Review: Not sure if you should make the switch? We tell you all you need to know. (PCMag.com)
A year ago, the thought of spending my hard-earned money on a Mac was laughable. The components were slower, specifically the G4 and G5 processors, than those found on Windows PCs. Also, the idea of abandoning my native Windows language and adopting OS X was unsettling.
How things have changed: Over the past few months, Apple laptops and desktops have gotten Intel makeovers, so now it runs just as fast as any Windows-based PC.
The bigger news is that Apple is sanctioning the coexistence of Windows XP on a Mac-Intel. Id say those are two compelling reasons to go out and get a Mac.
If youre a first time computer buyer or if youre like mea Windows user thinking of making the switcha Mac-Intel is looking very attractive right now.
In addition to the faster, more capable, Intel processors, Apple computers are less pronenot completely immune, as Apple might have you thinkto virus attacks. (The bulk of virus attacks are mainly targeted towards Windows.)
Apples operating system, OS X, is also more visually appealing than Windows XP and is easy to use, whether youre connecting to a mixed (Windows and Mac) network, attaching a printer, or connecting to the Web.
You also get the coveted iLife 06 suite, a very advanced multimedia software suite, which eliminates the need to spend money on a separate photo, video or music editing programs.
There are over 1,700 applications, including professional suites like Final Cut Studio that are "Universal Binary". For those not up to speed, "Universal Binary" applications are applications rewritten so that it speaks correctly to the new Intel hardware.
Not a big deal for most of us, but its good to know that most Mac software is now running optimally with a Mac-Intel. (For an in-depth list, go to http://guide.apple.com/universal/.)
You have several Mac-Intels to choose from. The iMac 20-inch is an absolutely gorgeous desktop suitable for any home office or dorm room. It maximizes the area on your desk by putting all the hardware into a brightly lit, 20-inch LCD panel.
Read the full story on PCMag.com: Taking the Mac-Intel Plunge: Our Guide To Getting You Started
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Cisco Cheng is PC Magazine's lead analyst for laptops and tablet PCs. He is responsible for benchmarking, reviewing, and evaluating all laptops and tablet PCs. Cisco started with PC Magazine in 1999 as a support technician, testing printers, PC components, networking equipment, and software. He became the lead analyst for the laptop team in 2003 and since has written numerous reviews, buyer guides, and feature stories for both PCMag.com and the print magazine.