I was recently in the market for a new notebook. I headed down to Bestbuy to get my hands on their vast selection. Typically I buy computer parts online, but when in comes to notebooks, it's best to try before you buy.
Windows Or Mac?
Firstly, Macs are more expensive. While browsing Bestbuy's inventory I calculated that the average core i5 based Windows notebook was roughly $800. The core i5 based 13" Macbook Pro is typically around $1250. This past Christmas season it went on sale for $999 however!
The 13" Macbook Air can be had for as little as $1299.
So it seems like an obvious choice; go for the Windows notebook. I don't think it's that simple. If you only have $800 to spend then by all means get a Windows notebook. Otherwise, I believe the Macbook is the better long term choice.
Macbook Pro Versus The Macbook Air
This question is pretty simple really. The heart of each computer is pretty similar: Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM. Keep in mind that the clock speed is 1.6GHz in the Macbook Air while it is 2.4GHz in the Pro. The main difference is the capacity of the hard drive. The 13" Macbook Air comes standard with a 128GB solid state hard drive (SSD), while the 13" Macbook Pro comes standard with a 320GB hard disk drive (HDD). If capacity is key to you then the Macbook Pro is your best bet. The other difference is the Macbook pro comes standard with an optical drive, which means you can read and write cds and dvds. If you need this functionality, again you'll have to opt for the Macbook Pro. If hard drive capacity and optical drives are not mandatory for you, then the Macbook Air is the clear winner. The Macbook Air is much lighter and it's SSD will provide much snappier system performance.
10 Reasons Why The Macbook Is A Better Choice Than A Windows Notebook
#1) The Operating System - Mac OS X Lioin is simply wonderful. The way the Macbook's touchpad interacts with the OS via gestures is truly ahead of the curve. Most software is available for both platforms these days as well. Windows 7 has been a welcomed change in the world of the Microsoft OS, but it is truly no match for OS X Lion.
#2) The Screen - Macbooks have exceptional LED backlit displays. Both their color and accuracy are simply unrivaled by those of Windows notebooks. The screen is also covered by an easy to clean glass surface. It does a great job protecting the screen over the long haul.
#3) The Trackpad - This one is simply not up for debate. The trackpad on the Macbook is simply the best on the market. It has a large surface and supports numerous multi-touch gestures. There is only one button. The entire trackpad is in fact the button. Contrary to popular belief, it also supports right clicking as well.
#4) The Backlit Keyboard - When I tested notebooks at Bestbuy, the only notebook to feature a backlit keyboard was the Macbook. This feature may seem like a gimmick, but believe me it's not. This wonderful feature allows you to work in low-light situations. It can also be shut off to save precious battery power.
#5) Battery Life - This is another win for the Macbook. Typically Macbook batteries can last around 6 hours. Most Windows PCs will give you roughly 3 hours. This contrast is partially due to the efficiency of the Mac OS but also to the immense 50-63.5 watt-hour lithium polymer battery. The Macbook's standby sleep time is roughly 1 week and it resumes in the blink of an eye. Windows cannot say the same.
#6) Magsafe Power Connector - This one is pure genius. Instead of plugging the power adapter into a flimsy socket which is directly connected to the motherboard, the Magsafe connector makes the connection by magnetic attraction. This means that when somebody inevitably trips over your power cable, it will simply detach and fall to the floor. Most importantly, your Macbook will not hit the floor, nor will your power socket/motherboard be damaged.
#7) Ports and I/O - I have to give this one to Windows notebooks. Macbooks have a maximum of 2 usb ports (except the 17" Macbook Pro). This is simply not enough. With respect to connecting external displays, the Macbook only features a displayport. Most displays do not yet feature this interface, therefore an adapter must be used. The official Apple brand adapters are quite pricey, but you can buy generic adapters here.
#8) Chassis and Hinge - There is no contest here. Macbook all the way. The precision aluminum unibody chassis is both incredibly strong and very beautiful. The hinge mechanism is also very sound. The computer lid can be lifted with a single finger!
#9) Optical Drive - The slot loading drive on the Macbook is far superior in both quality and noise levels to the standard optical tray loader drives.
#10) Resale Value - Take a peek through Ebay or Craigslist if you don't believe me, but Macbooks truly fetch the best resale value as far as notebooks go.
Conclusion: PC Vs. Mac
In conclusion, if you have the money for it, buy a Macbook Pro or Air. If my 10 points haven't swayed you, take a look at the most recent Dell notebook offerings. Look familiar?