Oh boy — Intel’s new ad says Apple users are under a 'spell'

Intel anti-Mac ad
(Image credit: Intel)

Did you know Windows laptops play games? Like lots of games? Did you know that 2-in-1 laptops exist? Seriously, they do. You can flip the screen around and everything, and even reach out and touch the display.

At least according to Intel's new ad, as spotted by PC Gamer, this is all news to Apple fans. They just need to have their eyes opened and to break the "spell" cast on them by those sorcerers in Cupertino. The 4-minute video is positioned as a social experiment, and Intel says the people recruited are "real people paid for their time and opinions."

You are free to watch the video, but I will warn you that someone actually says, "Is this real life right now?"

Here's the gist of this social experiment. Intel recruited a bunch of Apple users and showed them things Intel PCs can do under the guise that they might be getting a sneak peak of something new from Apple. 

Spoiler alert: MacBooks can't do any of these things. The participants are shown how Windows PCs are easier to customize. And, to be fair, in some cases it's really quite easy to upgrade all aspects of your machine, such as with the Framework Laptop

We also see how Intel-powered PCs can play more than 57,000 games at a time Macs are still behind on gaming and that MacBooks are still missing touchscreens. This is a valid argument and something we wish the new MacBook Pro would offer. But we don't see that happening anytime soon as Apple continues to focus on the iPad Pro for touch-based computing and Apple Pencil input. 

But then things take a weird turn. The fake Apple rep proceeds to show these recruits a 2-in-1 laptop that can transform into a laptop, a form factor that has been around for more than a decade. And the reaction is like these folks were just told they could create fire for the first time. This is not magic people; it's called a rotating hinge.

Then the participants are led into a room where they can see and touch this 2-in-1 and other Intel PCs that supposedly beat Apple at their own game. Never mind the fact that Apple's M1 chip wipes the floor with most Windows machines in performance, or that people really like how their iPhones and MacBooks work together. Or that the battery life on the latest MacBooks blow away Intel-powered systems.

In the meantime, the new MacBook Pro 2021 is rumored to launch this month at an Apple event with major changes. These include a new design with flat edges, a larger 14-inch mini-LED display and HDMI port and SD Card slot. We've also heard that the TouchBar is going away and there will be a powerful new M1X chip. 

At last count, the Intel ad had 5.7K dislikes and 2.8K likes on YouTube, so it appears viewers are not that impressed with this experiment. And while the video raises some valid points, I don't think this is going to get many folks to switch to "Team PC."

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • COLGeek
    Spell? Not so sure. Marketing "spiel", may be more like it.
    I am a long-time Apple user and am kind of offended that Intel thinks Apple users are not aware of what else is available. Typically we use Apple because we chose to use Apple, appreciate the security of the "walled garden", and the focus on how the devices work. If I need a touchscreen, I use the iPad. I have 2 iMacs, a MacBookPro, an iPad, and 2 iPhones, all of various vintages. One iMac and the MBP are almost 10 years old and still work well. All were conscious decisions based on usability and features. I support a small Intel network where I volunteer and it's significantly more difficult than Apple's "it just works" approach.