I get it—it can be hard to make the best decision when looking for a new computer for school. For many, the question starts with “Do I want a Mac or a PC?” But looking up this question online can leave some more confused than when they started. There are just too many benchmarks to keep up with, and with so many statistics on what is faster, better, smarter, and safer, it can be hard to apply them to you and what you need.
In general, if you are considering a Mac or a PC, I think a PC powered by Intel is a better choice. But I will not wear you down with the benchmarks and the statistics. Instead, here are three very real situations that people may find themselves in when they use an Intel-powered PC for school, teaching, or research.
The 10th grade entrepreneur project scenario
Let us say you are in 10th grade Honors English, and you are put into groups to create a business, sell a real product, and make money that will be donated to a local charity.
If you had a 2 in 1 PC, you could stay productive and creative with the new launch of Windows 11, as well as seamlessly switch between Microsoft-based apps to take notes, write down a schedule, and create a budget for your business. However, while M1-based MacBooks do offer Microsoft-based apps and other third-party services, not all desirable Microsoft products are available with Macs.
A 2 in 1 PC would also come with a stylus, meaning you could draw designs and sketches onto a touchscreen and pass it around to your group members. While an iPad may be used with a stylus, the stylus comes at an extra cost. In order to get all the features of a 2-in-1 with a stylus, you’d have to buy an iPad, a keyboard with a stylus, or a MacBook (that does not support touch) all separately and not exactly cost-effectively.
At the end of the month, you and your group members are finally done with your entrepreneur project and are ready to turn in your final presentation. But something happens: Before you can submit your project online, your cursor stops moving, and your screen is frozen! (Not to worry though. We all know that computers are not 100 percent perfect, and there can be an easy solution for this.) You bring your computer into the IT department at school for help, and because they are familiar with PCs, they fix it up fairly easily. This is because, typically, IT professionals tend to be more familiar with working with PC products because Apple favors repairs by its own technicians.
You have given your presentation and you feel confident in your work, so now it is time for some well-deserved downtime. Luckily, your PC lets you play, stream, and download a large variety of games to play with your friends. If M1-based MacBook owners wanted to join in on the fun, they would have to download additional software—which could be prone to more crashes—or just sit out altogether.
The AP biology teacher
Let us say you are a 12th grade AP/IB biology teacher, and you are looking for a new device for the school year. When you walk into a retail store, you may feel a little bombarded by all the choices. But one thing that stands out to you is that a lot of the PC brands—Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, and Microsoft—use Intel® processors, so that has to mean that Intel is doing something right, right?
The thing is, an Intel-powered PC means that you get a lot more options in general compared to an M1-based Apple device. For example, since you are looking for a work computer to take to and from work—and your school’s desk setup comes with a desktop PC—a PC purchase means you can physically connect to that school’s device. With an M1-based MacBook, you would not be able to connect or sync that device to your school’s desktop computer. Besides, you plan on potentially connecting another external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and more USB-connected devices.
One more thing that may be on your mind is “What if we have to switch to blended learning for two weeks?” That is why I would definitely suggest talking to your IT staff about adopting the Intel vPro® with Evo™ platform not just for you, but for every teacher and staff member at your school.
The vPro platform is the most ideal platform for blended learning because your school’s IT department will be able to manage your device remotely and securely inside and outside of your school’s firewall. That way, you can focus more on teaching rather than getting your computer set up in a different location. These PCs are designed for enterprises, and while schools technically are not run like most businesses, I believe that teachers deserve the best devices they can get.
The university research student
It is your final year at university, and when you are not working on your thesis in architectural engineering, you are working on your digital art final for your minor in design.
With the expense of textbooks, rent, and coffee, you need a device that does not require a new charger or new architecture every two or three years. With a PC, you can decide on the form factor that best meets your needs, including the device’s screen size, resolution, thinness, touchscreen with customary stylus, port types, and color. Customizing a device is fairly unheard of for Apple products, since the only two questions you can ask regarding form factor is “How big is it?” and “Does it have a touchscreen?”
You should also be able to rely on your device for that digital art final too. But even if you are not an artist, musician, video influencer, or photo editor, PCs allow you to use the applications and plugins you need to thrive and work fluidly toward your passions. Additionally, not only are PCs known to support a diversity of applications, PCs with Intel® Iris® Xe graphics can give creators the dynamic visuals they need to enable their creativity.
Consensus: Intel-based PCs > M1-based MacBooks
So there you go: three real-life education use cases that clearly demonstrate why Intel-based PCs are a better option compared to the new M1-based MacBooks. It can be hard to look through all those benchmarks and statistics, but when all those numbers and quotes are brushed aside, I think the answer could not be clearer: Intel-based PCs give you the everyday flexibility, security, and configurability that is needed no matter if you are a student, teacher, or researcher.
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