As many high school seniors go off to college, they must face the ever-so-important life decision - no, I'm not talking about what college they want to go to or what they want to major in - what computer operating system on a laptop they should get: Mac or PC?I know I needed much help on this topic not too long ago when my HP Pavillion desktop crashed and lost all of my irreplaceable files the night before I had a large book report due (sadly, I'm no stranger to procrastination). I knew I definitely wanted to buy a laptop, but what kind? There were so many options and I wanted to make sure my parents made a good investment. Part of me wanted to stay in my comfort zone and get another Windows computer because that was what I was familiar with for over a decade, but part of me wanted a Mac because people who owned one raved about it. Also, it didn't hurt much that Macs are aesthetically pleasing. So I immediately went online and searched for a computer that met the following criteria: the computer would let me browse the Web, write documents, listen to music edit and watch video, and most importantly, be reliable for at least the next four years. After a long and extensive search, I finally narrowed my decision between the Sony Vaio and the MacBook. Price-wise, the winner was obvious; PCs tend to be much cheaper than Macs. Both performed all the things I wanted them to but I had heard so many stories of people switching from PCs to Macs and how happy they were afterward. Also, I was disillusioned by Windows after years of my computer slowing down and turning off unexpectedly (even when I was the only person using my computer and had a good anti-virus software installed) and hearing my friends and their countless computer problems. In addition to having high consumer satisfaction, I read that Mac users have their computer for four to seven years, while Windows users usually have their Windows computer for one to two years. After reading about this, I inferred that maybe you get what you pay for when you buy a seemingly expensive Mac. After much deliberation and hesitation, I took a great leap of faith and bought a MacBook and my experience with it has been great. After a year of owning it, it still works rapidly, rarely freezes, has not gotten a virus (I do realize it's a myth that Macs are not vulnerable to viruses), and even runs Windows programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (which I still think are superior to the similar programs provided by Apple in iWork after trying both out). Surprisingly, my transition from Windows to Mac was very smooth. While Macs may be right for me, I realize Macs have their faults (they still don't have Blu-Ray players) and are not for everyone. If you are into gaming and customizing your computer, PCs are the obvious better choice. Other factors such as the interface, appearance of the laptop, even system if you're satisfied or dissatisfied with your current one, are up to you to consider. This is simply my experience from switching to a Mac.
********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41