An apple a day breaks the bank

Apple computers may be sleek and stylish, but are they really better?

Macs are taking over campus! This isn’t a conspiracy theory, so you can keep your tinfoil hats safely stashed away, I promise. If you’ve taken courses on campus that allowed laptops, then you’ve probably noticed that the majority of students are using Apple products. To that my only question is why?

Mac laptops cost about $1,000 from the get-go. They tout security, privacy and top-of-the-line hardware. But how much of that is actually true? Very little of it, it turns out. Let’s take things one step at a time to drive the point home.

For starters, for that thousand-dollar investment you get an i5 processor, 4GB of ram and 128GB of flash storage. A $500 PC laptop more than matches those statistics (for example, the Toshiba C55D series), and even triples the 128GB of storage you find on a Mac.

“But Jocelyn,” you tell me, “Macs are secure, they don’t get viruses like PCs do.”

This was probably true back in the ‘90s when Apple computers were used by graphic designers only, but even Apple now admits that viruses are a common problem for its users too, so no, Macs aren’t really that much safer. A computer is as safe as its user. What’s more, Safari (Macs’ default browser) was hacked in a remarkable five seconds by French company Vupen, making even the terribly flawed (and often ridiculed) Internet Explorer look like a champion.

So is it that Macs don’t break as often? Are cheaper to repair? Not quite. Mac components are more expensive, and can only be serviced by technicians that charge more than the average IT professional to fix. Why is this? Most Macs now require special tools to open up and service, and don’t take third party hardware very well at all. So what gives?

Macs are pretty, I get it. They’re easy to use and are fairly streamlined in how they function. At the end of the day, it’s your money and you can do what you like with it. But when I overhear someone on campus complain about how broke they are, while they’re hanging on to their $800 iPhone and $1,000 Macbook, a part of me dies a little. A Nexus 5 will cost you $250 straight from Google, without a contract, unlocked to every carrier, and an HP or Toshiba laptop will cost you between $500 and $700.

I suppose this raises another interesting question: Why are Macs the only computers sold on campus? Regardless of the answer, I have to congratulate Apple on their successful marketing, no matter how deceptive it actually is.

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