Considering the switch?

MacBook I’ve had people come up to me when I’m on my Mac and ask questions. “Is it really much easier to use?” or “Are they worth it?” In short answer, it depends on who you are and how you plan on using your computer. The switching debate has been around for awhile and I want to put in my two cents because even though they aren’t worth that much, it might help someone out.

Before you decide whether or not to switch to a Mac, ask yourself this question: “What do you plan on doing with your computer?” If your answer is writing a paper here and there and checking your email, then stick with a PC. Why buy something expensive you’re barely going to use? It’s not going to make a difference what computer you’re on if you’re just using Microsoft Word anyway. If you’re going to play games, stick with a PC, obviously. But if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your computer, especially if you’re designing, you might want to consider a Mac.

Why Apple? The Mac community will tell you a thousand times over that Macs just work. And they do, usually. There’s cases where they break, where their hard drives crash and so on. But the amount of those cases are significantly lower because they’re higher quality. Apple is an American company and while Dell is, too, tech support for Dell is in India. Apples are more expensive, but if your Apple lasts you ten years while your Dell lasts you two, what’s the better deal? Even if the Dell was only $500 and the Apple was $1500, you’re saving money.

Another thing Mac users will testify to is that they work right out of the box. And that’s true. You don’t have to customize anything. No tweaking all the settings, no uninstalling fifty trial programs you didn’t want in the first place. (Although Macs do come with trial software, such as iLife, you can simply delete it if necessary, and that’s only one trial, not twelve.)

Honestly, my favorite thing about Macs is the software. People can say what they want about the hardware, the GUI, but my favorite is the software. I’ve found so many freeware programs that do exactly what I need. I do have a PC also and when using it, I get sad that I don’t have my Quicksilver or my Cyberduck. Yes, Windows does have freeware, but the quality of those programs just isn’t the same. I’ve also yet to find a good Windows equivalent to Coda (yes, I know it’s not free, but it’s worth it.)

Another thing in the debate is the Mac community, or cult if you will. They’re right. If you have a Mac, you’re automatically in a secret society where members help each other out, simply because they own a Mac. I still don’t know why this is, but it’s true. I’ve instantly liked someone because they belong to the Apple fan club.

There are many reasons to choose a Mac, reliability, aesthetics, or even the community and many reasons not to, price and the fact that they aren’t as common (big effect on students) . But the bottom line is, the decision should be based on what you’re going to use the computer for because I can tell you it’s not worth it to pay $1500 for a Mac you’re just going to check your email on. If you’re going to be an amateur movie director, by all means, get a Mac. All that software comes with it. But if you’re not, spend the extra money on something more worth your time.