MAC vs Windows vs Chromebooks | What’s Best for Business?
When deciding what computer hardware your staff are going to use, whether it be for regular office use or remote working, the first hurdle is to decide on which Operating System to go for. With the most popular being Windows followed by Apple machines and Googles Chromebooks on the rise, what is best for business? Let’s find out.
The most popular computer platform out there is Windows. There are 600 Million active devices using Windows 10, which beats the number of both active Apple and Chromebook devices combined. Bear in mind that the number of active Windows 7, Vista, XP and older versions are not included in this figure, so it is clear to see that Windows has a huge market share in desktop operating systems.
Advantages of Windows
Having the most users means Windows also has the biggest ‘marketplace’ of programs and software. Most programs that your business may be looking to use will probably be supported on Windows, making windows a safe platform to not feel ‘left out’.
Depending on the model, windows laptops can have great builds, displays, keyboards and trackpads, and some even come with touchscreens (which to be honest isn’t all that useful and you will be better of with your mouse).
Windows Laptops also have great battery life (again, depending on models), making them great for mobile working. Some models have an estimated battery life of over 12 hours which will give you plenty of time to find someplace to charge your laptop if you are out on the road for a while.
Windows machines usually don’t slouch on IO, like newer Mac Laptops do. This makes them more flexible in connections, such as, connecting to older monitors that use VGA, or to set-up a wired internet connection using an Ethernet cable.
To make sure you have a completely tailored and perfect desktop that is built for your needs, you are easily able to build yourself a PC using the parts that you want. There are many guides out there to build PC’s and it is easier than you think.
However, if you need to buy in bulk or don’t enjoy building a PC, you can use websites or suppliers that will note what parts to want and build the PC’s for you before shipping them out to you.
Disadvantages of Windows
Price is an issue for the high-end, especially in laptops. Nowadays building your own PC (which is usually cheaper than buying a pre-built with the same specs) is expensive. RAM and Graphics Card (GPU) prices are inflated, most likely due to Cryptocurrency mining.
However, only powerful GPUs made for gaming or professional use are expensive and are only really needed if you edit high-quality pictures and videos or use programs that need a powerful GPU to run well.
Having the biggest active users worldwide also makes it the biggest target for Cybercrime. Of course, there are many Antivirus solutions out there (our AntiVirus Solution blocks old, and new viruses that have never been seen before) to make sure you are protected but is something you very well need to be aware of.
Windows constantly updates, which is a good thing as you can be sure that it is improving and keeping itself secure. However, updates take space and before you know it a chunk of your SSD or Hard drive is used up for updates.
Also, windows updates are annoying, you can be in the middle of something important and a distracting pop-up will appear telling you to update.
The second most popular computer platform with nearly 100 Million Users (year old data so probably now has over 100 million users), Mac’s are beautiful machines that are built like tanks, made from eye-catching and cold-to-the-touch metals.
Advantages of Macs
As already said, they are built well and are awesome to look at. You get what you pay for, and even though their price is high, on the outside, the price looks just right.
Their displays are absolutely amazing and are some of the best seen on laptops, even on All-In-One Desktop with their iMacs. The keyboards and trackpads on the MacBook’s are also incredible and are universally seen as being the best on a laptop.
Their app availability is also huge, maybe not as big as Windows, but you will most likely find the program you are looking for or an alternative that works just as well.
Their laptops have awesome batteries, making them great for remote working (especially with the best keyboards and trackpads as already said).
Disadvantages of Macs
Their biggest disadvantage is their price, Mac’s are really expensive which will put-off pretty much everyone. The iMac Pro costs just more than £11,200 for the complete package with the best specs and extras, ouch. Yes, older Macs from 2010 and before are cheap now but are ‘obsolete’ with their out-of-date specifications.
Being slim and light isn’t all good as something has to be sacrificed to cut weight and space. Unfortunately, MacBooks have very limited IO, the 2018 MacBook Pro only has Four Thunderbolt USB-C ports and a headphone jack.
This means you may have to carry around a bunch of adaptor cables with you to use devices that don’t have a Thunderbolt USB-C output.
There really isn’t any customisability, other than choosing what specifications you get from your MacBook or iMac from a limited number of packages (usually 4 to 5) before you buy it. However, you are able to replace or upgrade your storage on iMacs so there is a bit of future-proofing.
Chromebooks are relatively new devices created by Google. They live on ChromeOS which is basically just the Chrome Browser with support for Android apps. This may sound ‘limited’, but just think about how much you actually spend browsing the internet.
You are able to do basic writing, spreadsheets, slideshows and other basic office tasks using a Chromebook, so don’t be alarmed. They can be useful tools and could essentially replace a Windows or Mac laptop if your usage is minimal.
Advantages of Chromebooks
Chromebooks are cheap, cheaper than budget Windows PC’s but can run the Chrome browser well. Since they use pretty much most of their processing power running a browser unlike Windows, internet browsing on a Chromebook can be blazing fast.
They can also run browser-based basic office applications such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word Online pretty well too, so they are surprisingly useful for how much you pay.
They can run Android Apps, so if the browser-based apps like Google Docs aren’t doing you justice, just download the Android version and you’re good to go. Some Chromebooks also have a touchscreen which can make the Android App experience even more enjoyable.
They are quite slim and light and some models have good displays, keyboards, trackpads and great batteries. Depending on your usage, they could be great remote working devices that you can get for cheap.
Disadvantages of Chromebooks
You can get a budget Windows 10 PC for just about the same price as a Chromebook, or slightly higher which offers a lot more than a Chromebook ever could.
You need to be connected to Wi-Fi 24/7 to be able to be the most efficient with your Chromebook. Ethernet isn’t an option without a USB adaptor.
There is limited local storage available with a Chromebook as Google is trying to encourage the cloud. With some purchases, Google will include a year of Google Drive for free with 100GB which is great, but local storage is more convenient, especially somewhere you can’t find Wi-Fi.
Chromebooks have limited IO, but for a machine that itself is limited, there probably isn’t much need for extra IO.
There are mini desktop Chromebooks that you connect to a monitor that allows you to have a wired internet connection, but other than an Ethernet port they don’t offer anything else. Bear in mind that there are also mini Windows 10 PC’s that are also quite cheap, making Chromebooks even more of a weak substitute.
Chromebooks are by no means bad devices, there is definitely a use for them out there. But from what I have gathered, Windows is the best computer platform just because there is so much program support and so many different laptop models or PC parts allowing you to find the perfect Windows machine that can fit into your budget.
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