The Mac Experience

Ben Brooks contrasted the “Mac Experience” to the ‘Mac Pro Experience”:

Here’s how I see the current Mac experience from the non-software half:

  • As few wires as possible.
  • Sits on your desk, because it is gorgeous looking.
  • Quiet.
  • Truly designed to not be touched by the user. (Caveats have been made for RAM access and the like, but for the most part these are “sealed” systems.)
  • As small as possible.


If you go through the above list of attributes you will notice that by and in large the Mac Pro goes against most of them.

  • It begs for more wires to make use of the vast amount of ports.
  • While gorgeously designed, no one in their right mind is putting it on top of their desk — it’s huge.
  • Depending on what you are doing it can sound like a sedate ceiling fan or a 747 taking off.
  • The entire side panel is easily — easily — removed allowing the user access to most all inner components of the machine. It was designed to be expanded upon from the hard drives and RAM to the PCI slots.
  • It may well be as small as it can be, but it still ain’t small.

Ben brings this up because of the recent talk of the Mac Pro’s murky future. But he makes other good points such as:

I can’t help but think that the Mac Pro offers a decidedly un-Mac-like experience for users.


As I think about everything that Apple stands for with its design and goals, I can’t help but suspect that the MacBook Air is the epitome of the Mac experience as Apple sees it. Small, quick, sleek, low-price, sealed.

There’s been a stigma for a long time that Macs are only good for graphic designers and photo/video professionals. The Mac Pro is the decedent of a time when that stigma was reality. The Mac had a niche market in Apple’s dark days.

But the times have changed. The Mac is no longer a niche market for a few professionals. It has been refocused to the original Macintosh’s vision of being a computer for the rest of us.

To put this into grand perspective, the MacBook Air is very similar to the original Macintosh in that it is a sealed computer that is designed to “just work”.

Below, I have included a picture that Apple circulated a while back comparing the iMac and a Windows PC.

Clean versus Messy

Which one does the Mac Pro reminded you of? Exactly.