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Old 04-19-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Freeport, MN
25 posts, read 71,897 times
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What one's the best? How do i justify the cost of a MacBook over a PC? Is a MacBook worth it?
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Duluth
781 posts, read 2,377,221 times
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Well, this is nearly an age old argument. The Macbook series (standard or Pro) are truly beautiful machines. Very solid and well built, to the point that you would be hard pressed to find a PC laptop of similar build quality. From little details like the ambient light sensor controlled back-lit keyboard to the fact that the new Macbooks are milled from a solid piece of aluminum. Beyond simple visual style, Mac OSX is wonderful operating system. "Smooth" and attractive, yet very practical and useful. Out of the box, a Mac will be more useful. The software that comes packaged is much better than any software that comes with Vista or XP. For instance, if you're looking to pick up a new laptop to do any video editing, iMovie beats Windows Movie Maker hands down. Mac also has (in my opinion) one of the best deals in office suites. For $79.99, you get Apple's Pages suite. Pages includes a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software, all of which are fully compatible with Microsoft Office equivilants. I believe you also get a certain amount off the software suite when you buy with a new Mac as well (this may be only at an Apple store though).

I own a PC. I run Windows XP on a Fujitsu S2100 and have never actually owned a Mac. They are definitely more expensive than their PC counterparts, some call this the "Apple tax". I compare Apples and PCs to Mercedes and Honda. They're both going to get you to the same places, and probably at the same speed, but one is usually sportier, classier and more solidly built. It's like the thud when you close a car door. The Mercedes/Audi/BMW *thud*, whilst the Honda/Toyota/Nissan *clang*.

On the PC side of things, you have MANY options. There are an astounding number of brands to choose from, and if you're sticking if the big names (Dell, HP, Sony) it's fairly hard to go wrong. Most major PC brands have great hardware reliability (as they're all built of pretty much the same parts) and all will run all of your favorite software. A ton of great deals can be had right now and you can get a ton of machine for the money. Windows Vista has matured greatly and as long as the machine running was actually DESIGNED to run it, it's a treat to use. Almost all of your legacy XP software will run in Vista and I have yet to have a modern (past 4 - 5 years) device not work with it.

You can easily get yourself into a Dell or HP for sub $1000, and you'll be more than happy. Honestly, if all you're looking for is a school computer for web browsing or typing essays, go get yourself a nice PC. You'll be perfectly happy with your purchase.

On the other hand, if you're hoping to do a lot of home movie making and don't mind plopping down well over $1000 for better build quality and more thoughtful design decisions, take the Macbook plunge. All of my friends love theirs and wouldn't go back if given the chance.

So, sorry for lack of a definitive answer for which one to buy, but it's really a personal decision. Would you buy an Audi S8 or a Ford Escort?

(Actually, my car analogy is slightly flawed. The Macbook and PC laptops will have roughly the same reliability. Whereas a Toyota will break down MUCH less often than an Audi )
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 2,650,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mintygreen View Post
What one's the best? How do i justify the cost of a MacBook over a PC? Is a MacBook worth it?
I agree with almost everything AL said.

PC has a lower entry point, but the range of quality does extend close to MAC on the high end. For example look at a Lenovo W500 series and you will see what I mean. Sadly, you have a hard time finding anything beyond mid range in a big box store. They high end models just are not selling.

Most people could get by on either a MAC or PC as both platforms have all the tools for mainstream stuff like browsing the Internet, e-mail, etc. That said, these mainstream tasks more often than not don't require high end video, large amount of RAM that needs 64 bit platform, or huge hard drives. The car comparision would be do you really need an escalade to get groceries? Maybe to pull a big boat, but overkill to get groceries.

Software you will use is a big factor on what direction you might go. MAC has tradition of being platform of choice for graphics professionals, PC is the traditional gamer platform. In general, there are more software packages available for PC. If you have some specifiic thing you do, it makes sense to look at your software requirements. It is possible that you may be better of going one direction or the other based on software.

If you go PC, I would tell you to focus on business models that have 3 year warranty and stay away from the big box stores that will stick you with a 1 year warranty then try to stick you for a bogus upgrade fee. Also, these models don't come stacked with 35 trail versions looking to such your wallet.

