We’re talking operating systems for desktop and laptop computers this week. Yesterday we looked at Windows. Today we’ll explore Macs. Click here to read about Windows.

I’ll start off by saying that Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook are all good operating systems that are capable of meetings the needs of users. It just depends on what those needs are.  Devices running Apple’s Mac OS are rightly considered to be top-of-the-line, but they may not be right for everyone. Let’s compare the pros and cons.

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Pros

Top quality hardware. Mac desktop and laptops are not only well-made, they are pretty to look at. Apple is normally out in front when it comes to hardware and display.  They have light and thin laptops.

The experience across Apple devices is pretty much always the same. They only make a few models and they push users to update to the very latest version of their operating system. There is no charge for updates. Apple itself manufactures all of the devices.

Apple devices are very well thought of by video and graphics professionals.

It’s not complicated. Apple prides itself on a simple user interface. These devices are not particularly customizable, so there’s not really a way to mess it up.

Apple offers detailed online user manuals and customer forums. There are also magazines, books, and websites devoted to the products. It may feel unfamiliar at first if you’re coming from a Windows background, but there are resources to help.

Apple is targeted somewhat less often by malware and scammers. In the past, many people would have declared Macs completely safe, but that’s changing.

Cons

With Macs, the pros are really the cons.

They are expensive. Expect to spend around $1000 for your device. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware, but pricey. You can find used devices. I picked up a used MacBook Air for $500.

You’re limited as to who can work on them. Don’t try to fix a Mac yourself or take it anywhere but an authorized Mac dealer. This can void your warranty or even lead to your device shutting down.

There are fewer software options than with Windows. If there’s a program you must use, make sure its available for Mac. Although many would argue that the software options available for Mac are of higher-quality. When purchasing or downloading software, make sure it says that it’s Mac compatible.

There aren’t many options for customization. That’s intentional on Apple’s part to make sure that all Macs perform the same. But for those who like to play around, it can be disappointing.

No optical drive options. Mac doesn’t include optical drives with its hardware, so if you need to use a DVD or CD, you’ll have to purchase a peripheral device.

Pro or Con depending on how you look at it.

You’re tied into Apple’s ecosystem, including iTunes. Which is great if you enjoying using the iCloud and being able to access items between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Not so great if you’re a person who doesn’t like the idea of tech giants being up in your business.