- The Out-of-Box Experience
Apple has this one hands-down. Sure PCs have gotten easier to
set up, but nothing comes close to the ease-of-setup for an
iMac or iBook. From the clear printed instructions to the clever
setup wizard, Macs provide a better OOBE (Out Of Box Experience)
than most PCs.
- User Interface
You can argue with me all you like but I still think the Mac
user interface is more elegant than any Windows version yet,
not to mention more precise and more logical. And, from what
I've seen of Mac OS X, due later this year, Mac OS will maintain
its lead for a long time to come.
PowerPC outperforms Pentium. It's that simple. A G4 running
Photoshop or even Microsoft Excel, is a beautiful thing to behold.
It doesn't get much faster.
Macs have it all over Windows here, too. All Macs include sound.
All Macs include video. All Macs include Ethernet. All Macs
include USB. And finally, most Macs now include FireWire. While
many PCs come with those things these days, most of them are
not "on the motherboard" and are not integrated into your hardware
and software as seamlessly as they are on the Mac.
QuickTime. Built in. For free with your OS. Need I say more?
Just about any Mac made can be connected to almost any other
Mac for sharing files. All you need is a proper cable or, for
recent versions of Mac OS, an Internet connection.
- Cost of
Some say PCs are cheaper but I say "no way." Don't forget that
you have to add stuff like a better sound or video card, plus
a SCSI and/or Ethernet card, to obtain parity with off-the-shelf
Macs. And I would venture that Mac people keep their Macs longer
than PC people keep their PCs.
What can I say? All of my recent Macs have been absolutely flawless
with FireWire and USB peripherals. Most of these devices include
a 1-click software installer; after that, the thing just works.
All but one device I've plugged in over the past few months
-- cameras, PDAs, printers, storage systems, tablets, mice,
and more -- has worked the first time and every time thereafter.
And the one device that didn't work was cured almost instantly
by an easily-located (and easily installed) software driver
If you believe the future of expansion is in FireWire and USB
devices, as I do, you'll understand why I believe Macs have
all the expandability you need. If you require more expandability
you can get a G4 minitower, with an upgradeable processor, lots
of internal storage bays, and 3 PCI slots. If you have modest
expansion needs, an iMac or iBook will suit you just fine. In
any event you should have no problem finding expansion solutions
for whichever Macintosh you choose.
Macs are just cooler. I've seen kids come over to our house
and ooh and aah over our two iMacs and our flat-screen Apple
Studio Display. No offense, but kids don't usually ooh and aah
over a Gateway or a Compaq.
I'd like to
point out that these are my opinions. Please don't feel obligated
to write and tell me I'm wrong. An opinion is never wrong and everyone
is entitled to theirs. These are mine.
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LeVitus is a leading authority on the Mac OS and the author of 34
books, including Mac OS 9 For Dummies. E-mail comments
to [email protected].