Switching from Mac to PC: Choosing a laptop | PCWorld – PCWorld

I’m committed to switching from a Mac to a PC, and the next step is to start shopping. When you haven’t used anything but Macs for close to two decades, the sheer quantity and variety of Windows choices poses a challenge. So, while I researched which new Windows laptop would be a good fit for me, I spent some time experimenting with the first Windows computer I could get my hands on: my Mac.

Easing into Windows via Bootcamp

Most modern Apple computers come with Boot Camp Assistant—a program designed to help you turn your Apple computer into a machine that can dual-boot into Windows. A copy of Windows 10 Home can be had for $120 (or downloaded and used for free with limited options,) so using the OS with Boot Camp is a great way to see what Microsoft has to offer before you invest in a PC.

Unfortunately, my beef with Apple includes several unresolved hardware issues. As such, I wanted a fresh start with a new computer.

boot camp Seamus Bellamy

Running Windows on your Mac is a relatively inexpensive way to take a new OS for a spin.

The Surface Book can be my PC and my tablet

My PC needs are demanding. I travel constantly, so I have to have a laptop. As a journalist, my world revolves around typing, web research, and editing photos or video. Some of my work takes me into challenging environments, so solid build quality is important. I also miss gaming on my PS4 console, something I had to give up for my nomadic lifestyle.

With all of this in mind, I decided to take the plunge with a Microsoft Surface Book. There are good reasons why it’s considered the pinnacle of Windows laptops. It has a high-resolution 13.3-inch display, a tough magnesium case, 512GB of storage (necessary for when I can’t access the cloud,) an Intel Core i7 mobile processor, 16GB of RAM, and a discrete graphics card that’s awesome for gaming. It also has a detachable display that I can use as a tablet. Icing on the cake: I can use Microsoft’s Surface Pen (the counterpart to Apple’s Pencil for its iPads) for noodling with Adobe Lightroom. 

surface book i7 beauty 2 softer Gordon Mah Ung

The Surface Book is considered the pinnacle of Windows laptops for good reason. 

It’s a configuration that costs a lot of money, but it does exactly what I need it to do, and it replaces several different devices—my iPad, my dearly departed gaming console, and my MacBook Pro.

This might be more computer than you need, or maybe you want something with even more processing power. I can’t shop for you, but as a recent Apple escapee, I can give you some basic advice on what to consider before dropping any cash on new hardware.

Define your needs and wants

Finding a computer which, at the very least, can cut the same mustard as your current Mac is an absolute must. Let’s start with the basics: What do you currently use your Apple computer for? What would like your new Windows computer to do? Adding the items from your wish-list that you can afford makes the transition from one platform to the other more attractive. 

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