I have always been a PC guy, but the new MACs are impressive. That said, I have not shelled out the cash for one. They are cool, but not worth the cash to me. Purely a personal preference for most people. I did buy the wife an audi. Not an S8 though.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Duluth
781 posts, read 2,377,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifford63 View Post
I did buy the wife an audi. Not an S8 though.
haha, that last example may have been a bit extreme. Maybe more like Camry VS. A4?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 2,650,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminumpork View Post
haha, that last example may have been a bit extreme. Maybe more like Camry VS. A4?
I thought it was a great post. The both get you where you are going eh?
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Freeport, MN
25 posts, read 71,897 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks for your help! I'm really atttracted to the iWeb software. AL you should probably sell apples. Great post and once again thanks for your input.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,592 posts, read 8,195,924 times
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I'd say you need to figure out your requirements (software, usability etc.) and "try" both first. I think if you base it on what you use if for, you really can't go wrong. But if your needs are basic enough that both will work - the only thing I can add to the other inputs (and great ones I might add) is that depending on your level of computer knowledge, a Mac MAY give you less trouble (this is where the bias starts).

This is simply based on the fact that due to their smaller market, they are less prone to spyware and other annoying malicious codes that typically target Microsoft based systems - there is also some architecture differences - but that's a different topic of discussion.

Now, keep in mind, all systems have vulnerabilities - having a computer (whatever the flavor) means you need to maintain patches and updates for the OS. But I personally feel that the less computer savy you are, the better a Mac is for you...(again - this is a bias opinion from a Information Security professional that is often tapped to help neighbors, family, friends etc.). The extra money you pay is worth the less headache you'll have.

Also - with a Mac, you can still run Windows in a virtual environment via VMWare.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Meeami
532 posts, read 2,131,442 times
Reputation: 274
I got my first mac abou a year and a half ago. It is now my favorite of the 2, by far. It depends on yor requirements, but basicly, unless you are primarilly a gamer, mac will fit the bill. Its just up to the $$ side of it, and like someone said, a mac is more expensive than 'a pc', but its pretty comparable with 'a good pc'. I have a macbook pro because thats what i got the deal on, but a regular macbook is fine, and substantially cheaper. I think the imac's are a good deal for what they are.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Detroit Downriver
620 posts, read 1,883,993 times
Reputation: 403
Great posts everyone. Very well balanced.

My 2 cents? I'd say that unless you have a specific reason to get the Windows version, don't. You'll be better off with a Macintosh. Yes, I'm biased.

There are drawbacks to going with the Mac. You will be joining the minority group instead of the majority. That means that you will run into plenty of stuff that isn't supported on the Mac. Some of it will be oddball niche market stuff, but others will have your jaw dropping in disbelief. You will not find as many games to buy. Most mainstream games make it to the Mac, but usually not at the same time as Windows. And in the long run, the biggest drawback to going Mac instead of Windows is that once you get used to the incredible polish of Macintosh software, including its OS, going back to Windows will seem like going from fine cutlery to the dullest of knives.

Apple doesn't do the low end of the market, so if that is what you're looking for you should give the Mac a pass. On the other hand, if you're planning on buying speed and graphics performance, you're going to pay as much as buying the Mac anyway. In this category, Macs are actually the better value proposition with all their excellent bundled software.

You can actually do quite well buying a refurbished Mac from the Apple Store. They carry the same warranty from Apple and cost much less.

Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:59 AM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 993,994 times
Reputation: 651
Personally, I prefer the Mac over a PC. Buying my Powerbook 4 years ago was definitely worth it. Never had a problem. And it's easy to justify the cost difference because of the included ILife software suite, the reliability and the resale value of the Mac.

But now that I've geeked around with Linux Mint and Hackintosh, I find it harder to spend over a grand to buy a MacBook or 2 grand for a MacBook Pro.

See, for about $600-700 bucks, I can get a hardware-loaded Intel laptop, load it with XP, Linux Mint and Hackintosh! The only thing stopping me is I don't really need a laptop just yet (my G4 Powerbook still works great). And it's difficult to find a laptop without Vista pre-loaded. I know I can, if I looked hard enough. But I don't need to just yet.
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