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Notebooks Help me with an article: Apple vs. PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mr-IK, 2 Aug 2013.

  1. Mr-IK

    Mr-IK Member

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    Hey everyone.

    I'm currently the editor of a university magazine on my campus, and we house a lot of new students every year. As a student, a computer/tablet is a tool you can't go without, and every year, people are spending a lot of money buying new equipment.

    Roughly 90% of people (primarily women) on my campus use MacBooks, even though they just use text-editors and webbrowsing. In recent years, the Apple-appraisal has become extreme, and it's almost a sin if you buy a PC.

    I would like to write an article wherein i discuss the pros and cons of Apple's products versus the more affordable competitors producing PC's. But where should i start? What do you think is the most significant argument one should buy one or the other?

    It's impossible to find the absolute truth, but i hope you get my point. The article will seek to be as neutral as possible.

    Any tips for articles/information is much appreciated. I would also like to hear your own story!

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    It's practically impossible to be neutral in an article like that. Both systems are computers and do the same things.
    Basic PC laptops may be cheaper and do the job but you can't compare a cheap Acer laptop to a Macbook Pro, you need to compare higher end models and then they cost more or less the same. However you'll find that after 3 years the PC laptop will be worth 20% of it's cost whereas the Mac will generally be worth 50-60% so actually makes more sense financially.

    The outcome is that if you want a machine for typing that you'll throw away after 3 years then go get a cheap PC. If you want to keep the machine for longer or sell it afterwards then get the mac.

    You'll also need to look at what applications and systems the uni uses as this can influence the choice students make.
     
  3. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    Your writing for a UNI and there is no mention of Linux? For shame!
    Mac OS is a Unix GUI.

    You first need to decide on what you are trying to say or convey.

    Comparing a Mackbook to a Dell for £300 pounds is like comparing a F1 Ferrari to a Ford Ka.

    You have to major things here:
    OS: Windows vs Mac
    Price/Quality

    Also you can install windows or linux on a MAC now so the real question is then more of what type of Hardware you prefer. Apple have done great things with their ALu Uni-body but it is still a step behind the Lenovo Thinkpad T series (IBM) for overall durability and portability.
    It includes nice things like auto disengaging HDD.

    Mac books cost a lot to upgrade and its very difficult to do yourself.

    The nice thing about a MAC like a good Linux distro is that it just works right out of the box and the support is quite good for the most part.
     
  4. Mr-IK

    Mr-IK Member

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    Thanks for you replies :)

    I seem to recall having heard that Apple have opt'ed out from certain environmental programs because their retina MacBook can't be recycled because it's glued together.

    Stuff like that, might change the mind of a buyer, if one assumes that people buy a laptop based on their personal values (nice design, Steve Jobs-values etc.).

    I have a post going on Reddit with the same question, and i will try to copy some of my thoughts here:

    @Regarding Linux:

    I think this is unrealistic looking at the people i try to reach, but one step at a time it might be possible to make people aware of this fact :)
    Are you thinking along the lines of Ubuntu and some of the more windows-feely releases?

    @Regarding phone-to-computer relations:

    What about the phone-to-OS experience?

    @Other arguments:

    One of the things i keep hearing/reading is that Apple is putting a lot of effort into picking the optimal hardware, so that the different components run much better together. This is an example of an objective truth, if it has anything to it.
    Stuff like that makes up an easy-to-understand argument for non-techies.
    Price is subjective, as a lot of people feel happier about a well designed computer costing than they would having a computer with similar specs for only . Price will not be a main argument, as it is my experience that people will buy Apple products based on the brand, and not the actual computer. So i need some arguments that would enlighten the average non-techie consumer about the choices they're going to make.
    I also know that Apple have opt'ed out of some environmental programs because the new Retina display MacBook is non-recyclable. This is something that could talk to a users conscience, and make them think a bit harder on what they are buying. So if you know about details like this, i would like to hear them :)
     
  5. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    Since this is basically All Vs. MacBook, I think it's best to dissect the latter in two parts, talk about those and compare them to the rest.

