By: Melanie Roberts

Picking the right college for yourself is an important decision, along with choosing the right laptop that will last you through college. Students have to decide if a Mac or PC is a reliable and functional laptop for their educational career. Each type of laptop strengths and weaknesses. The University of Saint Mary has a variety of laptop preferences and finding out the decision behind the choice comes down to price, features, and degree.

The division is between Mac and PC on which laptop is best for the needs and wants of a college student. Mac is manufactured by Apple Inc. and PC refers to personal computer, and varies from several companies such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Windows, Toshiba, Acer, Samsung, etc. These computers offer different operating systems. The Mac is operated by Mac OS X and PC’s offer various types of operating systems like Windows, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.

Along with operating systems, they both offer different applications that come on the laptop. Mac offers Photos, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Safari, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, Calendar, Contacts, App Store, iTunes, iBooks, Maps, Photo Booth, Time Machine. Popular applications for a PC are MS Office, Internet Explorer, Media Player, Media Center, Windows Defender, SkyDrive, VLC media player, Chrome browser.

Alexis Solis, a senior criminal justice major at USM, states why she prefers a PC over a Mac.

“I use an HP because it is very light to carry around in my backpack and my major doesn’t require me to use anything other than word and the Internet,” said Solis.

The followers of @USM_JCOM voted on which laptop they prefer in college. The poll included 21 participants choosing: 64% Mac, 9% Dell, 14% HP, and 13% other. In comparison was a study by Jamf an Apple Device Management company that surveyed 2,2200 college students. Altogether, 71% either have a Mac or wish they did. Breaking down the results, 40% use Mac, 31% use PC but prefer Mac, and 29% use and prefer PC.

Associate Art Professor Susan Nelson states why she prefers a Mac over other laptops, “The first computer I used was a Mac. I like the way they work and navigation especially makes perfect sense for a visual learner. They are designed especially for artist’s software, like Adobe.”

The University of Saint Mary has a Mac lab with 14 iMacs where classes such as Graphic Design, Applied Electronic Journalism, Computer Graphics along with others offered, are taught.

Senior Abagail Gonzales, a psychology major at the University of Saint Mary has used a MacBook Pro all four years of her college experience.

“I use my laptop in college every day. That is why I chose to pay the extra money for Mac over other laptops because they are high quality and a reliable laptop that allows me to get my school work done smoothly,” she said. “I have to write papers that are research-based. It is helpful to have a Mac because I can have multiple pages open at once and it runs fast.”

Depending on a student’s major, their laptop selection plays a huge role in the decision of why they need certain features on a laptop for their major.

Additionally, prices play a significant influence on the choice of a laptop for a college student. MacBook Pro 15” is the most expensive laptop in comparison to others that have 16 GB ram storage, costing $2,799.00. Microsoft Surface 2 is just below the cost of a Mac at $2,699.00. A middle-priced laptop is the HP Envy, which falls just under a thousand dollars at $949.99. Lenovo ThinkPad is $899.00. Lastly, the lowest priced 16 GB ram storage laptop is Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 is $879.99.

Based on the research gathered from both surveys, one can conclude that Mac is preferred over PC by most college students. Overall, the particular laptop students choose comes down to the preferences they believe best suits their major’s needs, personal budget, and functionality.

Melanie Roberts is a senior at the University of Saint Mary and is studying Digital Communications.

Mac Vs. PC