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The Hunt for the Perfect Laptop: Where to Begin

Published on January 17, 2019, at 12:34 p.m.
by Emily Hillhouse.

There’s no frustration quite like when your beloved laptop starts showing signs of deterioration.

According to Gallup, 79 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 own laptops, while only 41 percent own desktop computers. And this gap is steadily becoming more disproportionate.

Especially in the public relations industry, laptops are practically a necessity for mobile, young professionals and students. Many use a laptop as their main computer at home, at the office, in coffee shops — wherever they get work done … which, nowadays, is everywhere.

Therefore, a failing laptop often means an immediate need for a new one, which isn’t always an easy process.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

With so many websites and blogs dedicated to which laptops are the best, narrowing down your search can seem daunting. Coming from a PR student and soon-to-be young professional in the midst of this search herself, h

ere is a compilation of things to consider during this process:

If you’re lost in the Mac vs. PC debate…
It’s hard for culturally in-tune and media-savvy individuals to ignore the social dynamics surrounding Mac owners. Regardless of their actual quality compared to PCs, Apple has done a superb job in branding Mac ownership as a lifestyle, leading to a perceived superiority. Whether or not you agree, there are socio-economic implications in owning a Mac laptop, and it is up to you whether this is something worth considering.

Something definitely worth considering is price, especially because Macs tend to be more expensive than PCs. If you have the means, buying a laptop may not be an area in which you wish to skimp, especially because the price of a laptop is typically indicative of quality.

That said, there are far more options to choose from if you decide to buy a PC. While the cheapest Mac laptop is over $1,000, PC options are as low as $200, but also range upward of $2,000 as well.

After considering your budget, it comes down to personal choice because there are several more differences that may or may not be important to you when considering these two schools of laptop thought.

What if you’re a Microsoft Office wizard?
If you’re a writer who swears by Word, or you frequently take advantage of Excel’s many features, a PC might be best for you. Simply put, a Windows PC will work better with Microsoft Office applications than a Mac will.

What if you’re a designer?
Graphic designers tend to lean toward Macs, but that’s not to say there aren’t PC options that will grant the ideal features you need to get creative. The two best options are the latest MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (approximately $2,700) and the Microsoft Surface Book 2 (approximately $1,300). The Mac option is more powerful and has more spatial capabilities for large files, but the PC option is more color accurate and has a detachable touch screen, meaning you can use it as a digital sketchbook.

Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

What if you crave efficiency?
Owning a Mac laptop will afford you more seamless transitions of information from your laptop to other Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, Mac desktops and more. According to Gabbie Sirois, a public relations student at The University of Alabama, there is something to be said about the ease of AirDrop and Mac’s drag-and-drop features.

“Most businesses nowadays are Apple-and-Mac-centric, so having a MacBook makes it really easy to AirDrop files to company computers, because they most likely use iMacs, or to other employees with Macs,” Sirois said.

What if you’re always on the go?
For Bri Roselius, another public relations student at The University of Alabama, the Google Pixelbook fits her lifestyle because it has a long battery life and a convenient, flexible design, and is perfect for avid Google program users like herself.

“As a senior about to graduate, I wanted to enter the workforce with something that was small, lightweight and offered all the applications I needed plus more,” Roselius said. “I love the ability to turn this Chromebook into a tablet and read my favorite novels. I also enjoy writing, and the Pixelbook is a great size for writing on the go or at a coffee shop!”

However, the Chromebook isn’t for everyone. For example, the Chromebook is unable to accommodate Adobe programs, which can be problematic if you plan on using your laptop to design graphics or edit videos.

What’s the best fit for you?
To answer this question, you must first take a step back and analyze your individual considerations of all of these factors. If budget is most important to you, you’ll probably find yourself exploring the many options PCs have to offer. However, if you’re looking for something more user-friendly, a Mac is the way to go. And remember, just as there is no singular definition for public relations, there is no singular perfect laptop for everyone doing public relations.

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