    One part is the difference in hardware, durability etc. -- “Is quality worth a very high pricetag?”, “Are there PCs that offer the same (or better) build quality as a MacBook?”, “Do I think freedom, tinkering and upgradability are more important than stability and dependability?” etc.

    The second is the value of OS X itself (since the other OSs can be installed on all systems (legally)) -- “Do I need OS X for the things I want to do?” and once again “Do I think freedom, tinkering and upgradability are more important than stability and dependability and ease-of-use?” etc. Be sure to also mention other UNIX-based OSs.

    In any case, if you're writing an article like this - no matter how neutral it may be, be sure to wear some flame-resistant clothing. ;) Also, whatever you do, do not draw conclusions at the end, just let the reader make up his mind and add things up, there are no “winners” and “losers” here.
     
  6. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    It would be good to have a comparison of a mac book vs same price windows laptop from a premium brand like thinkpad, higher-end asus or Fujitsu-Siemens.

    And a note that in a regular laptop a simple swap of the HDD for an SSD will bring great benefits in speed and battery life. Even building in an SSD into a older Laptop and installing win8 might be more then good enough for UNI work.


    Basic Mac Book £1000.

    Lenovo ThinkPad T Series

    just to get you started :)


    Yes Ubuntu Linux is great for your First Linux disto and works very well.

    I often laugh when installing it as it seems to bring all drivers with it out of the box and connect right into my network even wireless, where as for windows Laptops I have to make sure to download at least 2-3 drivers before formatting so that I can make it back to the internet for the rest.
     
    Last edited: 2 Aug 2013
  7. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Recyling gonna be part of your pros and cons hmm. Good luck as most don't give a dam for the environment and even less will know which bits can not be recycled on a laptop. More than most would relise I'd imagine.

    MacBook Pro vs the similar priced and specced Sony laptop or more expensive Alienware all offer similar performance. Main dif is in 3 years the MacBook will sell for £800+ whilst the other 2 will be worthless enough to bin.

    If I was buying for a uni student today the MacBook would win hands down that resale value alone is difficult to ignore. Similar spec Alienware is a good £300 more the Sony one is around £100 cheaper since I'm ignoring all cheap brands since they are not a fair comparison.

    No frills laptops that you bin every couple of years go dell cheap and cheerful and decent warranty hard to beat unless you need to game on it.

    Don't know about putting correct hardware with each other sounds like crap. Most people at uni already have there needs met though. Even my friends who did uni despite been very pro pc brought MacBooks at the time just sold them when they finished unis and rebuilt there rigs.

    OS for OS is a flame war waiting to happen so I'd not mension it at all.

    I'd also avoid phone OS to desktop os comparisons because windows phone does not really have a market share. With Ios and andriod the 2 dominant platforms in uni I'd imagine its more high end headsets than anywhere.
     
  8. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Frankly, you need to copy whatever you're publishing on here to get it fact-checked...because even in this thread I've seen several bits of nonsense, which is usual for the Mac/PC debate. Whatever you, don't write MAC - that's a networking acronym.

    1) The point made that you need to compare Macs against the premium PC brands is absolutely true - you need to be looking at those fancy VAIOs etc, whilst mentioning the fact that PCs do go a lot cheaper (but also that you get what you pay for).

    2) Macs are upgradeable, depending upon the model. Like most notebooks, you won't be changing the CPU, but RAM and HDs are fair targets (for the MacBook Pro models), and like nearly every ultrabook out there, the slim ones come as they are without upgrade potential.

    3) Apple's recycling is second to none, ditto green credentials with EPEAT. There was some uproar over this, but Apple backtracked.

    4) SSDs across the board seems to be Apple's aim, probably fully realised within a year of now. The only machines left with mechanical drives as stock are the old-style MacBook Pros and iMacs.
     
