Help! Do I Buy a Mac or a PC?

Image by Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Image by Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Choosing a laptop to use for school may not be the easy decision you think it is. There are many options, but when it comes down to it, you’ll be looking at two versions: a Mac or a PC. My goal is to show you the pros and cons of both to help you make your decision. Remember that even though Mac and PC computers run on different operating systems, they are made up of the same parts, and in most cases, either one will be able to satisfy your education requirements.

The Advantages

The MacThe PC
Battery life
Generally superior and long-lasting

Software
Comes with installed, easy-to-use software for movie and music editing

Operating System
Easy-to-use, configurable operating system

Security
More secure infrastructure when surfing the web

Design
Arguably sleek models

Compatibility
Gigantic marketplace for all kinds of software

Customizability
Customize it to fit your style with the flexible Windows system

Entertainment station
Double as an entertainment station (watch movies, play games) as well as a work station

Cost
Competition between PC manufacturers means more reasonable prices

The Disadvantages

The Mac
The PC
Cost
Least expensive laptop (11-inch MacBook Air) starts at $999

Compatibility
Incompatible with many third party programs, although this is slowly changing

Customizability
Cannot be customized outside of what the operating system allows

Learning
More difficult to learn to use, although slowly changing with the advent of Windows 8.1

Battery life
Varies computer to computer, from frustratingly low to comfortably high

Overheating
Some hardware is prone to overheating because of how they are built and the various manufacturers

Viruses, malware, adware
Ensure safe web surfing with a good anti-virus program

The facts are laid out. Still unsure? Your choice can be made easier by looking at what you need, while making sure you’re getting the things you want.

  • Prioritize your needs
  • If you’re in a media program, you may need to edit movies or music. A Mac might be a better choice for you, since the Operating System comes packaged with professional, easy-to-use software.

  • Be wary of price
  • If you’re going to be using your computer for mainly word processing and web surfing, your best bet would be to go with a PC notebook. Models start as low as $400, and they can give you all the tools necessary to complete your schoolwork.

  • Take into account all uses of the computer
  • Will you be using your computer outside of school-related activities? If you plan to also use it for entertainment at home, look for a computer with higher specifications that meets your needs.

In the end, the choice resides with you and your preference. Both Mac and PC computers have advantages and disadvantages. Study the charts above, list out your priorities, see what’s on sale, and go into a couple of stores to test them out. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect one to fit your needs – and you’ll enjoy the hunt!

Check out this article on more things to consider when searching for a laptop.

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