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Laptops - Mac vs. Windows

Windows or Mac; which laptop do you prefer

  • Windows based laptop

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • Mac based laptop

    Votes: 8 66.7%

  • Total voters
    12

DarthVader

Sith Lord
Original Poster
Ooh boy, I'm sure I'm opening up a can of worms in this, but I'm looking to get a new laptop. I use and support windows at work both workstations and servers. I have an iMac at home, I'm also not looking to dump macOS, but I do need a new laptop and I'm not sure what to buy. There's too much chatter going on about defective keyboards with the MacBook Pro laptop and its extremely expensive as well. So I'm looking at all of my options. Its not something I'm going to rush into, I'll be looking to get one later this summer

Usage: Remote access to work, light usage of Photoshop, heavier usage of Lightroom, general crap including office 365, email, surfing like facebook and visiting WDWmagic ;). I don't play games generally but I do have a steam account. I suppose, I'm not looking to get a gamer laptop, so I'll just put that out there.

With that said, I figured I'd poll the folks here what they like about their windows machine or mac laptops (please mention make/model). Its my hope that this doesn't turn into a religious war, I'm of the opinion that both platforms have advantages and disadvantages. I'm intereted in both what you like about the hardware, i.e., you have a Dell XPS, and what you like about the OS/apps and why.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
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I’ve done it all... and I love that my macbooks have great battery life (at least for a few years) and they just work without hassle.

After decades of building, tweaking, optimizing... I appreciate things that just do it right and then get out of the way. The apple tax is tough... but for a general web/photo device... do that and some extra storage and you are good.

My everyday is a mbp 15” 2015 era and it’s still chugging great

I was looking at some of the Lenovo machines as alternatives.
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I'm just a "normal" user, so take it for what it's worth:)
I had an apple desktop computer and Loved it. Then, for some reason, I got rid of it and got Toshiba laptop. I have windows 7 now. I HATED, HATED windows 10, so went back to 7 and had no problems.
However, if I get another laptop I am definitely considering Mac again. I had no problems with mac, but have had several problems with windows in the past
Hope this helps.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
The real issue you need to consider is your expected use.

Windows is, in general, more flexible than Mac.

Having supported and used both, I'd say go for Windows. But, it's that day to day experience that you are really buying into. And, you need to consider what your use requirements are.

If you are basically using it to surf the web, check email, etc...Mac is excellent. In fact, one of the major benefits of Mac is how it integrates with other apple devices (iMessage, in particular). But, that assumes you live entirely within the Mac ecosphere.

Anything more complex than that...you'll likely want windows.

I still support 1 mac on my network...but, it's running Win 10. :p

As far as laptops right now in the Windows environment that are quality? I'd look very hard at Asus. Good price for good tech.

I am using a Razer. A bit on the expensive side, but for the price (around the same cost as a Macbook Pro, but significantly more power due to the graphics card)...it's the best laptop I've ever owned, including the Macs.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
I’ve done it all... and I love that my macbooks have great battery life (at least for a few years) and they just work without hassle.

After decades of building, tweaking, optimizing... I appreciate things that just do it right and then get out of the way. The apple tax is tough... but for a general web/photo device... do that and some extra storage and you are good.

My everyday is a mbp 15” 2015 era and it’s still chugging great

I was looking at some of the Lenovo machines as alternatives.
I've had mixed experience with Lenovo. I currently have one Lenovo laptop I support, and it's been fine.

https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/yoga-series/yoga-14/?catargetid=120030930000049409&CAPCID=47626604264&catci=dsa-322627230383&agid=9477069224&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIptbS1umo2wIVyi-BCh2l-wZOEAAYASAAEgLH5vD_BwE

That one.

But, I've had other Thinkbooks as clients, and they barely lasted 3 years. I've had a similar experience with Dell.

That said, all my Desktops (outside of 6) are Lenovo ThinkCentres (m92 and m73). And, they have been excellent clients (outside of one batch that had motherboard failure issues, but Warranty took care of it and it was easy...Lenovo dispatched a tech when I called it in and they swapped the motherboards, fairly painless outside of the client machine being down for a few days).

I'm currently on a Razer Blade 14". I love it. The rest of my users are on Asus.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
Do you care about touchscreen at all?

What form factors are you NOT interested in? Meaning, when is small and portable...too small. 13"? 11"? And, when is too large, no longer "portable" to you? 15"? 17"?

To me, the 14" is a sweet spot, but the number of models that come in that size are...limited. You have Razer, Lenovo, and a few others.

