The Macs of moto r cars

Mac Format - - APPLE OPINION -

If OS X were a car, what kind of car would it be?

Here’s a clue: it prob­a­bly isn’t a Kia

Steve Jobs could have driven any car in the world, but he chose to drive a Mercedes-Benz. Of course he did. Mercedes are the Macs of the mo­tor­ing world, and the sil­ver AMG SL55 Jobs pre­ferred is the Mac Pro of cars: beau­ti­fully en­gi­neered, ridicu­lously pow­er­ful and in­cred­i­bly ex­pen­sive.

Ap­ple and Mercedes have a lot in com­mon. Mercedes has a long history of bring­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy to the masses (the list of things it did first in­cludes the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine, all-wheel brak­ing, ABS, airbags and much, much more) in a way that man­ages to be both as­pi­ra­tional and in­clu­sive. It’s the car you dream of when bud­get or bean coun­ters man­date a Mon­deo; the car that trans­ports CEOs and cab­bies, pop stars and plu­to­crats, mourn­ers and mod­els; the car that you might ad­mire for its en­gi­neer­ing, lust over for its looks, or buy for both. And be­cause Mercs are so well made, they go on for­ever. Just like Macs. I’ve just put my 2007 MacBook Pro into semi-re­tire­ment. It’s had one care­ful owner – me – and three con­sid­er­ably less care­ful own­ers – my wife and kids – and it’s still go­ing strong af­ter eight years of daily driv­ing, the only bill an un­nec­es­sary but ef­fec­tive up­grade from a hard drive to an SSD. The only rea­son I’m putting it out to pas­ture as a back-up writ­ing ma­chine is I can’t run the latest OS X on it, so I can’t en­joy fea­tures such as Hand­off or some apps I want to run.

Its re­place­ment isn’t new, though. It’s a 2011 MacBook Air, which I got re­ally cheap on eBay. Bar a cou­ple of lit­tle bumps it looks as good as it did when it was first made, and thanks to its lovely for­mer owner send­ing it in the orig­i­nal pack­ag­ing I got that new-Mac un­box­ing joy that’s such a part of the Ap­ple ex­pe­ri­ence. Its SSD means it’s blind­ingly fast com­pared to its pre­de­ces­sor, and un­less I’m re­ally un­lucky it should have years of pro­duc­tive life ahead of it.

To a non-Mac owner, that prob­a­bly looks like a daft de­ci­sion. The same money I spent on a four-year-old Mac would have bought me a shiny new Win­dows 10 lap­top, maybe even a con­vert­ible. And that’s true, but that wasn’t what I wanted: no mat­ter how well-specced, a Win­dows PC is a Mon­deo to the MacBook’s Merc. That’s not a slur; Mon­deos are re­ally good cars and Win­dows 10 PCs are of­ten re­ally good com­put­ers. But hav­ing owned both Mon­deos and old Mercs (and en­joyed driv­ing both) I know that only one of them makes you smile ev­ery time you use it.

Just like a Mac.

What I spent on a four-year-old Mac would’ve bought a new

Win­dows 10 lap­top

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