If there is one question I get more than any other when someone is thinking about a new computer, it’s should I buy a PC or a Mac? Let me say upfront, at Geeks4Hire, we are agnostic as to what system you use. We have clients that use PCs, Macs, and even a few who use Linux- based systems. We service and support all of them. We also have helped clients purchase all kinds of systems from many manufacturers, from advanced gaming systems, to tablets, to netbooks, from Macs to PCs. We are here to help, and what you buy is up to you. Our goal is to make sure that you can effectively use and enjoy whatever system you choose to buy.
That being said, how do I answer the question? If it is a client I know, I assess their state of “Tech savviness”, by which I mean, how they deal with new technology. Are they the type of person who gets completely stressed out whenever something changes, or are they trying new software and hardware routinely? If they are the former, I might suggest they consider the Mac platform, while the latter might be more comfortable with PCs. Are they familiar with one platform or the other? What do their family (or community) members use? For example, my two oldest children went to Universities that at the time were heavily PC oriented. I recommended they purchase PCs, which they did and it worked well for them. Their friends, teachers and most everyone else used them so they could get help or support quickly or easily when they needed it. On the other hand, my youngest son went to a University where Macs were everywhere. We purchased him a MacBook, which he used happily and successfully throughout his University career. He is still a Mac user, and I doubt he will ever use any other type of system. So, my recommendations for any given person is heavily influenced by the nature of the person and environment he/she is in.
An additional factor I consider is how the system is going to be used. For example, if it is going to be used for graphic design, I advise getting a Mac. That community uses Macs much more heavily than PCs. On the other hand, if it will be used for personal finances, e.g., Quicken, then I suggest a PC. Each platform will do either one, but the communities that practice those particular specialties tend to be focused on one platform more than the other, so the software available is broader there.
The final two questions I ask are, ‘what is your budget?’, and ‘what is your view of “form versus function” ‘? Macs are supremely well designed, and are beautiful products. Steve Jobs at Apple always put “form” as a top priority in Apple’s products. But, you pay for that design – systems with more or less equivalent hardware are several hundred dollars more in a Mac than a PC. One easy way for me to tell is I ask whether my client belongs to a discount club, like Sam’s Club or Costco or BJs. If the answer is yes, then they are likely somewhat price-conscious so are more likely to be a PC person than a Mac person. They probably will not want to spend the extra money to get “form” over “function”.
As like many things in life, there is no “one answer fits all”. The choice is highly individual. If you are on the fence, or would like to talk with someone about your particular needs, please give us a call. I have helped hundreds and hundreds of clients make the right choice that fits their need. As always, we are here to help!
P.S. Just for the record, I personally use both a Mac and a PC every single day. I like them both, and appreciate the strengths and live with the weaknesses of both platforms.