Are Apple MacBooks the Answer for Remote Work?
By Jim Lundy
We haven’t talked about the age-old debate between Windows laptop computers and Apple MacBook laptops. However, during COVID-19, it popped back up, but not for the reasons you might think. Part of the reason we’re hearing about this again now is the need to get gear to support remote work. In this blog, we review the current debate.
Apple MacBooks for Remote Work
The scenario is this: you are a doctor and your hospital just told you to work from home. IT cannot get its hands on Windows laptops. They are just not available. So what do they do? Give out a tower PC (with no camera), or just cave and buy a MacBook Pro with its built-in HD Camera, which is needed for telehealth. This story is true, except, in reality, IT actually opted for the tower PC—this was in part because laptops are hard to get. On top of that, healthcare firms are suffering due to 60 days of not conducting elective surgeries.
Apple vs. Windows in Silicon Valley—Apple Won Years Ago
What does Silicon Valley know that the rest of the world does not? Apple won the battle for corporate use in Silicon Valley years ago—and now, you just don’t see many Windows machines. Even at NASA in Mountain View guests check in using Macs. Is it ease of use and productivity bundled together?
The Interim Solution—Enter the iPad or iPad Pro
The new battle has been the Surface Pro vs. the iPad. iPads with a keyboard have become very popular for certain types of sales situations. For remote work, they also may be the answer to productivity. I have used an iPad for 9 years. It is a companion machine in the office, useful for checking the status of something or just doing an online lookup. Now, when I go on the road, I often do not even take my MacBook. That brings up an important point—we are not on the road.
MacBook vs. iPad
If you work from home and your firm won’t get you a new machine, the good news is you have a choice. If you have lots of meetings and your work machine is not up to the task, splurging for a MacBook or MacBook Pro is a good bet. If your laptop is ok, then you might want to opt for an iPad. Realize that your iPad may be absconded by your kids, who have been flocking to them for entertainment and now for school work.
As far as the iPad goes, iPad Pro has a battery life that is unreal, but the value deal is the regular iPad. We would suggest the cellular model—you can add it to an existing carrier plan. That way, even if you lose power (and WiFi) at home, your iPad still is online.
Availability and Support
The good news is Macs and iPads are available. AirPods Pro earbuds are back-ordered. While we have both Windows and Apple devices at Aragon, for you, the issue is what is available—and what support you can even get from IT. That actually pushes you more toward an Apple option.
Between the value of having a front-facing camera, ease of use, and streamlined productivity tools, the laptops Apple offers may have the answers to the challenges of working remotely. For enterprises trying to adjust to this new normal, it’s worth reviewing these debates to ensure you’re making the right choice.