Those who own personal computers can be divvied up into a few simple categories. There are Mac users. There are Windows PC users. There are Chromebook users. Then everyone else. The latter category doesn’t constitute many numbers, but there’s also a category we don’t pay much attention to.
Price is an object. So is cost, but let’s go with the price tag of a traditional personal computer first, then see how many different models you could buy with the same money you could spend on a new MacBook. This isn’t going to be pretty.
You Paid What?
Before getting into the Windows PC and Chromebook vs. Mac comparison, let’s compare Apple’s other PC– the iPad Pro– to the MacBook. An entry-level MacBook, in whatever color you choose, starts at $1,299. Add a faster CPU, double the SSD storage, and you’re at $1,749. Before tax.
A fully tricked out iPad Pro; 12.9-inch display, 256GB of SSD storage, plus the keyboard and pencil (to bring it in line with Microsoft Surface, for example) hits $1,397. Before tax.
How does that compare to Windows PCs or Chromebooks? It’s not really a comparison. On the list of many is the Lenovo Ideapad 100S. $160. That’s not a typo. It’s $160.
At that price you could buy 10 Lenovo Ideabooks for the price of that fully tricked out MacBook, but not even nine to match the iPad Pro’s gargantuan price tag. But what do you get? An Intel Atom CPU (which is discontinued), Windows 10 (which should be discontinued, if anything, for the sake of humanity), 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage, which isn’t even 1/10th of what you get with the high end MacBook.
For less than $100 more you could get the Toshiba Chromebook 2 which features double the RAM at 4GB, but only 16GB of storage, and ChromeOS. $245. But you could buy five of them for the price of an entry level MacBook, and still have money leftover. Oh, and this one runs an Intel Celeron CPU. Remember those? Now, remember that an iPhone 7 Plus and an iPad Pro run about as fast as the MacBook which has Intel Inside.
Wait. There’s more.
HP has a diminutive notebook, too, the HP Stream 11, priced at $199; 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, and that ever so popular Celeron CPU.
Even Acer is in the entry level class with a $275 Chromebook.
Chinese maker Hisense has a $150 Chromebook with a quad-core ARM CPU. You could buy and keep a new MacBook for four years before selling it or handing it off to a needy soul. Or, you could buy a new Hisense Chromebook every five months for four years.
Yes, there are differences in what you get. The Windows 10 vanilla notebooks are totally entry-level PCs while the MacBook is an entry-level Mac which is capable of running just about everything; macOS Sierra, Windows 10, old versions of Windows, and probably every flavor of any popular Linux distro. Oh, wait. My bad. There are no popular Linux distros. Next year will be The Year Of Linux.
Chromebooks are a different breed entirely, and could be classified as lower than an entry-level PC, therefore there’s less need for powerful hardware that could run Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Cloud apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom, or Illustrator, among others. Newer Chromebooks can run Android apps. What we don’t know about cheap, plastic, less-than-$200 Windows PCs or Chromebooks is how long they last. We do know that Chromebooks are not devices for heavy lifting but then different strokes for different folks.
Real computers– whether on your desktop, on your lap, or in your hand– are made by Apple.