This is the ridiculously overused argument by someone who’s trying to push someone away from the Mac market: that Mac’s are overpriced when compared to Windows PCs. But the truth of the matter is that when you compare similar devices that have the same standard of quality in their design and technology, you will find that their pricing is reasonable.
Apple uses next generation technology in their new Mac computers, and you have to remember that Apple designs the Operating System and chooses the perfect blend of hardware to go with it.
Apple’s physical designs are years ahead of any other competitor. They released the worlds first multi-touch mouse, sell the world’s thinnest and lightest 17″ notebook and still give it the power and quality it deserves.
Whereas PC manufacturers generally make their computers from plastic which is likely to degrade and fall apart as time goes on, Apple uses light, durable and highly recyclable aluminum in all of their current computers as of 2010. This makes their computers less prone to damage, and gives them admirable good looks. Aluminum is also a great heat conductor, helping the components to run more smoothly and reliably over time.
Apple boasts their environmental factors in all their products: they’re highly recyclable, BFR-free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, Lead-free and Arsenic-free. They also consume a lot less power than their competitors, saving you money on your electricity bill whilst also causing less harm to the environment. In-fact, they’re all rated EPEAT GOLD. This is a prestigious rating which shows how much a company and their products are committed to helping the environment. One major factor in this was Apple’s use of LED displays, which provide crisper pictures and clearer backlighting while consuming a lot less power. They also don’t contain harmful toxins such as mercury used in traditional CCFL displays.
The Apple Experience
This is arguably one of the main reasons a person buys a Mac as opposed to a Windows PC. Apple users get top-class service from both Apple and the Apple community.
Apple has been rated number one in customer satisfaction for a number of years and it’s not hard to see why. Apple has retail stores dedicated to their products, which allows for better service if anything were to go wrong and they’re world renowned for their staff’s skill and competence. They always have a smile on their face and get you right to what you want.
The Apple community seems to be much more tied together than Dell or HP users for example. The Apple community comes together for product launches, makes guides for Mac help such as this one and just helps one another and has a good old chat! The experience of this is much different to what you might find for a Windows PC maker.
The Operating System
This is the main feature of the Mac, hence the OS is called “Mac OS X.” It’s based on the UNIX platform which is reliable, secure, and completely separate from the Windows platform, making it immune to PC viruses. There are no real Mac viruses in the strict sense of the word, only a handful of trojans. It is very hard for one to install itself into your Mac as you have to literally type in your password and click OK for that specific item in order for it to infect your machine. Trojans for the Mac are only found on a very small number of websites.
Some people quickly turn their eye away from the Mac simply because they don’t like the idea of having to ‘learn’ their way around a new OS. Truthfully, it’s not difficult at all. It might take you a week of general use to learn your way around, but the interface is so user friendly that it completely manages itself! You don’t have to defragment the hard drive, as Mac OS X automatically manages this itself.
New technologies have been implemented which are only available in Mac OS X such as Grand Central Dispatch. This manages CPU cores and can allow all of the power from your CPU to be used in order to push your new Mac to the max.
Most of all, Apple supports their old technology for years, with old Macs running PowerPC processors being supported all the way up to Mid-2009 when Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard was released exclusively for Intel Processors. Your new Mac will last a minimum of 5 years with solid updates.
The Technical Bit
Some people argue that Apple doesn’t use the latest and greatest components available on the market and a main argument against this is cost. Some people want Apple to use components which are so rare and cost so much that it’s just not going to happen.
You also have to remember that Apple designs the Operating system and chooses the perfect blend of hardware to be used with that software, whereas the Windows platform is just universal.
Apple works closely with hardware manufacturers such as Intel, NVidia and ATi. This helps them to get the best technology suited for their devices and in some cases allows them to get new technology before anyone else.
The Core i series of processors are becoming more widespread by the day and have finally been implemented into the majority of Mac computers, including the MacBook Pro lineup and the new iMacs. These feature Turbo Boost and Hyper Threading in select models, making them up to 50% faster than their Core 2 Duo predecessors. This future proofs your machine for the years to come.
Other manufacturers such as Dell still use outdated technology such as Pentium Dual Core processors, yet they’re still used in the mainstream.
So the real question is, what do you need it for? If you’re going to be web browsing, sending email and reading or writing documents, then any Mac would do just fine; you don’t need to worry about what technology is used.
However, if you’re a hardcore gamer a Mac just isn’t for you if that’s all your going to be doing for the majority of the time. Most games are made for Windows PCs, so it doesn’t make much sense for you to get a Mac for this reason.
The Apple community is full of huge numbers of people who are generally happy to help. MacRumors is one of the largest communities. This allows you to get any Mac problem you may have sorted out quickly, efficiently and correctly.
The Apple Experience, kind staff, easy repairs and fantastic community to join, sometimes called a cult ensure a good experience.
The technical aspects: the designs are way ahead of their time, the technology is fresh and future proof, and the operating system is the most advanced on the market.
On the other hand, you may also pick a PC from a variety of manufacturers because they are cheaper and they better suit your needs for the price.
You may also prefer Windows, or may only want a computer for gaming, in which case the software you use will mainly be for Windows so a PC might suit you better.
I hope this helps in the purchase of your computer, I’ve tried to put in as much information as possible and keep it unbiased, but I was on a timescale to write this.