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  • Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, or Mac? Your Holiday Laptop Guide
Technology Articles > Computers > Laptops > Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, or Mac? Your Holiday Laptop Guide

So you want to buy a laptop this holiday season. Now what? Which one do you choose? What’s Windows 8 all about, and how does it compare to Apple’s laptops? Consumers are confused. But, there’s good news on the horizon – this guide will help to clear up that confusion, so that you can go out and buy a laptop with confidence.

Windows 8 Laptops: What You’ll Get

Windows 8 laptops work on a touchscreen premise. Instead of a traditional keyboard and touchpad, these laptops come with a touchscreen. You can touch a Windows 8 laptop screen in order to surf the net, open up tiles, and do whatever you would normally do with any other laptop. Windows 8 laptops are relatively new to the marketplace, and there are a number of them already on the market. You can use a traditional keyboard and touchpad to use a Windows 8 laptop if you aren’t a fan of the touchscreen. Both options are included with any Windows 8 laptop.

You can switch from touchscreen to keyboard quite easily too. To active a Windows 8 laptop touchscreen, simply switch to Start Screen mode. To switch back to keyboard mode, choose the Desktop mode option. Having the choice between touchscreen and keyboard is really what Windows 8 is all about – the best of both worlds, if you will. But, you should also know that there’s a difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

Windows 8 Pro: What’s it all About

If you want a laptop that you can use from home to connect to an office network, Windows 8 Pro is the one for you. Windows 8 Pro comes with a number of features that Windows 8 does not have. These features make working remotely while connecting to a network easier. Choosing a Windows laptop would be simple if there weren’t one additional option, but there is. You’ll also see some Windows 8 RT laptops on the market.

RT actually stands for “Run Time,” and these laptops can’t run traditional Windows 7 programs like Office, Chrome, Quicken, and various others. Windows 8 RT systems run only tablet-like apps that are included with a unique version of Microsoft Office. In short, if you like the older Windows 7 programs and don’t want to change, don’t purchase a Windows RT laptop. With all this Windows talk, is Mac still in the running?

What About Macs?

Even though Apple stock has dipped lately, Apple’s MacBooks are still quite popular. Apple has redesigned the MacBook Pro. Now, there are two versions of the popular MacBook Pro. These two versions include the MacBook Pro Regular Display and the MacBook Pro Retina Display. What’s the difference? Aside from price (the Retina version is a lot more expensive), Apple’s Retina Display comes with more pixels.

So, if you plan on playing lots of video games, working on art projects, or doing anything else that requires additional pixels, the Retina Display might be a good idea. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify that higher price tag. Apple’s MacBook Air remains unchanged.

If you are going to buy a new Windows 8 system, I just have one word of caution for you: don’t purchase a Windows 8 laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen. Windows 8 was built for, and runs best with, a touchscreen, so skip those models that offer lower prices in exchange for a regular old keyboard.