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Old May 26, 2013, 11:13 PM   #1
JesseW6889
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Advantages of Macs over PCs

I am a disabled veteran and I've just been accepted into a rehabilitation program that has agreed to provide for a bachelors degree for me. I qualify for a laptop computer under this program, but as it is a government program, they're very particular about what they will buy and they need a justification if something is requested that is different from the norm.

Basically, they'd buy me an HP laptop no problem, but I am more interested in a MacBook. I am wondering what the advantages of Macs are over PCs that might help me justify my request.

For example, I know that MacBooks have backlit illuminated keyboards. Is this a feature that is exclusive to MacBooks?

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old May 26, 2013, 11:24 PM   #2
a-m-k
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First, and most importantly, thank you so much for your services to America!
Second, is an HP your ONLY option if it's not a MB, MBP, or MBA. My family and I used to have an HP laptop, in the short time we had it (nearly 4 years, I think) we had to replace the mother board two (almost three) times. (I was much younger then, and my mom and dad made the decision to replace the mother board for a third time.)

If I were you, I'd see if you can either opt for a different manufacturer or see if you can have an 'allowance' that will be allotted to you and maybe the difference isn't such a big deal that you can cover it.

Let us know what happens!
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Old May 26, 2013, 11:28 PM   #3
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Most higher end Windows laptops have backlit keyboards these days.

Honestly you could survive with a Windows laptop if you need to.

The main advantage of a Mac in my case is just how seamless the integration it is to my Apple TV, iPhone, etc. I like the eco system I guess you could say.

There is a few really good programs exclusive to Mac when it comes to graphic design etc, but I'm assuming you won't be using that depending on your degree.

You need to figure out if it's allowed, and if it is great, but if not you should be okay
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Old May 26, 2013, 11:35 PM   #4
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I believe that it is all subjective in opinions regarding the type of computer that you use, whether it is Mac or Windows. I will just state my opinion why a MBP laptop is better than an HP laptop

1) Apple Retail Stores: Great service. I like having a place where I can go and get help on my Mac if it has any issues. My experience so far is that they are very attentive. It is going to be hard with HP as they are sold through 3rd party retailers or online.
2) Apple Service: As mentioned, it is very good (as long as the warranty still in place). With Applecare, your computer will be covered longer, but my MBP is 3 years old and is still going strong without Applecare so....
3) Multi-touch Trackpad: It is going to be hard to imagine going to a PC laptop after using the MBP trackpad. It is simply magical. Different productive gestures and very responsive. Once you use it, you can never go back to a PC touchpad. I'm sure it saves me a second or two here and there, but it all adds up, right?
4) Mac OSX: It is easy to use and intuitive. The moment you turn the computer on, it just works. There is no bloatware, and it is fast and fluid. All installations are very quick and easy. The program that you need are there (iLife and can pay extra for iWork)
5) Bootcamp: Best of both worlds. If you want to jump from OS X to Windows, it is easy. From Windows to OS X, it is a bit more difficult.
5) Aluminium(how Sir Jony would say it). The MBP is a beautiful machine. Aluminum unibody casing vs many plastic PCs. I'm sure that will ensure durability as well. There are new PC laptops come out with metal casing as well, but they are just as expensive, and they don't have OS X.
6) Apple Ecosystem. Some people like it, and some don't. However, it is working very well for me. I have many Apple products and they all sync effortlessly. iCloud is very nice to keep all things together. Airplay from a Mac to an Apple TV is pretty awesome as well.

I'm sure that I'm missing something, but someone will fill in.

**Disclaimer: I don't work for apple Just a guy who likes his Macs

Sorry about the long post as well. I am doing a long paper for school right now, and describing my experience of Mac computers is much more interesting
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Old May 27, 2013, 12:01 AM   #5
Doward
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First, thank you for your service. :salute:

Second, the biggest thing Mac has over PC is battery life. As you qualify for a laptop, perhaps that extra battery life will give you more mobility, improving your vocational ability?
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Old May 27, 2013, 12:19 AM   #6
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OSX is a certified Unix operating system which may help depending on your line of studies or future career path.

If your planning on getting into mobile development; you can target both Android and iOS; will need a Mac to target iOS development.
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Old May 27, 2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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Unless you need to target iOS development, or require a 7 hour battery life, no, a mac isn't some magical computer and any $500 HP with an on-site warranty could be arguably better than the most expensive MacBook.
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Old May 27, 2013, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseW6889 View Post
I am a disabled veteran and I've just been accepted into a rehabilitation program that has agreed to provide for a bachelors degree for me. I qualify for a laptop computer under this program, but as it is a government program, they're very particular about what they will buy and they need a justification if something is requested that is different from the norm.

