If you're mulling making the switch from PC to Mac or you haven't decided whether to go for an Apple iPad or a tablet computer made by one of the firm's competitors, you'd do well to consider the relative advantages and disadvantages of owning an Apple product before parting with any money.
Macs can run Microsoft's Windows as well as Apple's OS X operating system. So if you need to run an application that isn't available for OS X devices, you can simply switch to Windows on your Apple computer and you'll be good to go. PCs can't work with software that's been designed to run exclusively on Macs. An April 2013 survey of 150,000 portable PCs by cloud management firm Soluto found that Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro was the best laptop on which to run Windows, citing its "clean installation" of the software.
The myth that Macs are immune to malware was exploded in 2012 when 700,000 Apple computers were infected with a Trojan downloader. The incident prompted Apple to drop its claim that Macs don't get viruses. Apple products became more popular with cybercriminals in 2012 due to their widespread use among influential politicians and prominent business people, according to Kaspersky Lab. The growing popularity of OS X and iOS devices could make them increasingly attractive to malware writers in the future.
If you want all your devices to work seamlessly together, investing in a Mac to run with your iPad, iPhone, iTV box and iPod will allow you to take full advantage of Apple's ecosystem. As Windows PCs, smartphones and tablets running other companies' operating systems are made by a range of different manufacturers, achieving such a high degree of synchronicity between devices is difficult if you use a mix of products from Apple's rivals. Using a Mac will allow you to sync content between your other Apple devices using iCloud and make sure iTunes purchases are available on all your devices immediately.
Apple products typically come at a price premium. You can generally expect to pay more for an Apple device than you would for one with similar specs made by one of its competitors. Apple argues the price difference between its products and those made by its rivals is partly down to the money its spends on design, development and the superior materials its devices are made from, such as glass and aluminium.