Mac or PC? What do Trojans prefer?
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Many students and teachers alike acknowledge that Natrona County School District is a very fortunate district and has many benefits for students. At Kelly Walsh, all students are provided with a free laptop by the school. Students use their laptops in almost every class, from English to history to science, and often use them for homework as well.
However, the school is divided between students with Macs and students with PC’s. Seniors this year are the last class with Macs, and the remaining three classes are using PC’s.
As a result of being divided by laptop brands, the Mac versus PC debate plays out everyday at KW. According to Wonderoftech.com’s Carolyn Nicander Mohr, “There’s probably no more hotly debated topic in tech. Apple fans passionately praise the virtues of a Mac. PC fans can’t understand why people pay a lot more money for a Mac. In general, each side is firmly convinced of the reasons why their computer is the best choice.”
Next school year, along with moving into the new building, all the students will be using PC laptops, which might make mixed classes easier for teachers to plan for. The different programs, shortcuts, and abilities of students’ laptops can sometimes affect classes that are a mixture of grade levels.
“I think it’s difficult for teachers and students who may be working on projects together,” said Claire Johnson, a sophomore.
Sally O’Brien, who teaches Modern US History and AP European History, said, “I only have one class that has a mixture of grade levels and it hasn’t been that big of a deal, but often it’s the Macs that can get into the sites they need to be in. It seems to be the PC’s that are having the trouble and those are the kids that get sent down to IT more. I think the whole school should be on one thing.”
The argument can be made that Macs are higher quality machines than PC’s and that the generally lower price tag on PC’s is representative of the lower quality and functionality. The gap between the prices of Macs and PC’s is undeniable, part of the reason the school switched to using PC’s for the incoming freshman class three years ago. On average, Mac laptops can run from $899 to as much as $1,999.
Some students and teachers have strong preferences when it comes to the laptop brands. Duane Reimer, the school’s Cisco and web design teacher, strongly believes that PC’s are superior to Macs in the quality of their programs. “I think the Macs are designed to be idiot proof and I’m not an idiot so all the stuff they use to idiot proof it gets in my way. I need a computer that’s really fast and efficient. And all the software I run for my classes is PC only.” Reimer added, “Most Mac fanatics can’t even run their Macs.”
Wonderoftech.com’s Mohr, “Macs are generally more expensive than their PC counterparts, but Macs offer a user experience that many view as superior to that of the PC. Macs used to have an advantage that they were immune to viruses, but lately that hasn’t been true as hackers have begun to target Macs as well as PC’s, though Macs are still safer from viruses than PC’s. PC’s are more affordable and tend to have the most software available.”
O’Brien disagrees. She said, “I like Macs and the reason that I like Macs is that primarily I have worked on them since 1986 when we started using them at Centennial. So I’ve been using them for a long time.” She added that she has had experience with both brands, and in her own personal experience had had more troubles, like viruses, with her personal PC computer.
According Jason Evangelho, a Forbes.com writer, the new Macbook is available in gold, silver, and space gray and comes in at the hefty price of $1,299. In his article, Evangelho offers five reputedly superior alternatives to the new Macbook that will still deliver “that sleek ultrabook form factor you’re craving, decent to marathon battery life, more features, stronger performance, and do it for less coin.”
Kyra Smith, a junior, said, “I like PC’s programs better and I think they are more convenient for the things I’m interested it. For example, I like using Photoshop on my PC computer and writing HTTP code on Adobe Dreamweaver. You can get the same programs on Macs, but they are easier to use with PC’s.”
Some simply prefer Mac computers for their aesthetic design and simple, easy to use applications. “I prefer Macs because I feel like they’re more universal and the programs are more user friendly. I don’t necessarily think that PC’s are lower quality computers, I just prefer Macs,” Johnson said.
Dayna Berg, a sophomore, agrees. “Macs are easier to use for me. I think PC’s are harder to type on and the screens are not as good. PC’s seem to die faster too,” she said. Berg said that she would save up money and still buy a Mac, if she wasn’t being provided a laptop by the school at no charge.
On a poll from Wonderoftech.com, 45.34% of voters said they prefer PC’s, while 52.2% voted as preferring Macs, and 2.46% of voters chose other brands completely.
The debate between Macs and PC’s will likely not come to any conclusive decisions about which brand is ultimately better anytime soon, but KW students will all start using PC’s during the 2016-2017 school year, which may put an end to the debate in the school.