A long standing debate in the design community is whether the Mac is the only option for a designer.
Although it’s tempting to discuss that topic, we are not going to. While starting out, always choose the best equipment that fits your requirements, right? Apple’s top of the line equipment for designing and coding is their Mac lineup. Providing you with state of the art specs, a high res display, a well laid out, fluid operating system, a fast SSD, a good amount of RAM, a silicone to run it all smoothly and battery that can withstand moderate to heavy usage without giving up the ghost. All these features, that come at a substantial cost of course. So, if you are starting out in design, may be doing your first internship, or just landed in a design company, do you really need a Mac, or will a regular laptop do?
Even though it’s said that getting the best equipment out there that fits your profile is the best option, what a lot of beginners do is go get a high end laptop, or even a Macbook Pro. What they fail to understand is the fact that these devices won’t shape your work, and get the work done for you. Almost the entirety of my work from college and school days, even my internship and my first job was completed on a Windows machine, this being the case for a lot of people I know as well. When you are starting it’s not necessary that you get a Mac or any premium laptop for that matter. Windows may not be as good in scaling or as fluid as a Mac, but it can get the job done.
What they fail to understand is the fact that these devices won’t shape your work, and get the work done for you.
If you are a beginner, you just landed your first job in a design company or studio or even bagged an internship, there’s always an initial learning phase. This is where you learn about design, using colors, getting the type right, arranging shapes and a lot of elements which will be iterative and repetitive. Eventually, you get better at it, figuring out how to shape things, bring sophistication & simplicity and essentially, make more intuitive designs. When you get your hands on real projects, you’ll understand where you are lacking and where you are weak. As someone who will go through these phases, there’s no mandate that you buy a Mac, you really don’t require the features that it offers, and it certainly won’t help you make you designs look stunning, it's you who has to be creative and logical, not the machine. Spending a premium on a Mac is not wise (unless you are loaded with cash, and really want one, of course).
While that's the case, there are some exceptions to this of course. For a cohesive environment, file sharing, presentations, design and development, a company might opt for the one specific ecosystem over the other. If a company chooses Macs, you can’t bring a Windows into the mix, since it will create a lot of friction in the workflow and thus comes the term “choose your system wisely”.
To conclude, if the company you are going to work for (or are planning to build) is following a unified ecosystem (Mac or Windows) across departments, then the choice is simple, else a Windows machine will get the job done just as well.