Saturday, April 20, 2024

Macs are Better Looking than Windows PCs (Not)

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Generally, when you ask a group of people which company they believe designs the best computers, the answer is Apple. They contend that Apple’s aluminum notebooks, sleek desktops and beautiful displays make the company the best of the best in the computer design world.

No more than five years ago, it would be impossible to argue with that contention. At the time, companies like Dell, HP and others were designing computers that were downright ugly. They were beige (or gray) beasts that were too heavy and too big.

At the time, PC vendors believed design didn’t matter. Apple has taught us all that it does. In today’s PC market, design is one of the few differentiating factors vendors can cling to. Consumers want good-looking computers because it reflects well on them. If you’re sitting at Starbucks, do you really want to be showing off a boring, Dell notebook you bought five years ago? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

After a while, PC manufacturers finally woke up to that reality.
They understood that consumers wanted more than just Windows and a low price. When it comes to buying a PC, consumers want beauty as much as power.

Since then, PC designs have become much better. From major companies like HP and Dell to smaller firms like Velocity Micro and Falcon Northwest, Windows-based machines are quickly gaining ground in computer design. And for the first time in a long time, I’d contend that Windows PCs are just as beautiful (if not more so, in some cases) than Macs.

Are Macs sexy machines? Of course. I’m writing this on a 24-inch aluminum iMac. It’s gorgeous. And whenever I see the MacBook Pro, I’m in love. Like all Apple products, it’s a beautiful device.

But they’re not any better-looking than products from Falcon Northwest and Velocity Micro. Do me a favor: Go to either of those companies’ Web sites, find yourself a PC, and compare its design to a comparably equipped Apple machine. I think you’ll find that a product from either of those boutique vendors easily makes Apple’s products look like a little ugly in comparison.

It’s not just boutique vendors. Both HP and Dell have come a long way in designing better machines. The HP Pavilion dv7t is a beautiful notebook, complete with a glossy finish, a neat design on the case, and the option to pick the color you like — something that isn’t possible with a Mac. If you check out the Dell Alienware M17x, you’ll find something similar: an extremely sexy PC, featuring a back-lit keyboard, a gorgeous case, and much more. It’s a beautiful device. And, if you ask me, far more beautiful than Mac notebooks.

Dell also has a variety of nicely designed PCs in its Inspiron line of notebooks. You can pick the color you like or choose a design you favor. And its Studio XPS desktops, featuring a nice, glossy finish, are quite appealing to the eye. So appealing, in fact, I’d rather have that sitting prominently in my office than a Mac Pro.

Yes, I believe PCs are good looking. Does that mean I’m ready to ditch my Macs and move on to a more beautiful PC? Of course not. I’m happy with the design of my Macs. But I thought it would be appropriate to highlight an erroneous stereotype that has persisted for too long.

Whether we want to believe it or not, PCs are just as beautiful as Macs. And in some cases, they’re even more beautiful. It’s time we accept that reality.

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