The Macs of moto r cars
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