  9. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    It's not going to end well most likely :p

    I bought a £400 (maybe less) laptop when I started uni (3 years ago) and it's still going fine, not in the greatest of shapes (due to me dropping it etc) but not that bad. I didn't use it as my main computer since I had a desktop, but it has more than enough oomph to browse the web, use office etc.
    But I've known people to break both macs and windows based laptops within weeks of buying them, so it really depends on the individual I think.
    Part of the appeal of a mac is people seeing you have one, apart from strong pc supporters most people think it's awesome etc, I spoke recently with a couple of colleagues about iphones, and they were saying they don't care that they might be over priced/actually not great, they just wanted one.

    For a lot of students (read: most) I think comparing a Mac to a similarly high end laptop is stupid, since they're both OTT for what they need.

    Also I think the macbook vs laptop debate is different from the mac vs pc desktop.
     
  10. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Just some input concerning Apple price list:
    The more 'high-end' you go, the fairer the price gets.
    The basic MacBook is ridiculously overpriced. But if you take the top end 15" MBP and compare it to Laptops in the same price range, it match with what other offer. Plus you've got the typical Mac advantages such as stability, great service (there's always an Apple Shop around), and a very good OS that lets you install every other OS you like.
    So basically, the better hardware you buy in a Mac, the less you are apying for the brand itself.
     
  11. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    Having never owned an Apple... I used to hate them. It was blind hatred because it was the enemy platform. Then at some point I was considering a 3GS phone versus another phone platform. Friend of mine was also a blind apple hater. He made me buy the LG Arena phone. It was superior in spec but the worst phone you can imagine. A year or so later I gave it to my GF and got a 3GS. It has been the best phone I've ever owned.

    She hated the LG arena I gave her so much that she too bought a 3GS. I bought us both iPads also and we love them. I am at a point now where I no longer have irrational hatred towards something I don't have much experience of. Never used a macbook for more than a few mins but I wouldn't have a problem using one. I like the open nature of the PC platform but I also detest microsoft's inflated pricing policy. £198 for win 8 pro. I know you can buy it cheaper but that is the official price. And just look at the Surface. A disaster in pricing and the crippling of the non-x86 surface with lack of apps.

    Since owning iPads and iPhone I have come to admire apple's pricing policy on software. I can get soft synths from top synth makers on iPad for less than £20. Less than £10 on average. On windows a soft synth can cost £200.

    Likewise Apple's Logic music software is below £150. Compare that to the £500+ of some sequencers on windows.

    So I no longer judge people for choosing apple nor do I tell them they're wrong if they choose a different platform than me.

    So I do get quite angry when android trolls spend their time telling iphone users they're wrong for not having android.

    I have nothing against android and my next phone may be that platform. I am open to changes.
     
  12. Mr-IK

    Mr-IK Member

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    Thank you for all the answers. I will take them all into consideration when i write the article :)
     
  13. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    If you're discussing consumer choices it's worth looking in to advertising tactics - I've said for a long time that Apple is a fashion company, producing monotone accessories that go with everything.
     
  14. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    Does a black iPad go with red shoes and dress?
     
  15. rici1241

    rici1241 Active Member

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    Where I attend Uni, some courses almost require macs, while others, anything that can open an e-mail will do. Another thing I've noticed is in some courses/departments (or even entire universities), having Apple products is a fashion statement (although you could argue that is true in most cases anyway), akin to Beats headphones. Owning any computer made by any other manufacturer simply makes a person less 'attractive'. (Is the even the right word to use there?)

    In the case of my course - Electronic and Computer Engineering - Not a single person has a Macbook. Several people use gaming laptops that cost similar amounts to a Macbook pro. Having accidentally walked in to an English Literature lecture (At least I think it was that), I couldn't help but notice the number of Macbooks in the room - nearly two thirds of the students. When I asked a friend doing an arts course if he ever noticed this before, he answered with 'Don't most students use macs'.

