I want a Mac, but which…

That's it? Have you decided?

If you hesitate a little bit more, here is a small publicity film to possibly lift your last doubts.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl_FIsc8E7g[/youtube]

Come on, let's go.

First of all, where do you buy your Mac?

The distribution of Apple is based on three networks.

The first and easiest is Apple itself. You can buy directly your machine on the site www.Apple.fr in the section store. The advantage, you can order the latest models, at the best price, with a delivery time as short as possible, and especially make some configuration changes that will allow to personalize your machine. I will come back to his changes a little later.

The second network is based on the Apple Premium reseller (APR). These Apple-certified shops will provide you with advice in case you hesitate, will also ensure the most efficient after-sales service, with prices normally identical to those of the online store.

The third network is simply based on a network of non-Apple-certified resellers.

Is there a privileged network compared to others? Not really. Whether you buy your machine on the Apple Store, at an APR or at a reseller, after-sales service, the Hot-Line, repairing your machines will anyway be done by Apple (most likely on a center that is not located in France…) So it all depends on your buying habits, and especially on the willingness to meet someone physically or not.

On the other hand, you have to know that when Apple launches a new machine, all the old generation machines disappear from its awning. APR and resellers have stocks of old machines which during the changes of range will naturally be sold. It turns out that a change of range does not necessarily imply a revolution in the machinery, it is at this time the right time to turn to a reseller to buy a machine of old generation, perfectly valid, and at a very price Interesting.

What's the difference between a Mac and a PC?

Historically, Macs used processors from a collaboration between IBM and Motorola: the PowerPC. The graphic components were not necessarily related to the major brands on the PC market. For the rest, we found roughly the same components. Besides, it's Apple with its iMac that popularized the USB port the first. Since mid-2006, all Apple machines are equipped with Intel processors. The graphics component is ensured by the two great founders that are Nvidia and ATI. So there is no more fundamental difference in the internal components of a Macintosh compared to a PC.

So what are the features that it is important for a Windows user to apprehend for his future purchase?

The first is that its machine will be little evolutionary. I'll detail a little further the range of Apple machines, but outside the Mac Pro, very little salvation for the hackers. Whether it's on an iMac or on the laptop range apart from the ability to boost memory and change the hard drive, you will hardly be able to evolve your machine.

The second is that Apple refuses to embark on a race for power. You will not find on the MAC the latest outgoing processors associated with the latest graphics card. It must be kept in mind that Apple supplies machines adapted to its system. The quality and service rendered by Macs therefore remain a priority, even if it does not incorporate a more efficient technology, but which does not fit with its specifications. Even if the example only concerns the iPhone, that's why Apple refused to release a 3g version of its mobile star before it managed to manage the energy consumption in such a way that the autonomy is acceptable.

Third, consider checking the connection of your machine, Apple's policy on this subject being, in my opinion, very limited. If the desktops are doing well, the portable range is extremely placed with the lack of a FireWire port on the entry-level, and a number of USB ports that I personally find totally inadequate whatever the range of products. To know so…

Fourth, do not necessarily boost your machine more than reason. It is interesting to increase the capacity in RAM, the capacity of the hard drive is much less important than on a PC, Mac OS actually takes much less space than Windows and for a lambda user a 160 GB hard drive will suffice.

The range of offices

It is simple (like the majority of the Apple range elsewhere).

Mac Mini

The cheapest machine, the Mac Mini, will be found first. It is in my opinion the most interesting machine for the switcher. Indeed, it combines performance more than honorable, a perfect connection, and above all a very interesting price. The Mac Mini is currently available for sale on the Apple Store at €549. For this price, you only have the central unit. Charge you to recover your old screen, keyboard, mouse and move into the Apple world at better cost by reusing most of your hardware. A little tip, think about buying the right video adapter to connect your old screen, the Macs currently using the mini display port as a standard adapter.

