Saturday, December 26, 2009

Is A Mac Really More Expensive?

Recently, my youngest got a virus on his aging Toshiba laptop. I had wanted to hold off buying him a new computer until his graduation, but I looked at the condition and performance of his machine and thought the time was right. I asked him if he wanted to switch to a Mac, but he was content to stay with Windows. I was happier in the short term, because the price of a Sony Vaio with 4Gb RAM comes in at $700, about half the price of a comparably equipped Macbook Pro. But is it really a bargain?

Consider this, before I let the new machine on the internet, we need to make sure that we get anti-virus, firewalls, and anti-spyware all up and running. Furthermore, there are potentially ongoing subscription costs for that software. All the extra overhead makes me wonder why the corporate world is not moving to the Mac more quickly. With my son wanting to major in computer engineering, I am turning more of the systems administration duties over to him. Hopefully, his time will be taxed, not mine.

And that virus on the old machine. The prospect of living without a computer for a month got him motivated to eventually find the fix for it and get it eradicated on his own.


  1. I know I get all my upkeep stuff for the whole house for fifty bucks a year. So, in a mere seven to 14 years, it might cost enough to make a difference, if we assume only one machine and only half-again more expensive....

    Although, the more folks that use Macs, the more likely they are to be targeted. I have heard several experts advise anti-virus programs be used on Macs even now. (To be fair, I know there are good antivirus and spyware aps on for free; I use them on my laptop.)

    Add in that it's possible-- if hard-- to upgrade a PC laptop, and I know where my cash will be staying.

  2. I dunno, I just bought a 3-copy license for McAfee (or was it Norton) for practically nothing at Office Depot. Install, turn on updates, forget. Done!

  3. KT, how do count the cost of your time? Also, see my latest post.