Also, think keyboard for a moment. Do you want to have a number pad? If so...that means 15"+. Once you get the form factor figured out, then brands are a bit easier to tackle.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
I have T series thinkbooks that have been tanks. I still use a W series as a lab mule and it's great. Problem is.. it's huge. I had bought a Yoga for my wife back in Feb for $730 that had 256gig SSD, 8Gig, latest i5, touchscreen, convertible, 13" and less than 3lbs. The apple tax is still brutal compared to that.

The software gap for mac vs windows is a thing of the past for most things except where you need niche AND power. Otherwise, just run it in fusion or whatever and have best of both worlds. It used to be using a mac meant you were the red headed step child of the internet and you constantly made compromises.. or paid for software where there was plenty of shareware or freeware for windows in the same areas. Its why back around 2000 I finally kicked Apple to the curb (after using macOS since the beginning) for full time and stuck to wintel. Killing the clones and lack of software while paying a premium wasn't worth it. But now a days, I never get blocked. And if it's niche... I just run it in fusion. .NET development is the only time I'd stick to wintel native.

I hear people complaining about the new keyboards, but I've not played with them enough myself to form an opinion. The new models haven't been attractive to me regardless.. and I won't refresh till maybe Sept/Oct anyway. Battery is suffering on my mbp15
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
I have T series thinkbooks that have been tanks. I still use a W series as a lab mule and it's great. Problem is.. it's huge. I had bought a Yoga for my wife back in Feb for $730 that had 256gig SSD, 8Gig, latest i5, touchscreen, convertible, 13" and less than 3lbs. The apple tax is still brutal compared to that.

The software gap for mac vs windows is a thing of the past for most things except where you need niche AND power. Otherwise, just run it in fusion or whatever and have best of both worlds. It used to be using a mac meant you were the red headed step child of the internet and you constantly made compromises.. or paid for software where there was plenty of shareware or freeware for windows in the same areas. Its why back around 2000 I finally kicked Apple to the curb (after using macOS since the beginning) for full time and stuck to wintel. Killing the clones and lack of software while paying a premium wasn't worth it. But now a days, I never get blocked. And if it's niche... I just run it in fusion. .NET development is the only time I'd stick to wintel native.

I hear people complaining about the new keyboards, but I've not played with them enough myself to form an opinion. The new models haven't been attractive to me regardless.. and I won't refresh till maybe Sept/Oct anyway. Battery is suffering on my mbp15
The sticker price for an off the shelf current mac is intense. Especially when you start comparing specs to other offerings.

The mac I have in production still is a MBP 15" 2012 model, that I've upgraded the RAM and HD (to SSD). It runs pretty well. But, when time comes to replace, it won't be a mac.

And, whilst I originally ran it on MacOS, and then Parellels, I found my users (including myself for when I was in that environment) still spent most of our time in Win10 for various reasons. One of the largest being that the version of Office for Mac is slightly different than the one for Windows...and, did cause confusion and frustration for my end users. So, I just loaded the Macs with Windows, rather than trying to keep a dual environment.

That said, Mac does the "unified communications" thing MUCH better than windows (I noted iMessage before, but it's more than that...), especially if you are bought into other Apple devices for your day to day (iPhone, iPad, etc).
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
outlook on mac was really problematic about 3-4 years ago...especially in calendaring. But they've cleaned it up. Office for OSX used to be alot different.. but that was pretty much just OSX being the leading edge of the UX changes in Office and Windows version generally followed along.

I'm not really a fan of Office's changes and the ribbon... as many things just get hidden and hard to find.. but I can't think of anyone who still tries to use the apple alternatives seriously :D Office or Google docs... and everytime I try to use sheets for anything more than trivial, I wonder who da f.. can use this thing
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
outlook on mac was really problematic about 3-4 years ago...especially in calendaring. But they've cleaned it up. Office for OSX used to be alot different.. but that was pretty much just OSX being the leading edge of the UX changes in Office and Windows version generally followed along.

I'm not really a fan of Office's changes and the ribbon... as many things just get hidden and hard to find.. but I can't think of anyone who still tries to use the apple alternatives seriously :D Office or Google docs... and everytime I try to use sheets for anything more than trivial, I wonder who da f.. can use this thing
Yeah, I'm not fond of the ribbon either. But...MS went that way a while ago.

My end users were used to it, though. And, there were other issues, largely centered around excel, that caused confusion.

I don't let my users have Outlook (except 1, and he's allowed it only because he signs the checks)...so, that wasn't really an issue I was aware of. :p I force them to live in the google apps environment.

That said, the move to Office 365 has been...frustrating at times. Specifically when the client programs like to forget their user auth and then start screaming about not being "licensed". And, since we are on Google Apps for email services, the emails we use for Office 365 are the "onmicrosoft" sort, so my users tend to forget them.

But, that experience isn't limited to Windows.
 

