Differences Between Windows laptops and MacBooks [Some of The Pros and Cons of Each]

The same segregation that occurs between iPhones and Android phones exists between MacBooks and Windows laptops. What makes Apple products so different? Specifically, what makes MacBooks any better than regular Windows laptops?

There have always been controversies surrounding the differences between Windows laptops and MacBooks. Whether you are here to make an informed purchase or just for the sake of knowing, we will make their differences clear. Are MacBooks better than Windows laptops? Or is the reverse the case?

We will be focusing on the differences between Windows laptops and MacBooks. We will also look at the pros and cons of each.

Differences Between Windows laptops and MacBooks

While their commands and shortcut buttons are different, there is more to the differences between them. The most basic difference is that a Windows laptop and a MacBook run on different operating systems. Their software and user experience differ. Let’s take a closer look at that.

Operating System

This is the biggest difference between Laptops and MacBooks. Laptops operate based on their individual operating systems, like the Windows, Linux, and UNIX operating systems, while the MacBook operates on the Macintosh operating system (macOS).

The Windows operating system is the operating system built into laptops by most manufacturers.  On the other hand, Apple builds the MacOS into ONLY Apple products.

Another interesting difference is that MacBooks can run other operating systems “legally and natively” and are the only laptops that can do that.


Instead of the Windows, Menu, ALT, and CTRL keys that are present on Windows laptop keyboards, the MacBook has the Command, Option, and Control Keys. The command key on MacBooks sometimes works as the ALT and CTRL key on Windows laptops.

Also, Function keys on Mac laptops often have extra functions. Most people who learned to use a computer on the Windows operating system find it easier to navigate Windows laptops than MacBooks.

Read also: How to Factory Reset Windows 10 Without Settings, From BIOS & Boot

Design and Build

The MacBook’s design is second to none with its slim and sleek look. It is very durable, with impressive build quality. One word to describe its build and design is ‘Cool’. Other brands of Windows laptops may have eye-catchy and attractive designs but the MacBook is undeniably undefeated. The Apple logo on the back of the MacBook glows, which is pretty interesting.

Interestingly, there are Windows laptops that are optimized for touch on supported touchscreen devices while some are convertible 2-in-1 Windows laptops. Apple is yet to implement any of these on its Macs.

Price: Cost and Repairs

The MacBook is very expensive. Except you are really keen on its beauty, long lifespan, and screen quality, other Windows laptops are great alternatives.

You can find other Windows laptops with similar system hardware and specifications for half the price of a MacBook. Although this is rare, if your MacBook develops a fault, the cost of repair is high because of its premium hardware design and quality.

Other Windows laptop brands are relatively cheap and affordable. Their cost of maintenance is not as high as well.


The MacBook has a smaller library of apps compared to Windows laptops. Windows laptops have a wide variety of apps that can be installed, but the MacBook has limited apps available and acceptable on the system which makes the MacBook less accommodating.


Apple’s ‘audacity’ to remove every single port except the 3.5mm and replace them with USB-C remains a major downside of the brand to this day. Windows laptops are not so low on ports, as most brands have maintained, and even increased the number of ports you have on the laptop.


MacBooks are non-upgradable. You are stuck with whatever you get. Windows laptops, on the other hand, are upgradable. So, if you are a tech enthusiast looking to mess with your computer and enjoy a lot more freedom and customizations, the MacBook is not for you.

MacBook Pros

  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Allows you to switch between multiple operating systems
  • Arguably the most secure and most reliable Windows laptops brand
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Impressive screen quality (Full HD view)
  • Has high-quality video editing ability
  • Headphone audio quality allows for a seamless video and audio experience
  • Has a large trackpad that makes navigation easy and smooth

MacBook Cons

  • Non-upgradable
  • Very expensive and has a high maintenance cost
  • Does not have as many ports as Windows laptops. It has only two USB – C ports available for use, making the device unable to support more than two external hardware devices at a time.
  • Has a small selection of apps that it supports
  • Cannot be used for real gaming

Windows Laptop Pros

  • Windows laptops are much more affordable and have a low maintenance cost
  • Gaming is easier and more fun on Windows laptops
  • Most Windows laptops have multiple ports and you get to connect multiple external devices at the same time
  • Windows laptops are upgradeable. You can upgrade your system’s memory and other system apps including Operating systems to higher versions indefinitely.
  • Windows laptops support a wide collection of systems

Windows Laptop Cons

  • Some Windows laptops have too many unnecessary updates
  • Windows laptops’ video editing and audio quality are not as good as the MacBook’s (unless you upgrade to better RAM, memory, and graphics card)
  • Most Windows laptops have lower processing power and more processing time compared to the MacBook
  • Venting problems are common on Windows laptops
  • Windows laptop batteries don’t last as long as the MacBook’s

Frequently Asked Questions