    Something else to ponder over is other laptop manufacturers. How good is their warranty? What's the Quality of the product like? Are people aware of other high-quality laptops? I was genuinely surprised by the number of people who have never heard of Lenovo (admittedly, they are not the biggest of names here in Ireland, but I have seen more of their stuff in the big shops), or people who never considered professional-class laptops from the big manufacturers, such as Dell's Latitude and Precision lines, or HP's Probook series.

    When writing the article, think about what I mentioned above, and the other posters questions/points. Are macs genuinely better than other computers for some people? Are the courses these people are studying introducing a certain fashion statement/trend that must be followed? Do people only want the higher resale value a few years down the road? Do people want the extra durability offered by the Macbooks?

    Hope this helps :)
     
  16. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    Dur. Of course, black goes with everything :clap:
     
  17. fdbh96

    fdbh96 New Member

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    To be honest, if someone asks me what laptop to buy and they aren't too fussed about a budget I often recommend a MacBook Pro due to the fact that there is very little wrong with it. Sure its a little overpriced but the screen, keyboard and trackpad are a great combination and most windows laptops under a £1000 seem to make compromises to fit the price point and try to go for specs over build quality.

    Also, if you aren't up to date with technology there are so many different models of laptop that its just confusing which one you want. For an apple, you just pick from the air or the Pro and what price you can pay.
     
  18. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    I think Mac's generally pulled ahead because they felt less bogged down with bloatware out of the box. Apple did the right thing to corner the market by adding applications the average user will most likely want to use, without chasing around for additional software.

    My recommendations for all Uni freshman, is keep it cheap encase it's broken or stolen. Buy a 2nd hand thinkpad as parts are easy to find for a DIY repair or for a friend in the know. Then find a decent sized/priced SSD and install a linux distro that best suits them.

    Thinkpad with an SSD and a lightweight debian distro is seriously fast to boot up and get going. The Thinkpad is a discrete and robust design, it hides away amongst the glowing apples around campus out of sight of those who wish to steal.

    The thinkpad keyboard is second to none when typing on a laptop, the key's are well spaced but compact however they still allow a very high wpm for those with the ability. A true thinkpad laughs at the silly trackpad of random cursor movements. Trackpoint navigation is fast and precise.

    I know many students will most likely only own one device to do all, so the linux installation would be a harder to embrace, but speed and reliability it can't be beat.
     
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  19. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    Too bad the cooling and the OS screws it up (yes, i have a Mac Mini right now, had a Macbook Pro, and yes, i still think the OS UI is done without any logic - it took them until the latest version of OS X to recognize such thing as need to run more than one maximized application on the multi-monitor setup).
     
  20. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Your article will be biased right away imho, as you're basically only looking for reasons to bash Apple, while the reasons why people buy a MacBook instead of a notebook with Windows or Linux are pretty simple actually.

    When comparing the MacBook to notebooks of the same quality with the same hardware then you'll find yourself in a market, where the Windows-based laptops aren't any cheaper to begin with. In this market the MacBook beats allmost all direct competitors in built-quality and battery-life. Another point is, that Apple has stores, where you can go to, if you're having problems.
    After the hardware (mostly battery-life) was looked at and people realised the upside of being able to go to a store, people look at the OS/software and MacOSX is an easy to use OS for most people, who don't want to do anything special with their machines. The most needed office-software comes free, like iLife or iWork and stuff like Mail, Safari, etc is preinstalled anyways.
    Last but not least, students get offered huge discounts by Apple, so you can get the new MBA 13" with 128GB for €899 incl taxes for example.

    So if you look at it objectively, then you don't need to write an article, as the reasons why alot of people walk around carrying MacBooks are so blatantly obvious allready.
    Especially the new 13" MacBookAir has no competitor if you shop with your student-discount.
     

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