I'm asking this anonymously. Our department of computer science just received a donation to buy laptops for students. Major activity will be programming and languages used will be C/C++/Python/Perl/Java/R. We will be instituting a lending scheme for students who can't afford them.
As a committee, we now need to decide whether we should be buying Apple Macbook Pro(13") or Thinkpad (T420) both with more or less similar specifications and price. The Apple will run it's OS and Thinkpad will run Debian Linux.
My question is : We are training the students for research and we wish to provide them with an environment close to how it is in the real world. Should we choosing one over the other considering all students have an inclination for research/academia?
This is not meant to be a flame war but rather a question of whether Academia has hidden liking towards Apple and if yes, why?