Mac and PCs both offer a large suite of features and are quite comparable in many areas. Consider the features that are most important or necessary for your business before making your final decision.
Software: Though many programs are available for both the Mac and PC, currently many more applications and programs exist in the PC universe. Don’t count Mac out though. The Mac OS specializes in some niche programs that may be necessary for your line of work.
The Windows PC platform is typically stronger for traditional software development, finance, project management, office administration, and data entry and processing — data-oriented tasks. Conversely, the Mac’s software library is considered by many professionals to be stronger for photo and video editing, web and graphic design, web development, publishing, and social media — creative and media tasks.
Storage: Data is a big part of many businesses, so ask yourself what role it plays in your organization. Do you need a machine that can house a large amount of working files, or are you transferring most of your data to a larger, off-site platform?
If local data collection is important to you, both Mac and PC are comparable on what they offer on most standard systems. If necessary, it’s relatively easy to upgrade a PC’s hard drive. Upgrading a Mac hard drive can have some challenges, such as the possibility of a voided warranty, or having to take it to a retailer to do the upgrade. Of course, with either of these machines, adding an external hard drive is always an option.
Support: Apple offers AppleCare, a premium service that covers any problems you might have with your Macs for up to three years. The only thing that is not included is accidental physical damage. To get support, you usually must take the computer into an Apple store, but when you do it’s excellent support. If there’s not a store in your area this may be a challenge, but there are less exceptional third-party vendors that are licensed to service Apple machines in other markets. Apple offers a business version of AppleCare at greater cost, but it mainly offers priority repairs for quicker turnaround — the basic offering is otherwise the same.
PCs are mixed bag. In some cases, you can get support at least as good as that offered by Apple — sometimes better. For example, Dell’s professional workstations get on-site support, meaning technicians will actually come to your office to the perform the needed service. On the other hand, many PC vendors offer very poor support. Since there are so many PC vendors, be sure and research the support options before buying from that vendor. If it doesn’t give you what you need, shop elsewhere; there are many choices.
Video Conferencing: Video conferencing capabilities are becoming more and more important for business. Programs like Skype will work on both a Mac and a PC. However, an advantage of the Mac is that with its native app FaceTime, you can video conference with anyone on any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, Mac).
Ergonomics: Most people spend a lot of time on their computers, so whatever platform your choose, make sure that your computer is comfortable and convenient to use. Pay close attention to options like touch screens, wireless mice and keyboards, and even screen brightness to make sure the computer platform you choose is right for you. Part of the Mac’s premium pricing is for slim, ergonomic designs with extra battery life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a PC with comparable dimensions and specs — just expect the same premium cost.
Do you use a Mac or a PC for your business? What were the key factors you considered when choosing between Mac vs. PC?
Jessica McLaughlin: Jessica is a digital media professional in Toronto, Canada with broad experience in web—particularly social media, online communities, content development and blogging. Jessica has worked for many major Canadian broadcasters, including YTV, Food Network, and HGTV.