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PC laptop vs. Mac: What do you prefer?

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I have always been a PC user, and haven't ever really had any problems.  But, I am looking at getting a new laptop and I would love some comparisons by actual users of a Mac Book or PC laptop.  I'm leaning towards a Mac, but I nervous to make the leap.  There must be a thread on here somewhere comparing the two, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.  I'd love to hear Pros and Cons. Thanks!
#1 - April 15, 2014, 12:31 PM

There is a long, helpful thread---I hope this link works: 



Computer, Web & Tech Discussions PC vs. MAC
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=25786.0

I'm not the first person to say this, but I've heard it many times-- "once you've tried Mac, you'll never go back." :)
#2 - April 15, 2014, 12:44 PM
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 12:46 PM by Alison A »
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Just noting that the thread Alison linked to is from 2008 but the basic points still hold.
Here are a couple more links: about the current version of the operating system: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=70735.0  and about which laptop, Air or Pro https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=63905.0

There's a learning curve with every new piece of technology, even going from an older operating system to the next version, but there's plenty of help available, including the good tutorials and directions in the Help menu, and for $100 you can get a year's worth of individual lessons at an Apple store if that's convenient, including lessons specifically to help you in the switch from PC to Mac.

There are also various "...for Dummies" and "...The Missing Manual" books that might seem pricey but invaluable for providing how-to. I especially like the Missing Manuals series. Office 2011 for MacIntosh: The Missing Manual and OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual are the two I live by now, and I just discovered that there's one called Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, that's certainly less expensive than the Apple classes!

eta: I noticed in an old thread that Verla also is a fan of the Missing Manual series.  :greatminds :verla !
#3 - April 15, 2014, 02:05 PM
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 02:47 PM by AnneB »

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I would chime in to say that while Macs are more expensive they do last. I still work on a 2008 Macbook. I upgraded the RAM and hard drive myself last year instead of buying a new machine. And my kids still use the 2006 iMac. I upgraded the RAM on that too.


Knock on wood...but we've never had a problem with a Mac.


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#4 - April 15, 2014, 02:21 PM
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Hey.  I've owned both, but now use Mac  exclusively.  It's got more finesse.  I don't like the price and I do think they're becoming less innovative, but it still (IMO), offers more value than the PC.
#5 - April 15, 2014, 02:29 PM

I prefer Macs. They start up SO quickly compared to any PC laptop I've ever owned. Now that you can get Word for Mac it makes it even better--I used to do my drafting in Scrivener on my Mac and then borrow a PC laptop to format for submission. Now I can do it on my Mac :)
#6 - April 15, 2014, 03:08 PM
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With all this talk about laptops, I just have to ask: Does anybody own a desktop anymore?


I feel so old-fashioned. I have an iMac, and love it (after converting from a regular desktop about 4 years ago), and I can see liking a laptop, because I do really love the portability of my iPad, but for writing I just can't imagine being without my regular keyboard and my monster-sized screen.


Is this a generational thing? Or is it just a problem I have? My kids type/write on laptops and have no issue at all. But I feel so uncomfortable typing on a laptop, or even doing a simple search (with that silly little ball-shaped thing that is supposed to be a mouse), that I cannot imagine writing an entire manuscript using one.


Just asking!


And the reason I love my Mac? Even my huge desktop is portable. So when I travel, if I take it with me, I just plunk the monitor and the keyboard into the original box, put in the car and go. Traveling was such a pain with a regular computer.


And yes, I get that that's why a laptop is really great!
#7 - April 15, 2014, 04:00 PM
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We're dyed-in-the-wool PC users, Ena, but yes, we have a few desktops in the house as well as everyone having their own laptops. I write on my laptop but do email on a desktop...and my son and husband both have desktops as well as laptops. My 23 yr old son hugely prefers his desktop, but he's a computer science guy.
#8 - April 15, 2014, 04:32 PM
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We have two macs. My old blueberry iMac desktop (1999) and a Mac OS X desktop from 2007. I love both and would like to get a mac air laptop for my daughter in the next year or so.
#9 - April 15, 2014, 04:52 PM
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 04:56 PM by Sully »

