10 things we love about Apple

Great design, a polished OS, a way to run Windows, and a faker's blog are just a few of our favorite things

In a world where generic MP3 players are sold alongside Chia Pets in every K-Mart, Target and Quickie Mart, Apple's iPods are anything but commodities.

Most computers look like they were designed by manufacturers of low-end office furniture, but Macs are so beautiful that they'd probably be fixtures in movies and on TV even if product placement didn't exist.

And Apple is so basically innovative an organization that -- to swipe a phrase from our own Full Disclosure columnist Stephen Manes -- it essentially serves as the R&D arm of the entire technology industry.

In fact, we often find ourselves asking a question that's been around almost since Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started selling computers back in the 1970s: If Apple can do it, why can't anyone else?

We're not going to attempt to answer that question here. But we will enumerate some of the things that make the products from Cupertino, California's most famous company uniquely lovable. That's not to say that the things we said in are moot, but we're more than happy to give credit where it's due.

Got anything you love (or hate) about Apple yourself? Use the Comment link at the end of this article to add what you love about Apple -- or to tell us that we're being too kind.

1. Sublime designs

Apple's designs rarely feel cheap or half-baked. There are the obvious feats such as the slim, beautiful iPod Nano and the flat-panel iMac. Microsoft's Zune just doesn't compare to the Apple's iPods, and the Apple TV just might finally get us interested in the badly named digital media adapter market. And even if the upcoming iPhone doesn't become to mobile communications what the Mac was to computers, it's unquestionably off the chart in terms of pure style.

But equally impressive are the subtle innovations in Apple products that make them both more elegant and more useful: the tiny iMac remote, which clings to the side of the computer's screen. The MagSafe magnetic power adapter, which attaches to laptops lightly enough that it disconnects cleanly if you trip over it. Software and drivers, whether developed by Apple or third parties, maintain a consistent look and feel. Outside and in, it all just matchesa??which is more than you can say about most stuff in Windowsville.

2. The Mac OS rules

True, we're a little miffed that we have to wait until October to get our hands on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard); blame the iPhone. But if Leopard is anything like Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), it'll make Windows users jealous. Its Time Machine instant backup might be what finally gets people to back up their files. Its Spaces window management could work better than the already excellent Expose technology and the form-over-function Windows Flip 3D. Apple's Spotlight Desktop Search will search network volumes, and the nifty Dashboard widget engine will get new features. Apple being Apple, it's also entirely possible that it has some more surprises up its sleeve that it won't tell us until the moment before it springs Leopard on the world.

In the meantime, OS X 10.4 "Tiger," more than two years old now, is nearing the end of its life. Yet in most ways that matter, it's still a more pleasing, pleasingly consistent environment to work in than its newer (and arguably glitzier) competitor from Redmond. Aging Apple, in other words, is entirely capable of beating brand-new Microsoft.

3. Real reliability

What good is a cool computer or music player if it doesn't keep going and going? Apple makes some of the most reliable products on the market -- from its MacBook to its iPod digital audio players. In our most recent survey of reliability and service, the company scored higher than all other notebook manufacturers except for Lenovo, in part thanks to a better-than-average score for "satisfaction with reliability" and for overall reliability. Its digital audio players topped our list, earning the only better-than-average score for "satisfaction with reliability" (though its mark for overall reliability was only average).

Of course, Apple's track record isn't perfect, as owners of defective MacBooks will tell you. But the fact that you can get a reliable product that looks nice too makes its overall record pretty impressive.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?