Because I'm a computer buff, my computer shopping revolved around on the specs--specifically the processing power offered in the 12-13" laptop range. This led me to the the 2009 13" MacBook Pro.
Being a lifelong PC user that was forced to use Macs in school, I was not particularly enthused about this. Sure, Macs were supposed to be awesome, but I had vivid memories of hating OS 9. And no one likes change.
There was also the fact that after my graduation, this was going to be my writing computer. Probably for a long time. So I did a search on the internet for the types of computers that writers use. What kind of computer is better for writing: Mac or PC? Unfortunately, the internet failed in this regard, since all I found were angry forum posts.
Now I was fortunate enough that circumstances worked in my favor. I had a roommate with a MacBook I could dink around with. I copyedited for a newspaper that ran solely on iMacs. I could base my ultimate computer decision on actually using the OS X operating system.
However, not everyone has these perks. This is why this post exists. Writers need to know: if you're looking for a new computer, which is better, Mac or PC? Well, friends, it doesn't make a difference.
I've used both Macs and PCs and I can safely say that they're both pretty awesome. No lie! They each have their goods and bads, of course, but whether one is better or not is all subjective. I may own a Mac, but I still run Windows 7 on Bootcamp because I like having the best of both worlds!
But since that reassurance isn't really helpful, I'm going to give you guys five reasons why writing on a Mac is awesome and five reasons why writing on a PC is just as awesome*. Enjoy:
I know, I know, I've already spazzed about this. I also know about the sexy, new Scrivener beta for the PC and that soon, everyone will have Scrivener. But right now, the Mac version is king.
Spaces is a program that simulates multiple desktops. This way, if you want to have a desktop dedicated to writing and one to everything else, you can separate work from play.
This is basically an overlay of programs called widgets that can be pulled down at any time. If you need to quickly reference a dictionary or thesaurus, this is the way to do it.
- Backlit Keyboard
The keyboard of the newer MacBooks has a sensor that detects when it's getting dark and automatically lights your keyboard.
- Battery Life
If you want to go to a coffee shop and leave the power cord at home, you can. MacBooks can go for hours and you don't need to go into any "power saving mode."
- Microsoft Word
The industry standard in publishing is Word files with Track Changes turned on. And I know, there's Word for Mac too, but frankly, Microsoft gives so much more love to the PC version.
- Software Variety
If there is an obscure piece of writing software that you like to use, it most likely is PC-only program. And there are dozens of these products in existence.
- Full Keyboard
As writers we type a lot. PC keyboards consistently have all of the buttons you need without having to figure out shortcuts to do simple things like delete instead of backspace.
- Aero Snap
If you want to work with several documents or programs side-by-side, Snap is crazy awesome, gets the job gone and comes with Windows 7.
Windows works with everything. You need to back up your file to a hard drive or you just bought a shiny, new printer? Windows will always make it work.
* - My thoughts are based on the following: 1) I wrote on a Toshiba 17" Satellite laptop with Windows XP for years, and 2) I currently write on a 13" MacBook Pro with OS X Snow Leopard and Windows 7 on Bootcamp.
Now what do you guys think? Did I miss any glaring, fantastic features? Do you use a Mac or PC? Why? Tell me in the comments!