Windows PC Vs. Mac?

Updated on July 09, 2010
E.S. asks from Naperville, IL
28 answers

We are in the market for a new laptop & I could use a little help. My husband and I currently both use our own Windows-based laptops, but his is on its last legs so he will be "inheriting" mine and I will be the lucky recipient of the new computer. For ages I've heard over & over again that Mac's are so much better than PCs....and therefore are more expensive. Now that it's time to buy a new computer, I'm trying to research whether Macs really are that much better than PCs. I mostly use my computer for email, web browsing/shopping, photo editing (using Photoshop Elements), blogging & I create/edit several Word & Excel documents. Have any of you switched from PC to Mac & if so, was the extra up-front cost worth it? Really, what are the main advantages to using a Mac vs. a Windows-based computer? Will my husband and I be able to trade documents between machines, print to the same wireless printer, is it really true I won't need virus & spyware software, etc.? I'm clueless when it comes to anything Mac! Thanks for your help!

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answers from Portland on

I can't compare because I've never used anything but Apple computers – the whole evolution up to Macs, and have always loved them. But I also illustrate books, so I need the superior graphics capabilities of the Mac.

I hear from friends who have used both that Mac is more fun and more intuitive. Those who have tried both end up on the Mac.

Good luck, I hope you end up on the right computer for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have a PC and a PC laptop at work, and a Mac at home, and I would never choose a PC. Always a Mac. I was disappointed when my work went with all PCs, but it's been ok. But I LOVE my iMac. And it is true you don't need any virus or spyware software. I've had Macs for about 15 years and never needed that or had a problem with viruses. We always have problems with viruses at work (but the software always catches them). I love my iphoto and garage band and video software. There is nothing like these on the PC in my opinion. I am clueless when it comes to computers and I think that's why I love my Mac. It's so user friendly, even for me!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

I use a PC for work and a Mac at home. GET A MAC! For starters, everything WORKS on a Mac. You know how you always get viruses on a PC, and how things just randomly won't work (the computer freezes up, you get the blue screen of death, you have to hard-reboot the whole thing)? Yeah, doesn't happen on a Mac. Oh, and you can run windows on a Mac if you want, and it runs faster than it does on a PC. Yes, really.

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answers from Austin on

As a previous system administrator working with both PCs and Macs there are pros and cons with both systems. Personally I prefer PCs as I hate spending that kind of money and Macs. In the last 2 years Macs are suffering more from viruses because they are gaining market share not because they "can't receive" viruses. But really it's up to what you want. Both systems are able to run what you need and can be secure if you are a cautious user.

Also, for the most part file sharing is pretty seamless between systems, however, you might see changes in format/appearance as it's not 100% seamless. I believe someone mentioned web browsing is different - it is but probably not so much to be a determining factor. If you are looking for performance vs cost then it would be hands down PC. You should be able to print wireless from both that's mainly dependent on your printer rather than computer. As long as your computer has bluetooth you should be fine. Again, you need virus/spyware - neither systems are impervious these days. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I will *never* go back to PCs - although that was what I used exclusively for a long time. The beautiful thing about Macs is that you automatically get such helpful service, classes, etc. at the Apple Store. Whenever I can't figure something out, I call and they help me. Even when I'm just being stupid, they treat me well. I can do so many more cool things that I love with this computer - especially editing home movies, photo software that lets me do so many more things with my pictures, and creating memory books - directly from my computer -- that are professional, hard-cover, and gorgeous -- and less than half the cost of making scrapbook.

On my Mac, I also bought the Windows operating system, and I can boot up with that instead of the Mac OS, so if there is something that I want to do on Windows, I just boot up that way. This way, my daughter can play Mac games and PC games on the computer.

Good luck and I'm so happy for your good fortune! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I am a total Mac person. I work as a graphic designer so Macs are our friends. When we were shopping for a laptop for home (I recently started back to school and needed something new that I could put new versions of microsoft office products on) we did seriously consider a PC because of the cost. But I couldn't do it. I just know how easy my mac is to use and all the cool extras, like comic life and imovie and decided it was worth the extra money.

