Mac vs PC: No debate - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Mac vs PC: No debate

“Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he’s a Mac user, he’ll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?”
Tom Clancy 

 

Tom Clancy said that in 1996.  I am not sure how to say this, so I will just say it.  If you are embarrassed by Mac products, you are missing out on a wide range of innovative technology.  I know who you are, too.  The people who are loyal PC users would never consider using a Mac product in their lives.  These are the people who bought a Zune instead of an iPod for the mere fact that the iPod is a Mac product.

Why do I know these people so well?  I used to be one of them. I can clearly remember a time when I used only PC products.  Then I realized I was seeing only half of the technology “Big Picture.”  The big picture is knowing what technology can do and how it can work for you. 

As of today, I refuse to debate which one is better for the reason that none are perfect and both should be used for their different strengths.  Apple has constantly looked to improve the look and most importantly the usability of it.  It has continued to change the way we use our computers and have continued to be one of the most inventive companies out there.

Seventy percent of the nation’s incoming freshmen used Apple computers and an overwhelming number of these students used laptops in 2010, according to tech.fortune.cnn.com This shows Apple is going after the youth and building a loyal following.

What products do I use today? 

I built my main computer, a PC and for the record, and I love it.  I also use an iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Pro, iPod shuffle and recently just sold my Classic 32GB iPod because I have the majority of my music on my iPhone.  I love Apple for all of my mobile needs.

Why I go with Mac for mobile devices (iPhone)?

Apple has built its products to be reliable and user friendly.  When I am on the run, I love to have a product that is simple and easy to use.  It can be argued that Apple restricts what you can do on its mobile products and it does restrict the apps that you run or the ways you can customize your phone.  This should not bother the majority of people, but if you like to play around with things and customize your phone, the best way to fix this is to Jailbreak your phone.  Jailbreaking is a pretty simple process and there are tons of sites out there that will walk you through the process.  This process will allow you to make tons of changes to your phone, but still keep that simple easy to use IOS.  If you are looking for a great tutorial on how to Jailbreak your iPhone you can find one right here.

Macs are expensive

Macs are  expensive. I will not deny that, but they hold  value and can last you several years, compared to a cheaper PC that may last only a few years. If you buy a cheap PC to save a little money, you might end up paying a lot more in the long run with repairs and end up purchasing another one in a few years, whereas your buddy with the Mac may still be using the same Apple computer.

Tech Support

If you have ever tried to call the support for Dell, HP or other computer companies, you will be on the phone for several hours and they will most likely ask you questions that you cannot answer .  This can be a big problem that for someone with little knowledge about diagnosing or fixing computers.  Many people give up and take their computer to the Geek Squad  and end up paying more for repairs than their computers are worth.

With Macs you can take it into any of their locations and get your computers fixed with out any trouble.  Apple even has classes that you can take in store, to help you learn how to use your computer.

Why I still have a PC

Games

Many of the popular games still cannot be played on a Mac.  Programmers are allowing games to be played on Macs, but this is a slow process.

Freeware

Looking for free programs?  PC is the right place to find them.  No matter what it is, you can find a program for free.

Building Computers

Another reason I love PCs so much is because you can customize and build your own computer.  The greatest part of this is you can save a lot of money.  I bought my computer part by part two years ago and waited for those parts to go on sale to get the best price.

So what am I trying to say?

Like any company, Apple has had its problems, recently with antenna problems or overheating iPads.  Many are looking to Tim Cook and waiting to see if he can keep up with the consistently outstanding product that Apple has been known for.

So what do I ask from you next time you are looking for a computer, phone, tablet, etc.?

Through this whole piece I may seem like a little bit of a Apple fan boy, but really I just want people to find the right technology for them.  So all I ask is that next time you looking for a computer, mp3 player, tablet, etc. that you look at some Apple products and see if you like them.