IMAC 2009The IMAC has benefited from a particularly interesting update with lower prices and ever bigger screens. Nothing really particular to say about these machines except that I draw your attention to their lack of scalability. You will always be able to make changes later, but do not expect to do it yourself, you will have to systematically go through an APR if you want to keep the warranty. Regarding the current range, be aware of the entry-level graphics processor. It will surely not make the latest games run correctly in Windows. Prefer an iMac with an ATI card. Apart from that, nothing to say about these machines that combine design, power, and design quality.

Mac ProThe latest office machine proposed by Apple is the Mac Pro. He's good with his name. Its design, its power, but also and above all its price make it a machine reserved for professionals or wealthy individuals. I will not go into detail, this machine being so powerful that there is nothing special to say apart from a totally prohibitive price.

The range of laptops

The range of laptops is probably the one that has undergone the most changes in a year.

MacBook 2009It has just been changed again recently with the appearance of a particularly interesting MacBook. The latter for a very reasonable price (€900) offers a 13-inch LED-backlit display, a one-body plastic shell (technology developed by Apple for making thin and resistant shells without "sewing") incorporating a new battery Generation with a maximum of 7 hours of use, a new generation touch pad with no visible button (some bad languages say that Steve jobs is allergic to pimples), all backed up by a very graphic card Reasonable that despite everything will not allow you to enjoy the latest generation of 3d games. The tests done here and here show that this MacBook is well born and can meet the majority of users ' requests. Personally, I just advised him to a friend, while stating that if it was for me I would pass by the Apple Store in order to increase the RAM installed at lower cost.

MacBook ProThe MacBook Pro is the top range of Apple laptops. They are all made in a very thin and lightweight aluminum body shell for screens from 13 to 17 inches, to you to see what visual comfort you want. The 13-inch range has, to date, very little difference compared to the MacBook. Same screen, same battery, same graphics processor, same hard drive, but the connection in addition. Indeed on the MacBook, you will find only two USB ports while when you switch on the MacBook Pro range you have a FireWire 800 port and an SD Card reader. Personally, I would rather turn to the MacBook if I want to stay on a 13 inch screen. The current 15-inch range is particularly interesting (this is your servant's machine). You choose your machine according to the Power you desire (and of course price) knowing that, as before, the entry-level 15 inch does not have a graphics card powerful enough to run the games on Windows. Nothing to say about the 17 inch, this machine is more a transportable than a laptop because of the size of the screen.

MacBook AirThe MacBook Air is a case of its own. The most fine mobile of the range, but also with the lowest autonomy (5 hours announced anyway), a very limited connection (a USB port, no Ethernet), no CD player or DVD… In short, it is up to you to see according to your needs.

Common characteristics

First at the network level, all the machines are equipped with an Ethernet port, but also a WiFi connection (standard WiFi-N.) called AirPort on Mac. The MAC supports all types of network connection existing on PC and, for advanced users, is already able to manage the IPV6 protocol.

The majority of major brand input devices will be recognized. Small feature of the MAC, the mice have only one button. So, IMAC users will see their machines delivered with probably the latest Apple Multi-Touch Mouse that manages the right click with a finger gesture system. Don't worry, Mac OS manages the shortcut menus and therefore the right click. We will see how to use it in a future article, but personally, I advise you, if you do not, invest in a mouse stamped Mac.

Do you have hard disks, USB sticks? No worries, they'll be recognized. When you connect them to your MAC, it will mount them and allow you to access them. There is a small feature about Windows partitions, I will come back to this in a next article.

Regarding printers and scanners, there is no answer made. I suggest you just go to the manufacturer's website to check if a MAC driver is available.

A feature common to all machines outside the Mac Pro, they all have the output of a mini display connector for the transmission of the video signal. This connector requires an adapter sold by Apple to be able to connect it to an external display. Think well to buy it, a fortiori if you buy a Mac Mini…

You're ready to buy your machine.

Next step, the first start and appropriation of Mac OS. We'll see it in the next ticket…

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