If you’re looking at getting a new laptop or computer, you’ve got to decide between the two main operating systems; Mac and Windows. These two softwares are made by different companies, but their actual differences go way beyond a simple logo.
Whilst Windows computers are still the most used on the market, Apple have narrowed the gap down in the past few years – and there’s a good reason for that. It can often come down to personal preference, but there are some features that make one better than the other.
If you have get used to the steep learning curve with Apple products, then for certain activities (like design), they can be the superior choice. Let’s check out both of them so you can work out the best operating system and which one offers a greater experience for your needs.
Mac vs Windows Laptops – Which is best?
Windows is by far the market leader, with approximately 80% of computers running the operating system. This may make it seem like the obvious choice out of the two.
However, the truth is that they’re actually declining in popularity with competitors like Apple taking up more of the market. At the start of 2010, Apple only made up 5% of the laptop and desktop market, whereas now they’re closer to 15% of the overall share. There’s been an increase in users for alternative operating systems like Linux too.
And using a Mac is a completely different experience to a Windows PC. Each has their own pros and cons depending on what it is you’re looking for in a laptop or computer. So, what’s the actual difference? If you’re new to computing, then I’ll run through the basics pretty quickly.
Basic Overview: Macs and PCs
The first big, glaring difference that jumps to mind is that they’re made by different manufacturers. This might sound simple and obvious (it is), but it’s actually a crucial reason why Apple have increased so much in popularity over the last decade.
Windows PCs can be made by a whole range of companies that all have Microsoft’s operating system pre-installed. Whilst Microsoft, who make Windows, do have their own line of laptops too, other brands have to licence their software for their device.
This means that a Windows laptop comes in different brands – Lenovo, Dell and HP being a few of the main ones. In comparison to this, Macs are only made by Apple. In some people’s eyes, this gives them the advantage of controlling both the software and the hardware in their devices, whereas Windows only make the software.
We can see this now more than ever before. How? Well, with the release of Apple’s M1 chip, they’re really proving the advantage of being in control of everything. Apple make the laptop or computer hardware itself, the operating system and now the processor and graphics card too.
Whereas with a Windows laptop, you may have Dell make the laptop hardware, Microsoft create the operating system and then have to rely on Intel or AMD for the processor. The M chip looks like it’s going to be a game changer for the iMac and Macbooks in the coming years, with newer more powerful processors on the immediate horizon for Apple computers.
Apple devices are custom-built to run a Mac OS and their hardware is integrated seamlessly into the user experience. The Mac OS can only run on Mac computers. These are Apple manufactured and built specifically for using this OS.
Windows is made by Microsoft can run on a variety of devices. You can even boot windows up on your Mac in you’re inclined towards that.
The Mac OS: Easy to use, less vulnerability but also less programs
Macs are essentially just PCs built to run the Mac OS. They feature a different interface that is pretty distant from what you might know in Windows.
As we’ve already touched on, one of the main difference is that Macs are only produced by Apple. This means the hardware and software you’re using are considerably more in-sync.
You won’t be locked out of any feature by your hardware as you would with a PC. This has a lot of benefits, especially if you’re looking for a smooth and polished experience.
In terms of security, Macs tend to be safer. They’re more stable since their software and hardware are in sync. There also isn’t as much malware created to attack Macs. This is largely due to the amounts of them out there in the world, as most malware is made for Windows device.
Since PCs are used by 80% of the world, a hacker would get better results targeting them for your malicious malware. This doesn’t mean there aren’t viruses for Macs, but they’re a lot rarer since there are fewer potential victims.
One big drawback of Macs is they aren’t very modular or repairable. Apple would prefer it if you never touched the insides of your Mac and replaced it the second it slowed down or broke.
They have this approach to everything they make. This is criticised as being anti-consumer, and it has even gotten them into trouble with regulators before.
This isn’t the end of the world though. There are repairs available to you both from Apple and third-party repairers, but parts are more expensive and it often voids your warranty to fiddle with anything outside of an Apple store.
With Apple products, there are a few things that stand out when considering what is good about them. Here’s a few of their best points.
At the other end, although Mac users may tell you their laptop is perfect, this isn’t actually the case. There’s more than 1 criticism about their products.
Benefits of a Macbook (Using the Mac OS)
Here are some of the benefits of choosing a Macbook over a Windows laptop.
Windows PCs are the vast majority of devices out there, so it is actually quite hard to make any generalisations about them. This is kind of what makes them different from Macs. With a Mac, you have a choice between a big Mac or a small Mac – and that’s about it.
A desktop Mac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook air all run essentially the same but with a few added features. If we tried to list all the different devices that can run windows you would be here for a very long time.
