It’s the Age-Old Question, Mac or PC?

MacBook Pro or Toshiba P840?

I need a new computer. I’ve had my Toshiba Satellite A100 since August of 2006. I “built” it myself on complete with a Sunset Copper lid. We have been very happy together for the past six years. And while it’s still a good computer, it’s time for a new one. It is getting slow and giving me messages that it can’t quite keep up with my demands anymore. The hard drive is small, and I need some room to stretch out without having to run get my back up drive all the time. And it is heavy and hot, and the batter has long been dead. I’m getting a little tired of having to untangle my legs from the cord when I want to get up.

As much as I love my little cooper baby, it’s time for a new laptop.

Back in 1992, when we got our first personal computer, after much experimenting with both Macs and PCs, we decided that Mac was a million times easier for us to use. Especially since our boys were five and two years old at the time. Our youngestcould climb up into the desk chair, turn on the Mac Performa 400, and with a couple of clicks he was playing Playhouse with ease. It’s amazing to me that today I have more computing power and storage space in my cell phone than that computer had with its 4 MB of RAM and 80 MB hard drive. I remember having to drive across Houston to the one place that sold Apple software, because programs were few and hard to find. But difficulties aside, we were a Mac family and proud of it.

During the homeschooling years, I fell in love with a curriculum called Switched-On Schoolhouse. It was only available PC and not for Macs. I tried installing Windows on our old Mac, but it just slowed the entire computer down. So we got a Compaq desktop and discovered the joys of being a PC family. A whole world of available and more affordable software opened up to us. We were hooked. We became a PC family.

As the times progressed and we found we each needed our own personal personal computer, we stuck with Windows based laptops. Trying to fill the computing needs of four people, we didn’t even give the more expensive Apple computers a second glance.

And then our youngest became a computer science major. And now half of us are back to Apple laptops.

The CS major knows a little more about computers than we do as consumers. He tells us how much better Macs are and why. And I know he’s right because I’ve read all the same arguments on smart people’s websites, and because he’s an intelligent kid who dives deep into any subject he’s interested in and learns it well. And he is an incredible at comparative shopping (it’s a family trait, on his dad’s side). So when his dad asked him for advice, it’s no wonder the man came home with a MacBook Pro.

So now it’s my turn to be a comparative shopper, and I’ve been studying and reading articles and listening to advice. It’s hard not to just follow that pied piper son of mine and buy the MacBook Pro, but I’ve got a few problems with it. The largest of which is price.

I’ve been putting money away since December in anticipation of this purchase. I’ve got a nice chunk of change saved, enough for either a Mac or a PC. But that doesn’t mean I need to spend it all. The MacBook Pro I want is $1299 to $1499, depending on which model I go with. The Toshiba P840 is $829. These prices are after I customize them with the upgrades I want in RAM, hard drive space, etc. That’s a difference of anywhere from $470 to $670. I could almost buy two Toshibas for the price of the Mac!

There’s also the difference in speakers. My husband has the same MacBook Pro that I would get if I got the less expensive of the two. I tested it against my Toshiba’s Harman/Kardon speakers, and there was no comparison. The H/K speakers blew the Mac speakers away. I don’t often need to fill a room with the music coming from my computer, but when I do, I want to have great sound.

Then there’s the fact that the Mac doesn’t have two of the ports I use. My son assures me I can buy adapters. I checked them at Best Buy. They run about $25 each. Even more money.

When I have to replace something, like a computer, I love to get something new and different, not just the same thing updated. So the idea of getting a MacBook excites me! So much to explore! And I think I could work with my photos more efficiently, even just using the software that comes with it.

They say there aren’t as many programs out there for Mac as there are for PC, but other than updating Microsoft Office and Outlook, I don’t remember the last time I needed to buy a program for my computer. Even so, I love that you can buy programs for the Mac at the Apple App Store like you can for the iPhone and iPad. There’s some fun and useful programs on there. Toshiba has its own App Store. I looked into it. You don’t so much buy their apps as you rent them, or actually pay for a subscription. And you don’t download them onto your computer; they run out of the Cloud. Their apps are more expensive, and they don’t have near as many of them. I guess that kind of flies in the face of the old argument about not having as much software for Macs, doesn’t it?

I think I’d probably be happy with either computer. They each have their good and not so good points. I just need to pray about it some more, and figure out which one will make me more than happier. (Excuse the pun. It was just right there. I had to say it.)