UK’s Channel 5 Gadget Show Mac vs. Windows PC challenge

Apple Store“With the success of Apple’s latest MacBook, the laptop market has become the very frontline of the war between Mac and PC. So that’s what we decided to concentrate on… Jason used his own MacBook – which he loves dearly,” Suzi Perry reports for The Gadget Show. “And I used my own Sony Vaio – it was brand new so I was only just getting used to it and its new Vista operating system.”

Perry reports, “For our challenge we had decided to become news reporters – using our laptops as our only means of writing our stories, editing our video, accessing our photos and then uploading the whole lot to the internet. This would be a way of really checking out their usability and capabilities.”

“We reported on a fantastically ridiculous carnival held every year in the North Italian town of Ivrea. Basically, it’s a big celebration of the town’s history and independence, but what really interested us was the fact that each days festivities culminate in a massive chaotic orange fight. Yes, you heard me right, an orange fight. Now, we thought that really was something worth reporting on,” Perry reports.

Perry reports, “When it comes down to looks and design though the Mac wins hands down… When it comes to operating systems the new layout of Vista is a very attractive look But as Jason pointed out he couldn’t help thinking he’d seen something like Vista somewhere before – on his Mac. Mac OSX operating system was the first to offer users widgets, and animated boxes and the like so it seems that what you’ve got there is actually Microsoft trying to catch up with Apple in the operating system game. Security is another bone of contention or at least it was. Mac’s are famously secure and Jason’s never had a virus, or any spyware or phishing or nothing on his Mac.”

“So, we spent 24 hours as reporters; compiling reports, shooting and editing video, processing photos, then uploading all that media onto the web. All we could use was our laptop, the software that it came with and a camcorder,” Perry reports. “The rules of the challenge – rules we actually made up ourselves – said that we each had to write a three hundred word article about the carnival with 3 accompanying pictures, and also edit a two minute film showing our experiences.”

“Using the same word processor on both machines we were unsurprisingly neck and neck and finished our articles at virtually the same time… Articles finished it was photo time and this is where we started to see a difference between PC and Mac… Because iPhoto was so easy to Jason finished his photos first and moved onto the next test. While I spent another 10 minutes putting the finishing touches to my photos,” Perry reports.

Perry reports, “My new Vista version of Windows Movie Maker recognises High Def footage which is good as I’d shot everything in full 1080i HDV. With the click of a couple of buttons you can import photos and music from other parts of your computer quite easily. The only problem with the new movie maker is it’s not that easy to actually edit with. I’d drop some footage in, try and move it around and everything would freeze which is incredibly frustrating and a complete waste of time.”

“Editing with iMovie, the Mac editing package was fantastic, it’s so simple to use. Like movie maker you drag and drop clips into the timeline and it’s even easier to get photos and music into your project as they are all stored in other parts of the iLife programme. How it beats movie maker hand down for me is, it works, everything most people would want it to do, it does,” Perry reports. “Using the built-in microphone Jason even recorded voiceover with the touch of a button… It’s this Mac ethos of everything working, and working together, that meant Jason cut my 2 minute film really, really quickly and it took me, well It took me a lot longer.”

Full article with much more, including photos and the finished articles with videos here.

MacDailyNews Take: Completely predictable results. The moral of the story? Get a Mac.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dirty Pierre le Punk” for the heads up.]

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  1. They still make some slip ups though. Perry was allowed to hold up a long list of PC software which she bragged came free with her Vaio and Jason let her get away with it without pointing out that a Mac did most of those things (i.e. DVD burning) as standard.

  2. MDN: enough of the ads already! This site is getting harder and harder to read. Putting ads in text ereas does not help with legibility. Apple is all about good design. Hows about you design this site better?

  3. …”Talking of programmes, the software you get bundled with the MacBook is meagre compared to the PC bundle. There’s the iLife stuff – your photo and video editing software a whole load of widgets and Microsoft Office for Mac on a three month trial.
    My PC comes with a incredibly long list of bundled programmes:
    SonicStageCP 4.2
    DVgate Plus 2.3
    WinDVD 8.0
    Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0
    Easy Media Creator 9
    Click to DVD 2.6
    AdobeAcrobat Standard 8.0
    Adobe Reader 8.0
    Microsoft Works 8.5
    Microsoft Office 2003 Trial
    Norton Internet Security 2007
    VAIO Recovery Utility 2.6
    HDD recovery (hidden partition)
    Google software package
    Plus more…

    …the software you get bundled with the MacBook is meagre compared to the PC bundle.

