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Doing the Math On the New MacBook

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the compared-to-what dept.

Portables (Apple) 783

Technologizer writes "Apple's new MacBook is a significantly different machine than its predecessor — a slicker laptop at a higher price point. But does it carry a large price premium over similar Windows PCs? I did a painstaking spec-by-spec comparison versus three roughly comparably-configured Windows machines, and came to the conclusion that the value it offers for price paid is not out of whack with the Windows world." The article uses the phrase "Mac tax," which one commenter points out is a recent Microsoft marketing canard.

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783 comments

Well, someone paid a tax (5, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450319)

I don't know who paid it, but someone did:

The challenge of the thumbscoop was to create a crisply machined scoop that was still comfortable to use. The designers at Apple worked on hundreds of versions of the thumbscoop -- even examining them under an electron microscope -- to get it right.

If anyone can read that last part without laughing...

Re:Well, someone paid a tax (5, Funny)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450353)

Nonsense. Everybody who's anybody knows the real tax you pay with a Mac is the pain of being hipper than all of your friends.

Re:Well, someone paid a tax (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450385)

It's all relative. For the average slashdotter to be hipper than all his friends he can do any of the following:

1. Walk up to a girl and say "hi".
2. Move out of his parents basement.
3. Shower.
4. Stop reading /.
5. Stop quoting The Simpsons/Star Wars/Monty Python/etc.
6. Beat the Cheetos and Mountain Dew addiction.
7. You know what - screw this list. I'm way too hip for this.

Re:Well, someone paid a tax (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450549)

You forgot ... profit!

I also like this (5, Funny)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450507)

From Apple's Macbook mini-site:

All engineered to standards that don't even exist yet.

So there you have it. If Apple is funding the development of technology to send their designers into the future, where they must then spend years infiltrating futuristic IEEE meetings before returning to the present to design laptops, then of course their machines will be a little more expensive.

But just think of the money you'll save when you can browse the Omninet using remote mind-control in 3245AD while those Dell suckers are stuck with forking out for Dell's by-then outdated brain-implant technology.

Re:Well, someone paid a tax (1, Redundant)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450727)

That's a quote from Apple's website, not TFA (I ran a search on all 3 pages of the article before googling for the phrase). So why are you quoting that as if the article is biased? There are a couple of sections where he just says "I like this" rather than being objective - and I have no idea how he could like the crappy toy keyboards on the Macbook - but he does give the other machines their due when they deserve it, and admit what the Macbooks don't have.

Oh, and I didn't laugh. Do I win a prize?

Disclaimer: Yes I have a Macbook Pro, and it was of comparable price and specs to the Dell Precision that I would have bought otherwise - which surprised me after hearing people bang on about Apple's always being overpriced. I wonder if those same people complain about Sony VAIOs, Dell's XPS range or Alienware being overpriced. Probably do..

From artickle (1)

ZWoz_new (1171203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450325)

"The differences between OS X and Windows are far more significant than any spec I discuss in this article. But Iâ(TM)m trying to focus mostly on speeds and feeds here" - what means that mac tax in this context ? I think this is apples and oranges(or windows pc) comparison, if you don't count system at integral whole, but only fragment

Re:From artickle (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450337)

...? way to trail off in mid sentence maytee!

Re:From artickle (2, Insightful)

ZWoz_new (1171203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450427)

Yes, you are right, i don't cite all. But i can: "The differences between OS X and Windows are far more significant than any spec I discuss in this article. But I'm trying to focus mostly on speeds and feeds here - things that can be compared in an objective fashion. I cheerfully acknowledge that that's only part of the equation, but when people talk about Macs being pricey, they're comparing hardware, not software environments or user experiences." What is now different? That Author acknowledgement about this is only part equation, not whole system? Maybe some people only complain Mac price and think only about hardware, but i know lot people, who sees whole system and buy system, not only hardware. I think my point is still valid: even if you don't know, how to count "software environments or user experiences", this matters and people pay for this. You can get good hardware, but without software this is useless.

