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MacBook Vs. PC: Why I Chose PC

by Ryan Guina

Last week I bought a new computer for my business. I thought long and hard about going with the sleeker and sexier MacBook, but in the end, I decided to go with a PC again. There were a lot of factors that went into my decision, but in the end I just couldn’t justify spending twice as much for a computer based on my needs. I know the MacBooks are great computers, but for me, the decision was about more than just a sexy package and being able to sit with the cool kids at lunch.

MacBook vs. PC – My Needs

I needed a new laptop to run this website and others. I only plan on using the laptop for business needs, which include running a few websites, minor photo editing, web browsing, e-mail, and other online apps. I don’t need a computer for video editing, heavy photo editing, music editing, etc. These are tasks where the MacBook outshines the competition, especially when you consider most of the software is included in the price. But most of that software is beyond my needs.

Online access. Because my business is online, I need online access everywhere I go. This isn’t a problem most of the time because I have wireless internet at home and I can always jump on a free wi-fi hotspot at a cafe if I need access away from home. But what if there is no free wi-fi and I need internet access? I can use my cell phone as a modem on a PC (my cell phone is powered by Windows Mobile), but I can’t use my cellphone as a modem on a MacBook. The only alternative would be to pay for a wireless card through my cell provider. That service is very expensive, and currently unnecessary with my PC.

How often does this happen? Every time I go to an airport that wants to charge $10 a day for internet access, some hotels, and a 5 day stretch earlier this year when we lost internet at home due to a large storm front that came through our area. In other words, often enough that it is a big factor in my decision making process.

MacBook vs. PC – Cost

The MacBook costs roughly twice as much as a PC with a comparable hardware configuration. I know the MacBook comes with a lot of additional software that is not standard on a PC, but I don’t need most of the software. The price of the Dell laptop I purchased was $739 (including MS Office). The closest equivalent MacBook is the new aluminum MacBook, which rings in at $1299 (and has less RAM than the computer I purchased). Office for the MacBook would add another $140+ to the price. You can save money on an Apple certified refurbished Mac, but I prefer to buy new. I’ve also read about the high cost of Apple’s Service Packs, which is another turn off for me.

MacBook vs. PC – Software

The old argument was that it was difficult to find software for Macs. I don’t think that is the case now, and in fact a lot of free open source software can be found for both Macs and PCs, though PCs generally have a much larger selection. The Mac does come standard with much more software, but this wasn’t really a factor for me because I wouldn’t use much of it. PCs don’t usually come standard with much (if any) software. But if you are upgrading your old computer, you can transfer your old software to your new computer. Otherwise, you can find anything you want, much of it open source.

MacBook vs. PC – Viruses, Malware, etc.

To me, the most attractive feature of the Macs is a lack of known viruses and other forms of malware. But I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the next few years as Apple’s market share increases. There are hundreds of thousands of viruses for PCs. But in the decade plus that I have been using a PC, I have only had one bad virus. I use anti-virus software, scan everything I download, and only visit trusted sites. I don’t like the risk of viruses, but it can be mitigated through vigilance and smart computer usage.

MacBook vs. PC – Familiarity

I used my sister’s MacBook when she visited me over Thanksgiving and I had trouble getting used to the keyboard, mouse, and interface. I constantly use the right click button and center wheel on my mouse, both of which aren’t utilized by the mouse on a Mac. I also use the {home} and {end} buttons and {delete} and {backspace} buttons quite often. Trying to type on the MacBook was frustrating for me. I’m sure this would end up being a minor frustration and I would overcome these issues through regular use.

MacBook vs. PC – Games

I’m not a big gamer, but if you are, then you probably want a PC. There are games for the Mac, but they generally come out later than the PC release and many games are exclusively available on the PC.

MacBook vs. PC – My conclusion

I wanted to convince myself I needed a Mac. I wanted the trendy, new computer that Just Works™. But I took passion and emotion out of the decision making process and based my decision purely on needs. When I did this, I realized the PC works just fine and I couldn’t justify spending twice as much for a MacBook.

In the end, I don’t think you can go wrong with either a Mac or a PC. They are both high quality and offer users something unique. I understand why people love either computer and/or dislike the other. For my needs, the PC was the way to go.

But I won’t close the door on the Macs – far from it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I buy a Mac my next go round. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if I skipped them both and went with a free open source OS such as the Linux based Ubuntu or something similar. I’m a PC, at least for now.

