Mac vs. PC for the average college student
I must start off to say that I am only in the 10 grade in High School at the moment, not a university, but I have a Dell XPS M1530, and my sister has a MacBook Pro; so I can give a little insight to this decision.
First off, you wont be able to purchase a MacBook Pro with the average price range of $2000, or the XPS M1530 (unless you order it with stripped down features, it cost me $2200 including tax) the PC is generally a more for your money kind of deal - especially in the $1500 range. This also includes the fact that Apple, Inc. doesn't sponsor deals in any of their stores or online on their computers so you're stuck with their retail price and their retail price only.
The entire MacBook line is generally more portable than the PC laptop line, but comes at the price of power - and the Macintosh operating system. By this I'm not saying that Windows is any better, especially considering the current civil war raging in the PC world against XP and Vista; but with the PC you can install Windows XP, Windows Vista, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, and the whole 9 yards.
With features, the average PC contains an entire reservoir of them while Apple Inc. only gives their Macintosh line hardly a puddle. What I mean by this is quite simply, take a look at the Dell XPS M1330 (the "sister laptop" to my XPS M1530). It contains an entire strip of touch sensitive controls, a greatly sized track-pad with both vertical and horizontal dedicated scrolling bars built in, Dell Media Direct which can be booted into to view presentations, DVD's, videos, pictures, y muy mas (and much more) so that you don't have to boot into Windows which can be very battery consuming. The MacBook and MacBook Pro are as generic as laptops get with these types of features. Dell also includes an S-Video out and HDMI out for high definition TV hook-ups. With the MacBook, you are also stuck to a 160GB hard drive, where you can get up to 360GB easily and cheaply with a PC.
Now for software. As far as Windows vs. Mac OS X, here is where the battle gets a little interesting. Mac OS X has no viruses, however spyware can still be a threat. Network set-up in Mac is a Pain especially if you are trying to set one up between Mac and PC. Considering Mac holds less than 8% of the market, you better hope that if you need to set one up, the other computer is a Mac. Remote Desktop (from what I understand is for some reason a necessity in college) doesn't properly work between PC and Mac - so, once again, unless all of your friends and professors have a Mac, and you buy one, don't expect to have this feature up and running any time soon.
Apple does indeed have the benefit of installing Windows OS onto it (32-bit versions anyway) under VMware server or workstation; or of course Leopard's new feature BootCamp. A PC can run Mac OS X (illegally, though) through Iatkos or Kallyway.
Oh and by the way, don't listen to Apple's whole 300+ new features BS. If you are listening to that, it shouldn't change any debate between the PC and Mac. You see, the main new features include Spaces, Time Machine, and BootCamp. First of all, BootCamp is immune to this argument since it is a feature for the Microsoft Windows OS. Next we have Time Machine. Wait a minute. Does Windows not have a backup and restore system? Oh wait - yes, and it's even better than Mac's as it can back and restore your entire operating system unlike Time Machine. Lastly, we have Spaces. Has no one heard of the Vista Desktop Manager? Anybody? Are you kidding.
As seen above, those 300- - - features only apply to previous versions of Macintosh, which were so un-advanced they hadn't included these simple features yet. Unlike the PC, which had all of these features in Vista, XP, and 2000. "Apple" give me a break. Period.
So all in all, the PC looks like it wins this prestigious battle. If you were considering Mac because of Vista's flaws, don't. Vista may contain a few errors, but unless you want a broken window from throwing your mac out through it, save the pain and suffering, and stick with PC.
By: Kyle Keller (win2go.blogspot.com)