Re:From artickle (4, Funny)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450719)

"The differences between OS X and Windows are far more significant than any spec I discuss in this article.

Oh, but it's very simple. Unix (4 legs) good, not Unix (2 legs) bad.

One big difference: discounts. (5, Informative)

Dogun (7502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450331)

There's one major difference this analysis doesn't cover. If you're patient, you can get a dell for up to 40% off, and although it's not quite as drastic with Lenovo, the same is true. This macbook will ALWAYS be expensive.

Another big difference: competition. (5, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450479)

You will also get some brands of Windows laptop much cheaper by shopping around. In fact, Dell is one of the only companies who don't fall into this category.

Not to mention that the review picks Lenovo and Sony, two of the most expensive brands. Where is Asus, for instance?

Re:Another big difference: competition. (2, Informative)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450819)

Price isn't all of it. You can get an HP notebook with great specs really cheap, and I did. The DV6130us was a steal for its specs back in its time, but it didn't perform like a machine with those numbers should (they forgot to tell you the front side bus was totally gimped) and it degraded quickly in ways that weren't covered by warranty.

Now fingers crossed here, but I haven't had a problem with the mac mini I bought to be my web/svn server/jukebox/snes/arcade machine wannabe nor my macbook pro, and I put linux on them both (as well as the aforementioned HP notebook), so it's not Apple fanboyism.

When I priced out the mini I realized I could get a machine that was 6 times the size, much louder, an entire 200 mhtz faster, with a slightly larger hard drive for the same price. That is if you include the same features (bluetooth, atheros wireless, firewire, gig ethernet, etc).

Re:One big difference: discounts. (4, Informative)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450731)

Moreover, the Dell that was pointed out as being equivalent to the Apple laptop in the comparison is already 400$ cheaper.

And yet the fanboys want to pass the Apple laptops as not being overpriced. Go figure.

Re:One big difference: discounts. (3, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450895)

The thing is, that Dell laptop really isn't the equivalent of a MacBook. Dell's real equivalent of a really nicely equipped, beautiful machine is the XPS m1330, which is the same price as the MacBook.

Seriously flawed... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450745)

Is it more expensive than a high-end Windows machine? Not really.

Who buys those high-end Windows machines? Nobody with any sense.

Does Apple offer $500 laptops? Nope.

Ergo, Apple is expensive.

Re:Seriously flawed... (2, Insightful)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450835)

Is it more expensive than a high-end Windows machine? Not really.

Who buys those high-end Windows machines? Nobody with any sense.

Does Apple offer $500 laptops? Nope.

Ergo, Apple is expensive.

Yes, but they are also not cheap.

Re:Seriously flawed... (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450899)

Yes, apple is expensive. But the question was -- are apple taxing you for buying their brand. Answer no -- you get the high end kit, and you pay market rate for it, if you don't want high end kit, don't buy a Mac.

Re:One big difference: discounts. (4, Informative)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450795)

I got my macbook pro for 33% off from the refurb site. I saw a macbook air there for 42% off the other day.

Design items... (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450333)

Macs are design items. Some people don't mind paying a higher price for something which appeals to them.

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. If you subjectively feel that the value of the product matches the price paid then an objective comparison is not significant.

Re:Design items... (3, Insightful)

mxolisi06 (1009567) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450411)

Exactly ! That's why there isn't much point in trying to squeeze Macs in an objective comparison : you buy a Mac to get pleasure from purchasing a nice item, whereas you buy the winner of an objective comparison to get pleasure from being a smart customer.

Re:Design items... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450837)

Actually, I buy PCs for the pleasure of the ability to upgrade it and use a second mouse button.

Re:Design items... (3, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450493)

Macs are design items. Some people don't mind paying a higher price for something which appeals to them.

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. If you subjectively feel that the value of the product matches the price paid then an objective comparison is not significant.

For those of us (many of us) who need Mac/OSX for their work, opinions that the premius is worth it because of the fancy design is frankly insulting.