DarthVader

Sith Lord
Original Poster
The sticker price for an off the shelf current mac is intense. Especially when you start comparing specs to other offerings.
That's one of my issues right now. You can easily find yourself spending nearly 3k on a laptop and that just seems ludicrous.

There are things I like about macos, there are things I like about windows, and likewise, there are things I don't like on both platforms.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
That's one of my issues right now. You can easily find yourself spending nearly 3k on a laptop and that just seems ludicrous.

There are things I like about macos, there are things I like about windows, and likewise, there are things I don't like on both platforms.
Once you start getting above the 1.5k price point, a lot of options open up. And, Apple lives in that price point.

I, personally, have been on a Razer Blade 14" for a year (my previous laptop was a Macbook Pro, but then I was mugged and they stole it).

I adore it. I, especially, like the fact that I have the option (even though I'm not much of a gamer, really) to actually use it to play games. The power for the price means I can do pretty much anything on it that I want. And, as a result, it's basically become my only machine (where as, I used to have a mobile and a gaming desktop...now, I do pretty much everything on this laptop, because...I can).

The only regret, frankly, is that I didn't shell out a few extra hundred for the touchscreen. I didn't think I'd ever want a touchscreen, but now that my users have them, I get the allure in some applications.

But, best laptop I've ever owned. I love the mechanical keyboard. I adore the power it gives me. And, the form factor is just right. Some reviewers didn't like the bezel size, but that doesn't bother me. And, it can be noisy when all the fans are going, but that really isn't common (well, unless you are pressing the video capacity often).
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
Wow, those look like great machines, I need to dig a little more into it. I don't see any 14" models, perhaps they replaced it with a 15". Nonetheless it looks great
Yeah, looks like they did get rid of that model.

https://www.amazon.com/Razer-Blade-Light-Gaming-Laptop/dp/B01N9SSQ9E

That's what I have. The 15.6 looks to be a similar dimension as my 14", though. The slightly larger speakers are a good thing (the speakers are great on this laptop, but sometimes can still be a little too quiet...but, that's common in smaller form factor laptops, really, even macs). Looks like they primarily updated the screen and got rid of the bezel issue I mentioned.

My kid got a Razer Blade Stealth for Christmas. That has also proven to be a very impressive little machine.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077C1K74D/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B077C1K74D&pd_rd_wg=xhNYE&pd_rd_r=JFTYRS6MZ2SCK8KJAZW1&pd_rd_w=jzWBX
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
I personally cannot stand Macs. Their price tags are absurd, IMO. I also personally do not like the OS. Of course, I've always used Windows, so...

I have a Lenovo. It's my second one. My last one was okay, but on its last legs after 3 1/2 years. In retrospect, I should have shelled out more for it. I now own a Lenovo Yoga 720. I'm in love with it. It's super fast. I've brought it into work a few times, and some of the guys (I work in IT, and my boss and I are the only IT women in our building) will come over and drool over it :joyfull:. The only thing I don't like about it is that it lacks a few ports (HDMI, thunderbolt, SD card slot) and only has two USB ports, but I bought a USB expander and some adapters, so it can do what I need it to do. It's super fast and super lightweight, and the battery lasts a long time.

I work in IT asset management, so I'm usually drowning in computers. We primarily use Lenovo Thinkpads and Microsoft Surface Pros since both can "dock" (you put them on a docking station and they can be used as a regular laptop). We've had very good experiences with both. We have three year warranties from our vendor, so generally, that's our policy for keeping them when returned verses recycling them, but I'll get ones returned that people have been using for four or five years without issue. We'll occasionally have to replace them under warranty, but it's rare. The desktops, (Thinkcentres) although we're phasing them out in favor of laptops, last even longer. Some of them I've been getting back lately are over five years old, sometimes six or seven years old.

I've also had a Surface. The only thing I dislike about it is battery life. It's over three years old and still going strong. I've yet to receive any back at work, so I can't speak as to how long they last when used heavily as a daily computer, but people seem to like them.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
I personally cannot stand Macs. Their price tags are absurd, IMO. I also personally do not like the OS. Of course, I've always used Windows, so...

I have a Lenovo. It's my second one. My last one was okay, but on its last legs after 3 1/2 years. In retrospect, I should have shelled out more for it. I now own a Lenovo Yoga 720. I'm in love with it. It's super fast. I've brought it into work a few times, and some of the guys (I work in IT, and my boss and I are the only IT women in our building) will come over and drool over it :joyfull:. The only thing I don't like about it is that it lacks a few ports (HDMI, thunderbolt, SD card slot) and only has two USB ports, but I bought a USB expander and some adapters, so it can do what I need it to do. It's super fast and super lightweight, and the battery lasts a long time.