More on the differences between Macs and PCs.


Published or updated April 24, 2009.
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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Writer's Coin

I’m with you on this. I’m going to buy a new one soon and I thought about a Mac for about a second. Just having to relearn everything from scratch to get to the proficiency I’ve developed on a PC wasn’t going to be worth it. And the cost wasn’t helping either.

Congrats on the new machine and have a happy unboxing!

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2 doctor S

My main thing was price. I went to best buy saw the MAC sitting there all pretty, I wanted it bad. About $1100 that I could finance for the basic Mac Book.

Then I saw some Dells for sale for about $600, tons of memory, fast processor, and tons of software.

It was a no brainer for me, esp based on my needs that were not requiring anything the Mac offered.

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3 FFB

Money is definitely a factor. But for me, when the time came to choose recently I went with a Macbook. I know you said you liked new but I got my refurbished Macbook for $949. Buying refurb allowed me to pay less and get a faster chip, more RAM, and a bigger HD.
A working computer was also a big factor for me. My last computer crashed via viruses at least twice and had to be reformatted. I understand you can still get a virus with a Mac but the chances are less.
As for getting used to the Mac, it took a bit but I have no problems now.
It’s an individual choice between the two. If price is a major factor then a PC is definitely cheaper.
My last computer I used till it dies which was about 7 years. If I get that time with my Mac (which I expect)then it will be well worth the price.

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4 Traciatim

I’m not a Mac fan, but what Dell machines are you comparing that 600 dollar machines are comparing to 1100 dollar machines. I’ve read lots of reviews that place the costs as similar for similar hardware (At least around 10%)

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5 Ryan

Traciatim: The Dell I purchased had the following specs:

  • Dell Vostro 2510
  • 160GB hard drive
  • 3GB RAM
  • Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz
  • Windows XP (plus Windows Vista should I decide to upgrade later)
  • MS Office Small Business
  • DVD RW
  • integrated webcam
  • Integrated wireless + Bluetooth
  • Total price – $739.

* I also purchased the 3 year warranty for $99; covers all parts for 3 years, plus on site repair – meaning I don’t need to ship it off.

I purchased the computer from the Dell Outlet; it was previously ordered new, but never used. Dell sells these at clearance prices because they are a ship to order company and do not like to hold inventory.

This computer compared very favorably to the new Aluminum MacBook, at roughly half the price. For what I needed, it was the better deal.

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6 Ryan

FFB: I agree, reformatting is a pain, but as this computer is for business, I won’t play around on suspect sites.

I considered a refurbished MacBook, but I’ve read in a few places that the refurbs can be hit or miss. I also decided that if I went with a Mac, I at least wanted the latest model. The refurbs for the new aluminum MacBook haven’t hit the Apple Store yet, and when they do, they will still be several hundred more than I spent on my Dell.

I hope this computer will last me a good 4 years or more.

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7 Ryan

Doctor S.: It came down to price for me as well. I would love to have a MacBook because I think they are great little machines. But I just couldn’t justify the added expense for the “wow” factor.

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8 Ryan

Jeff: I’m intrigued as well. As I wrote in my article, I wanted to get a MacBook. I know they are great machines, and I’m sure I would love it. But right now, I just couldn’t justify the added expense. The PC works for me, and even if I’m not passionate about it, it will still do the job. And right now, that’s all I need. But I haven’t closed the door on the Macs. I may purchase one in the future.

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9 Ryan

Rafael: Correct, I did not purchase a refurbished computer – I specifically stayed away from a refurb (I wouldn’t have purchased a refurbished MacBook either).

I figured there would be a way to tether my phone to a MacBook, but I didn’t look that hard to find a way. In the end it came to wants vs. needs. Sure, I want a Mac, but I couldn’t justify the added costs based on my needs.

As for the malicious code, there will always be that risk with a PC. I stay up to date on my anti-virus software and screen all downloads. I have only had a bad experience once.

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10 Jeff@MySuperChargedLife

What has me so intrigued about Macs isn’t so much that they are trendy, but that so many Mac users are so passionate about their machines.

Windows laptops are certainly workhorses, but I want to find out why MacBook owners love their laptops. These aren’t teenagers I’m talking about, they are 30+ year-old adults. You just don’t see too many PC people with those kind of feelings.