In a situation where Apple is the only official and legal seller of OSX compatible computers, claiming that all buyers buy it since they love the design (as if they have a choice) sounds as if all people who bought a Windows PC in the last year or so, do it because they love Vista.

Re:Design items... (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450531)

Many of you? With all due respect there are not a huge number of things that really honestly require a Mac these days. I've done desktop publishing, graphics work, sound recording and design, video editing all on Windows. It works quite well with the right software these days. Granted, if you _have_ to have some particular OS X only software a Mac is the only option. But that's a clear minority these days.

So no, not that many.

But I never said that everyone buys Macs for the nice design. I said that an objective price comparison is irrelevant to someone who did. Don't jump to generalizations just because I managed to irritate you when you didn't bother to read my post thoroughly.

Re:Design items... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450687)

Many of just think OS X is just more easier, trouble-free environment to work with. Windows drives me nuts...

Call me when

2 words - World of Warcraft (1, Funny)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450741)

With all due respect there are not a huge number of things that really honestly require a Mac these days.

To paraphrase Joe Biden, "two words - World of Warcraft."

WoW really rocks on a Mac. As a Draenei in Winterspring on a Mac you can almost feel the snow beneath your hooves ...

Re:Design items... (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450513)

Where's the value? Technically speaking, it's got the same hardware in it as a Windows laptop.

Re:Design items... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450563)

Maybe as far as CPUs, chipsets, RAM, peripheral ICs, etc. but there are a few key hardware differences in Mac that make all the difference. To wit, how many PCs have you seen that have a fancy "breathing" LED on the front -- that shit is awesome.

You've been owned (2, Insightful)

extrasolar (28341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450773)

We're not talking about subjective value-feelings here; we're talking about intentional manipulation by a sleak advertising campaign that turns people into drones who really do believe that there is something magical in a Mac that other computers don't have.

Tell me, what is the marginal utility of that special Mac aura?

You've been had my friend.

Re:Design items... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450787)

These "Macs are about design" arguments don't quite explain why Mac use is up at places where design should be way in the back seat to functionality. People keep talking about how Mac percentages are up at Unix conferences, and Macs are present at NASA, JPL, and other hardcore science organizations.

Maybe the objective value there is the ability to run mainstream apps like MS Office at the same time you run command-line Unix apps.

the big diff (4, Insightful)

raffe (28595) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450343)

is the OS. You dont get mac os x on another machine!

Re:the big diff (1)

vdgmr1213 (1234018) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450459)

Wait, you mean it doesn't have Vista on it? Well you just ruined now. I guess I'll have to wait for next time to see if they finally release a Mac with Windows on it.

Re:the big diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450525)

Most of the people I know with macs ironically spend a lot of time using windows on them.

Re:the big diff (-1, Troll)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450621)

Yep, that sounds just like a mac-using hipster: buy a Mac just to use Windows ironically.

Re:the big diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450875)

Who else but a dumb-mac-user will need to watch the keyboard while they're typing!?.

Re:the big diff (5, Insightful)

iced_773 (857608) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450481)

Which is exactly why I'm a PC guy

Seriously, I'm just going to install and use Linux anyway - I want the best hardware for the lowest price.

Re:the big diff (4, Interesting)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450489)

Interesting. Does Apple offer a refund for OS X to make itself competitive in this regard?

Re:the big diff (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450699)

There's more than that. What I don't get on other notebooks is:

1. True multi-touch trackpad (not just scrolling). You can go on ebay and try for a fingerworks trackpad when they are available at ebay but they go for big money and are for desktops (but nice software, too bad company was bought by apple).

2. Economizing ports. I like a lack of ports, it always irks me when I see something as antiquated as a serial port on my notebook. Don't ask me why, but it's rather like seeing a floppy drive on a notebook.