I work in IT asset management, so I'm usually drowning in computers. We primarily use Lenovo Thinkpads and Microsoft Surface Pros since both can "dock" (you put them on a docking station and they can be used as a regular laptop). We've had very good experiences with both. We have three year warranties from our vendor, so generally, that's our policy for keeping them when returned verses recycling them, but I'll get ones returned that people have been using for four or five years without issue. We'll occasionally have to replace them under warranty, but it's rare. The desktops, (Thinkcentres) although we're phasing them out in favor of laptops, last even longer. Some of them I've been getting back lately are over five years old, sometimes six or seven years old.

I've also had a Surface. The only thing I dislike about it is battery life. It's over three years old and still going strong. I've yet to receive any back at work, so I can't speak as to how long they last when used heavily as a daily computer, but people seem to like them.
Hey there old (young) friend. Have not kept up with you. Interesting you got into Asset Management. Not what I would have predicted for you....but, with your attention to detail, I suspect you are pretty darned good at it.

You make a lot of good points. Ports, in particular. I have to carry a dongle around, when I moved to the Razer. I chose this one:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1222879-REG/dell_rnhdn_usb_type_c_to_hdmi_vga_ethernet_usb.html?ap=y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyMiLpN-p2wIViT2BCh2-tgOaEAQYASABEgKGlfD_BwE

It's really good. I actually have other users on it as well.

Surface, however, has been a bit iffy. I had a first gen Surface and a 2nd gen Surface Pro...and couldn't really mesh how poor they were as tablets, and how poor they were as laptops. I did not invest in the more recent versions.

How have your users responded to those vs traditional laptops? I mean in the sense that they actually do more than browse the company intranet, browse the web, and check emails (which, frankly, can be done on any tablet)....

Also, as a side note, what is your client administration plan for client rotation and lifespan? Do you all have one? I've run across very few companies that do, but you speak like your company does, and I find that interesting. Further, for end user experience, does your organization rely upon client processing? Or do they use virtual desktops?
 
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donsullivan

Premium Member
I've been a Mac user since 1984 and have never seriously considered anything else as my primary tool. I do need to use a number of Windows-only tools like Visio and MS Project for work so I also have Parallels on the laptop at all times as well. I just have the Windows 10 environment in full screen on a separate virtual desktop so I can slide back and forth between both OS at the same time and use whatever tool is best for the problem. I'm currently running a loaded (i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) 2016 13" MacBookPro w/TouchBar and outside of the fact that I could use a little more horsepower, I'm 100% happy with it. I'm looking forward to a potential upgrade being announced at Apple's upcoming WWDC in a little over a week at which point I'm planning to refresh my laptop. As an avid amateur photographer I've also got a 27" Retina iMac that is my primary workhorse when I'm at home. It's my primary machine for photography work but the 13" MBP works extremely well when I'm on the road and need to work on a photo

In order to maintain a fully balanced perspective on what is happening in the Windows space and not become one of those blindly using a Mac people I also recently purchased a base model Microsoft Surface Laptop. I will say, I'm not a fan at all of the port decisions they made on this thing where I have to buy docks to connection virtually anything but otherwise it's not all that bad a laptop.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
I’m still using a 2008 MacBook Pro. To me, the problem with Macs right now is that many of the lower priced options are still expensive but haven’t been updated in a few years.
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
I've been a Mac user since 1984 and have never seriously considered anything else as my primary tool. I do need to use a number of Windows-only tools like Visio and MS Project for work so I also have Parallels on the laptop at all times as well. I just have the Windows 10 environment in full screen on a separate virtual desktop so I can slide back and forth between both OS at the same time and use whatever tool is best for the problem. I'm currently running a loaded (i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) 2016 13" MacBookPro w/TouchBar and outside of the fact that I could use a little more horsepower, I'm 100% happy with it. I'm looking forward to a potential upgrade being announced at Apple's upcoming WWDC in a little over a week at which point I'm planning to refresh my laptop. As an avid amateur photographer I've also got a 27" Retina iMac that is my primary workhorse when I'm at home. It's my primary machine for photography work but the 13" MBP works extremely well when I'm on the road and need to work on a photo

In order to maintain a fully balanced perspective on what is happening in the Windows space and not become one of those blindly using a Mac people I also recently purchased a base model Microsoft Surface Laptop. I will say, I'm not a fan at all of the port decisions they made on this thing where I have to buy docks to connection virtually anything but otherwise it's not all that bad a laptop.
Interesting you are on a Mac 13"...but talk about port issues on the Surface?
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
I’m still using a 2008 MacBook Pro. To me, the problem with Macs right now is that many of the lower priced options are still expensive but haven’t been updated in a few years.
I am still on a Kaypro.

I can't understand why they haven't updated.
 
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