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answers from Dallas on

If you want your computer to come on immediately and work no matter what - you want a MAC. It is definitely worth the up front cost. Yes, it will print wirelessly if it s fairly new printer (4 years old or newer). Mac has different programs for documents - they are called Numbers (excel), Pages (word) and Keynote (power point). I have to say MS programs are much stronger and have better manipulation that Mac programs, but I don't create many documents so it doesn't bother me. As far as exchanging documents, they are not exactly the same, but if you know how to use 'open with' function and convert the doc it should be ok. If you are exchanging docs a lot and making intermittent changes to each other's docs, it may not be the most suitable way of doing that. You can install MS Office on your Mac (read the forums on regarding this - it will give some real word info from users). I do not run virus software on my Mac, but that doesn't mean they are impervious to virus', they just are not near as susceptible. I have heard Photoshop doesn't bode well on a Mac - you should research that through other forums (don't ask Mac, they will tell you 'sure it will work' :) There is a bit of a learning curve to using a Mac but it isn't hard. It is not as intuitive as some say but be patient and you can navigate through it fairly easy.

I love, love my Mac - I will never, ever, ever get another PC!

Purchase the extra care protection, it has been great to have that extra help when I have questions.

I hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I was a Window PC user since I started using computers up until 2 years ago where I completely switched over to a Mac. I used Window PC when I was working but I am a stay at home mom now and my husband is a Mac user and have always told me to switch so I finally made the switch after we got married.

I have to say that a Mac is much better and has less virus issues. I will never go back to a PC again. I just got a 13 inch MacBook Pro and I love it. I can bring it with me anywhere around the house so when I watch my 10 month old play in his room I can be online doing research etc....they are pretty pricey (mine was about $1300) but totally worth it.

I don't know all the details about Mac, hopefully another poster will be able to help you but all I know is that I am not very computer savvy but I love the Mac and easy to use but I guess it does help that my husband is a Mac pro. He is a web / graphic designer so he's been using a Mac since forever.

You can purchase a software that is equivalent to PC's Word/Excel and install it in your Mac. It's not exactly the same as PC but close enough.

Not that this is important but I feel "cooler" using a Mac : )

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I can't say about transferring from PC to Mac... because all I've ever used is Mac. Even when I worked as a paralegal, my employer used all Apple products... even way back then (going back to about 1989). My husband is clueless about all things tech... but even he can use our mac. He can plug in his ipod and upload music, go online and shop (amazon), read the news, download music from the itunes store and then onto his ipod, watch youtube.... (that's about all he does... lol).

The macs are SO nice. Very intuitive and user friendly. And while we used to use Norton anti-virus, when Apple came out with their next to the last OS (Leopard) the Norton people even stopped MAKING an antivirus for it. I tried to upgrade/update as I always had done.. but oops... it wasn't necessary. And was so unnecessary that Norton stopped making one for it! Now with Snow Leopard... things are even more secure. I've never had any security issues. EVER. And the Mac mail system is SO much easier than logging into my account through my browser... Having never been a PC user, I never understood why people who were on their computer once a day didn't bother checking their e-mail... lol. Then I used my mom's PC at her house during a visit, and figured it out. On macs... your mail icon sits on the bottom of your desktop in your little "dock". You just click on it, and there's your mail. It is SO easy to look at. (Both to check it... there's a red bubble on the postage stamp icon that tells you how many new emails you've received, without even opening the program.... and to LOOK at. It is easy on the eyes!)

I honestly don't do much with graphics and photos... although I do keep my family pics on my mac. And it is SO easy to upload/download photos and play around with them. But it is my understanding that if you are into it at all, that mac is the BEST at graphics and art functions.

