Am I better off installing windows on a 2017 MacBook Air or purchasing a low-end windows laptop?

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello all,

I'm wanting to use windows mainly for a mud client and some light Internet browsing. I currently have a 2017 MacBook air running Catalina with a 2.2 gig I7 processor, 8 gig of ran, and roughly 88 gig free out of 128. I don't have any experience running windows on a Mac. Is this something that is doable with these configurations, or would I be better off purchasing a low end windows laptop? I apologize if this is a no brainer. My last experience with windows was quite a while ago using windows 7. I can't recall which version of jaws I was using at the time. I'm sure a great deal has changed since then.

Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated.



Submitted by Justin on Monday, November 18, 2019

Just go ahead and purchase a low end windows machine for what you want to do. I'd strongly recommend not running win on a mac of any kind. People will say it works, but I allong with my friend have had nothing but problems and always say run windows on windows machines, and vice versa. The apple hardware and software run in tandom so much better than windows on a MacBook. They run hotter, and take more resources.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Monday, November 18, 2019

i would install it on the mac via vertual machine, just so that you don't have to be carring two laptops around

Submitted by Igna Triay on Monday, November 18, 2019

it depends. If you are running windows via bootcamp on your mac, i would agree with post 1, this would definitely be the case. However, I've been running windows on my macs via vertual machines for years now, and have had no problems. I know for a fact that other people here in this sight do the same thing and it works fine; just don't do it via bootcamp

Submitted by Cinnamon Caracal on Monday, November 18, 2019

Thank you both for the feedback. For the sake of simplicity, sounds like a windows laptop might be the way to go for me. Its been years since I've messed with a vm. I need something I can just pick up and use without too much hassle.

Sorry if this is getting off topic, but any thoughts on which screen reader works best for windows? Honestly, that was one of my biggest hesitations as far as installing windows on a Mac goes. Jaws was always such a resource hog, and with me having an Air, I was afraid they wouldn't play nice.

Submitted by Igna Triay on Monday, November 18, 2019

Both jaws and nvda work well, i would go for nvda though, its free, and in my opinion, has; or is; surpassing jaws

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Monday, November 18, 2019

I agree that either Jaws or NVDA works. I currently use both of them. Also, when I was reading these comments to this post, I saw that you could run Windows on a virtual machine on Mac. How do I do that? Sorry if this is a little off topic.

Submitted by Jared on Monday, November 18, 2019

I would get a cheep Windows laptop. I ran Windows 10 on a 2012 Macbook Air for 5 years with no issues. I had a 256 gb ssd and space was tight. You will be miserable if you try to run both OS's on a 128 gig ssd. How much are you willing to spend on a Windows machine? If your in the U.S. you should be able to get some decent black Friday deals.

Submitted by Cinnamon Caracal on Monday, November 18, 2019

@Igna Triay/Matthew I'll definitely give NVDA a go. I'm not too keen on the idea of having to pay an arm and a leg to update my license for jaws.
@Jared I was actually looking at black Friday ads this morning. I found a few promising deals I'm considering.

Thanks again for all of the feedback /advice.

I would recommend 8 gigs of ram and 128 gig ssd for decent performance. You can get buy with four gigs of ram but in my experience moving from four to eight gigs of ram makes a bigger difference then a processor upgrade from core i3 to core i5.

Submitted by Cowboy on Monday, November 18, 2019

My backup windows computer is actually a MacBook Pro running windows 10 home with boot camp. I tried it with a VM and it was much more difficult than using boot camp but that's just my personal experience and YMMV. I will say though that I don't switch over to the Mac OS very often and primarily run windows. It has only a 128 gig SSD so I would hate to try and run both.

Where screen readers are concerned I actually run both Jaws and NVDA for windows. Jaws now offers a software as a service deal where you get 3 licenses for $100 per year or the same price as an Office 365 subscription if you use that. I have found that there are some areas where one screen reader out performs the other depending on what you're doing. Maybe I just used jaws to long in the past but nothing on NVDA compares to the Jaws cursor.