If you're a student looking to return to college in September, it's time to buy a Mac, according to Business Week.

"Unless you have a compelling reason not to go with a Mac, an Apple laptop or desktop offers the best combination of features, ease of use and value," advises regular tech columnist Stephen Wildstrom.

He adds: "While I have been a Mac fan for years, I have never felt strongly enough to make the Mac a default recommendation."

He observes that while Apple hardware and software seems to be advancing in leaps and bounds, Windows appears "stuck in a rut".

Application and hardware performance continue to improve, and with Apple already laying the foundations for a public release of Mac OS X Leopard, he's not clear Windows Vista will do a great deal to close the gap.

The only people likely to buy a Windows PC in his assessment are those stuck with a limited budget, or hardcore gamers.

"Whether you go with Mac or Windows, today you will get a lot more computer for your money than ever before," the report concludes.