This is the third post in my series "I Went Mac, But Then I Went Back." If you want to catch up on the previous posts, click the links below:

Hardware

There are a number of hardware components that helped me make my change to a PC from a Mac. Some of them were more important to me than others, but there were a few that were major factors.

  • Blu-ray CD/DVD drive. This one wasn't a major factor, but it was a nice bonus. For the last several years Blu-ray discs have becoming the "norm" when it comes to DVDs. Sure you can still buy regular DVDs but I have noticed that they are slowly being eliminated from the store shelves and Blu-ray discs are becoming more prevalent. I like to watch movies on my computer, and even though I have Netflix and Amazon Prime, I still like to buy the physical discs. The more Blu-ray discs become the standard, the less I would be able to watch movies on a Mac because Apple does not give the option of having Blu-ray readers/writers in their computers. In fact, Apple is completely eliminating CD/DVD drives in their laptops. 
  • For Apple users who have purchased a new laptop in the last year or so, most likely their laptop does not have an optical drive (CD/DVD drive). Apple thinks that they are not necessary anymore because everything can be downloaded from the Internet. While I do have an Internet connection most of the time, I do not like the idea of having a computer that cannot read/write a CD or DVD. I don't think "the world" is to the point where we can completely eliminate CDs and DVDs. There are several software programs that I have installed on my Mac in the past and my new PC that I have a CD to install it. Yes, I know you can use another computer and wirelessly use that computer to access the CD/DVD on your Mac that does not have an optical drive, but that seems like such a pain. You can also buy a separate "SuperDrive" that plugs into your USB port and use it on your Mac. I want the drive in my own computer and I personally am not ready to have a computer without one. 
  • My new HP laptop is a touch-screen. Although I don't use that feature for every single program and task on my computer, it is really nice to have. There are also some really cool apps I downloaded from the Windows Store that are meant for touch-screen devices. I'm sure more and more programmers are going to be incorporating "touch" into their programs for Windows computers. I am also sure that eventually Apple will incorporate touch-screens in their laptops, but for the time being they do not have that option.
  • My new laptop has Beats Audio speakers. For those not aware of Beats Audio, they have become very popular in the last couple of years, particularly because of the audio quality. My speakers on my old Mac were alright, but nothing compared to the speakers on my new computer! Not only can I turn up my speakers very loud, but the bass and overall sound quality is great! For those of you who know me really well, you know that I love music! In fact, I am listening to music right now as I am writing this post. So, for me the quality of sound coming out of my speakers means a lot.
  • This next feature was definitely not a requirement, but I like it! My new computer has a fingerprint scanner, so now I don't have to type in a password to unlock my computer. I can just swipe my finger and unlock it. Again, this was not a necessity, but I feel a bit more secure since I know that I am the only person with my fingerprint! :)
  • Some of you may think this might be weird, but one thing I never liked about my Mac or any other Mac computer I have used Apple's mice. In my opinion they didn't flow as smooth and easy as mice on Windows computers. And not only was it Apple manufactured mice, but even if I were to use another brand of mouse on a Mac, it just didn't feel "right." Somehow, the feeling of mice on Windows computers feel so much better and smooth.
  • Okay, this hardware feature I am going to talk about was a MAJOR factor in my wanting to go back to PC. I know some of you are going to think "big deal" but to me it is. Apple laptops do not have ten-key.
  • I use ten-key every day, especially when I am at work doing genealogy. It is so much easier for me to use the ten-key to enter dates, social security numbers, etc. than it is for me to use the numbers in the horizontal row above the letters on the keyboard. The images above show the ten-key for those who are unfamiliar with that name for that section of the keyboard. I know that you can buy external ten-key keyboards that just plug into a USB port on your computer, but just like the Blu-ray drive, I want that feature built into my computer and not some external component I need to buy separately and carry around with me in my backpack.
  • It seems like laptops are getting smaller and smaller. Look at Apple's Mac Book Air. That thing is so small and thin! Sure, I think that would be great for carrying it around because it would be light, but I would be afraid of snapping it in two! For me, I love having a laptop because I can take it everywhere. But at the same time, I don't want a laptop screen that is just as big as an iPad or other tablet. In my opinion iPads and tablets have different purposes and uses than a laptop has. I value the screen real-estate I can have on a laptop. The reason for this is because like I have stated, most of what I do on a computer is genealogy research. I am annoyed when the screen is so small I can't have two or more applications open and showing on the screen at once. I like to have an Internet browser, my research journals and a window where I can view the files on my computer pulled up. If my laptop screen is so small that I can't have multiple windows open and viewable at once, I get really frustrated because I have to tab through all of the different programs. Therefore, I went big and got a 17" screen on my laptop and I love it!! Yes, it does add weight and size to my laptop, but again, I value the real-estate space of the screen and the ability to have multiple windows open at once.

Well, there are a few of the hardware features that I really wanted in my laptop and that helped me make the choice to switch back to Windows from a Mac. I'm sure there are some other little hardware features that I'm not thinking about right now.

Stay tuned for the next post of why I went Mac, but then went back!

 


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