10 Major Disadvantages of a MacBook You Need to Know in 2024

Before you add a new MacBook to your cart, make sure you know all the disadvantages of buying and owning one

By Stacey Butler - Senior Staff Writer
7 Min Read

Apple’s Macbooks have long been popular among professionals and creatives for their sleek design, user-friendly interface, and powerful performance. However, like any device, Macbooks are not without their drawbacks. From limited customization options to compatibility issues with certain software, there are several factors to consider before committing to a Macbook as your primary device.

Side profiles of MacBook Air opened up in silver, starlight, space gray, and midnight.  

Although Apple MacBook lineup has been fully refreshed over the last year, they all come with their fair share of drawbacks. If you are considering buying a new computer, here’s an in-depth look at the major disadvantages of owning a Macbook. By understanding these potential drawbacks, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision about whether a Macbook is the right choice for your needs.

10 Disadvantages of a MacBook

1. High Price

One big disadvantage of a MacBook is its high price. Apple products are known for being expensive, and MacBooks are no exception. In fact, MacBooks are often much more expensive than comparable PCs with similar specifications.

For example, the base model of the MacBook Air, which comes with an M2 chip, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, starts at $1199. In contrast, a comparable PC laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD can be found for as low as $500.

This high price can be a major barrier for many users who want to purchase a MacBook but cannot afford it. It also means that users have to pay a premium for the Apple brand and design, which may not be worth it for some users.

Furthermore, the high price also means that MacBooks are not as accessible as other devices. This can be a disadvantage for users who want to use a MacBook but cannot afford it, especially students or professionals who are just starting out in their careers.

While some consumers may be willing to pay a premium for a MacBook, others may find that the cost is simply too high. For these consumers, a PC may be a better option, as they offer a similar level of performance at a lower cost.

2. Limited Compatibility

Another major disadvantage of a MacBook is the limited compatibility with other devices and software. While MacBooks are designed to work seamlessly with other Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads, they can struggle to work with devices and software from other manufacturers.

For example, many software applications are designed to run on Windows, and may not be compatible with MacOS. While there are often MacOS equivalents available, they may not offer the same level of functionality as their Windows counterparts. Additionally, some hardware devices, such as printers and scanners, may not be compatible with MacOS, and may require additional drivers or software to function properly.

This limited compatibility can be frustrating for users who need to work with a wide range of devices and software. While there are workarounds available, such as using virtual machines or dual-booting with Windows, these can be time-consuming and require a certain level of technical expertise.

3. Limited Gaming Capabilities

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is its limited gaming capabilities. While MacBooks have come a long way in terms of their graphics performance, they still lag behind their PC counterparts in terms of gaming performance. This is because most games are designed to run on Windows and require DirectX, which is not supported on macOS.

Furthermore, most games are optimized for Nvidia or AMD graphics cards, which are not available on MacBooks. This means that if you want to play modern games on a MacBook, you may have to settle for lower graphics settings and lower frame rates.

Additionally, many popular gaming platforms and games are not available on macOS, such as SteamVR and VR games, as well as many esports titles. This can be a significant disadvantage for gamers who want to play the latest games on their MacBooks or participate in online gaming tournaments.

4. Limited Ports

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is its limited ports. Apple has been known for its minimalist design philosophy, which often means sacrificing ports and connectivity options in favor of a sleek design. This can be a significant disadvantage for users who need to connect multiple peripherals to their MacBook, such as external monitors, hard drives, or printers.

Most MacBooks come with only a few ports, such as USB-C ports or Thunderbolt ports, which require adapters or dongles to connect to most peripherals. This can be inconvenient for users who have to carry multiple adapters or dongles with them, which can be lost or misplaced.

Furthermore, the limited ports can also be a disadvantage for users who need to charge their MacBook while using it. Most MacBooks come with only one or two USB-C ports, which means that users cannot charge their MacBook and use other peripherals at the same time, unless they have a multi-port adapter.

5. Lack of Touchscreen

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is the lack of a touchscreen. While many PC laptops and tablets come with touchscreens, Apple has resisted adding a touchscreen to its MacBook lineup. This can be a disadvantage for users who are used to touch-based navigation and interaction on their mobile devices.

With the increasing popularity of touchscreen devices, many users may find it frustrating to switch back to using a trackpad or mouse on a MacBook. Additionally, touchscreens can be useful for drawing or handwriting, which can be more difficult to do on a MacBook without a touchscreen.

