Being in the technology field, I get asked this question at least once a week. I think people see all the commercials from Apple and believe that they are taking over the world and they need to jump on the bandwagon and keep up with the Jones’. With this article I hope to help people decide what the best type of machine is best for them taking into consideration functionality, ease of use, and of course price.
Let’s start with appearance. I will be the first to come out and say Apple products are flat out Sexy! The late Steve Jobs had an enthusiasm for the outward appearance of his products that were unmatched by all his competition. Starting with the first Macintosh in 1984, Jobs turned the computer world on its side with the self-contained unit with the CPU and monitor all encased as one unit. This made for clean lines and few cumbersome cords to clutter your desk. Fast forward to today, you can see in the latest rendition of the iMac that this philosophy still holds true. On the flip side, PC’s are more utilitarian than artistic. Since there are many Windows PC manufacturers, styles vary greatly. The most shocking being the Alienware line from Dell. These ultimate gaming machines use futuristic designs to set them apart from the rest.
Functionality and ease of use are two things people need to consider when looking at these two types of machines. Apple has portrayed itself as a fun and hip type of device that lends itself to sophistication and class. On the other hand, they shine Windows users in a dull and nerdy light. Both can argue back and forth and I have some strong convictions about this subject but I will keep my opinions out of this for now. In keeping with functionality, software compatibility is a strong point in the Windows PC favor. Software houses see Windows PC’s as more business oriented so they tend to create their software with them in mind. However, in the spirit of keeping up with the times, larger software companies have rolled out Mac OS X versions to accommodate the minority.
Price is one of the most frequently discussed differences between Apple products and Windows based computers. While few Mac products are offered under the $1,000, dozens of Windows PC’s with similar specs fall under this price threshold. This price difference is generally tied to the use of higher quality materials by Apple. A strategy they use to set themselves apart from the rest. This is where people get into trouble comparing these two types of machines. The bottom line is stated as: “The relative value of a Mac or PC really depends on the consumer’s needs”. This being said we move along to my last talking point.
With all these previous items discussed, I depart with a final question and a bit of advice. When someone approaches me with the Mac or PC question, I fire back with “What are you going to use the machine for?” 95% of the time people want to browse the internet, write papers for school, and get on Facebook. If you fall under this answer, you need a lower end Windows PC. Don’t waste your hard earned money on an internet PC that looks nice but you spend 3 times what you needed to get the same result. Chances are you already know if you want a Mac, if there are some questions about it benefiting you, I would say look at a Windows based computer and invest the money you save.