Windows is an operating system that is built to work in as many varied places as possible. This is comparable to Android; the focus is on building an accessible platform. It means that Windows PCs are generally the norm, most computers just run Windows as standard.
Windows PCs have a much greater software library since they have a bigger audience. They also have a much bigger library of malware and viruses though. Proper protective software is a lot more important on a PC than a Mac.
One big benefit of having an operating system that runs on just about anything is how upgradable a PC is. You can swap out components, mess around with elements of your build, or even put an entire PC together from odd parts and have it run windows.
In the argument between the two, there are those that think Windows is best. Here’s a few of the reasons why they might think so.
In the battle between Mac vs PC, it’s only fair we mention the downsides you may face with a Windows device too.
Benefits of using a Windows Laptop (Windows OS)
It’s only fair that we look at some of the advantages of using a Windows laptop, too!
What is similar with Mac and Windows?
Mac and Windows might be pretty different, but they have a lot of similarities. If you’re looking to switch between them, these are the things that will essentially still be the same
Which is better, Mac or PC?
Ultimately which is better out of these two operating systems is going to come down to which type of device you’re looking for. If you’re building a gaming PC, then Windows is pretty much your only choice.
A lot of games don’t run on Mac, and they’re incompatible with the modular upgrade system that allows for most gaming PCs to be upgraded over time.
Mac hardware is locked out of high-performing games. Equally, if you’re looking for something on a budget that you can repair and upgrade as you need to rather than replacing wholesale, then a PC is better for you.
If you go for a Mac, it is specifically because you want a Mac. Its pros are essential that it is a lot more cohesive and gives a different experience. They cost more, often lack software, and can be complicated for people who have only ever used Windows PCs.
However, these pros are definitely worth it for some people. But, if you’re looking for a laptop on a budget, then a Mac isn’t going to be for you.
Macs provide a fluid intuitive experience, and you don’t need to spend much time researching which device to buy. Every Mac can handle the majority of office activities without breaking a sweat, which makes them a lot easier to buy than a Windows PC.
The difference between Mac and Windows comes down to a lot of factors, but your choice between them only comes down to what you want from a PC.
Most people struggle to decide between the two, so don’t worry if you are – you definitely aren’t alone. In my mind, it’s quite simple to decide whether you should opt for one over the other.
If you’re want the best deal possible, are an avid gamer, use Microsoft Excel a lot or you want more control over your laptop in general, then you should definitely opt for Windows. Windows laptops will give you a powerful laptop for your price.
However if you’re a graphic designer or an artist, or you want a simple experience, then it’s a better idea to opt for Apple, as their user experience is second to none in my opinion.
Do Macs last longer than Windows?
If you’re comparing a Mac to a Lenovo Thinkpad, then I wouldn’t say that they last much longer on average. But the Thinkpad is just one specific type of Windows laptop. If we compare across the whole board, then generally Macs will last longer than a Windows laptop. Apple put a lot of time into making their products durable and they last for longer than the average laptop.
Do Macs need antivirus like Windows?
One thing that you’ve probably heard is that Macs are less susceptible to viruses than Windows laptop. This is true, as Macs are UNIX based, which is generally safer than a Windows laptop.
Is it hard to switch from Windows to Mac?
If you’re a little worried about making the switch between the two, then you don’t need to think about it too much. For most people, it might take a few weeks for them to get used to using a Macbook. But after this, you should get used to the device pretty easily and find it straightforward for you to use.
Is Windows 10 free for Mac?
If you want to use Windows 10 on your Macbook, then you can still do so pretty easily. You can use Boot Camp Assistant to set Windows 10 up on your Apple laptop. It is a fairly straightforward process, although many people prefer to stay with the Mac OS.
Is Mac faster than Windows?
Again, if you compare a Macbook to a standard Windows laptop, then a Mac is going to be faster. But that’s because Mac only really deal in premium computers. If you compare a Macbook Air to a premium line from a Windows brand, then you’re not going to notice much difference in terms of speed.
What is an operating system?
At their simplest, Mac and Windows boil down to their operating systems. This is the software that runs your PC, everything that you interact with when you’re using it. It’s an important software, as it allows your laptop and all of the programs you install to work together.
Overall, these are just a few reasons why I’d opt for one brand over the other. The reality is that both brands have their ups and downs, and it really depends on your criteria and what you want from a laptop more than anything else.
It’s difficult to compare them in terms of build quality, as each model will be slightly different. It’s fair to say that on average, Macs are the better choice – but that’s only averaging them both out (and Apple only have two laptops to choose from!).
They’re likely to prove better for different tasks. If video editing and other graphic design jobs, a higher end Macbook will probably be the better option. But if you want more for your money, then you’re definitely better sticking with Windows.
Hello, I’m Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we’re now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I’m a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).