Finding the right laptop to buy for school is an important matter that college students across the nation face.
The two most popular types of computers on the market that most college students are interested in buying are Windows PCs and Apple MacBooks. Alex Seals from the George Mason University ITU Support Center is both a Windows and Apple user.
Seals said that the hardware of Macs and PCs is almost identical with a few minor differences. The Mac operating system is appreciable because it is simple to use, except when using custom PC applications, Seals said. Seals also mentioned that Macs may be more efficient than PCs.
So which product would be the best overall for a student to buy, given a limited budget? “Windows, definitely — for the price,” Seals said.
“If you are trying to be cost-effective, Windows would be the better platform because with Apple you are mainly paying for the name,” Seals said. Security is a major concern for students using laptops, and Seals said that both PCs and Macs have holes in security that have yet to be remedied. According to Seals, both PCs and Macs are vulnerable to viruses, but currently Macs are less so because fewer people are using them.
“Apple has advertised that Macs cannot get viruses but they can …Viruses are coming up more often with more and more people using them,” Seals said.
Mukarram Shahzad, an ITU support specialist at Mason, said that PCs would be better for college students to purchase because some software does not work on Macs.
Shahzad said that he liked Macs but PCs were better for students because of software reasons. According to Shahzad, Mac users need to download a third party client in order to run Windows Secure Shell, which is a program that students need to run for many classes. Aside from software differences, Shahzad said that PCs and Macs are almost the same, and that a PC is better than a Mac for everyday college use. “Unless a Mac is required, Windows is sufficient for basic college use,” Shahzad said. Shahzad also said that both PCs and Macs have the same amount of problems when it comes to maintenance issues.
Junior information technology major Andrew Beach said he prefers to use PCs because they cost a lot less than Macs and perform at almost the same level. Beach views Macs as well-designed, flashy computers with creative software which are useful for people interested in editing videos. “I like PCs because they are widespread, cheap and generally compatible with most things,” Beach said.
Junior psychology major Megan Shea is a MacBook user who said she believes that Macs are worth the price because they never get viruses. Shea said that she was “very satisfied” with her MacBook and that she would not switch back to a PC.
“MacBook does everything for you when it comes to organizing files, and autocorrect is great if you do something wrong,” Shea said. “Macs are great. Every person that I know that has a Mac really likes it.”
Both Macs and PCs have their fair share of fans, but at the end of the day, the choice of Mac versus PC comes down to one person: the consumer.