Mac vs. PCI bought a new laptop a couple of months ago but not before agonizing whether or not I should finally make the leap from being a long time Windows user to a MAC user.

After all, the MacBooks I was looking at in the store were so sleek and sexy.

And the TV commercials with the Mac Dude and his blustery and misguided friend, “PC”, were so clever. 

And then there were all those ugly rumors about how horrible and bloated Windows’ latest operating system, VISTA, was.

Well, when push came to shove I came back from the brink and decided to get a new HP Notebook Special Edition with VISTA Home Premium installed.  It’s got a DVD player/burner, webcam, wireless Internet — the works!

And you know what?

I love it.

I made sure that the new notebook had plenty of RAM, 4 gigs, to handle the operating system.  Because you can never have too much RAM (it’s like being too rich or too healthy). 

This was a far cry from my very first computer, which was an Apple IIC, by the way (remember those)?  That had a whopping 128 k of RAM.   

But I digress.

Yes, I could do without the on screen control panel and clock and all this other fancy nonsense that I have no interest in using but VISTA insists on throwing in there for cute-points.  But once I clicked them off and put these needlessly distracting and power-sucking applets back in their respective folders, everything was fine.

So I guess Windows deserves whatever criticisms they get for adding these essentially worthless doo-dads onto your desktop, but once I configured it to my liking, the notebook has been nothing short of great.  Very powerful, fast, efficient.  Doesn’t crash. I love it.

And take note:  comparing Apples to apples, my Vista-based notebook came with more of everything (hard drive, RAM, CPU speed) for around $1,000 compared to almost $1,700 for a similarly equipped Mac.

That made the Apple a little hard to swallow.