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We're also PC users (my husband's work requires a PC) -- and we have three desktops and one laptop.  I've honestly never even considered switching to Mac...but I suppose if the software my husband uses changes someday (or he finds a different career), we might think about it.  Maybe.  :)
#10 - April 15, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Mrs. Jones, I'm with you about preferring a full-size keyboard and big screen. I bought an iMac Pro in case I need the portability (which happens a few times a year), but normally I use it like a desktop. Works great for me. I don't know why Apple products engender such loyalty (quality? reliability?), but I never felt this way about any of my PCs. I love my Mac.
#11 - April 16, 2014, 04:52 AM
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Tara -- we have one iMac & 3 Mac laptops.  However, the longest lasting laptop ever owned was a Dell.  The thing was darn near indestructible.  We tried a Sony laptop and I kid you not; it had problems in the first week.  I love the Macs, but their pricing is (I think) a little much. 
#12 - April 16, 2014, 05:27 AM

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We're all PC users. Never considered a mac because husband is engineer and I am a former scientist so we've needed it for our work. We still have an old 386 that drives some robots. LOL. I had to get used to Windows8, but I love it. We have two desktops now, and I have a laptop for my writing. All the computers are synched up so we can share data and also keep tabs on the kids.

Why I love my laptop: it is mine-mine-mine! I can write at my desk or on the porch. It's easy to travel with. Self-contained machine. I routinely unplug from the net so that I don't have to be distracted with all the shiny things online. I can have a connected via ports or wireless if I choose. I like doing email/internetty (non writing related stuff) on the desktop.

Ena -- you can get can external keyboard and mouse to work with your laptop. That's what I do at my desk. Even an external monitor if you want one of those bigger ones. Last Christmas we souped up our old desktop for the kids since they are on the computer more often now that they are older, so I took the old monitor and hooked it up to my laptop. When I work at my desk, I have two screens now and it sure is nice, esp. if I'm looking up something on the net and writing, or if I want to compare two documents.

Good luck, Tara.
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#13 - April 16, 2014, 05:29 AM
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Hi everyone!   :thankyou  I so apologize for not responding sooner, this past week has been crazy for me at work.  :banghead  I want to thank everyone who weighed in, it has been very helpful.  I am going to the mall today to check out the Apple store and the Microsoft store to check out the laptops.  :oncomputer  We've always been a PC family, but that may change!  I'm just excited to be able to go and look! :bananadance :broccoli :carrot :chickendance :pickle
#14 - April 19, 2014, 09:13 AM

I hate mac. People keep telling me that mac is better, but I just don't see it (after using it for 4 months). I am technically challenged, so perhaps it's just me, but I was raised on a PC, so perhaps I just don't get anything else. What I do know is that I can't wait to go back to my beloved PC.


For that matter, I prefer a desktop PC to a laptop. Less distractions and more motor control! (I don't write on the go - prefer a paper notepad for that!)


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#15 - May 05, 2014, 07:36 PM
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Vijaya, Thank you! I remembered your suggestion as I was traveling with my daughter last week and there was a "communication emergency," and I didn't have my desktop. So I went to the Apple store and bought a keyboard and mouse and used it with her laptop. It worked just fine, and I was able to get my emails written and sent.


BUT, I still prefer my desktop!!!
#16 - May 06, 2014, 04:25 AM
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that silly little ball-shaped thing that is supposed to be a mouse

Ena, I meant to chime in with this last week but forgot. The little ball-shaped laptop mouse substitute is long gone, replaced by a trackpad. Takes a bit of getting used to but oh, my, is it easy to use. I've used a trackball for 20 years but I've all but given it up.
#17 - May 06, 2014, 10:18 AM

I'm a Mac girl all the way. My Macs have lasted forever and they are so much easier to navigate and much harder to screw up. For me, it is far more intuitive?like shuffling papers on my desk rather than having to search through a million drawers or unlock the right cabinet. I know people who have grown up with a PC have a hard time switching gears because they are used to the lingo and set-up of the PC. To me, the PC is far more hassle and I have yet to meet a sturdy one that really holds up. That's just my experience, though.  :spock
#18 - May 08, 2014, 06:17 AM
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Ena, I meant to chime in with this last week but forgot. The little ball-shaped laptop mouse substitute is long gone, replaced by a trackpad. Takes a bit of getting used to but oh, my, is it easy to use. I've used a trackball for 20 years but I've all but given it up.