I’ve always been a computer enthusiast, but I’ve never owned a Mac. I also usually do what you’ve done and make logical, practical decisions based on the information available. However, I really want to see for myself what has affected and infected so many people so strongly.

Will I become a Mac convert? I don’t know, but for me it is worth some hands-on investigation.

Thanks for mentioning my post!

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11 Rafael

Good luck with that refurbished Dell that you bought. Oh wait, it’s not refurbished it’s “new.”

I think that the choice between Mac and PC ultimately boils down to what fits your needs. In this case, the PC fit your needs better than the Mac did. By the way, you can use your phone as a tethered modem with your mac, you just have to connect the phone to the mac via bluetooth.

Also, you no longer have to go to suspect sites to get viruses on your PC. Pretty much any web site that sells advertising space creates a possible infection route. Places like expedia and travelocity have sold ads that injected malicious code to your PC computer. In any case, good luck with your purchase.

Cheers,

Rafael

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12 Craig

I went the opposite direction, I switched from a PC to a Mac. My PC ended up getting very slow with virus random things that were put on through the years. I saved for months before purchasing the expensive Macbook pro, that def can scare people away. I do minor video editing for fun and enjoy that software although there is excellent software. For me there were a few reasons, I like the security better on the Mac. I also bought VMware Fusion and have both platforms on my Mac because I like the MS Office PC version better. I also like the Mac stores, and if I have issues I can set an appt and bring my computer in to get it looked at and updated easier than with a PC.

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13 Ryan

Rich: There’s one thing I learned from my research – most people are extremely passionate one way or the other. I can understand that, so I made my decision the best way I could – based on my needs and not what other people say or who screams the loudest. I’m happy with my decision, and as I previously mentioned, I may end up being a Mac owner one day. ;)

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14 Rich

Whoa! You’re bordering on blasphemy here. Just kidding. While I love my macbook, you’re right that a similarly equipped PC can be had for much less. The difference for me was OS X, which I love. But as you pointed out, if you’re familiar with Windows and don’t have he desire to switch over it can be a hassle to learn new techniques.

Thank you for a well thought out post, most of these come down to why one OS is terrible and the other is better.

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15 Jeff Rose

@ Ryan.

Too funny. My wife and I are going through the same dilemma. Be both love the Mac, but for functionality purposes, it just makes too much sense to go with PC (sorry Mac). I’ll keep you posted which one we go with.

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16 Mrs. Micah

Someday when I’m rich ( ;) ) I’d like to get a MacBook. But until I need the things it specializes in and have the money to spend on it, I’m very happy with PCs. My desire for a Mac is mostly because they’re pretty and artsy. And having used them I’ve found a few things that are more useful…though there are some things that are always easier on PC too.

I recently got an Acer Aspire One (PC) for blogging. Less than $400 and more powerful than my old laptop, actually. Also really happy that it still has XP (woot).

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17 TStrump

Going through the same thing right now.
Vista drives me nuts, but the Apples are easily twice as much …
Another thing to consider is lost productivity – I had to reinstall Vista once and I lost a day of work. Painful.

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18 Ryan

TStrump: Lost productivity is a big issue. If my only option would have been Vista, I probably would have gone with the MacBook. I’ve never actually used Vista for more than a quick test drive, but I have heard a lot of complaints from friends and family. I would rather avoid it altogether, which is why I went with the Dell (one of the few companies still offering XP).

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19 Ryan

Mrs. Micah: I think I wanted the MacBook for the same reasons. ;)

Like you, I may end up with a Mac someday. This time it just didn’t add up.

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20 Curious Cat Investing Blog

I have been using Ubuntu (a version of linux that is very easy to use) as my operating system for more than 2 years. Such an option is something more people should consider. The security on Linux and Macs is much stronger than Windows (it is not just a matter of more people having Windows – the structure of the Linux operating system is built on a foundation that is more secure). Laptop support has been a drawback (limited options) but that issue is being addressed and more and more laptops are available for Ubuntu and Linux – From Dell and others.

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21 Ryan

Curious Cat: I’ve thought about going with Ubuntu, but I don’t think I’m ready to take that step to use a Linux based OS as my everyday machine. I’m not the most tech savvy person, and I don’t have a lot of time to commit to learning it right now.

