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Architizer Asks—Which is Best Laptop for Architects: Mac or PC?

Should young architects go with a PC laptop or a Mac laptop? This is the question Architizer asks in their thoughtful comparison article.


The architecture and design site,, has penned a pretty good article that goes over the pluses and minuses of considering either a Mac laptop or Windows PC laptop for young architects just starting out. The article covers all the bases and is also—and this is not always the case with this particular question—very well balanced and fair about which computer wins out.

The Short Answer

Readers at Architosh will most likely already have in mind that the Mac is the only right answer, but Architizer’s article makes several points about the large freedom of PC laptops that now exist in the market. One must remember that now we have Microsoft itself as a hardware player in the industry with their Microsoft Surface Book. While their very expensive touch-screen iMac-like competitor has been both praised and criticized by real artists and creatives, the Surface Books, in particular, have been more generally praised.

If you want Architizer’s conclusion on the short answer go here, but one thing they do not mention in their overall analysis is that the MacBook Pro (which is the machine they discuss) is part of an overall ecosystem of both hardware and software. Yes, it is true that Windows computer users also buy and use iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple’s other devices, but there are aspects of using those devices with a Mac computer that provide a seamless enhanced user experience.

It’s About the Digital Life and Workflows

For example, when the aspiring young architect chooses a Mac today, and they are already an iPhone user, they can copy images, video and text from an app on their iPhone and past it that into another app on their nearby Mac. You can also take phone calls from your Mac, without picking up your iPhone. So if you are working late into the night in your college studio with your earbuds on listening to music—and isn’t this the common ritual of all architecture students?–you can take that phone call directly from your Mac.

01 – When young architects consider PC vs Mac they should be looking at more than just the computer to computer comparison. They should be looking at their whole digital life and the possible workflows that work across all their devices, but these are the daily practices that overall they live with, in architecture school and in their young careers. (image: Apple. All rights reserved).

Apple’s Mac’s are now coming with the secure fingerprint Touch ID, and you can also unlock your Mac with your AppleWatch.

The fact is, there are aspects of using a Mac for your young architecture life that if—and this assumes you are using iOS devices and not Android devices—that are clearly superior to if you are choosing a Windows computer to use with those same iOS devices.

Starting a document on the iPhone and finishing it on another device, or vice versa, are both time-savers and provide a better overall computing life workflow. The Architizer article is very good, but we wish they mentioned this aspect because young architects don’t just use a computer—they live and breath a digital life just like everyone else using a growing plethora of digital devices.


Reader Comments

  1. Posted by:
    August 18, 2017 09:32 am EDT

    As you say, it is all about workflow. My Macbook Pro seamlessly connects to my Mac Pro desktops, iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV (for presenting on displays and projectors). If the rest of your office is Windows/Android, I certainly wouldn’t recommend a Mac laptop.

    If there is a mix, it would depend upon key elements of your workflow. A Mac can run Windows, can share files in Windows formats, and can connect to Android, but you’re losing much of the benefit of the Mac environment at that point.

  2. Thomas, you bring up another interesting point about the value of the Apple ecosystem, which is AppleTV devices as connecting hubs for conference room TVs/LCDs. I see these everywhere in the offices I visit because they make the connection experience for computers in conference rooms painless.

    I would agree that if one’s office is already Windows/Android, a Mac doesn’t make much sense. But today, depending on the global market you are in, iOS dominates Android by a large share in the AEC industry. Android is in now way an equal competitor to iOS for the AEC industry with regards to mobile apps.

  3. Posted by:
    Christopher James
    August 25, 2017 12:12 pm EDT

    I am of the opinion that a lot of these issues between the Mac and PC debate could be resolved if Autodesk would create a NATIVE Revit and 3DSMax client for the Mac. Also I wish ChaosGroup would release V-Ray for Rhino for Mac. These are the few programs that the Mac needs and if all of the programs were equal on both platforms, the Mac would win hands down.

Comments are closed.


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