-

Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

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


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

Poll: My dad asks: buy mom Windows 8 laptop or Mac laptop? (9 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. Yes (4 votes [44.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.44%

  2. No (5 votes [55.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.56%

Is OS X / iOS synergy good enough it makes switching worthwhile?

  1. Yes (6 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. No (3 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

What should my mom should get next?

  1. Windows 8 Laptop (3 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. Mac Laptop (6 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 05:53 AM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   schan1269

schan1269

    HTF Expert

  • 13,929 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 04 2012
  • Real Name:Sam
  • LocationChicago-ish/NW Indiana

Posted July 07 2014 - 06:33 AM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

FoxyMulder

    映画ファン

  • 5,027 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 14 2009
  • Real Name:Malcolm
  • LocationScotland

Posted July 07 2014 - 06:42 AM


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.

 

I thought Windows 8 had a feature built in which allowed you to customize it and make it work like Windows 7.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#4 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 07:40 AM

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 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 07:41 AM

I thought Windows 8 had a feature built in which allowed you to customize it and make it work like Windows 7.

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 of 46 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

FoxyMulder

    映画ファン

  • 5,027 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 14 2009
  • Real Name:Malcolm
  • LocationScotland

Posted July 07 2014 - 07:58 AM

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.

 

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.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#7 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator

  • 16,714 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 07 2014 - 08:11 AM

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.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#8 of 46 OFFLINE   Dave B Ferris

Dave B Ferris

    Supporting Actor

  • 756 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 27 2000

Posted July 07 2014 - 09:26 AM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator

  • 16,714 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 07 2014 - 10:06 AM

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.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#10 of 46 OFFLINE   Dave B Ferris

Dave B Ferris

    Supporting Actor

  • 756 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 27 2000

Posted July 07 2014 - 10:11 AM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

Steve Tannehill

    Producer

  • 5,518 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 06 1997
  • Real Name:Steve Tannehill
  • LocationDFW

Posted July 07 2014 - 10:20 AM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul

  • 29,512 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted July 07 2014 - 10:41 AM

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"). 


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#13 of 46 OFFLINE   Keith Plucker

Keith Plucker

    Screenwriter

  • 1,036 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 1999
  • LocationSacramento

Posted July 07 2014 - 11:12 AM

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


As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. - Hunter S. Thompson, 1958, from cover letter he wrote for a newspaper job.


#14 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 11:56 AM

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.

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.

 

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!

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.

 

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.

Thanks. I haven't kept up on the tradeoffs between the Airs and Pros.

 

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"). 

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.

 

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

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 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator

  • 16,714 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 07 2014 - 12:26 PM

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.co...e/dp/B00FGOTC0Y

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#16 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 06:00 PM

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 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 07 2014 - 06:02 PM

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 of 46 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Moderator

  • 16,714 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 07 2014 - 08:48 PM

There arent any.

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#19 of 46 OFFLINE   David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter

  • 1,997 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted July 07 2014 - 09:35 PM

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 of 46 ONLINE   DaveF

DaveF

    Moderator

  • 13,931 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 04 2001
  • Real Name:David Fischer
  • LocationOne Loudoun, Ashburn, VA

Posted July 08 2014 - 05:22 PM

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.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users