I have an old laptop that I have thought about wiping clean and installing Ubuntu. The machine is old and pretty slow, but from what I understand, the Ubuntu coding is leaner and more efficient than Microsoft. So I’m pretty sure it would perform better. I’ll keep this in mind for the future, but right now I’m not ready to make that jump.

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22 Christy

We ogled over MACs for a year and just couldn’t justify the cost. Our PC was 2.5 years old and so slow. We just did the best we could and figured we’d just cope until it died and buy a cheap Dell when it died.

Then, at the beginning of Dec, we won a macbook air in a contest by our power supplier for having e-bill. Our new mac was delivered Dec 23, and I can already say I would never go back to a PC if you paid me a million bucks.

The software is amazing. We both have always wanted to get into video making and recording music together and the programs and intuitive and run amazingly well. The mac never crashes or doesn’t do what you want it to.

There is a learning curve learning new functions, but if I, a total computer idiot, can have it down in a couple of days, most people should have no problem. We did avoid some of the learning issues since we already used safari for windows on our PC.

Clearly we are only 10 days in to this, but I’m already SO impressed, and I rather expected to be confused and skeptical. :)

I can see how $ would be a consideration, but after this experience, I wouldn’t go back to the quirks of a PC again..I’d save 6 months longer and wait for a mac. I am a VERY happy mac owner, and while the decision was made for us to make the switch, I wouldn’t go back to PC.

My two cents – may be worth less with the exchange. :)

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23 Ryan

Christy Congrats on winning the MacBook Air! You can’t beat free! I’ve heard great things about the Macs, but in my situation, even though I run a couple websites, I really only need a computer for browsing, word processing, and a couple other minimal tasks. It didn’t make sense for me to spend the extra money on the MacBook. But for your needs, the music and video editing, it seems like you got the right computer. Congrats again on winning! :-)

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24 Funny about Money

Having switched to an iMac a couple years ago, I have to add that your list of desiderata suggests you probably made the right decision. The kicker is the fact that you can use your cell phone as a modem for a PC and that you’re likely to need the laptop in places where you have to pay for access or where there is no access.

I like my Mac and probably will buy a MacBook rather than a laptop PC. However, it IS a nuisance if you have to switch back and forth between a Mac at home and a PC at the office, because you internalize the keyboard commands for the one you use the most often…and they’re very different. This tends to slow your speed on both units.

My iMac has the Intel chip, but I never got around to installing Windows a) because it turns out you have to go buy an expensive new version of Windows to make it work and b) because I’ve had enough of Windows viruses and of having McAfee or Norton gum up the works and of being ripped off by Norton once a year for upgrades that never get sent. The relative freedom from viruses is HUGE. In my book, it totally overwhelms the various Macheadaches.

That said, I truly hate Word and Excel for the Mac. They have few keyboard commands, and those that exist are different from the PC’s. Yes, you can build keyboard commands, but the standard Word for PC commands, gawd help us, are system commands for the Mac! Change them at your (enormous) risk!

And I’m less than fond of Quicken for the Mac. At the time I bought the iMac, I was told that the conversion the Mac Geniuses did from Quicken for PC to Quicken for Mac could be reversed: if I didn’t care for the Mac and wanted to go back to a PC, I could have them reconvert my data back to a format readable for a PC. This, as it develops, was untrue. Now I’m stuck with the Mac, unless I want to go out and buy a new PC right now and start from scratch in January 2009 all new accounts in Quicken.

I was furious at the mess Apple created when they switched over to the annoying MobileMe system. Even after I (expensively) upgraded to a new OS, I still couldn’t get at my (expensive) e-mail system or my blog site. Eventually this settled out, and in fact I was pleased that I was forced to switch my blog over to WordPress from iWeb. Truth to tell, iWeb has no clothes…it doesn’t even have pajamas.

On the other hand, Apple’s service can’t be beat. You can get help quickly, and the young people who staff the Genius bar are usually right. Dell’s service, when it exists, sucks. My experience with PCs has been that you’re pretty much on your own. If you’re not techie yourself, then you have to find a freelance PC technician (if you can), wait a LONG time to get service, and pay through the schnozola for it. I paid a modest price upfront for lifetime service on the iMac, and since then I have never paid a penny for the considerable and excellent service I’ve gotten from Apple.

Minimal virus and malware issues. Incredible service. There’s the basis of the Macreligion.

