It's Still A Personal Choice
If you are reading this post.... that's great...as it is number 54 and its only Monday, August 26, 2013! That being said my post might be redundant. Obviously, there are a lot of member suggestions given as to why or why you shouldn't move to an Apple PC.
Before, I begin I'll say this..."Don't let your currrent frustration cloud your judgement. The problems you are having could be due to any number of factors - OS version, age, viruses, program incompatibility, a failing component and the list goes on". So here's my two-cents and as Lee suggested I'll keep my comments neutral to allow YOU to make your own informed decision.
I work in a Windows 8 and a Mac OSX Mountain Lion environment primarily to stay abreast of both technologies. I feel comfortable with either one. My units are a Sony Vaio Duo 11 (2013), MacBook Pro 17" (early 2011) and an iMac 27" (late 2009). Truth be known, I have more Apple centric products such as iPads, iPods, Airport Express and the newest Airport Time Capsule (which is also my router). I use iTunes and iCloud to sync all my devices together (i.e. music, contacts, bookmarks and documents). However, I also use Windows SkyDrive for document sync as well. Finally, ...get this...I SHARE DOCUMENTS BETWEEN BOTH PLATFORMS!
Making the Transition
On the surface you are probably asking yourself what does my telling you about all my toys have to do with helping you to make an informed buying decision? Well, here's the thing...Windows and Mac environments can co-exist together. Which says, Mary, you don't have to worry about losing your Windows information (i.e. documents, contacts, bookmarks or music) if you decide to move to an Apple product. In fact Apple offers migration assistance at an Apple Store Genius Bar or if you feel adventurous there's online help using the Migration Assistant at:
There are also 3rd party software programs such as Parallels or VMFusion Ware that can be found at the links below, which can help with the migration:
Parallels or VMFusion Ware will also allow you to run Windows (with near full functionality) as a virtual program on your Apple PC.
You can also install Windows as a standalone program via Boot Camp, which is native to every Mac OSX sold. However, I would not run Boot Camp on a HD/SSD with less than 256GB. The best recommendation is a 512GB or larger HD/SSD if you plan to run Boot Camp. This is because you must dedicate (i.e. partition) a portion of the HD/SSD to Boot Camp typically 75GB - 100GB minimum to allow enough headroom for the Windows OS and any MS centric program - for example MSOffice. A portion of your RAM is also used when Boot Camp is launched but is released back to the Mac OSX when Boot Camp is closed.
If you choose not to use any of the aforementioned you can still save documents created in Pages, Keynote and Numbers as MSWord, PowerPoint or Excel documents (which are the Mac equivalents to those programs). If you want to create or open and/or edit MSOffice documents sent as an email attachment or from a USB drive there is Microsoft Office for Mac (click link):
Finally, Windows based 3rd party programs may not migrate unless there is a Mac version that came along with your initial purchase. If not you'll have to purchase the Mac version if available.
Windows OS vs. Mac OSX
There are others from a programing viewpoint probably more qualified than I to comment on this aspect but I'll give you my short opinion. Without getting too technical about NTFS vs. FAT32 vs. OSX Journalized, 32 bit vs. 64 bit (yes there are 32 bit kernels - inside 64 bit systems), Linx vs. Everyone...
You'll most likely experience less OS administration and maintenance with an Apple PC. There are less security risks and most software is more closely integrated with OSX, which affords a more enjoyable user experience.
However, nothing is perfect. I've had a few issues with OSX and spent time on the phone with Apple Care. Mac's will eventually become sluggish and unresponsive over time just like any computer.
Windows 8 - IMO is a greatly improved OS despite all the negative press. Which IMO - is more of a resistance to change versus a subpar OS. I remember when OSX was a challenge!
For more opinions on this subject click the link:
Buying - Windows PC vs. Apple PC
Any Apple PC is going to be at a premium (price point) versus a Windows PC - ALL things being equal. What do you get for those extra bucks... well typically:
1. Cutting edge design *
2. Better build quality *
3. Enhanced display (Retina)
4. More stable OS with fewer security issues **
5. Less (or no) bloat-ware
6. Great customer service and tech support with AppleCare Extended Warranty
7. Better integration with your other Apple products
* I would add that Windows PC's by some high-end manufacturers (i.e. Lenovo, Sony and Asus to name few) are closing the gap versus Apple in these areas.