Basically, they'd buy me an HP laptop no problem, but I am more interested in a MacBook. I am wondering what the advantages of Macs are over PCs that might help me justify my request.

For example, I know that MacBooks have backlit illuminated keyboards. Is this a feature that is exclusive to MacBooks?

Any advice would be appreciated!
A sincere Thank You for your service.

Far too many civilians fail to show gratitude for your bravery, tireless efforts & time spent serving our country. I am grateful for those of you who make the sacrifice for all of us.

I use both Windows & Mac computers at work. The difference was once a lot greater than it is today. Hence the old slogans like Macs "just work". Today Windows computers do to. It's been years since I've had problems with a PC.

Due to the differences in software file types & Apples high priced laptops, it would be very challenging to get an approval for a Mac.

I have a preference for Mac, yet I cannot justify the price since frankly I see it as too high for a value minded business, which is why you rarely if ever see them in hospitals, various institutions, or even large scale businesses like GM or Ford.

If you reframe how you view it, I'm certain you will do very well with a PC. Apple has never placed much emphasis on big business anyway. That's the domain of Microsoft.
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:33 AM   #9
fratey
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You couldn't go wrong either way. However, OS X has a very impressive zoom function which might be worth looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a-m-k View Post
First, and most importantly, thank you so much for your services to America!
Second, is an HP your ONLY option if it's not a MB, MBP, or MBA. My family and I used to have an HP laptop, in the short time we had it (nearly 4 years, I think) we had to replace the mother board two (almost three) times. (I was much younger then, and my mom and dad made the decision to replace the mother board for a third time.)
I do believe we should keep irrelevant personal anecdotes that are based on statistics out of this thread. At least the motherboard was replaced - when my Air screen broke by itself within warranty, Apple demanded almost a thousand dollars for it.
Stick to the functionality part.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:11 AM   #10
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It would help to know a little more about your situation and what you are looking to study.

OSX has some good accessibility options, depending if you require them with your disability. I haven't used windows for a number of versions so I'm not sure how they compete out of the box anymore.

Like some of the posters above have stated, for the basics of email, word processing, excel, etc, a HP laptop will offer you the functionality you need. I also understand that the experience of using an apple laptop is enjoyable and can make the work you do on it more enjoyable too so get why you'd prefer a macbook.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:23 AM   #11
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I sincerely thank you for your service to this country. You're a true hero.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:24 AM   #12
leman
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I am afraid that you will have hard time looking for a solid justification of getting a Mac over the PC. The quality of a Mac (as in look&feel&build) is clearly much high than that of an average PC laptop, but thats hardly a justification (it is more a question of luxury). All in all, the OS X is arguably more convenient and certainly much more flexible (simply because its Unix) - but you probably won't need Unix anyway.
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:16 AM   #13
rasputin1969
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Hi there

First - thank you for your service.

Second - I think you'll find it difficult to argue that Mac's have anything intrinsically beneficial to your studies than PC's.

Thirdly - as presumably there is limited pot of money to aid all veterans in your position, is it morally justified to go for the big ticket item without a reasonable need or requirement?
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Old May 27, 2013, 05:49 AM   #14
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You buy into one of these Eco systems ( as they're called I guess) and you develope brand loyalty. Now, this brand loyalty thing is pretty serious, as I see lots of folks buying the same car make over and over even though its a piece of crap.

The point is: I haven't a clue what is really better. Im just a deluded Apple junkie. I'm not alone though
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Old May 27, 2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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Whatever happens don't buy an HP. The number of people I know that had HPs and all sorts of problems, including motherboard, graphics card, screen replacements and terrible customer service is disproportionate. There are decent Windows PC manufacturers but HP is not one of them. A couple of years ago they announced they were leaving the market but didn't go through with it. What credibility do they have?

I used to have a 1400 pound Dell XPS Studio that was heavy and had terrible thermal management and a 2-3 hour battery life. I was definitely disappointed that a laptop that expensive had such a poor design.

A mac, even if not for specific, professional use does have its perks. Fast, slim, great OS, good battery life etc. Great to use in general, if you care about confort. Also, it is not unusual for macs to last more than 4 years, and they have a great salvage value.
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Old May 27, 2013, 06:35 AM   #16
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Parallels!!! Buy it, nao!!

