Mac vs PC


This article describes the pros and cons of Mac vs Windows computers.


Middlebury offers employees hardware options on both the Dell (Windows) and Mac platforms.

Here are pros and cons of each platform:

  • Dell offerings have more configurable hardware. (There are more options from which to choose when building a Dell.  Apple has streamlined their offerings to make configurations less complicated).
  • Though optical (CD/DVD) drives are an obsolete technology today, custom-ordered Dell desktops can be purchased with a built-in optical drive.  Macs require an external drive which can be provided by ITS upon request.
  • Dell computers have most necessary ports integrated. Depending on the model, Macs range from having 2 “USB-C” ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack to having 4 “USB-C” ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an HDMI port, a MagSafe charging port and an SD card slot. USB-C adapters are provided by ITS to accommodate other peripherals such as monitors and Ethernet.
  • Dell computers are available with a “dock” allowing for multiple monitors, ports and power to connect with a single connection. This dock is funded by ITS ($260) for the user’s primary computer. ITS funds a similar adapter ($31) with all the same ports for Mac deployments. The Mac adapter only supports one monitor per adapter.
  • Dell laptops have a replaceable battery that can be replaced by ITS on site. In Macs, the battery is glued in and must be sent to Apple for replacement. Both Dell and Apple batteries are only warranted for one year.
  • The standard college-issued Dell laptop weighs 3.1 lbs. and is 0.8" thick. The standard college-issued Mac laptop weighs 2.8 lbs. and is 0.63" thick.
  • The Dell cannot run Mac-only software, nor can the Mac run Windows-only software. In general, all standard college-issued software is available for both platforms. 
  • There are no issues exchanging Adobe or Microsoft Office files between the Mac and Windows versions so you are free to choose the platform that best meets your needs.
  • All college-owned computers are now either repaired by an on-site certified Dell or Apple technician or are mailed back to the manufacturer for repairs. The college no longer self-repairs computers.
  • Dell computers can be upgraded (more memory/RAM, or more hard drive/SSD storage) without replacing the entire computer. The newer Macs are not upgradeable. When ordering a new Mac from the Apple website, they specifically warn you that MacBook Pro memory is not user-accessible. If you think you may need more memory in the future, consider upgrading at the time of purchase.
  • Dell computers can be ordered with a touchscreen as an option. If a touchscreen is desired on the Mac platform, an iPad should be considered.



Article ID: 187
Tue 8/31/21 3:51 PM
Tue 11/14/23 3:13 PM

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