About the author

Erik Hoffman

Erik Hoffman is a web designer and computer consultant. He has run a computer consulting company for the past four years where he enhanced businesses by designing and developing user-friendly websites that have helped companies reach targeted revenues. Contact the author.
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22 Comments

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m pretty sure you completely misinterpreted that quote. Good quote though,

    Reply
  2. terry malloy says:

    dammed glossy screensssssss aarghhhh

    Reply
  3. berock212 says:

    I know Apple has good tech support, but dell’s tech support is also excellent. Whenever I have a question, I either go to the site to chat with a tech support or call them, and they always answer my questions. They have even called me to ask if my experience was good. And the two things that mac people say that really pisses me of is Mac’s last longer because they are built better and mac’s are more stable because Apple builds the hardware/software. The reason why those piss me of is because they simply aren’t true. Mac’s are not built better. And they don’t last longer. Mac’s have been rated the 4th more reliable laptop manufacture. And I hate it when people say Mac’s last longer than crappy plasic pc’s. Of course they do, I would think they would last longer than a laptop 1/3 of the price. If you compare a MacBook to a similarly priced Toshiba laptop you will find that the Toshiba laptop should last longer. Also Mac’s hardware/software integration doesn’t make any difference at all. Windows computers seldom crash anymore which is the same as mac’s. And the only time you would ever experience problems with hardware is if you haven’t updated your graphics card drivers in a while, a simple process that anyone could do. In fact Mac’s have more problems with hardware than pc’s. Mac’s have had problems where if you put it to sleep it doesn’t start up again. Pc’s never have that problem.

    Reply
  4. Alex says:

    In my recent article http://www.squidoo.com/pc-and-mac-comparison-buyers-guide I have given a fair comparison of the two covering pretty much everything. If you’re interested in a different opinion check it out

    Reply
  5. Ghenry says:

    I have been using MS OS’s for more than 30 years mainly because in the Corporation I worked with, you could only use Windows PC’s due to the interaction with the other systems.
    All these years I had to endure all sort of troubles with Windows, to the point that I just felt it was normal, as the perfect PC was not existing.
    At each new version of Windows I was anxiously waiting the perfect OS that finally would have solved all the problems: viruses, intrusions, hardware compatibility, stability, maintaining speed, etc… Never happened, and each time I also had to change the PC because the new OS had hardware compatibility issues. And to add other troubles the newer OS was even more complicated to fix than the previous one.
    I also built my own desktops to ensure I get the best PC for stability and reliability But although it worked fine for may years it had always some issue due to the OS.
    After i retired and after I had my first experiences with Apple’s Ipod and then Iphone I decided that these Apples after all were not all that bad, in the contrary, simple and very user friendly. So I decided to make the big jump and bought an Imac.
    There i realised what a miserable life I had all these years fighting with PC’s.
    Finally i found the perfect Computer with the perfect operating system.

    Through my experience I can say with a high degree of certainty that Windows is a bad Operating System, it always was and very likely will continue to be.

    Reply
  6. Taylor Thruelsen says:

    Macs are hands down a better product, that is not up for debate. What is up for debate is the almighty dollar for squeeze. I have always had a PC until my partner threw a Macbook pro my way. I am cursed with viruses and such on PCs and knew every dork at Geeksquad in Bestbuy. Not anymore. Mac Wins.

    Reply
  7. berock212 says:

    Mac’s really are more expensive than pc no matter how you look at it. No computers hold much value over time, it the nature of the fact that devices are constantly getting cheaper and faster. And yes if you purchase a cheap pc, it will cost more to maintain than a mac, but if you buy a pc that’s as good as a mac, it will run as long and problem free as a mac, plus it will be cheaper. And Desktop computers never really need repair, you don’t drop then, they aren’t move or touched much so buying a cheap pc will need the same amount of repair as a mac.

    Reply
  8. berock212 says:

    The thing with tech support is most people will try to troubleshoot before bringing it into a computer fixing shop. Pc’s have an huge amount of helpful troubleshooting forms while mac’s you can’t really troubleshoot that well.