I have Mac OS X and Windows installed and I can select between them when I restart the machine. But the magic does not star there. I also have a shortcut on me desktop, and it will start Windows (the exact same install as mentioned before) in an emulator (inside an app!) And when that is running, I can swipe four fingers over the touch pad, left and right to switch between OS X and Windows.

Its good enough for lots of 3D games as well, but of course if I want more performance I just restart the computer with Windows.


Reasons I switched to Mac in 2009
*PC laptops with similar spec and 14" size cost the same or more (and I preferred 13" as well)
*Backlit keyboard (its not as common now as people say, and even less then)
* Humongous sized touchpad (I hated touchpads until I got a Mac)
* *nix based operating system (I using Linux as main OS for 6 years before i got a mac)
* 7 hour battery life
* No stickers on the laptop (Stickers are cool when you are 7, and some of them are a bitch to get off)
*LED backlight in the screen (most PC's have this now, not in 2009)
*Wonderful keyboard (this is taste, what kind of keys and resistance you like, I happen to love the feel of Mac keyboards)
*Unpresidented sleep function (my mac can sleep for a week or more, and its quick to wake from sleep, sleep functions in windows feels like an aftertought, I dont know about Win8, but newer macs even have Hypersleep look it up)
*Fans on the back (some PC laptops have them underneath what the hell)
*All ports on one side (This is not true anymore)
*Fits in a manila envelope (some PC's do as well now, not all)
*Magsafe power cord (saved my laptop from 1 meter tall falls on several occasions)
*Battery meter on the side (Only good if you travel a lot, i dont)
*Good detailed guides on ifixit.com (okay I don't need this, since I've worked in that industry for 8 years now, and thats only impressive because im 22 years old)
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Old May 27, 2013, 07:27 AM   #17
theluggage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseW6889 View Post
Basically, they'd buy me an HP laptop no problem, but I am more interested in a MacBook. I am wondering what the advantages of Macs are over PCs that might help me justify my request.
There's a very simple rule: choose the software that you need, then buy the hardware that it runs on.

In your case, it would help to find out whether there are any particular bits of software or online services associated with the program or degree course you are starting. Or, there may be specialist/custom software particularly helpful for your disability. If they enthusiastically support Mac (could happen, Mac is popular in US education), that's fine, but my general advice would be to go with their recommendation - you'll have an easier time getting support. Even if their systems are "in theory" Mac compatible, PC-oriented institutions don't always have the time/inclination to set up & test Mac compatibility or properly support Mac users.

Even the Mac version of MS Office has the occasional glitch exchanging files with the Windows versions - not a deal-breaker in general use, but if your primary use for this laptop is exchanging files with a PC-based institution that is calling the shots...

Yes, you can get tools like Parallels that are quite effective at running Windows software but (a) they're not perfect and (b) that is a non-trivial extra cost, because you need to buy a full copy of Microsoft Windows (its also best to get extra RAM if you plan to do this).
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Old May 27, 2013, 08:44 AM   #18
samifaltas
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Two cents from the Netherlands

I love my white unibody Macbook (13 inch) and use it all the time. But I can't truthfully claim it's better value for money than my wife's new HP laptop (12 inches) which cost much, much less. So if money is short, and you don't have a compelling reason to buy a Macbook (e.g. you've fallen in love with it, you need specific Mac software or you can get excllent support for Macs from your school), I think a Windows laptop is a better buy. I suspect Windows 7 is easier to use than Windows 8.

By the way, synchronization between devices of the Apple, Windows or Android family is easy if you are using Google Mail and Google Calendar.

Final word: If do you get the Windows machine, be sure to always have good protection against viruses and other such threats.

Good luck.
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:10 AM   #19
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I saw a rather beautiful Lenovo Ultrabook in the store yesterday. It was marked down from $750 to $600 and included a touchscreen. It strongly reminded me of an aluminum unibody MBP. It did not have a CD/DVD slot. If the government program is at all flexible about the brand, I would consider Lenovo over HP and while I prefer Apple to Lenovo, if you must use Windows for your training program Lenovo wouldn't be so bad a choice. If you really must use HP, then take your time and visit some stores to see the model before you select it.
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:37 AM   #20
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Big, Big Difference

I have a part time job in store where I am responsible to sell a line of Korean brand of phones, tablets and laptops. I find the Windows OS used currently to be NONE intuitive, and what would be important to you is the Internet Exp.
is the the URL slot is at the BOTTOM of the screen and it is NOT black text on white...its colored and difficult to read. Microsoft seems to go out of its way to make things more complicated....favorites are no longer created by "control + d"...to access favorites you must go into the upper right corner and find that tiny icon about 2/3 the size of a pencil eraser. The touch pad works poorly with windows and it demand a mouse. P A S S
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:44 AM   #21
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I don't have much to say that probably hasn't been said already, but if this helps, here's a link to the Apple Government Store - http://www.apple.com/r/store/government - they probably already know about that, but I'm assuming they'll give you a deal.

