You’ve seen the commercials from a few years back, about the Mac vs. PC debate. Today we are settling this debate, that is, for college students. The truth of the Mac vs. PC shenanigans is that Mac’s are for some people and PC’s are for others. You don’t want to go into college thinking, “Hey, everyone else has a Macbook, so I’ll get one too and hope it works out.” Students every year have this same exact mindset and end up disappointed once they find out Macbooks simply aren’t the right choice for them. In this guide, Laptops4College will lay out the pro’s, con’s, features, and more of getting a Mac versus getting a PC, and we will let you decide which is right for you. By the way, PC = Windows, this should clear up some confusion.
If you’re planning on purchasing a Macbook for college, make sure you’re ready for the investment. Whether you purchase a Macbook, Macbook Air, or Macbook Pro, make sure you understand that the price you are paying is much higher than the price of a Windows laptop with the same specifications (aka. parts). Instead of just paying for the parts you’re getting with a Macbook, you’re also paying for the design and stability which we will be exploring later in this article.
Macbooks only come in 3 different variations, but they are all quite expensive (starting with the lowest quality version at $899). Windows laptops, however, come in thousands of variations. You can get an extremely budget laptop like the HP Stream 13, or an expensive but extremely powerful Razer Blade 2015. It all depends on your preference.
For the Mac vs. PC debate, if you’re looking to minimize cost, get a Windows laptop because Macbooks are over priced for the parts inside. However, if you prefer a smoother experience or have money to spend, I’d add Macbooks to your list of laptops to consider.
This used to be a concern for college students, but most campuses are fully compatible with both Macs and PCs, so this shouldn’t pose as an issue when debating between Mac vs. PC. However, if you’re planning on using lots of software for data collection for math-related majors or computer science, many professors recommend PCs simply because of the amount of software that is compatible with it. Any other major should prosper fine with a Macbook, in fact, Macbooks can run Windows through Bootcamp so the lack of software is still not an issue.
What is Life Compatibility? It is how well your laptop will help you in your daily life outside of the classroom. PCs are known for their business advantages, but the truth is they have caught up with Macbooks when it comes to daily usage for casual users. The displays on Macbooks are incredible, so watching movies will always be an awesome experience, however Windows laptops are catching up (for instance, the Dell XPS 13‘s Infinity display). Macbooks, even the Pros, tend to be very light and efficient to carry around. They will not crash or freeze on you like a Windows might, but if you get a Windows laptop with a good processor you should be fine. Windows is catching up with the stability of Macbooks, but is not quite there yet. Many Windows laptops can also be pleasant to carry around, you just gotta look at the weight before you purchase (which we just so happen to provide in every laptop review).
Macbooks aren’t better in every way for life compatibility, but definitely have an edge when it comes to ease of use. Windows laptops are just as good, and most likely better for every use, once you understand how to use it as it does have a slight learning curve.
Bottom line: Macbooks are the easy way out, Windows are more advanced but take longer to master, but can be just as easy to use and easy to move around. You’re probably going be moving around a lot in college, so keep this in mind when debating Mac vs. PC.
Windows laptops come in all shapes, sizes, and rotations (check out the HP Spectre x360). You can pick out your parts, colors, screen sizes, and more. Macbooks are much less customizable, and while you can customize parts and sizes, they are only certain ones available and they are overpriced. For the Mac vs. PC debate on customization, Windows takes the spotlight
Mac OS X is easy to use, intuitive, and efficient for daily tasks. Mac OS X’s design is very sleek and runs very fast as it is optimized on all the Macbooks it is installed on. Bootcamp is included with every Macbook that allows you to run Windows on it as a dual-boot feature. Mac OS X uses the App Store to download and install new apps (you can also use the internet), and it works quite well with a nice combination of paid and free apps.
Windows 8.1 uses a bold new interface Microsoft invented named “Metro”. While many critics initially deemed Metro as useless, the new touchscreen world of the Windows has proven it useful. While the Microsoft App Store is absolutely trash, Windows users can easily reap the benefits of virtually endless arrays of software available on the internet. There are a lot more software available for Windows than on the Apple App Store. Windows 8.1 is more stable than any previous version of Windows, and is quite fast.
In comparison, Mac OS X is only slightly faster the Windows 8.1. Mac OS X has little to no crashing, while Windows 8.1 has a little more. However, Windows 8.1 is much more customization, and doesn’t lock you down. What do I mean? Well, Mac OS X pretty much forces you to use Apple’s services. You have to use iCloud (cringe), iTunes, etc. or it just won’t feel integrated. Windows is open for whatever you want to use, except Apple services. With Apple it is going to be all-or-nothing, but many people seem to enjoy the integrated Apple-everything feel. If you need serious reliability and crash-proof experiences, check out a Macbook, or a high-end Windows laptop with Windows 8.1.
For the Mac vs. PC debate, the OS choice definitely depends on your intended usage.