** Windows is a more heavily targeted operating system by hackers due to its wide deployment not only in the home but in the business community which makes it the target of choice.
After all the hoop-la you have to make a decision regarding portability as well as how much processing speed and storage you require. The UltraBook category is going to be the most portable at less than 3 pounds. The Apple MacBook Air is the benchmark to this category. As a disclaimer UltraBook actually refers to a specific model build that meets certain Intel specifications, but weight has been added to that category by the community at-large.
UltraBooks, although the most portable typically have less storage with 128GB as the base - configurable to 256GB and a few with 512GB. UltraBooks have also been noted to have less than stellar battery life. However, the new Intel processors are said to make a big difference in extending that life between charges. UltraBooks are typically purchased "as is" with little to no upgrade capability. So get as much spec as you can (i.e. SSD, RAM -6 GB if possible and i5 processor or better)
Once you move out of the UltraBook category screen size typically increases to 15" as a desktop replacement with storage up to 1TB. Look to the MacBook Pro for comparison. RAM regardless of category should be no less than 4GB (6GB is preferable for Windows 8 Touch Screen). Processor should be i5 or better for video editing with 8 GB RAM preferred (IMO an i5 should be the base for all PC's). Do not purchase a Windows 8 PC that is not touch screen capable as your user experience will be disappointing.
I would also recommend that any PC have USB 3.0 ports, the latest 3rd Gen Intel processor, 802.11ac Network Card, (may still be too new to market at the time you buy), HDMI port - Apple uses Thunderbolt port here as well. Ethernet ports, SD Card slots and Thunderbolt ports are nice options. The first two can be handled with an extra cost USB dongle connector if not resident on the unit and the latter although not required is a nice upgrade for faster transfer speeds versus USB 3.0.
Remember that with compactness comes a higher price versus a similarly configured unit with a larger screen and sometimes more storage and RAM.
You stated your primary use for a PC would be email, general word processing, pictures and video. Let's discuss each individually. All comments assume you are using MS products - If using 3rd party programs there's probably a Mac equivalent that will work with OSX (a possible exception being video editing):
Nothing to be overly concerned about here as far as receiving messages once you have the client setup. However, you will notice a difference in the client look and editing options. The OSX mail client doesn't show all options by default (as with Outlook). Learning curve 1 (low)- 5 (high): 2.5
General Word Processing
The assumption here is that you don't do any forms creation, inserts or other mid to high-level document creation. Pages which is the OSX version of MSWord has an entirely different look and feel. However most of the basic functions are visible by default but just in different locations (i.e. create, edit and save etc). The differences for some are far better than with Word and for some not so much. It really depends upon your ability to grasp the subtle differences. Learning Curve 1 (low)- 5 (high): 3
When comparing the native import, save and edit programs for Windows vs. OSX the functionality is very different. Here again it's a personal choice as to which one you prefer - they both work with jpeg, tiff, raw, png etc. Learning Curve 1 (low)- 5 (high): 3.5
Not knowing your level of video editing expertise (i.e. novice, advanced, expert) it's really comes down to personal or professional use. For Personal use most will prefer the OSX editing program iMovie to any native Windows program. For Professional use - iMovie and other extra cost OSX editing programs have been touted as far superior to similar Windows programs. That's fine in the professional world as long as all other clients using the end product are in the OSX eco-system. If the final video will be used in a Windows environment some conversion may be necessary which may not be seamless thus making the OSX product (albeit better) less attractive. Learning Curve 1 (low)- 5 (high): 4.5
You will notice that the Close, Minimize and Expand buttons are on the opposite side of the program bar versus the same buttons in Windows programs.
That's all I have Mary. I've probably forgotten something but I'm confident it was covered in someone else's post. Good luck with your decision and happy computing.
Together Everyone Achieves More
I made the assumption that you meant "video creation/editing". If you were only refering to "watching" video via a live feed or USB DVD player (as onboard players are for the most part non-existent regardless of the manufacturer) then there are no problems nor learning curve. Either the native video software or a 3rd party software (most come in both Windows and Mac flavors) will do the trick. Some compressed video formats may require an additional plug-in, but here again that could be the same for Windows or Apple OSX.
Once again good luck with your decision.
Note: This post was edited by its original author to merge 2 post into one. on 08/30/2013 at 3:58 PM PT