    Stupid idiot, how the fuk do these people find/keep work?

  4. I’m with M.X.N.T.4.1 on the Gadget Show being crap. If anyone saw the comparison of LCD and Plasma TV’s a few weeks back you wouldn’t believe how much that review stank of sh*t. And that they did the comparison using video shot on a SD camera burnt to DVD was even more embarrassing. Like that’s how I decide the quality of a HD TV set?

  5. An interesting real-world case study. Of course, I’m not really surprised to see a triumvirate of tasks (writing, photos, and video) going to the Mac. What I’d like to see added is if they both had to do travel expenses on the notebooks, and maybe had to track a couple hundred data points and integrate the resulting chart into the document. Oh, and they have to send and receive 50 emails, and set up and attend 10 meetings using their notebooks.

    I still think the Mac would have won, but I’d love to see what the relative times would be.

  6. From the article:

    Talking of programmes, the software you get bundled with the MacBook is meagre compared to the PC bundle. There’s the iLife stuff – your photo and video editing software a whole load of widgets and Microsoft Office for Mac on a three month trial.
    My PC comes with a incredibly long list of bundled programmes:

    Incredible software bundle? Note that most programs are not “top of their class” and that many functions for dealing with your photos or music are spread over several programs:

    SonicStageCP 4.2 – software for music management and transfers of your favourite tracks

    Beaten hands down by iTunes which is freely available for the PC

    DVgate Plus 2.3 – capture, edit and record digital video images

    Beaten hands down by iPhoto which is part of iLife.

    WinDVD 8.0 – play DVDs

    DVD player is included on every Mac.

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 – Image editing tools for digital imaging acquired from cameras and scanners

    iPhoto does most of them and in a much easier way. Photoshop Elements wins on features but looses out on integration.

    Easy Media Creator 9 – Burn music CDs & DVDs

    Integrated into MacOS X or use the iLife programs iTunes for burning music CDs and iDVD for burning DVDs if you need more control.

    Click to DVD 2.6 – burn to DVD control software

    A separate PC program for what on the Mac is the “One click DVD” menue.

    AdobeAcrobat Standard 8.0 – pdf files creator

    Making pdf files is integrated into MacOS X.

    Adobe Reader 8.0 – pdf files reader

    Free download, or use the integrated Preview program on the Mac.

    Microsoft Works 8.5 – integrated office suite

    Comparable to AppleWorks which is no longer bundled.

    Microsoft Office 2003 Trial – office suite

    Free download.

    Norton Internet Security 2007 – antivirus etc

    Not required on the Mac

    VAIO Recovery Utility 2.6 &HDD; recovery (hidden partition) – necessary since Recovery Disc is not bundled.
    Note: After installing Norton GoBack, VAIO Recovery Utility may not function properly. In order to track changes and restore data to the hard drive, Norton GoBack changes the hard drive’s partition type. Since the Sony VAIO Recovery Utility requires a specific partition type to create a recovery media kit, it may not function after installing Norton GoBack.

    This is simply embarrassing for the PC.

    Google software package

    Another free download


    Another free download

    So the only programs worth mentioning are Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 (which is good) and Microsoft Works 8.5 (which isn’t). I’m just glad this “reporter” did not mention the incredible “calculator and widgets and desktop picture” bundled with her Vaio … which btw costs pretty much the same as the MacBook.

  7. VAIO Recovery Utility 2.6

    What, we’re including the software that re-installs all of Sony’s proprietary hardware drivers as if it’s a piece of added value software as opposed to just something that should be there as standard.

    I’m surprised she didn’t go the whole hog and include the mouse and keyboard drivers, or maybe the power switch.

    Suzi Perry’s very pleasant to look at, especially when she’s doing her MotoGP commentating thing and wearing leather jumpsuits, but as a technology writer she leaves a lot to be desired. Still, better than that fsckwit Jon Bentley.

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