You can even learn to play the piano or guitar through garageband!
Uploading pics from my phone to the mac via bluetooth? piece of cake.
Installing a new program? Pop in the disc, follow the simple onscreen directions, and let it go. Updates? Automatically pop up on a schedule you can set, and let you have the option to update now or later, or never. And they are Simple. Everything is easy.
When we recently upgraded from our "old" imac from about 5 years ago... to this one (last summer), I quite literally: took the old one off my desk and set it on the floor, took the new one out of the box and set it on the desk (it is all one piece), plugged in the appropriate wires (there's a power cord, a DSL cable, and a line to the printer), ran a Firewire from the old one to the new, and turned it on. In 30 minutes (literally 30 MINUTES) EVERYTHING was transferred, I was online, and the old one was packed up in the original box that I had saved.
Even for someone like me, who is NOT super tech savvy, it is easy. And if there is ever a problem, support is a click away, or a phone call. And there is always the Genius bar. Go into the store sometime and sign in for a tour. They'll be happy to explain to you the benefits and anything you need to know about using both in your home.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I switched... and boy oh boy... do I LOVE my macbookpro. Loooove it. Kiddo has been saving for his own macbook for over a year (he'd have it by now but he purchased some things online that he had to pay us back for).

I have to say that the switch was difficult for me. I've used an ibm compatible since they were actually IBMs only. (80's, where you had to save every 250 characters to 5 1/2 " floppy disc... and the computer cost more than a new car... and I was 5). I got so used to DOS, and then Windows, at such a young age that THOSE seem intuitive to ME.

What kept me going during the transition was how FAST my mac is (my school specifically stated IF we were going to be buying new computers to get a macbookpro... for the photo & video capacity). I mean really, REALLY fast. I open it, and it's working. It takes maybe 10 seconds to boot cold. Multiple programs (iphoto, aperture, adobe PS/Elements/Lighttable all running simultaneously and sharing info back and for WHILE I'm online, and I can even have a durn movie playing, and several other programs running. I'm talking FAST. There is no lag. No "waiting", no loading. Just... Poof. Working. Upload, download, gigabytes of info... and poof. Working. Even faster than Alienware... which... up until my mac was the fastest computer I'd ever used. (My brother's multi terabyte computer he spent about 4k on)

There are a lot of tutorials for PC > Mac that apple has (and I don't use them as much as I should)... there's also (if you happen to live near an apple store) the "genius bar" where you can go in and get 1 on 1 help, as well as problem solving.

They're also pretty tough little buggers. I fell down a flight of stairs with my macbook and the screen shattered. It still works... but the screen is cracked. Doesn't effect the useableness of the laptop one bit, and it came through the 2 story fall just fine except that the glass did starburst on me.

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answers from Denver on

Wow, that's like asking Catholic or Protestant ;)

1. If you list out everything that comes "standard" on a Mac and compare it to a Sony/Dell/Toshiba/whathaveyou the price difference is closer to $50. There is a LOT that comes standard on a Mac vs a PC.
2. You will probably need to get Mac versions of whatever software you're currently using.
3. File exchanges are a no brainer (excel on Mac vs PC) no-one I've exchanged Office docs with knows I use a Mac.
4. Macs are easier to diagnose/troubleshoot if an issue comes up. And they're rare.
5. You won't need anti-virus. Just be sure to avoid Trojans.
6. Wireless printer *should* work. Our HP laserjet works fine with all the computers we have (Linux, PC and Mac)

The big thing you need to know about Macs is it's like driving a really nice car. It does things in such an elegant manner you'll never want to go with a cheap econobox again. Visit and Apple store and ask the question to one of the Geniuses, they can help you the most. GL!! Lucky girl!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am currently reading your hub is seasoning this weekends brisket, ribs, etc for BBQ. I say this because I know NOTHING about computers...he, fortunetly, knows a little. He is a software engineer for Lockheed Martin that contracts for NASA.
To answer your q's....according to him, they both have their strong points. Mac's do somethings better than PC's and vice versa. Can you and your husband trade documents? yes. Do you still need virus and spyware? yes. Would he buy one? (I know you didnt ask that, but I'm trowing it in there) NO. He says its personal preference. I read your last line about being clueless about the MAC...his suggestion? stay clueless....get a PC.
Why frustrate yourself?