    Reply
  9. I grew up on Macs at school. I didn’t operate on Windows until I was 13 and got my own computer. At nearly 19 now, I can say it runs fine, although a few months ago my dad stole the monitor when I switched to my laptop (which is windows). I go to college and the labs here for the English department, which I am part of, are Mac. This was when I realized how much I hate working on the Mac OS X. Windows is natural to me, always has been. I have used both, and, for the price of a Mac, you get a machine that is stuck in its ways and will be outdated in 3 years. I can customize my Windows computer. End of story.

    Reply
  10. Fun_And_Rewarding_However says:

    Building your own pc can be fun and rewarding (even for those not in the computer related fields, such as myself), however there is something to be said about the time saved by the mac products. I have been a pc user for 2 decades, owned plenty of iOS devices, and never owned a mac. Recently a java update for my pc just came in, with expired certificate — now I must investigate because security of my home network could be at stake — I used to have time for this, but not these days! Can I outsource this kind of stuff? duh! Mac!! — and I stumbled upon this article — what a coincidence. My question is: will apple take care of this kind of stuff? likely yes.
    Agree with your point– see what serves you the best: if you are having fun building your own, pc will provide plenty of that and save you money. If you are realizing that its about time you got other things done in life, and can afford it, outsource your “maintenance trouble” (at least a big chunk of it) to apple.

    Reply
    • Erik Hoffman says:

      Thank you for your comment. Apple has now expanded its tech support to help you with problems that you talked about. They are now helping people with their tech problems online as well as in the store. So if you don’t have much time, just go online and they will have a Mac Genius help you with your problems while you sit in the comfort of your home.

      Reply
  11. lol says:

    You pay 3 to 4 times more for a MacBook than for a Win laptop. Even if the Mac lasts 4 times longer, you are still way better off buying 4 Win laptops, since you’ll always have a newer, more up to date rig. Repairs, services in general are available for PCs round each and every corner, at a favorable price. Anyway fanboys will help Apple maintain their irrational extra profit for quite some time, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I develop software for both platform, and I can cash in a lot more for the Mac version. 🙂

    Reply
    • berock212 says:

      It might have been like that in 1999 but now you pay more like 30%-60% for a mac. Even still pc’s have a lower tco than mac’s and a lower cost.

      Reply
    • Ghenry says:

      If you look at PC’s with the same quality make and technical accuracy as a Mac the price is the same if not more, see at Lenovo, Toshiba or Sony top of the line PC’s. I remind you that Apple, differently by these manufactures I mentioned, do not have cheap line of products It is like Merced and BMW they just make very good cars to last and for the price. But out there there are a lot of cheap cars that serve the same purpose, so these are for you !

      Reply
  12. Joanpauperepau says:

    Why embarrass someone who’s not driving an S-Class by asking which car is driving… Poor guys those who we drive an Honda Accord, for example… It’s pretty obvious that an S-Class is a very good car, but the Accord does the same job for 25% the price!

    Reply
  13. Dunlarn says:

    Hey Erik I read the article it was very interesting, I agree with you on many points, mostly on going with Apple for the iPhone. It truly is a wonderful product. However I was dismayed when I read that you purchase Mac Computers because they are of higher quality.
    I went and did some research because I heard many people say the exact same thing.
    In my article here: http://www.pchatch.com/pc-vs-macs, I compare the hardware between Macs and PCs. And what I found out was that in every case, Macs cost more and the quality of their hardware was lower. I have used computers with parts that match Mac hardware the closest to exemplify this in my article.

    Also I would like to note that Apple does not manufacture its hardware, it uses the exact same HDD , SSD, CPU, GPU, RAM, and Monitor manufacturers that almost every other computer distributor uses.

    I hope that you read my article and I would like to hear your thoughts after! Do you still believe that Apple hardware holds more value?

    Reply
    • Frank Stevens says:

      I build my own. I use the best parts I can find. I don’t over pay and all I am missing is that stupid apple on the case. The Apple fanboys are all folks who wouldn’t know the business end of screwdriver.

