My dad asks: buy mom Windows 8 laptop or Mac laptop?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by DaveF, Jul 7, 2014.

?

Is switching to Windows 8 harder than switching to a Mac?

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Having my Sunday evening talk with my parents, my dad asks if he should switch mom to a Mac?

    (gulp)

    I put this in the PC section because I need the practical perspective of PC users to help me answer that question.

    My mom hates technology. She'll tell you. And yet she's been using it, perhaps kicking and screaming, for 40 years. She's been doing word processing since the '80s; emailing (on AOL, natch) since the '90s; had her own laptop since the '00s. And now she shares photos of the grandkids on Facebook with her iPad and iPhone. She hates the stuff, but has had more of it -- I dare say -- than some of us

    My dad loves computers and gadgets. He's a Windows / PC user and has been since the DOS days. He was excited to get a new Windows 8 touchscreen laptop last Fall. But he's found that Win8 is a big change and says its unexpectedly frustrating at times.

    Mom's laptop is due for replacement. She usually either gets dad's leftovers and/or a $400 Dell budget buy. Win7 is gone; everything is Win8. She's a big iPhone and iPad user. Does it make sense to up the budget to a $1000 and switch her to a Mac?

    I don't know. I don't use Windows PCs at home. Work is just now switching to Win7. I know that making a bad recommendation on my mom's next technology can get a person cut from the Will. (I don't want a repeat of the time I advised her to buy a universal remote. *shudder*)

    What do you think? Windows or OS X for my mom?
     
    Adam Gregorich likes this.
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    17,112
    Likes Received:
    899
    Location:
    Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
    Real Name:
    Sam
    The only issue we have with our Mac(PC household with iPad/ iPod) is in documents originally done on PC that don't want to work on Mac.(programs galore for that...finding the one you like is a different story)As for Facebook and "the internet", the Mac is great. It was almost worth it just for the iPad and iPod to get one.What I wish?It had HDMI. (But I have the Apple AV HDMI adapter. So anything I'd want the Mac for, I can use the iPad. Except where the website doesn't work...and you default to an app)Sure Apple has its version of WiDi...but not tried it.
     
  3. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    I thought Windows 8 had a feature built in which allowed you to customize it and make it work like Windows 7.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I should clarify: I'm a Mac owner at home (switched from WinXP to OS X Tiger). I use WIn7 at work in a locked-down corporate setup. No practical experience with Win 8.

    The basics (email, Facebook, web) are fine in either system. As Sam points to: I'm don't know if my mom has an archive of WorrdStar files that she wants access to on the next computer. Or if she has saved notes in an AOL application that will be lost in a transfer to a Mac. That said, I don't know if such things would be lost in moving to a WIn8 computer.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I thought WIn8 was Win8. No going back. Which is why everyone is so disgruntled with it. They removed the Start Button! (Although it's back, a year later). Hopefully someone who knows can comment.
     
  6. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    5,236
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    I thought i read reviews saying you can set it up like Windows 7 and don't need to use the touchscreen stuff, i'd like to know too.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,945
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    For the tasks your mother does most let me suggest something you might not have considered: Go all in on iPad.Doesnt sound like she is doing heavy text input, spreadsheets or other manipulation intensive work.Email, Web, Photos, Videos, iPad all the way.If you absolutely positively can't do that then 13" Macbook Air, hands down.
     
  8. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    135
    Maybe transitioning your mom to a MAC would be easier if you make sure the MAC has "Bootcamp", so she could have the assurance of operating in a familiar environment for any PC aps that may be incompatible with the MAC. Of course, before too long, she'll find herself using the native MAC more and more often!
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,945
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Sorry Dave Ferris but I gotta disagree with that suggestion completely, tho I note it's just my nutter opinion =) Adding a layer of complexity like Bootcamp is, to my mind, like double whammying an admitted technophobe. I could -maybe- see using Parallels but Bootcamp and having to shutdown and start up whenever the mood or job required would probably lend her to just leave it in Windows and waste all the Mac goodness.
     
  10. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    135
    That's fine. I like Parallels, too. I thought in some cases, though, Bootcamp is "free" with the purchase of the device, while Parallels is always a separate purchase.

    Either way, the OP's mom would have some sense of comfort that her PC apps/data could still be useable.
     
  11. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1997
    Messages:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    DFW
    Real Name:
    Steve Tannehill
    13-inch MacBook Air is what I would get my Dad if I were buying him something new. Check the refurb store for full-warranty computers still AppleCare eligible.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    38,481
    Likes Received:
    5,742
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    I wish I had an answer more in line with your original question, Dave. But here goes, anyway.

