I Know, MacBooks Are Tempting, But…
Okay, You’ve likely read the title and thought to yourself, Blimey what is this guy talking about, but hear me out!
I’m a huge fan of Apple products including MacBooks and I will always recommend them.
However, based on my experience of working in IT in many industries including a university, I believe a Windows laptop may be better suited.
On a side note, everything I talk about in this article depends on the university you attend and the course you are studying, it’s always worth double-checking.
But without any further ado, here are the reasons you should get a Windows laptop for university…
Your university may provide better support for Windows
This is something I noticed while studying at both of the universities I studied in, but it may have been down to the fact that I was studying computer science.
Anyway, the preferred operating system seemed to be Windows, it was even mentioned in the course guides saying that the preferred operating system was Windows and that staff may not be able to provide much support if something goes wrong.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this approach, I mean MacOS is awesome, but I see why they are doing it, they don’t want to spend time trying to figure out why something isn’t working on one operating system when they can be using that time more wisely.
Universities also tend to provide fully licensed premium software to use for the course, but I have noticed limitations such as software needing to be requested if it was to be used on a Mac.
On a personal note, I always found it easier to follow along with what the lecturer was demonstrating on their Windows laptop, but once again this could be fully down to the computer science degree I was studying.
Windows laptops are cheaper to buy and maintain
I’m not going to lie, MacBooks are beautiful devices! They are thin and perfect to carry with you everywhere you go. But they do come at a price!
A basic brand-new MacBook Air will set you back over £1000, that’s expensive!
Some may say that that’s a great investment to make, after all, it will be the device that will help you achieve that awesome grade!
But what happens when you’re halfway through your degree and you accidentally spill that coffee on it? You will likely take it to the Apple Store and they’re going to either tell you to get a new one or charge a monumental amount of money to get it repaired, so you may as well buy a new one.
That’s where Windows laptops come in, you can find a pretty reliable Windows laptop starting from around £500. If you had to spend that money again after 1 or 2 years, it would still work out cheaper than buying a new MacBook or repairing your old one.
But there is an alternative! You could buy second-hand MacBooks!
Windows laptops also tend to be easier and cheaper to upgrade, provided the laptop you buy is upgradable.
Windows is the most common operating system in the workplace!
If you decide to get a Windows laptop, you are effectively futureproofing yourself for the industry. I’ve worked in many different jobs here in the UK with the exception of some media departments, the main operating system these companies used was always Windows.
We all know how Windows can behave from time to time, learning the ins and outs of an operating system can prove to be extremely beneficial, especially in industry.
Not only will it help you become more productive, but it will also help you become the office geek, which could go as far as helping you in career progression.
It’s always the little things that make a big difference!
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use MacBooks at all, it’s just something to bear in mind!
Many companies that I’ve worked for have classed themselves as “Windows Houses”, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I know there’s a lot of talk on social media suggesting that only poor companies use Windows devices and that all the posh and rich companies choose to go with MacBooks.
In my opinion, this is nonsense and the reason for that is simple, when it comes to organisations, the laptops or computers that they are using on the desks, are just the front-facing side of it all. In the background, there are often several state-of-the-art servers as well as infrastructure that simply work best with Windows.
It’s also worth knowing that in many cases, companies use specialist software that simply isn’t available on macOS but is available on Windows.
At the end of the day, the decision on whether you buy a MacBook or Windows laptop is yours. As with many big purchases, there are several things to consider before spending your money.
The idea of this article is to explain some of the things you need to know before making the final purchase decision.
My biggest tip to you is to get in touch with your lecturers or the university and simply ask the question, Is a MacBook suitable for my course or should I be looking somewhere else?
This entire blog post is based on my experience as a university student as well as an IT professional.