Mac vs. PC: Which is better for a student?

Mac Vs. PC

Mac and Windows-based PC are different. But how to understand this in layman terms. Let’s give you some idea about it. The Mac OS always supports both a left-click and a right-click for the mouse. Besides, we can hook up the mouse we use on our Windows PC to a Mac. While Apple’s Magic Mouse might seem like a single button, clicking it from the right side produces a right-click.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for transitioning from the Windows to a Mac is keyboard shortcuts. The first time we try to use Control+C to copy a block to the Mac clipboard, we realize that Control+C doesn’t copy anything to the clipboard, for your surprise. On the Mac, Command+C does it very well. As simple as difference sounds, it can take some time getting used to before it feels natural to us.

The more differences include are :

  • Windows has much software written for it, including proprietary software people need for work.
  • Windows supports both keyboard mouse setup and touch screens, making it available on desktops, laptops, and tablets. Mac OS never supports touch screens, so it is only available on a desktop or notebook.
  • The Mac has a relationship with the iPhone and the iPad. The Mac can share files with the iPhone or iPad wirelessly using AirDrop, or iCloud. It can open documents that are open to receive phone calls routed through the iPhone or iPad.
  • More viruses and malware target Windows-based PCs. However, malware is explicitly written for the Mac.
  • Windows-based PCs are built by various manufacturers, including HP, Dell, and Lenovo. It keeps prices down on PCs, which are usually cheaper than Macs.
  • Macs are built and sold by Apple. Its tighter control of the hardware leads to lesser problems, which could result in better stability. It means more secondary options.
  • Microsoft Windows supports gaming in a much better way. It supports Virtual Reality hardware such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
  • It is easy to upgrade a Windows-based PC part by part. Although most people find it more convenient to buy a new PC, techies can boost the longevity of their computers by upgrading the RAM used by applications, the graphics used by games, or the storage used by music, movies, and other media.

PC vs. Mac: Which is better for a student?

With the rise in the number of students bringing Macs to campus(over 50% of the Fall 2016 freshman class), there are likely more students(and parents) debating whether or not to buy a PC or a Mac. The concise answer is that Lehigh fully supports both Windows and Mac platforms; and, as stated previously, it is always recommended that you purchase the computer that fits your wants/needs for personal use as long as the hardware specifications provide Lehigh’s minimum requirements(which new machines do). It would be best if you made a final purchase decision, LTS has compared the following significant points between both platforms. Be aware that we may have other considerations specific to our needs; however, the next major comparison points should give us a solid starting point.

Viruses / Malware / Spyware

It continues to be a significant concern for users of Windows. While the latest versions of Windows are more secure than previous versions and Microsoft continues to make great strides in security and protection, the Windows platform is still the target of the majority of viruses, malware, and spyware on the Internet.
Macs typically experience fewer viruses or malware or spyware-related problems. Regardless of platform, no system is immune from threats, and Lehigh still recommends that users take appropriate steps to protect their computer from virus/malware/spyware threats.

Coursework-related Software

Most coursework across many majors can be completed using Windows and Mac platforms (i.e., Microsoft Office Suite for Windows and Mac). However, there are individual courses that make use of Windows-only software as part of the coursework. In these cases, students with Macs might run Windows as a second OS either by a 3rd party program like VMware or VirtualBox or using Apple Bootcamp. Students requiring to run a Windows-only application on Mac could obtain a copy of Windows from the Lehigh Imagine program. It can install alongside Mac OS. If a student does not wish to install Windows on Mac, Windows-only course-specific software can be run on public site computers across campus. STAR Services assists with installing Windows on Macs.

Warranty Considerations

Most PC manufacturers – especially Lehigh recommendations purchasing from – offer standard and extended warranty coverage that cover parts and labor for manufacturer defects. Lehigh strongly recommends purchasing accidental-damage protection, which includes accidents like liquid spills, drops, etc.

Apple provides a one year warranty on all newly purchased computers. Lehigh strongly recommends buying the AppleCare+ with an extended warranty. AppleCare+ extends the warranty for three years and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage. Deductible fees apply for unintentional damage, and details are on the Apple support website.

Initial Cost vs. Longevity

“You get what you pay for,” The concept is genuine due to the PC market. We might find a fabulous deal on a computer at a discount retail store, but find us looking for a new computer only after a year. If we purchase one of the Lehigh-recommended models (PC or Mac), our machine should last throughout our academic career.

Custom Configuration

As there are many different PC manufacturers, consumers have a wide variety of options across manufacturers, models, and configurations.

Simplified Selection

Apple very clearly lists the models they sell and offers ways to customize your selected model, such as upgrading the hard drive, memory, video card, processor, etc.

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