Ask LH: Are Apple Macs Worth The Extra Money?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m an iPhone-loving mum who is looking to buy a desktop computer to store the bazillion photos I have of my kids. I’d like a machine that has longevity, reliability and one that’s fast for internet and email. Is a Mac going to be my best choice since the iPhone to Mac transfer is pretty simple or is spending the extra hundreds not worth it for me? I’m hopeless with technology, so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks, Lovely Luddite

Photo: Getty Images

Dear LL,

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t require anything beyond basic computing and storage space, go with a Windows PC. Transferring your photos to a non-Apple computer isn’t that difficult: you can find comprehensive instructions for importing iOS pics here. Naturally, you can also access your iCloud Photo Library account from a Windows PC.

Unlike Macs, which start at $1699, you can snap up a competent Windows all-in-one (AIO) for under $500. These models come pre-assembled and usually include everything you need to get started, including the operating system, keyboard and mouse. To set your AIO up, all you need to do is plug it in and follow the on-screen instructions. Too easy.

For your specific needs, I’d pick extra storage space over faster hardware: ignore SSDs and go for a device with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive. This should be plenty of space for storing photos and videos — just be sure to back up your data and keep your photos in good order. This guide includes tips for keeping your photo collection safe and well organised. Good luck!

We’re also going to open this one to our readers. Are the user-friendliness and familiarity of Macs worth the extra money for tech-shy mums? Share your opinion in the comments section below.


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