M :)

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answers from Augusta on

Mac being better than PC is really a myth .
PC is more user friendly, Mac's do get viruses just like PC,
PC , you can up grade it yourself And it's not gonna cost you an arm and a leg.
More software is PC/ windows friendly. And Choice of brand and configurations are thousands.
Mac is well Mac and that's it, no one makes Macs but Mac, therefore they can jack up their prices no competition.
Unless you are a hardcore graphics designer Mac isn't worth the money.
And when it comes to that PC is catching up.
The new windows OS cleaned up a lot of the previous complaints people had about Windows. I LOVE my Toshiba laptop. it runs very smoothly.

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answers from Kansas City on

I'm a stay at home mom of two who always thought my husband was crazy for wanting a mac so bad, and didn't see the point in the cost. When my laptop finally broke, we bought a mac on clearance and my thoughts have totally changed. Everyone around us was getting all these viruses, which we don't get because of us having a mac, and the other big thing is the power source. I've had a couple computers go in the trash because the the spot where you plug it in gets loose, and it's more expensive to repair than buy another computer. With the macs this does not happen, it's a magnetic spot and tears away easily. I've had no problems switching over, and doing the things you've talked about. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I work for a website and I've found that MACs have more problems viewing certain things on web-sites. I've also found that like 75% of people use pc's so sharing documents could be a problem. We have a mac laptop that I'm supposed to use for testing, but I've never been able to figure the thing out so it just sits on a shelf in my office. Unless you can immerse yourself in it and have patience, I'd stick to what you know and stay with the pc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

i would give my eyeteeth to get a new mac, but since I don't have the $$ for it, I gave in and bought a mini HP w/Windows 7. out of the box fail on the battery,;( but I only paid $222 for it on ebay, from a guy who won it in a raffle. He never even set it up, so I did that friday and HP said they won't replace it, so I have to find a battery. I use a pc at work and this one is going to have to hold up til I can get a mac book or mac mini to replace my 8 yo iMac, which no longer works properly. I need to have the cd/dvd drive replaced and it's probably just end of life since it's so old--I hope to sell it to a techie guy so i can start saving to get a new mac. I otherwise would never get a pc. This iMac is the first computer I bought and I'm still using it 8 yrs later. Never ever got a virus. a few issues here and there, and I had someone add some RAM a few years ago, but otherwise, I Love my mac.



answers from Sacramento on

My husband's a computer consultant and makes his living dealing with faulty PCs. He was very much a PC guy (the fact that he makes money off of them helps) until he started helping me with my Macs. I have PowerBook that I just love. Far less buggy than PCs, much more user friendly (intuitive ways of doing things ... a lot more drag and drop technology) and far less prone to viruses, if it all. If all of his clients weren't PC-based, he says now he'd switch to Mac in a heartbeat. His compromise is owning an iPhone for now. :)



answers from Chicago on

Momma11 said:
>>I have heard Photoshop doesn't bode well on a Mac - you should research that through other forums (don't ask Mac, they will tell you 'sure it will work' :)<<

They will tell you it works because it does work. I'm a graphic designer who has used Macs for 20 years, and I've been correcting and retouching photos for a living since '95. Photoshop for Mac has always run very well and just gets better and faster with each version. And it remains rock-solidly stable, as always.

I have no PC experience, so I can't comment on which hardware is better for E.'s needs.



answers from Chicago on

I was a PC user and did switch to a Mac two years ago. I will never go back to a PC. It is so much more efficient then a PC. There is software that will allow you to use PC software on the Mac (ie: fusion) but you are basically running two separate operating systems.

Plus side: My computer has stopped working twice. Once the visual picture went out and the second time it froze and I could not fix it. Both times I made an appointment at the apple store and they fixed it both times without any charge. The first problem was a recall but the second was due to my impatience. The customer service is amazing.

Downside: their is a learning curve to figuring out how it works. But once you do. Also there are money programs that are not available for Mac yet.

Apple actually has a program for 6 months (?) for 99.00 to help teach you how to do things. It is one on one.

