The three biggest names? Apple's macOS, Microsoft Windows and Google's Chrome OS.
Apple-designed hardware and software make a smooth-running and powerful operating system that's popular with everyone from university students to office professionals.
Got an iPhone or iPad? They’ll sync easily with your MacBook, so you can still get your calendar, contacts and music on all your devices.
MacOS Catalina is the latest version. Use your Mac to:
- Write essays and reports in Pages, work in spreadsheets in Numbers. If you’re still need Microsoft Word, you can buy Office for Mac!
- Use Siri. Apple’s virtual assistant isn’t just for your mobile. You can get Siri on your Mac too by saying “Hey Siri!”
- Copy and paste from your MacBook to your iPad or iPhone with the Universal Clipboard
- Use built-in creative apps – like GarageBand or iMovie – to record music or edit films
- Organise memories with technology that uses face and location recognition
Which Apple laptop?
There’s a MacBook for everyone, from creative designers to accountants. You can find the one that’s right for you on the Currys PC World website.
Its latest OS – Windows 10 – has been redesigned for tablets and mobiles, so you get the same experience across all Windows devices.
Touchscreen controls combine with traditional features like the Start menu, with frequent updates keeping the interface current.
You’re probably familiar with Microsoft 365, previously called Office 365 – the software bundle of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. You can buy and download it for almost any laptop.
Windows’ best bits are:
- Free Word, Excel and PowerPoint web apps – get the best from Windows with Microsoft 365 software
- A familiar Start menu makes it easy to navigate
- Write notes directly onto a web page using the Edge web browser
- Sketch and take notes with a stylus pen and Windows Ink on touchscreen laptops and tablets
- Use voice assistant Cortana to search for files or check your calendar
Which Windows laptop?
Microsoft's Surface laptops are high performers that can be more than one thing, thanks to the 2-in-1 design.
Take the Surface Book laptop. Remove the screen to use it as a tablet or run the most demanding of software on its Intel Core i7 processor and up to 8GB RAM. It’s ideal for Adobe software, as well as films and music.
Chromebooks are powered by Chrome OS and are perfect for those who spend their time online. The software sits securely in cloud-based apps. You can still access all your go-to apps offline so it's fine if you can't get signal sometimes.
Popular apps like Google and YouTube are all built-in and it's simple to download Android apps to use Adobe and Office. What's more, you can sync your files across all your different Google devices, which is ideal if you've got a Pixel phone or use a Google account.
Chrome's top features are:
- Automatic updates for security and software
- Loads of free web-based apps for work and play
- You can work collaboratively on a project and access files from anywhere with Google Docs
- Chromebooks are very affordable so are a viable option for even a student budget
There’s a huge choice of Chromebooks out there from brands like Acer, Asus, HP and Samsung. Great for work or play on the go, these lightweight and powerful laptops work for your budget.
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Article was originally published by our partners at Currys PC World