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25 SimplyForties

I’m right there with you. I’d like to have a Mac but just can’t justify the difference in price. Additionally, I’m not sure that I don’t want it just because it’s cool right now. I may get one in the future but, when I bought a new laptop three months ago, I went with a PC.

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26 Mike

Really, people like XP better? Don’t you find it annoying that when a program crashes, it takes the entire system down? Don’t you hate how terrible the search function is in XP? At least with Vista, those problems are fixed. However, I still have had issues with Vista drivers (particularly for the graphics card) crashing the system, and find the mac much more stable.

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27 Ryan

Mike: I have only briefly used Vista and made my decision based on what several family members and friends had to say regarding their system crashing and having problems with various drivers. I’m not a heavy user when it comes to maxing out system resources. My main tasks are internet, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, and minor photo editing. I’m not a gamer and I don’t run many intensive database queries or other tasks that would strain resources. A PC with XP is perfect for my needs.

But I can understand why some people want or need either Vista or a Mac. I always recommend buying the right tool for the job. For me, that was XP. (but my computer also came with a Vista license, so I can upgrade at will).

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28 Eden

No doubt you can get a PC to meet your needs for a lot less money.

I was a life-long PC user and made the switch to Apple about 6 months ago. I couldn’t be happier and I would never go back, but I certainly agree that the switch isn’t for everyone.

Also, I earn my living on a computer so I can more easily justify the extra expense.

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29 Ryan

Eden: Thanks for sharing your perspective. I have a feeling that if I made the switch I wouldn’t want to go back either, which would be a difficult thing for me, as I use a PC everyday at work! I’m sure switching back and forth would get a little troublesome after awhile.

I’m keeping my eyes open and watching the Macs. There is a good chance I might just get one on the next go ’round. :-)

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30 Christy

“I have a feeling that if I made the switch I wouldn’t want to go back either, which would be a difficult thing for me, as I use a PC everyday at work! I’m sure switching back and forth would get a little troublesome after awhile.”

We kept our PC for our kids, and when I’m in the kitchen and don’t want to run get the laptop or it’s charging, I hop on the kid’s computer. I flip back and forth constantly without any problem.

It’s like when you learn a second language – you become fluent in both- your original language doesn’t suffer.

This is from a woman who fully expected the switch to be a complete pain in the butt..I expected a wickedly complicated process, but it has been unexpectedly easy.

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31 Ryan

That’s good to know, Christy! I probably won’t need another computer for a couple more years, so I have a lot of time before I am faced with this decision again. :-)

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32 Imani

Ryan…

Interesting dialogue on the pc vs. MacBook….still, I AM LUSTING for a MacBook. I have a Dell pc right now thought it is 6 years old, and it is still perfectly fine….but, mmmmm, that MacBook!

I know it costs lots more and that’s why I have created a sub-ING account for it. It will take me until December to be able to afford it but I can wait.

It is the only “want vs need” item I have or have had in a good long while. Will pay cold, hard cash for it while not detracting from my established ING savings. Half of my monthly “left over” money.

Still, you and others, made the right decisions based on your needs and I certainly respect that!

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33 Werner

Reading this thread was very interesting. A couple of months back I went through the same dilemma. Unlike the previous 3 times where the pc laptop won (one Dell, two Fujitsu-Siemens) this time I went with the mac, got the new unibody macbook but paid up to have 4 Gb RAM in it.

After using it for a couple of months I can only say that I regret not having made the move earlier. It’s not just the better OS and software bundle, the build quality is also vastly superior to a pc laptop in the same price range (keyboard, screen….). Like the sign at my Apple store says: ‘once you go mac you’ll never look back’.

Unless price is an absolutely critical factor or if you absolutely need specific pc-only software or are a gamer, I’d recommend the mac anytime. My only gripes are the slow recharge times (then again, I get 4 hours on one charge easy) and the expensive 3-year support deal.

Having been a Unix/Linux admin myself I think running a linux distribution on a pc is really only an option in case you’re either someone who only mails/surfs/does some word processing or a techie into linux sys admin. For the average user who falls between these extremes, Linux is just too complex.

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34 Ryan

Werner: Thanks for the comments. I’ve read similar responses from other people, including a few people I know personally. I was certainly intrigued by the MacBooks and the Mac OS, but I know I can do what I need right now with a PC. I am certainly open to reevaluating the decision when I need my next computer – which will probably be a couple years from now.

