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  1. #1

    Default Apple disappoints me

    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?

  2. #2

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    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.

  3. #3

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    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.

  4. #4

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    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.
    Last edited by Oldmacs; 18th October 2014 at 05:56 PM.
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  5. #5

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    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?

    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. I'm also not so much annoyed but saddened that we'll likely lose some truly beautiful UIs (take a look at OpenEmu and Apple's own 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, 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.
    Last edited by iMic; 18th October 2014 at 08:14 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmacs View Post
    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.
    Late 2015 - 4.7" iPhone 6s (Silver), 1.8 GHz 16nm TSMC A9, 128GB, iOS 9.2
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  7. #7

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    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.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kerr View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Oldmacs; 18th October 2014 at 09:12 PM.
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  9. #9

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    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.
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  10. #10

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    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.
    Last edited by Thingme; 19th October 2014 at 05:48 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmacs View Post

    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.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye View Post
    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.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmacs View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye View Post
    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.
    Plus, IIci, IIsi, LC, LCII, LC III, CC, LC475, LC630, Centris650, 6100, 8100, 5260, 7220, 7600. PB: 100, 150, 160, 165, 540, 190, 5300, 1400. Lombard, iMacG3, iBookG3, iBookG4, PBG4, eMac, iMac G4, PMG4, MiniG4, iMacG5

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by iMic View Post
    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, 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.

  16. #16

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thingme View Post
    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by simonm; 19th October 2014 at 12:45 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadKiwi View Post
    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.
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    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.
    http://twitter.com/TheMissionMan / Photo Page
    MacBook Air 13" 2.0GHz i7/8GB/512GB, iPhone 5 64GB, iPad Mini LTE 64GB, Nikon D700, MB-D10, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 1.4x, SB700, SB600, Benro C3580T, Benro GH-1, Benro C48T

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