No long longer recommending Apple computers

This may be something you never thought you’d hear from me.   I’ve used a Mac since 2004, recommended them to you since 2005.  I will recommend them no more!  I will still support customers with them and all makes – of course.  Granted, I only make money by providing services.  My clients / computer students are free to buy whatever computer systems they want.   When I recommend Windows based computer systems — I recommend those that are of equal build quality and similar (though usually slightly less) in price to Apple’s products.  What customers have been the best clients (meaning repeat visits) over the years?   Those buying deeply discounted, poorly made computers from big box stores.  They run well for about 2 years.   If I was really about drumming up as much business as I could for myself  — I would tell everyone to buy Best Buy’s $429 weekly deal all the time.  I don’t.

In full objectivity — I am typing this statement now prior to Apple’s decision to act or not to act on my proposed resolution to a pending technical support matter I have with them.  Even if they resolve this matter to my full satisfaction — that does not change my message here.  I am not including Apple’s iOS devices in this bulletin (iPhone + iPad) so long as a local Verizon or ATT store can provide repair services on them independent of Apple – inside THEIR stores.  I cannot confirm at this time that this is true.  To be fair, I cannot easily say there is better customer service from other phone brands.

I just want to lay out general points here, without bringing up my personal situation:

– Nearly all of us are buying laptops as our primary computers.  They’re portable, just as powerful as traditional desktops.   Costs are not that much more.   Need to plug into a keyboard mouse and monitor for desk use?  Super easy.
– Laptops generate a lot of heat.  When using your laptop on a desk or table for any length of time — you should be using it on an elevated stand to promote air circulation.  It would be nice if this stand had cooling fans built into it.   If you use a lap desk — ideally it should elevate / cool your laptop as well.
– I’m not trying to dig up computing dinosaurs here, but since 2006, Apple’s laptops have had major problems with heat.  Except for that small strip adjacent to the screen hinge — there are no air vents built into the body of the laptop.  Quite commonly — the better Windows laptops have 3 or 4 and also better air intake and fans.
– The cooler your laptop runs, the longer its battery will last and the longer the laptop will last in general.
– Computer manufacturers require that in-warranty laptop repair be done by them or their authorized representatives.  You’ll never find an independent technician like me attempting REPAIR on a laptop under warranty.  However, items like RAM or hard drive upgrades / replacement are not considered repairs and can be replaced by the customer or an independent tech without voiding the warranty.
– Truth be told:  the Apple Stores in Connecticut (WestFarms, New Haven, Stamford, Greenwich, and Danbury) and around the country are becoming the primary places where Apple computers are repaired under warranty.  3rd party shops that do warranty work for Apple are becoming scarce.
– There is no warranty option — where you can pay $100 extra and have someone come to you and do the repair for in-warranty Macs.  By and large, you are at the mercy of the Apple Store, when they get to it, per their secretive culture, and circus environment.
– I’ve stated before that the Dell Latitude E6430 and Lenovo Thinkpad T430 are outstanding business class laptops.   They are not sold in stores.   They are generally built as well or better than Apple’s MacBooks and cost about the same or slightly less.
With either the Lenovo or the Dell, you can choose a warranty option at the time of purchase for on-site service.  This means at your home, business, hotel room, etc.   This service is provided next business day and covers hardware issues.
– There is no mall crowd, no being made to feel like some tool with a number.
– Lenovo, Dell, and Apple laptops are made in China.  A lot of people like to criticize Lenovo for being a Chinese company.  They purchased IBM’s PC business in 2005, though Big Blue continued to provide design insight to them for several more years.  However, Lenovo has its U.S. support operations in North Carolina.  Last week they announced they would start building some of their laptops and desktops in N.C. next year.

I’m going to rest my case there.  I have not gotten into the in-warranty repair nightmare I have experienced with Apple over the past week.  It really doesn’t matter at this point.   I’m putting myself in your shoes when you might need hardware repair on a computer system.  When you have a hardware failure on a computer under warranty — I want someone to come to you and fix it.  This person won’t be me, but they will be good, and that visit will be covered.  You can’t get THAT level of service from Apple.

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