I will never go back to a PC.



answers from Chicago on

Oh my goodness - if you have a choice - GO WITH THE MAC. They ARE superior products. I work in school administration where some folks have PC's and some have mac's. The pc's are incredibly unreliable and just can't do things as fast or as well as the mac's. At home I use my macbook pro and just adore it. Photo's and blogging are super easy. I also purchased software to get the office suite installed - not too expensive and definitely worthwhile. I have had a mac laptop of some sort for the past 10 years - No viruses, no crashes, no problems whatsoever. When you get past the basic differences, you will be amazed at how much easier and smarter a mac is. Have fun!



answers from Honolulu on

MAC all the way.... its a no brainer.

We have both.
SO MUCH less problems than PC's.
Once you get one you will see why.
I was a staunch PC'er... not anymore.
It is so antiquated.

YES, you can trade documents between the Mac & PC and do it wireless... that is EXACTLY how we do it in our home of 3-4 computers. AND with the printer. My Hubby set everything up with a wireless network in our house and a router.

Good luck,



answers from Cincinnati on

When I was in high school we had four computer labs and 6 computers in most rooms as well as a mobile lab with laptops. They were all Macs and were always crashing! However now most all the new pcs come with windows 7. its a fairly new program so I dont think all the bugs have been worked out. I bought a new laptop in april and the windows 7 programs seem to running so much slower than my old windows xp.



answers from Atlanta on

I've always been a PC person, but I got a MacBook last year and LOVE it. For creative projects, like blogging, photos, etc., it is much more user-friendly and faster an a PC.



answers from Boston on

Love the Mac. I have the MacBook and a Dell and now I almost never use my Dell. The Dell is used by the kids to play games on



answers from Boston on

MACMACMAC! For all the reasons the posters below said. But the other nice thing is that if you pay a small fee you can go into an apple store and make and appointment at the "genius bar" and they will do an hour long one-on-one tutorial for anything you need. You'd be a mac convert for sure! The extra money is 100% worth it. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

The reason Macs don't get viruses is because hackers don't make viruses for macs. That doesn't mean they are better, it just means you are less likely to get one on a Mac. If you get a decent virus/spyware program for your PC it should be no problem. It is much easier to fix a PC because there are people everywhere that can help you with this. To learn how to fix an Apple you have to be certified and this knowledge is not very common. There are alot of programs that aren't available/don't run on a Mac. Photoshop is not one of them as someone mentioned below...most graphic artists prefer the Photoshop on a Mac to a PC.

If you are a PC person now, just be warned, there is a huge learning curve. If you know little to nothing about computers, a Mac is more intuitive control wise, so yes, it is easier to learn if you are starting from ground zero. But if you are already pretty PC saavy, it's gonna be pretty tricky. I used Macs a little in college and then I worked at a school where we were mostly PC based but our art dept had Macs and we had one person in our dept certified to repair Macs. He would often ask for me to help him and I felt like and idiot trying to find controls. Also I worked as an AV person and people with Macs often had trouble getting their presentations (powerpoint) to work on a PC properly and some of the people I worked with (granted this was prob 7 years ago) had problems getting their displays to work with projectors in order to give presentations. Most of the world isn't very compatible with them. We did have Macs and PCs on the same network sharing printers, but when there was a problem it was very difficult to figure out what was wrong with the Macs...probably mostly cause I wasn't educated on them, but it sounds like you are coming from a similar background, so.....



answers from Detroit on

Talk to me by email ([email protected] and I will talk to my husband about it tonight when he gets home from work. He is a computer technician and programmer and he knows a bit about both.




answers from Chicago on

I truly don't know anything about computers. I have always used a PC just for email & some browsing. Otherwise I don't really care about computers. My husband got me a MacBook Pro as a gift. Although I still am not a frequent computer user, I really like a Mac better than a PC because it is so much faster. My husband uses the PC & he has to wait forever for it to boot up, whereas mine takes literally seconds. If you buy a Mac you also get an Itouch, which I still don't know how to use so it's collecting dust, shame on me. They also offer free classes at the store.
And yes my husband & I can use the same wireless printer.

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