Are Macs Really Worth The Price Tag?

Ever since Apple first made its appearance in an office environment, there has been an ongoing debate as to which one is better suited for businesses and personal use.

Here at Lucidica we have supported businesses on Mac, Windows and Linux since 1999. Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a few improvements to the operating systems that we implemented into the list below to help understand what it is that makes the choice so difficult.

We support PCs and Mac and have about 20% Macs (4 times the market share). We have found the following to be true…

First, let’s look at the benefits of using an Apple Mac computer.

Stylish, which makes the office look professional.

If you work in a modern and minimalistic office space, using Macs is almost like the cherry on top. When Apple decided to ditch the CD Drive, it gave its iMac a well-executed slender finish with the ability to compliment the workspace. Windows computers can often make office space feel clunky and crowded, without the unique finish that Apple strive for.

 

You can split the drives if you want to.

Mac can, unlike Windows, split its Hard drives to operate both Windows and OSX.

Windows computers slow down a lot faster than Macs.

Because Apple designed its operating system in a way that only allowed the installation of applications and software that had been verified by them, it means that less unsafe data passes through (this it is why it is so easy to uninstall programs on a Mac). Mac also do not create as many temporary files as Windows computers, meaning there is little to no need to defrag them.

The built-in apps offer the user a lot right from the get-go.

The days of Macphobia are in the past- with apps such as iMovie, iPhoto, Facetime, Garageband and Pages already loaded straight out of the box, it means you can utilise your tools without having to download anything. These apps are also constantly updated via the Appstore, to ensure that the user experience of those apps is perfectly optimised.

Less of a target for Cybercrime (for now).

Mac have always boasted that their operating system is much more secure than Windows. In some respects, this is true as hackers and cyber criminals tend to cater viruses and other malicious software towards Windows PCs because they are the majority, meaning that the attacks succession rate is higher. This does not excuse the fact that Apple Macs are still under threat from online cyber-attacks, as there are viruses that target Mac users specifically. All I’m saying is there are less attacks in general.

With the positives, come the inevitable negatives (try saying that really fast over and over). Below is a list of things that Windows have the edge on.

Macs are usually much more expensive.

It goes without saying that for such a sleek design, matched with its speedy processing power (and it being an Apple product after all), it comes with a mighty price tag.

For a 1.6 GHz Processor 21.5-inch iMac with 1TB storage (without the retina 4K display), you’ll be looking at a hefty bill of at least £1,049.00. What’s more, that’s the cheapest desktop computer they do – you can pick up a Mac Pro for an eye-watering £3,899.00.

Macs are very exclusive to Apple.

Apple products are usually catered to their own software to utilise their full functionality, meaning that to make your office space work, you’ll need to use more Apple products than you might like, cheeky right?

Things like exclusive USB ports and programs will get in the way of other devices you want to use, meaning you’ll have to fork out more than you want to.

Not a lot of Macs to choose from.

  

Currently, there are only 5 different models of Macs (6 if you include the Mac mini) – from the MacBook to the Mac Pro, you don’t get an awful lot to choose from. Each option comes with available upgrades, but you’re looking for the cheapest routes you’re in the wrong place.

It isn’t easy to fix if things do go wrong.

Mac hardware is more expensive to support, there is no beating around the bush there. You can’t get onsite warranties for laptops (at least not unless you pay a premium to someone other than Apple) so be prepared to queue up at Regent Street or be without your Apple Mac for a while, should it go wrong. If it goes wrong outside its warranty, prepare generally tend to just buy a new Mac.

Our own CTO Thomas Jeffs summarises with his own experience in regards to Mac and PC tech support:

The Mac vs PC argument is far from clear; we have Mac clients, PC clients and mixed environment clients. Generally, Macs go wrong less often but cost more to repair when they do. They also cost a lot more to get working with some hardware/software.

We have clients with Mac hardware running Windows so they can utilise PC only programs, and these work okay, but hardware support for them (now they are out of warranty) is nearly non-existent.

We also have a higher failure rate on Mac servers than high end Dell PowerEdge servers, and a higher failure rate on MacBook Pros against Dell Latitude laptops. But a much higher failure rate on all Dell laptops compared to Apple Mac laptops.

If you buy good quality hardware you can get slightly higher reliability than Mac. Windows will be quicker than MacOS, but unless you’re gaming or 3D rendering then you won’t notice the speed.

In short for general business use I would say Windows has the edge, the bigger your company gets the more this makes sense. The three exceptions I would make to this are;

  • If you have a lot of Mac stuff and want it to work together
  • If you love the design of Macs and believe it is essential to your office persona
  • If you’re only designing and not rendering video or 3D images

 

All in all, it looks like there are perks and traits to both. All we can really say to you is, make sure that you assess your requirements as a business or as a person before you choose which path you take.

As for us? We will support you, whichever route you choose!

Lucidica, the IT department for small businesses.