Are Macs and Windows PCs the same? Similar? Yes. The same? No. While hardware at the premium end of the Windows PC line might be similar to a Mac– and prices these days are similar, too– the key differentiator is Windows 10 vs. macOS Catalina, which is tied to Apple’s tightly reigned ecosystem.
That does not stop technology writers from making ill-informed product comparisons. They’ve been doing it for decades? Remember Windows vs. the Mac? How can you compare an operating system with an entire hardware and software platform? The comparison is not valid.
In recent years there is a similar comparison being made Android (Windows) vs. iPhone (the Mac). They are not the same, but comparisons persist anyway.
Here’s another one that has gained traction since Microsoft got into the hardware game with a growing and confusing line of Surface PCs. I call them notebook-tablet hybrids– a phrase I would not use on iPads– but that does not stop technology writers from drumming up a controversy where none exists.
Need an example? Michael Simon:
In the world of ultraportable 2-in-1 tablets that can work as hard as they play, there are but two options: the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro. And on October 2, Microsoft unveiled not just a refreshed Surface Pro 7, but the brand-new Surface Pro X (available from microsoft.com), an always-on, always-connected tablet that seems solely designed to take on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro
Now, I can end this charade of a comparison easily enough. The Surface Pro X is a Windows 10 laptop (Microsoft calls them laptops, Apple calls them notebooks) with a touchscreen. Apple’s powerful iPad Pro is a tablet with some PC or Mac-like features built-in.
In short, most Surface notebooks are sold and used as notebooks. Most iPads are sold and used as tablets. They are not the same. End of discussion.
Yet the lame comparisons never end, yet seldom valid.
At the low end of the scale, they are priced the same. At the high end of the scale Surface Pro X is more expensive, yet everywhere iPad Pro is more powerful and more capable– a million apps just for iPadOS tells the tale. If you want a less expensive notebook, Microsoft makes them at half the price. If you prefer a less expensive tablet, Apple makes one at less than half the price.
Just remember Apples are not being compared to apples. One is a notebook with tablet-like characteristics, while the other is a tablet, than can perform some notebook chores.