I disagree with them on almost every decision in business, marketing, software development, and other communications, but there’s no getting around the new Macs.
The M1 chip is unique in its class in terms of performance. I was extremely skeptical, partly due to the graphs lacking useful information about how fast the chip would be, but it turns out they’ve given almost every manufacturer a huge slap in the face on desktop performance out of the blue. Their devices are lightning fast, last incredibly long on a single battery charge and have a beautiful screen. Their touchpad takes some getting used to (I don’t really like it myself, but I seem to be in the minority) and the speakers in their small laptop are simply phenomenal for the sound that comes out. The webcam is almost as mediocre as the one in any laptop screen because we decided that those screens should be paper thin, leaving no room for a good sensor. Their software, however, compensates excellently for this. In terms of ultrabook webcams, Macbooks are king as far as I know.
You could say that Apple is expensive, but as far as I know there is really little on the market that has all the features of a Macbook and is actually significantly cheaper. There are equivalents that are faster than the M1, but they last less on a charge. There are equivalents with a better screen, but they have worse speakers. If you combine them all, you will not actually be far below the price of a Macbook. The competition is getting better and better luckily, which helps us all because Apple has to innovate even harder.
But let’s face it, Apple has had quite a few fiascos in recent years. Every company has its problems, but Apple lies blatantly and denies that there are problems until they really have no other choice. A laptop that you can use with a broken keyboard whole chassis to replace is simply poorly designed, and at some point they realized that themselves because they got rid of that. Silently, without saying a word or for lying reasons, ignoring their angry customers, on a few occasions while releasing new revisions to their mediocre keyboard design. I am very annoyed by this behavior of companies, but with a laptop in that price range, that is completely unacceptable. Their last i3 line where the fan was not connected to the processor, with all the overheating problems that entailed, was also so bizarrely poorly designed.
The problem I have with Apple is that as a customer you can immediately find two disadvantages for every advantage. The hardware is good, but impossible to upgrade or maintain yourself. The peripherals are well designed, but if you don’t want to run macOS, your hardware is pretty much dead. Their phones’ hardware is objectively superior to many or even most phone manufacturers, but you’ll never, ever get under their draconian app store rules. Their in-store support is good, but once there’s a widespread problem, it’s like communicating with Stalin’s press committee.
Apple is an opinionated computer company, with opinions about how you should or even should use which devices. Do you agree with their opinions, it is the perfect computer company. If you disagree with those opinions, you’d better avoid them or you’ll just be fighting with your equipment. I don’t plan on ever buying their stuff, because I know what infernal corners I’ll have to squeeze to get a Linux dual boot working on such a device. Then I’d rather self-punish myself with a laptop with Nvidia GPU. For others who can live with macOS and get the money for such a device, I’d highly recommend those things.
In terms of specs and performance (leaving their designs aside), I don’t think you can say anything bad about Apple. I’d love to buy Apple’s equipment, too, if it wasn’t Apple making it.