Now that college and university courses universally require laptops, buying one most suited to your needs is one of the most important decisions a student can make. Whether you decide to purchase a Mac or PC, there are several things to consider before making your decision.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Which one will be better suited for your needs? The questions are endless and sometimes there are no right answers.
It’s no surprise that you’ll most likely be paying more for a Mac. You’ll be hard pressed to find one for under a thousand dollars. PC’s, on the other hand, you’ll be able to be find for cheaper. Apple also has a far more limited amount of computers for sale, since PC’s have several different products available from many different companies.
“PC’s will almost always be cheaper than Macs,” said Christina Rayment, former Canada Computers employee. “Repairs are more expensive for Apple as well. However, if you want to accessorize, Apple will have far cheaper alternatives because Chinese markets make very cheap products.”
All of the hardware and software is developed specifically for the Mac, unlike the PC which uses Windows as its operating system. It could be argued that this sacrifices performance, but it also begs the question of whether you prefer simplicity and accessibility over customization, as both will have the same parts.
“Since 2006 there aren’t any real differences in hardware from PC and Mac,” said William Gross, a computer programmer working for Inteloom Incorporated. “They both use the X86/X64 architecture for their processors but Apple does have focus on things being simple and beautiful.”
Apple products run a different operating system, which has unique programs that consistently run great. PC, on the other hand, runs on Windows which has a much higher amount of software available and is almost what most of the world runs on.
“Software differences are basically driven by their user base,” said Gross. “Since Windows has been geared toward home and office users, they have had to add complexity to be able to have both types of users comfortably. The side effect is that it is more complicated. On the mac side, they only have home users with the design philosophy that everything should be easy and beautiful. While that does have a place, it does pose a problem when a computer user would want to customize something Apple deems undesirable or unnecessary, making it more difficult than needed.”
Making their computers look and feel beautiful from the inside and out is something that has been the focus of Apple’s branding since its inception. PC, on the other hand, has many different companies focusing individually on their products.
“Part of the reason why Apple products are so expensive is because of the brand and design philosophy,” said Rayment. “Whether or not you want to pay for that is up to you.”
Which is best for you?
I’ve given a brief rundown of what you can expect from each product. However, I’m not advocating one or the other. Despite owning a custom built PC myself and an Acer laptop, I would never say that everyone should be buying these products or other similar ones. The person who would best know what computer you want would be you.