Should you stick with your PC or switch to a Mac? As the owner of a technology consulting firm I had always been a PC guy, believing that Macs were geared more toward creative types and didn’t play a large role in the Microsoft-dominated corporate world.
And then I bought a Mac. Why did this avowed PC user go to the Apple side? Three reasons:
- Supply chain shortages: When planning to upgrade my laptop earlier this year, I witnessed supply chain issues in action. The global shortage of computer chips and pandemic-created logistical problems meant that PC laptops weren’t very available. But Apple didn’t have that problem. Why? Because they make their own chips and have better control over their own supply chain. For the high-powered machine that I was after, it was much easier to get my hands on a Mac.
- I don’t like texting on my phone: Texting is a big part of the way I communicate in my business and personal life. But texting on my iPhone is less than fun. The screen is small. The keyboard is small. And my eyesight isn’t getting any better. I’ve been a happy iPhone user for years, but not being able to send iMessages from my laptop — with its ample keyboard and high-resolution screen — drove me crazy. And you can text from a Mac.
- The buzz: People tend to talk to me about tech stuff, and I heard quite a few (including a couple of executives at my own company) talk about making the switch. That meant it was only a matter of time before clients started asking if they should switch, too – and I wanted to be able to give them an informed answer.
I’ve been using my Mac since I bought it earlier this summer, and here’s what I’ve found:
What I Like About the Mac
- The hardware is, actually, amazing: I love having a blazing fast machine that is ready whenever I’m ready — I open the lid and “poof,” there’s my desktop, no waiting for the OS to load. And launching applications is just as lightning fast. The integrated camera and speakers are terrific, the battery life is great, and it is overall a sleek and powerful package that is nice to carry around.
- The integrated Apple ecosystem is exceptional: I can seamlessly work across devices. I can easily use my iPad as a second monitor, on-the-go. And being able to send texts and even FaceTime from my computer instead of my iPhone is everything I knew it would be.
What I Don’t Like About the Mac
- The learning curve is steep: Coming from a tech background, I thought I may have a leg up on “figuring out” how to do things on a Mac. Nope. I’ve had my Mac for over two months now, and while I can do everything I need to do, it still doesn’t “flow.” One of my savvy colleagues said it took him six months to be as productive on his Mac as he had been on his PC.
- Working across monitors is wonky: Windows 10 (especially) makes it easy to move programs between multiple monitors, allowing for the 20-30% productivity increase you may have heard about. Achieving this same kind of workflow on the Mac is just not possible, although they say a new update is on the horizon…
My Verdict: Should You Switch from PC to Mac?
Probably not. And if you’re an uber-productive PC user, definitely not, because it just isn’t worth what you’ll give up in transition time and productivity.
Having now used both a PC and a Mac, I can tell you that rumors of Mac’s enhanced security or reboot-free use are nothing more than hype. The security is the same — you still need to use antivirus protection, VPNs, backup software, and advanced endpoint protection. I have to reboot my Mac just as often as I did my PC. And gone are the days when you had to have a PC to run Microsoft Office or a Mac to use Apple Music.
In essence, I found Macs and PCs to be two sides of the same coin — sure, you may have to click “here” instead of “there” or use Command instead of Control, but the core differences are minor enough not to matter.
If you’re a happy PC user, your best bet is to stay the course. Your sanity and productivity will bring you more joy than a Mac ever could.
As originally published in the American City Business Journals.