While Apple has implemented some touch-based gestures on the MacBook trackpad, they are not as intuitive or versatile as a touchscreen. This can be a significant disadvantage for users who want a more natural and intuitive way to interact with their device.

6. Limited Software Compatibility

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is limited software compatibility. While macOS is a powerful operating system, it is not as widely used as Windows, which means that some software may not be available on macOS. This can be a significant disadvantage for users who need to use specific software for their work or hobbies.

For example, some business software, video editing software, or games may not be available on macOS, or may be available in a limited capacity. This can be frustrating for users who have to use a different device or operating system to access the software they need.

Additionally, even if the software is available on macOS, it may not be as fully featured or up-to-date as its Windows counterpart. This is because developers often prioritize developing software for Windows due to its larger user base and wider market share.

While macOS does have its own suite of software, such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, which are comparable to Microsoft Office, it may not be enough for some users who require specific software for their work.

7. Lack of Customization

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is the lack of customization options. Unlike many PC laptops, which allow users to customize their hardware configurations, MacBooks come with fixed hardware configurations that cannot be upgraded by the user. This means that users have to purchase a MacBook with the exact specifications they need, and cannot upgrade the hardware later on.

Additionally, some MacBook models may not even allow for upgrades like adding more RAM or swapping out the hard drive. This can be a significant disadvantage for users who want to extend the life of their device or need more powerful hardware for specific tasks.

While Apple does offer different hardware configurations for some MacBook models, the options are limited compared to what is available on many PC laptops. This can be frustrating for users who want to customize their device to fit their specific needs.

8. Learning Curve

Another disadvantage of a MacBook is the learning curve for users who are not familiar with macOS. While macOS is a powerful and user-friendly operating system, it can take some time for users to get used to the interface and navigation.

This can be a significant disadvantage for users who are used to using Windows or another operating system, as they may have to learn new keyboard shortcuts, file management systems, and application interfaces. Additionally, some software may have different functionality or options on macOS, which can take some time to figure out.

While Apple does offer helpful tutorials and guides for new users, the learning curve can still be a challenge for some users. This can be frustrating for users who need to get up and running quickly, or who don’t have the time or patience to learn a new operating system.

9. Limited Repairability

Another major disadvantage of a MacBook is its limited repairability. MacBooks are designed to be sleek and compact, which means that many components are tightly packed together and difficult to access. This can make repairs and upgrades more challenging and expensive.

For example, if a MacBook’s battery needs to be replaced, it may require a trip to an Apple Store or an authorized repair center. This can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if the device is out of warranty. Additionally, some MacBook models have components that are soldered to the motherboard, making it impossible to replace individual parts.

This can be a significant disadvantage for users who want to extend the life of their device or make upgrades in the future. Users who prioritize repairability may want to consider a PC laptop instead, as many PC laptops are designed with modular components that can be easily replaced or upgraded.

10. Limited Expansion Options

Another big disadvantage of a MacBook is its limited expansion options. Unlike many other laptops, MacBooks often have limited options for expanding or upgrading components such as RAM or storage.

For example, many MacBook models have non-upgradeable RAM, which means that users are unable to add more RAM to improve performance. Similarly, some MacBook models have limited storage options, which can be a significant limitation for users who need a lot of storage space for work or personal use.

While some MacBook models have ports for external storage or other peripherals, they may not be as flexible as other laptops. This can limit the ability to connect to a wide range of devices or expand the laptop’s capabilities.

Should You Still Buy a MacBook?

Switching to a MacBook, as with everything else, is all about weighing up the pros and cons. Although it does have its disadvantages, I personally believe that a MacBook is a wonderful machine to use. What it lacks in games, it makes up for with creative apps, ecosystem integration, beautiful design, and reliability. As with everything Apple, it simply works, and there’s much less to worry about compared to a Windows machine.

Therefore, before purchasing a MacBook, it is important to consider your specific needs and preferences, such as your budget, the software you need to use, and your need for customization, upgradeability, and graphics performance. While MacBooks may not be the best choice for everyone, they can be a great option for users who prioritize design, performance, and user experience.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a MacBook or another device should be based on a careful consideration of the your needs and preferences, as well as an evaluation of the device’s advantages and disadvantages.

See also: Top 14 Benefits of a Macbook Everyone Should Know

By Stacey Butler Senior Staff Writer
Stacey is a senior staff writer at GeeksChalk and has been writing about Apple for nearly a decade. She covers all things Apple for GeeksChalk, including iPhones, iPads and Mac. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Stacey is often found hiking precarious landscapes or tinkering with a camera.
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