Why do you choose Mac over other options?

sarneeh profile image Jakub Sarnowski ・1 min read

I'm planning to buy a new laptop and I'm leaning towards a Linux PC, as I've been experimenting with working on Linux instead of MacOS for a few months already and I don't see any big advantage of MacOS that would be worth the price of a MacBook.

There's also a Windows PC but I don't even consider it as I love to work on a similar environment that all of my servers are (UNIX*) and I don't work with .NET stuff.

So, I'm very curious: why did you decide to choose your current workstation? Why is it a MacBook? Or why is it a Linux/Windows PC?


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Hi Jakub! Years back I had no choice because in the design industry people expect you to use mac, with some mac only apps like sketch. Today I'm back in Linux with no regrets. My last mac is from 2014 and no plans on buying a new one. So unless you need to use a mac specific tool no point on following trends, buy and use the tool that fit your needs.


I have the same opinion: unless I don't need to use Mac-only software, I don't see any reason why I should buy one (besides that they're pretty and elegant, but should it cost so much because of it?).


Absolutely! I think macs got a lot of traction back in the day because the poor options in the PC side, being a very reasonable Unix like. But nowadays there are nice alternatives.


I’ve used various combinations of Linux, Windows and Mac.

For many years Linux was my preference on personal machines but I’ve since switched over to Mac.

Mac: You’re going to pay a premium for the hardware... But you know the hardware support is going to be there and generally it just works. It’s BSD origins mean that it’s still close enough to Linux to have most of the same tools available. I used KDE for a lot of years and find MacOS a little more polished. If you’re using other Apple devices such as iPhone it also integrates really well. Probably the only Mac specific app I’d miss if I switched would be Sketch. Last time I checked there wasn’t a decent Linux equivalent.

Linux: massively flexible and configurable. Free. Can be a bit harder to get some hardware to work. I’ve had breakages with system upgrades (KDE 3 to 4 was especially painful. Tends to be the most performance. If you’re using Linux on the server then it obviously integrates really well. If you need to use the Adobe apps, of MS Office then you’re going to need to use VMs or wine on Linux.

Windows: You’re going to pay a premium for the OS license. Getting a good dev setup if you need to work cross platform has historically been difficult. The terminal hasn’t been as good as Mac and Linux, and getting a working web stack that accurately mirrors production can prove challenging. Thankfully modern Microsoft is embracing developers and things like bash and WSL make it a much friendlier environment for developers than it used to be.

Summary: if your dev env (docker), IDE (VSCode/Jetbrains) and terminal (hyper.is) are cross platform then the decision comes down to your org’s policies or personal preference. They are all capable for 90% of developers.


Thank you very much for this extensive reply! Actually, after experimentally working on Linux for a few months, I find that the biggest struggle is software/hardware support. There are very few so polished alternatives to the best modern industry software and also it's often a lot of hours spent to configure some new hardware that "Just Works" on Windows/Mac.


I use a Mac; actually I use several.

At home, I have a Macbook Pro, a Macbook Air and two PCs. The Macbook Pro is our "primary" computer and the Air is just a backup. The two PCs are for gaming. I really only need the less-powerful of the two, but the more powerful one lets me play on Ultra graphics settings most of the time.

At work I use a Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini. The Macbook Pro was my main computer and the one that many of my co-workers use. The Mac Mini is a recent acquisition that took several months of begging convincing that the extra CPU cores were worth the $$$.

I also do some development on linux via AWS EC2. Some people do more on their linux host, other less. I used to do 100% though ssh. Now I only do about 1% over ssh.

I work on iOS app development, so Macs are practically required.

However, I use Macs even when I didn't have to.

In college and afterward, I put in a ton of hours trying to get a "perfect" linux setup working on my Thinkpad. I went through practically every major distro you could think of. In the end, nothing worked 99% of the time (I say 99% I know that 100% perfection is impossible). Usually it was some combination of wifi, graphics, bluetooth, and/or something else that didn't work. Ubuntu or Mint was as good as it got.

It also didn't help that I would spend way too much time customizing minutia like system fonts and aliasing and making the perfect key combinations.

Eventually I just decided that I wanted something that worked out of the box and (honestly) would limit customization to be not infinite. So I switched back to Macs. By that time, brew had come out and was a godsend. With brew on mac, linux as my primary OS was dead.

I know that Macs come at a premium cost and the hardware just seems to be getting worse with each iteration. So one day I might be forced back. In the meantime, I find that a 13" Macbook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) with 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD to be a top-choice development machine at a reasonable price. I hope mine never die.

That said, I'm very glad I spent the time I did (and do!) with linux. I still use those commands every day on macOS and when I still occassionaly use linux directly.


"Eventually I just decided that I wanted something that worked out of the box and (honestly) would limit customization to be not infinite" - I'm coming to the same resolution after working on Linux for some time already. It really can take a lot of time to configure and customize everything to your own needs. On a Mac, it looks pretty and works excellent out of the box - this can be a really good argument to buy one, despite the high price.

Thanks for sharing your view on the topic! 😄


Work provides a MacBook Pro, I run Arch on my personal laptop and I run Windows on a gaming tower. I honestly have no real preference, each have benefits and pitfalls.

If I had to pick one to use for the rest of my life, then Mac as its kinda best of both worlds, I can configure it easily and it has good program support.


Thanks for sharing with your opinion! Just one thought: I also was a guy who'd rather always choose a MacBook, until I had to buy it with my own money :D


Fortunately I haven't been faced with that issue since making this decision.


I never purchased a Mac only been gifted by company. I did pickup a X1 Carbon and going to test it out....


What are you planning to install on your X1 Carbon? :)


The Mac has the best of Linux and windows. Adobe creative suite, Microsoft office and terminal.


Yeah, I've also found that Linux is missing a lot of great software and Mac is actually the compromise between Windows (a lot of available software) and Linux (unix* system).


I didn't pick Mac... it's what my job uses so it's what I use


Yeah I wonder how many developers buy themselves a Mac, not just getting it for free from their company... 🤔