The Linux OS also intrigues me and I have thought about installing it on my old laptop to try it out. But I am not a techie and learning the new system would probably take too much time at this point.

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35 Frank

@Werner – people are not as stupid as you think they are. There are loads of people who easily run Linux. And for the hiccups, like OS has, there is insanely great community support. Windows community support is not nearly as good. Installing Linux is very quick and easy and the interface, no matter the GUI, is rather intuitive. Most Windows users can pick up on it rather quickly.

As for the article I mostly agree. Use what works for you. But I’ve also been a mac user for a couple years and I have to say I’m quite impressed with it, even though I have had OS X issues as well. I would never purchase another Windows computer unless I really wanted the hardware to install another OS on. For me it was the adware and viruses that put me over the edge. I was spending more time cleaning up Windows than I was using it.

But what it comes down to is using what you prefer. It is hard to try using a Mac on a normal basis unless you shell out the money to try it once.

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36 XYZ

I would opt for the MacBook pro on my next purchase. I always spend 1,500-2,000.00 on a laptop. I use it for business, and I travel the world. The build quality is what has me interested. I really like the thought of a solid aluminum case instead of the plastic flimsy cases of the PC laptops. I don’t think that any OS is really better than one another (I use both). However my iMac has never slowed down or needed me to re-install the O.S. my P.C. seems to require daily maintenance to keep it running smooth. I think yes the Mac Book Pro is more expensive up front than the PC but I also think it’s probably a lot more reliable, and less error prone.

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37 ffej

I think macbook pro’s are overpriced but your paying for the look and build quality, it looks amazing compared to all other laptops but compared to a pc like the asus g51 it has intel core i7 720 quad core, 4 gb ddr3 ram 1333mhz, nvidia 260gtx 1gb video card and 640gb @7200rpm keyboard almost the same but with number pad plus the touchpad has multi-touch, higher res screen 1920×1080 led best of all a free two parts and service warranty all for $1500 while the much lower spec mbp 15 $3400 including $400 three year apple care. Until apple starts using a least a better video card and free two warranty I can’t justify the price vs performance compared to pc sure mac os x is good but I like windows 7 the same but I will admit I now use objectdock with windows

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38 Michael Goode

I am not sure what you are comparing but MacBook pros are well under 2k. If you want to talk about service you can get 52 hours of live in person tech or training support for $100. Geeksquad charges 150 or so an hour for that. Plus I love that I can take classes at the apple store for free and ask questions to someone who is familiar with both the hardware and software. You just don’t get that with a PC.

One thing I will say is that you have to know when to buy your mac. I like to buy them right at the beginning of a new product cycle, and you can check the macrumors site for the best time to buy.

I also find that iLife and iWork are so much more effective to put together presentations than anything on a PC.

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39 Christian

Are you seriously having this discussion still? Didn’t you hear PC won! Being that they make up 90% of the computing world, most of the software that exist, for commercial sale, is made for a PC. Not to mention 3d animation is very difficult to do on a mac, considering how hard enough ram is to come by in those machines, IE they are still way overpriced in comparison, and before people start going on with that well macs are all this for video and music, I’ll give you that they are great for music, i wouldn’t say better, a bit easier to learn, than PC but neither one has superior hardware than the other, in terms of build quality anyway, but don’t require much tweaking, things like audio interfaces and control surfaces just work, with mac, with PC’s you’ll always have to install drivers for the most part, although windows 7 is a much better about handling that with devices, even W7starter is nice and clean. Not to mention as far as music recording, and production are concerned, it makes no difference, but you do have less need for outboard gear with a PC as way more high quality, plugin’s and other types of software that work, better than outboard gear, being that i make records for a living for major clients as well as indie clients, and to be honest, I use both. Pro tools run’s better on a mac, and they run Logic, which is great, garageband is for children, sure someone like me or another hired gun, could make a good sounding record outta it, but we wouldn’t do it that way, when i do use it’s and that’s hardly ever, but being that it came with the machine i do feel the urge to give her a whirl, and to me it’s like playing on sonic foundry’s acid 4, and that’s not by any means a pro app, great for loops, but yea, you get where I’m going, not something I’d hand into abc.

