldmacs
25th October 2014, 01:29 PM
Just a word of support for optical drives. My MacBook Pro from 2011 has one and I need it for my husband to use X-Plane 10. I'm not too keen on having to buy anything else so that will run - it cost enough just to buy the software!

I agree. Buying yet another piece of hardware is just annoying, expensive and complex if you're a laptop user.

Oldmacs
25th October 2014, 01:40 PM
It also seems that second hand Macs are no longer holding their value. I just did a check on MResell for my 2012" 15" MacBook Pro (i17 2.3GHz) and it values it at only $769.00 , pretty shocking for a machine that cost around 3 times that amount new!

I wouldn't trust that valuation. 2011 Macbook Pro 15 inches are going for between $850 and up on eBay. Any Mac is going to loose value relatively quickly... The real value is that they tend to soldier on for a long time, and still remain highly usable. I would say 6 years is a good span for a Macbook - but then again thats when you could replace the RAM and HD...

MResell are a joke, they underpay and overcharge.

kyte
25th October 2014, 03:11 PM
A hackintosh is only ever as painful as the hardware you choose to run on it. If you get common hardware it shouldn't be painful at all... Just don't rush into things and be prepared to leave things alone if they're stable.

Laptops are less agreeable than desktops. At least you can make changes in the latter. I just don't really want one.




MResell are a joke, they underpay and overcharge.

They also have an "arrangement" with the mob that own mactalk. For that, read kickback or whatever its called these days

Thingme
25th October 2014, 04:58 PM
Horses for courses.

I have a 15" r-MBP and a 27" iMac.

What I use one for I would not normally do on the other.

They are both equally useful in specific roles.

tommy41950
25th October 2014, 07:59 PM
An interesting discussion.
I have a 2010 MBP 15" in which I lately installed 8gb of RAM and a 1TB hard drive - it's made a great difference to my Mac's performance. Of course, when I bought it, I thought both RAM and hard-drive space was plenty. But when you start digitizing all your assets, my storage gets used up fast. And this brings me to the current line up of MBP - to get the equivalent RAM and storage space, I would be paying, maybe $4.5K, and that's a lot of money, especially for something that cannot be upgraded, at least for RAM. I've been through the logic board replacement routine because my Mac was one of those affected by a faulty logic board, which was replaced for free (although they used my Apple Care to cover it rather than paying for the faulty (at time of building) logic board themselves.
Even now, my Mac is not compatible with some of then new wizz bangs in Yosemite, and I suppose this trend in incompatibility will continue as time goes on. One day this retiree is going to have to hit his super fund for a big amount of dosh to get a newer machine.
In the meantime, I've become less than enamored with my iPad2. I bought it because I thought it would be a good travel substitute to my my MBP, which I lug around with me all over the world. I wanted it to be able to store all my photos, and have the ability to edit them in iPhoto and then transfer them to my MBP when I returned home for holidays. Those options weren't available when I bought it and even now having to bounce everything through the cloud to move from one to another, so I can maintain one library, with the MBP as the hub of my digital life, is not an option I want to go to. The last nail in the coffin for me, of the iPad being a good traveling computer is that, the only way to back-up is either in the cloud, or in iTunes on my MBP, which of course, is at home, and not available for the time when the iPad fails, breaks or is stolen. So I'm looking at a MB Air 11" as a nice handy size to travel with. I can take a small hard-drive with me to back up onto.
The Windows community have always laughed at us Apple people saying you can't upgrade Macs, and do all the things they could to their machines (but I'm sure, probably not to the extent that they think), and now they're right.
I'm waiting for the price of SSD storage to come down, as it will, and then I will get a replacement for this MBP and load it up with as much RAM as I can buy. I won't go to the Windows camp - I used one at work (running XP) and really had difficulty understanding how it all hung together.
So good fortune in future land folks.