    My 84 year old mom is a Mac-user. This is because my sister is a Mac-user...and even works in an Apple Store.

    She does all the things on her Mac (and iPad) that you describe your mother does: e-mails, photos, texting, etc. My mom does great for an 84-year old with no technical background.

    The rub is that whenever I want to share images with her...or copy of some her images onto a flash drive...I am at a complete loss (being a Windows guy) whenever I sit down at her desktop. While this would not be a problem for you (being a Mac guy), I fear the different nature of how PCs & Macs work might drive your mom off the edge. I know my mom would get quite frustrated if I tried to get her to operate a PC.

    I have had no personal experience with Windows 8...but have heard from enough people I know/trust that the transition from Windows 7 to 8 is rough...enough that some people have returned recent laptops purchases (with Win8) and purchased laptops off Amazon (with Win7).

    I, too, will be curious to hear if Win 8 has a built-in "turn back the clock" function to restore user functionality to an older style. Firefox was kind enough to do just that after some of their latest upgrades. (See "Classic Theme Restorer").
     
  13. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 1999
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sacramento/Seattle
    Real Name:
    Keith Plucker
    New Windows 7 machines are readily available from Dell's web site. If your Dad/Mom would like to make Windows 8 a little more 7ish, check out Start8 from Stardock (there is a free trial).

    That being said, who will be your Mom's "go to" tech support person? It sounds like it will be your Dad. Is he comfortable with OS X to the point that he will be able to help your Mom when she has questions or problems? Has your Mom ever used OS X and does she mind switching?

    Based on your original description of the situation I would think a new Windows 7 system from Dell or just doing everything on the iPad, as Sam suggested, are probably the best choices.

    -Keith
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    She uses her iPad regularly, and has a Logitech Keyboard cover for it (in fact, I demo'd her keyboard before buying one for myself). I can raise this as a possibility. I don't know her uses well enough to know what she uses a laptop for vs an iPad. But she does normal web, email, grandkids photo stuff. She's not running a business or doing CAD design.
    I've used both Bootcamp and Parallels for several years myself. But I think for my mom, that would be too complex. The transition needs to work without such a massive crutch, or remain with Windows.
    Thanks. I haven't kept up on the tradeoffs between the Airs and Pros.
    Thanks. I'm the opposite. I don't know what to do with photos on a Windows machine. It would be easier if she had a Mac. Though mostly, we share via Facebook.
    Dad would be the daily tech person. Which would be interesting, since he's a Windows guy. But she'd also be able to get help from me and my wife.

    I don't know where my Dad's looking. It might be from browsing BestBuy stores. Looking at a the Dell website right now: there are Win7 laptops. And my choice to switch to Mac is reinforced. I no longer enjoy stomach shopping a cacophony of indistinguishable computer models. PC shopping was easier in the '90s.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,945
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    My experience has been there are no good PCs for the average person UNLESS you very specifically get one that has all the crapware removed. I know the Microsoft stores have several of these models.One other possibility you might not have considered: Chromebook. It's not as crazy as it sounds.http://www.amazon.com/HP-Chromebook-14-Snow-White/dp/B00FGOTC0Y
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I don't understand the user concept for chrome books. Wouldn't know how to recommend that to my mom :)
     
    Adam Gregorich likes this.
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    What's the Windows equivalent to a Mac Book Air? A lightweight laptop with 9-12 hours battery life? Screen size can be 13"-15".
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    20,945
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    There arent any.
     
  19. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,022
    Likes Received:
    359
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    My opinion is stick as close to what's she's used to as possible assuming she's happy with what she does now.

    Win 8.1 can function pretty close to Win 7. I pretty sure you can even have it boot up to a desktop that looks
    pretty similar to what she's used to. The worst case scenario if you've got a Win7 license is just to load up Win 7 from
    scratch and let it go.

    You Dad's a Windows person and is already there.

    Unless 90% of the Family is Apple based then all I see is a lot of frustration trying to change to a completely different
    thought process than she;s used to. IF she really like what she can do with the IPAD then switching might be a little
    smoother.

    Upper level, but overall similar price range as a MBA
    Toshiba Kirabook
    Samsung Ativ

    Lenova or Dell still make some very decent machines.

    I don't know how old your mom is or her eyesight, but is a 13 inch screen big enough?
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,494
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I think she needs to see a Mac and comment on whether a 9-12 hr battery life is interesting. Otherwise, saving $500 with a budget PC will be the easier and best choice. I'm not hearing that Windows 8 is especially awful or OS X switching is especially easier.
     

Share This Page