If your primary interest is music photo, and video production and your sold on a mac already, just know that all of us working in the industry have and use both, as we have to, if I get a mix from a client that did their sessions in cubase,(and i hate cubase) well, guess what i have to load into when i go to the studio they are working out of? I’m using whatever my client is most comfortable with, now this has no bearing on how i choose to mix or master it, but until I’ve got the master recording’s I’m at the mercy of the client, and whatever they want to use. Photo and video production, sure adobe software work a bit quicker, but this depends on your PC. A properly set-up PC is something to be marveled at, I still get goose bumps looking at my 5thousand dollar dells, but i still love my imac g4 i know she’s a bit old but running at 2 gigs of ram, keep’s her up to date, and true my macpro has replaced it as the mac platform workhorse, but keep in mind I’m a producer, i make records for a living buying these machines is, justified by my cost of doing business, not to mention i need to be running both platforms to make money. A bit about the video end, coming form someone who make’s intense big budget cgi fx, very very hard to do with mac’s expensive and sadly there is always a graphics card that you can get that will kill a mac, in fact I’ve still yet to see anyone on any site compare complex 3d animation work, with specs to the two machines, it’s not that mac’s cant do it really, but to be fair to get something comparable with a mac and be able to see how you could go a bit further for much less money not to mention the lack of options, to me the mac will never take and over and dominate like PC does and really windows, I have a buddy of mine that works tech support, mac stores, use window’s based cash register systems to sell their systems and this is at mac stores! Sadly do enough digging and you can find this out on your own, but it’s kinda funny and now you can run windows on a mac…. ok, Bill Gates won mate. Windows is on everything, people tend to forget that microsoft dose not make the machines, they only make software that can operate on a wide variety of hardware configuration, not to mention everyone can click around long enough and figure things out, mac’s and linux please, are not like that, as i can’t run OSX on any other hardware (reliably anyway) and being that I’m not a fan of proprietary shit, having machines overpriced for the hardware your getting, in a nice techy looking case, with really cool but limited amount of software, to me your in the wrong biz.

So windows wins, you can run them on mac’s and any hardware you like, I’ll keep my mac’s around, until they make logic for the pc, then i might be able to say hey switch to just one but until then, if your an average consumer that, want’s the computer that you cant break, go with a mac, if you want something though that you want to expand down the line, and not have to pay someone else to do it, and or wait till a store opens, IE walmart, has most PC hardware that one might need to fix a hardware problem, and i can just go there at 4 am to get a new harddrive , mechanical failure cause me to get an upgrade and i didn’t have to wait for a week to the nearest mac store could see me, when i had all of my ram fail and the computer wouldn’t boot, several time’s I’ve used a mac to try and figure out what was wrong with my PC, so it was refreshing for to be different.

So long story short, mac will be making machines as long as they can keep their best software, once OSX get’s legal, they will have to either lower the cost of machines, or stop all together, Ipod’s and Iphones will only take you so far, and yes i have both of those too, like i said i own both, like and use both, but when you look at the big picture, if i had to pick a company i know was going to be left standing in 50 years I’d have to go with microsoft

PS to windows fan boys, mac os is more stable because, less going on, but just because it’s simple doesn’t make it better.

PS to mac fan boys, majority ususally rules, but how much of the times have the majority been completely wrong, technology.

food for thought, if you can afford do it what i do and buy a couple of each, but if you have to choose just think it about it like this, they all break, when it breaks do you wanna be able to fix it yourself or have to pay? I’d rather fix myself, it’s quicker and cost less money lol.

Happy hunting, PS i still think the g4 imac was the greatist design as far as looks go of any computer ever made, i wish all of my machines just looked like that, the arm was genius and then ditched it oh well.

Cheers,
Christian-

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40 Michael Goode

I don’t really think that you can look at it as PC winning. Apple is doing fine and in fact its stock is at record highs. It actually isn’t mutually exclusive, and many people, you included, have both PCs and Macs (I do too). For me, a non-artist or musician, iLife is simply much easier to use than Windows Movie Maker or any of the Adobe products. Also, iWork is much better at doing presentations than Excel, Word and Powerpoint (although day to day typing I still use Word and Excel is certainly more powerful, but Excel is terrible for presentations and doesn’t integrate as well with Powerpoint as Numbers does with Keynote). Also in terms of presentations I find that the minidisplayport allows me to connect a variety of adapters so I can connect even to huge plasma TVs at full quality, which I was not able to do with my PC laptop. To sum up, my Mac is simply a better machine for doing presentations.

