I went to Best Buy and the salesman tried to break a MacBook

Which laptop is better than a MacBook Air? I went to BestBuy to see what its salespeople would say. Or, indeed, do.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

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It's lovely, but I'm a little tired of looking at it.

It's showing signs of strain.

There's just a translucent blob where the A used to be. Sometimes, the trackpad jams a little. And, well, it looks a little old.

Perhaps it's to be expected when you use a laptop up to 16 hours a day. Even a two-year-old can look ancient.

But there's a certain stage in many relationships when you begin to look around.

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Naturally, I didn't tell my MacBook Air. I just went off to BestBuy to see if its wise salespeople could offer relationship advice.

I went over to a table where several MacBooks were displayed. A large Air, a small non-touchbar MacBook, and a couple of new Pros.

Soon, a large man loomed over and wondered if I had any questions.

I bared my soul. I explained the issues in my laptop relationship. It was one of looks, yes. I'm, er, a visual person.

But there's more. I heard there were some new ones, and who can resist new?

The salesman immediately pointed me toward the little gold MacBook, which isn't exactly new.

Yes, it looks a touch blingy, but he said this was the natural replacement for my Air.

"The Air is being phased out," he said. "Forget it. This MacBook is the lightest computer on market."

"Of all computers, not just Apple?"


I didn't have my weight charts with me, but a little skepticism invaded my pores.

I'm something of a veteran in wandering into stores and chatting about gadgets, so I wondered if this salesman was simply an Apple fanperson.

"So do you have one of these?"

"Nah. I have a custom-made gaming laptop," he said.

"They made it specially for you?"

"I made it myself. I bought the parts and put it together. It's easy."

Yes, of course.

"So, look," I said. "Really. You have no donkey in this derby. Which is the best laptop? Not just Apple, but all the laptops in here."

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"It's gotta be Apple."


"It's the parts. Apple always uses better parts than anyone else."

He then picked up the golden MacBook, turned it in his hand so that the corner faced down and slammed it down on the table.

I jumped a little. He'd slammed it down hard.

"See?" he said, as if I'd stumbled into a YouTube torture test.

It was impressive. I looked up at him, wondering whether this was his regular shtick.

"One day I'll do that and it'll break," he said, with the tiniest of gamer chuckles.

"But, come on," I persisted. "There must be some good reasons to buy a PC and not a Mac."

"The only reasons are for gaming," he explained, "just because you can get more games. Or for work. Say, if your work tells you you have to."

I was feeling quite sold -- and a little frightened -- for his future at Best Buy.

He, though, wasn't done. The MacBook's USB-C was the future, he said, because it's just so much faster than my old MagSafe nonsense.

I'd just need one essential, if not exactly tiny, dongle.

I was sold in a way that I wished I hadn't been. I'd heard that Best Buy has enjoyed remarkable service improvements recently.

He was doing a marvelous job, and if I'd had my credit card with me -- hey, I went straight from the gym to avoid temptation -- I just might have slammed it down hard on the table.

I still had one curveball though: "But how long will it be before this one looks dated because a new one comes out?"

"At least a year," he said, with less hesitation that it takes President Donald Trump to shout "Wrong!" when someone has said something that might be true.

"You're sure?"

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"They just brought out the Pros, and there's no way they'll bring out a new one of these for a year. It's not what they do."

I'm not the only one who wishes Apple would do it more quickly.

Many observers find the Mac range a touch stale, and the sheer unpredictability of the updates is, quite frankly, maddening.

So, I'm still torn. If you're going to leave a beloved, it shouldn't be for some imperfect, if attractive, frippery.

Then again, people do it all the time.

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