      Reply
    • Taylor Thruelsen says:

      You might be right Dunlarn, and a matter of fact, some of the hardware is the same. But Macs don’t get sick, and therefore I personally would rather have a really good worker that shows up to work everyday than have the super human worker show up here and there. Bias is a true virtue on this topic. Cheers.:)

      Reply
  14. hocodavid says:

    I don’t know…

    I used to be a “mac guy” and when my “computer illiterate” sister went off to college I told her the 15″ MBP should be at the top of her list. 13 months later the motherboard died and Applecare wasted weeks of our time – on the phone and in the store – while class was in session. She had to purchase a PC to use while the Mac was being serviced (and later returned it). If not for the $350 Applecare extension I had her purchase with the computer, it would have been a $900 repair for a 1 year old, $2000 computer.

    Now I’m not a “mac guy.” It’s not just that one incident that changed my mind, but a lot of factors, including value. As a linux user, I have no use for Windows or Mac OS, although I can run my choice distro, Linux Mint, on either.

    So for college this year I’m buying an Asus Zenbook Prime for a few hundred less than the macbook air, despite it having a much better screen and warranty.

    Reply
  15. UGottaBKidding says:

    Look, I’ll concede that both platforms have their uses, and to each their own, but there are some ludicrous statements made in the article to help justify the Apple argument.

    You said:
    Macs “hold value and can last you several years, compared to a cheaper PC that may last only a few years.”

    First of all please clarify the difference between “several” and “only a few”. I currently own a 6 year old Windows Laptop (and real tablet PC) that runs Win7 just fine, a 9 year old WinXP small form factor PC I built myself, and a 2 year old Win 7 machine that screams, and which I expect to last way more than a “few” years.

    You said:
    “If you buy a cheap PC to save a little money, you might end up paying a lot more in the long run with repairs and end up purchasing another one in a few years, whereas your buddy with the Mac may still be using the same Apple computer.”

    See above. Microsoft’s record IRT to backward compatibility blows Apple away. Although the price differential has narrowed somewhat, WIndows based laptops are still enough cheaper that if it only works for a “few years” you can buy a second one after those few years for little more in total than that Mac would have cost, and it will be faster and more up to date as well.

    You said:
    “Many people give up and take their computer to the Geek Squad and end up paying more for repairs than their computers are worth. . . . .With Macs you can take it into any of their locations and get your computers fixed with out any trouble.”

    I wasn’t aware that Apple fixed Macs for free, nor that they did so any cheaper than Geek Squad. I do know that there are a lot more little local computer shops that fix PCs cheaper that are cheaper than either.

    Bottom line – use what you like, and what you value. But don’t try to kid people into thinking that Macs are IN ANY WAY less expensive than PCs. That is simply and demonstrably untrue.

    Reply
    • Erik Hoffman
      Erik Hoffman says:

      Thank you for your comment. You have some very good points and I can tell that you are a big Windows fan and I can relate. As for your other statements, I can not agree.

      First thing first, I was talking in reference to “cheap” PCs that people buy without much thought and think will last them a long time. I have seen cheap PCs last a long time but not with out some good tech support or a person that knows what they are doing. My parents still have an e-machine that they paid $300 dollars for and 6 years later they still have it. Why do they still have it? Because every time they had a problem I was there to fix it. I have replaced several things on their computer. This is not the case for every family that buys a cheap PC like my family did. Not everybody is as tech savoy as you and me.

      As for your second problem I did not mention backward compatibility at all and I would not do this because it would then bring us in to a long talk about operating systems and we will save that for another time. When I talk about cheaper I am not only talking about money, I am also talking about time, tech support, repairs and more. This can be argued but when it comes to money I believe you get more for your money with Apple for the average user.

      As for last questions, I stand by the fact that Apple has better tech support then the majority of companies out there. I stand by that 100%. When you buy a Mac you will be needing far less tech support.

      Reply
  16. rnemec says:

    I’m a Mac guy because I do graphics, but I agree both platforms have their strengths. They’re just tools–use whichever you’re comfortable with.

    Reply

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