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To Go Mac or Tablet PC?



When students at Winona State get to choose between a Mac and Tablet PC, more and more students are choosing the Mac. Makes me wonder what would happen if Apple ever decided to come to market with a Mac Tablet:


At the University of Minnesota bookstore, Macs are enshrined in a flashy sales-display area intended to imitate Apple’s retail stores, while a handful of Windows laptops at the campus shop are relegated to a back wall.

Students at Winona State University, required to choose between a MacBook laptop and a Windows-based touch-screen tablet PC for school use, have increasingly gone Mac despite its lack of touch-screen capabilities.

At Minnesota’s private colleges such as Macalester, St. Olaf in Northfield and Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, the percentage of Mac-using students has doubled, tripled or more, although this trend is by no means universal.

Winona State University may constitute the ultimate test of Mac popularity because it gives students a stark choice – MacBook or Gateway-branded Tablet PC – when selecting their school-required laptop. And, indeed, Mac use has increased. Last school year, student computer use was 89.8 percent Gateway and 10.2 percent Apple; this year, the split is 83.6 percent Tablet PC and 16.4 percent MacBook, according to school-tech administrators.

Winona State professor Patrick Paulson said while Windows laptops still represent the vast majority of portables in his management-of-information-systems classes, Mac use has grown.

He says Winona State students increasingly are adventurous and willing to try new things – such as loading Windows on a MacBook and using it as, essentially, a PC.


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