Another issue is that you typically get a stripped down version of Windows 7, and it costs a lot to upgrade it to ultimate. What really annoys me is that I need multiple languages on my computer, which is only available in the ultimate version of windows 7, whereas multiple language support comes included with a mac. When you look at everything that was included in the mac, the mac was cheaper for me. In addition, I like being able to go the Apple Store and take classes for free. I have learned a lot that way, and the only PC equivalent, Geek Squad, is quite costly.

I am still bitter about all of the crashes I had every time I got an update to my Vista machine, and I like surfing the web much better on my mac whereby I don’t have to worry as much about viruses, and it is much faster at browsing.

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41 liam

I have a netbook now i got for $300. It is this wimpy thing with a intel atom 1.60 ghz hard drive, .99 gigs of ram no disk drive and xp. (hate vista, 7 wont work on the netbook. It is as slow as heck and im saving up for a new macbook. I think that you should have a gotton a refurbed macbook. you can do so much more on a mac. plus you can run windows through vmware fusion or bootcamp.

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42 PG

I agree with the conclusion about price. It does it form me too. Why is anything MAC from the computer itself to the mouse double the price or more of it’s PC equivalent.

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43 Linny

Thank you that was an interesting article, many of the things you say I identify with – especially the bit about trying to convince yourself you *need* the sexy version!

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44 George

Why do people expect a $300 netbook to work as well as a $1200 mac? My PC way outspecs any mac within a reasonable price-difference. Its a samsung RF511 that I got at Fry’s for $849 it has 4GB DDR3, a Intel Core i7 SandyBridge (2nd generation) processor, GeForce 540 M, 6 hours of battery life on low-power usage, 3 hours worth of gaming. It has a webcam, 500GB HD, multi-touch touchpad, numberpad, powerless sleep (3second boot times), Bluetooth 3.o, USB 3.0, HDMI, a 15.4″ HD screen and tons of other things. The computer itself is beautiful with a very shiny cover (Mac owners seem to care about shiny) and brushed aluminum keyboard and other downright sexy design aspects.

I looked at apple’s website, the nearest equivalent as of this post is the $1799 15 inch macbook pro and it is lacking many of the features such as the Bluetooth 3.0 or USB 3.0 technology, the HDMI port or the Optimus graphics, or the hybrid sleep OR the numeric keypad. I would expect to be able to buy a better laptop for an additional $1000 apparently apple doesn’t agree with that philosophy.

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45 Michael

Specs are meaningless really. Go to an apple store and try a MacBook air. Terrible specs but works amazingly fast.

Play around with a MacBook pro for awhile in a store. I have a PC notebook at work with much better specs than my Mac, but the quality of the trackpad for example is so superior on he Mac…I don’t see PC people hooking up trackpads to their desktops because they love them so much…..

I’d rather have a thunderbolt port than an hdmi…..much more versatile…..

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46 james braselton

hi there with hard drive failueres i buy the ssd macs with solid state option see pc windows will never offer solid state storage

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47 Traciatim

@James, you are incorrect. SSD is an option with many PC manufacturers. Macs use the same hardware as PC’s these days, the only real difference is the price (Mac being more expensive), the OS, and the ability for Mac users to feel superior because they spend more.

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48 Leslie Coleman

this was so helpful! thank you

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49 Michael

And that Macs don’t get virsuses, have superior customer service (only have to go to Apple and not two manufacturers, Microsoft and the hardware manufacturer), have amazing one to one training at the Apple store for 100 a year (compare that to Geek Squad), come with a superior set of photo, audio and movie making tools, are much easier to use, are more reliable, last much longer, have a better build quality (again, compare a Mac trackpad to anything else, these things matter), work more seamlessly with iOS devices (which are much better than android or windows devices), boot faster, have a better battery life, tend to get the latest intel tech earlier than pcs, has surperior presentation software and abilities….well, I could go on and on…. PCs aren’t cheaper in the end….especially if you factor in virsuses software and tech support……oh, but I will agree that Macs look nicer too…..we do tend to feel a bit superior when we see our friends suffering from the latest spyware attack (and it isn’t just because there are less Macs…..it’s because bsd is a more secure base than nt)… But hey, what do I know, I guess I just drank the cool aid right?

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