Anne, yeah, I tried to use that on my daughter's laptop, but it was not the most comfortable. I can deal with the track pad for a desktop, but don't own one. I think the issue is that I have wrist issues, and managing the laptop mouse whatever form it takes, is awkward and aggravates my wrist/joints. BUT, that track pad IS much better!
#19 - May 08, 2014, 07:47 AM
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I have a PC desktop with two screens and a laptop. I usually use my desktop, because I have two screens, one extra large. I like being able to see so much of my text at once. I often display an outline or a previous version on the second screen. It makes it really convenient. I mostly use my laptop when I travel. I have a tiny plug-in mouse, since I'm not fond of the trackball.

As far as reliability, I really haven't hadn't many problems. I ran a full-time mail order business on a PC for ten years. I only got a new PC , because I sold the business and the PCs went along with it. I bought my first personal computer back in 1979, so I've been using them for quite a while.
#20 - May 08, 2014, 01:44 PM
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I have a huge, heavy PC gaming laptop which is what I generally use at home. (Bigger screen, more RAM and better graphics card, was much cheaper than an equivalent Mac.) It's similar to having a desktop because I don't move it around, but for various reasons I still preferred to have a laptop over a desktop.

I also have a, 11" Macbook Air for travel and writing, and I love it. I do sometimes switch to the PC for editing because of the bigger screen, but most of my writing is done on the Air.

I have Scrivener and Microsoft Office on both the PC and the Mac, no problems there.

I think if you are considering switching from PC to Mac, look for a nearby Apple store so you can go in and try them out. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have, and you'll be able to get a feel for them. The first time I considered getting a Macbook years ago, I tried a Macbook Pro in the store and really didn't like the sharp edges of the case where my wrists would rest. I'm glad I tried it out first, and ended up with a cheaper PC laptop for a while. (I don't have this problem with my Air, which I've owned for about three years now.)

Anyway, I have a slight preference for Mac of PC just based on the operating system, but I use both just fine.
#21 - May 11, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Another Mac owner who made the switch and won't go back. I have an iMac that I do most of my work on, but a MacBook Pro for travel and when I conduct workshops. After I got my first iMac (I'm on my second) my husband converted (he can tie into work with Go to My PC, amazingly,) and we got our kids all Mac laptops when they needed a computer for school/college. Even our older son, who hated the Macs that were at his high school, wasn't happy to make the conversion back to a PC when he started grad school. He'd come to love his Mac.

We have one PC in the house, (besides the PC laptop our older son needs for his grad program--he still uses the Mac when he isn't doing schoolwork) and that's our younger son's gaming computer.

I have come across occasions when I've had to register his soccer team for a tournament, or something, where a PC has been required, but those occasions where there's a compatability problem are few and far between.

Get Office for Mac out of the box and you won't have much more of a learning curve than you would if you went from a previous version of Windows to a newer version.
#22 - May 11, 2014, 09:23 AM

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I use a PC laptop at my day job. I use a Mac laptop (Macbook Air) for my real work. So I have a lot of experience with both, and I prefer the Mac, and I prefer having a laptop to a desktop. My Mac does everything a desktop does for me except for having a CD/DVD drive, but I don't need that.

The Macbook Air in particular is wonderful to travel with -- not only because it's light, but because the battery lasts so long. I often travel by air so throwing a desktop in the trunk is not an option!
#23 - May 11, 2014, 01:14 PM
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Thank you to everyone who weighed in!!  An update, I ended up buying a MacBook Pro and I love it!  I'm still getting used to it, and many of my old PC ways like to get in the way, but all in all I'm really enjoying it.  Even my husband, who has been a die-hard PC fan forever, really likes my new laptop.  In fact, he has started using my iPad, which really was collecting dust to be honest, and can't believe the battery life it has.  I think it was a good move on my part.  I still use a PC for work, and that probably won't ever change, but I'm content with my Pro for all my personal stuff.  Thank you again for all the input, it really helped me to make the right decision.
#24 - May 12, 2014, 12:04 AM

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