Personally I think Macs are much easier to use and more logical than Windows PCs, much more luxurious, so I think you'd deserve a nicer computer after your service.
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:15 PM   #22
JoeRito
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Main benefits, IMO:

1. Touch pad is amazing, much better than the PC trackpads
2. Better battery life
3. Magnetic tip on magsafe powercord
4. Backlit keyboard (becoming common on PC laptops now)
5. Aluminum case is attractive and sturdy
6. Assistance available at a dedicated store near you - Apple Store spoils us
7. OSX - the biggest reason for me. Windows is going in the wrong direction. If you need windows apps, virtualization tools are readily available (I like Parallels).
8. App Store is a great way to get certified software and games online.
9. iTunes syncing
10. option to get antiglare screen

One "con" for me: I find an onboard DVD player is helpful in the workplace.
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Old May 27, 2013, 02:18 PM   #23
JesseW6889
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Wow, thanks for all the replies and thanks for the appreciation!

The computer would be used to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering. Additionally, I have an interest in programming apps for iPhone's, which so far as I know is only possible on a mac. Unfortunately, they're more concerned with program needs over user wants.

So far as battery life, touch pad, durability and support, I think those are all great aspects to consider and I will certainly work them in there somehow! Many of you argued that they playing field was relatively equal. Are there any benefits of Windows over OS X?

Also, whatever I get, they will provide necessary software and accessories as well as extended warranties on all significant equipment.

Some of you suggested that I should 'take what I get' without a reasonable need or requirement. I have reasonable need that I haven't gone into specifics about. I am just looking for additional help navigating a system that, from the very start, was designed to limit my entitlements as much as possible.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JesseW6889 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies and thanks for the appreciation!

The computer would be used to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering. Additionally, I have an interest in programming apps for iPhone's, which so far as I know is only possible on a mac. Unfortunately, they're more concerned with program needs over user wants.
That just made it a LOT easier

XCode comes for free, it's build for mac but is diverse enough to create other kinds of applications and utilities.
OS X is UNIX, it's steady, reliable, build in server aspects (PHP, Python etc. runs without any plugins, you might need to get libraries, but things like WAMP is not necessary).
Only way to install/deploy iPhones apps with.
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Old May 27, 2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseW6889 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies and thanks for the appreciation!

The computer would be used to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering. Additionally, I have an interest in programming apps for iPhone's, which so far as I know is only possible on a mac. Unfortunately, they're more concerned with program needs over user wants.

So far as battery life, touch pad, durability and support, I think those are all great aspects to consider and I will certainly work them in there somehow! Many of you argued that they playing field was relatively equal. Are there any benefits of Windows over OS X?

Also, whatever I get, they will provide necessary software and accessories as well as extended warranties on all significant equipment.

Some of you suggested that I should 'take what I get' without a reasonable need or requirement. I have reasonable need that I haven't gone into specifics about. I am just looking for additional help navigating a system that, from the very start, was designed to limit my entitlements as much as possible.
From one disabled vet to another, thanks for your service.

I have roughly 20 computers in my house (counting iPads, iPhones, Laptops, Desktops) - Yea I know it's a lot, but I've got six teenagers. I built most of the desktops (8) except the MacPro that I alone use.

The biggest difference is the USER EXPERIENCE, and UNIX (OS X). At one time during my service, I was the CONTROLLER of a large stateside computer facility. Everything ran on UNIX back then. If you are going to be a developer of software, I can't think of a more compelling reason. I use OSX, Linux, Windows (and DOS at times) all on the MacPro.

You could do that on a PC as well, but a vanilla store bought PC Laptop won't run OSX as a GENERAL rule of thumb. A MacBookPro will... That said, I've got had and still have several HP laptops. They have been flawless with Linux, not so much with Windows however (too sluggish by comparison, they are modern i5's and an i7). Some of the software you will need during the course of almost any degree program, will at one time or another require Windows. My wife is a school administrator. She has several degrees, loves Linux, loves OSX, but requires Windows. Some of the study software is windows only. That's not a problem on a MAC though. Just put windows on it.

Disclaimer: This is just my person opinion/experience. There are many more people here that are better qualified to respond to your questions, but I thought I'd just throw in my $0.02

Good luck.
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