3. Stylish elegance. THe unibody construction is really nice. It may be silly, but even the upper end notebooks from competitors seem like hunks of ugly black plastic, and if not, they still get a lot of little things wrong. The little things like their crappy bezels/logos on the back or just the obvious overpacking of ports to fill out a bureacratic checklist. It's like they try to a certain extent, and then promptly give up once they have to invest in something that costs more money than usual.

Yes, Apple owns me completely, I guess I'm their whore in this direction. But since a notebook is a tool I work with all day (has replace my desktop as well), I might as well get something I like, even if it costs a bit more.

I honestly don't get the debate. Either buy it or don't. But this issue/whining comes so frequently, I have to wonder if its from people who want to get one but can't afford it, can't talk their boss/SO into it, or just too cheap. I never hear people obsess over Alienware's prices as much. Even the new Macbook, lacking firewire, may be called the new 13 inch Mac Book Pro for all intents and purposes and considering some of the upgrade, the rise in price was probably warranted (more RAM in both offerings by default is called for though).

Instead, it seems like they are constantly trying to make others feel bad for their purchase. Lighten up, it's just a notebook. I would got with an MSI Wind|EEEpc + cheap desktop if I couldn't afford the Mac right now. Not a big deal.

Re:the big diff (5, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450747)

To add:

4. Backlit keyboard. Really nice in dim rooms.

If there are other differentiations, I either don't know about them or not that important to me.

Re:the big diff (1)

guorbatschow (870695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450785)

must be jealousy, seeing how i had no incidents on my macbook the last two years, but had to reinstall windows almost every half a year on my windows based desktop. and thats when i use my macbook more than 80% of the time.

Re:the big diff (3, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450865)

I honestly don't get the debate. Either buy it or don't. But this issue/whining comes so frequently, I have to wonder if its from people who want to get one but can't afford it, can't talk their boss/SO into it, or just too cheap.

From my experience -- It is mostly from Mac owners trying to justify the money spent.

Re:the big diff (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450877)

My gayometer just went right into the red.

Re:the big diff (1)

fm2503 (876331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450891)

"2. Economizing ports. I like a lack of ports, it always irks me when I see something as antiquated as a serial port on my notebook."

I guess you don't do much work on routers/switches/any device at all with a serial console then........

Is Apple trying to kill their own tech? (3, Interesting)

netwiz (33291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450355)

Seriously, no FireWire? I know they tried to screw the IEEE 1394 working group with the bait-and-switch license pricing tactic, and the beating they took in the industry was well deserved. But 1394 is superior from an operational standpoint, even if the controllers are a bit of unwieldy packaging-wise and expensive to boot. To have removed it completely from the low-end laptop doesn't bode well for it's future in the rest of the consumer hardware line, although lots of people still have MiniDV cams that use it. USB2/3 will in no way be able to fill that gap, even with the coming surge in hard-disk video cameras.

You fail, Apple. No FW400 (at a freakin' minimum, come on), no sale. I'll get the Dell or the Lenovo and Hackintosh the bejeezus out of it.

Re:Is Apple trying to kill their own tech? (1)

gwbennett (988163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450575)

But 1394 is superior from an operational standpoint, even if the controllers are a bit of unwieldy packaging-wise and expensive to boot.

You mean you have to pay to turn it on??

Re:Is Apple trying to kill their own tech? (4, Interesting)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450677)

I think Apple's thought process is that if they get rid of the firewire from the low end laptops, people who need it are going to upgrade to Macbook Pros. Which probably isn't that far off. If you require firewire for your work and you're accustomed to FCP, then chances are you're not going to get a Win laptop and Hackintosh it, you're just gonna put in the money to get the one with firewire.

Election 2008 News (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450357)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

Re:Election 2008 News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450763)

With friends like you, McCain sure is on to a winner...

Macs have always been competitive. (1)

iliketrash (624051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450359)

Macintosh products have always been competitive, even back to the first one, the 128 KB model in Spring of 1984. The thing is, they tend to be loaded with features. For example, even the first Mac had built-in networking.

Re:Macs have always been competitive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450429)

Except that this particular model lacks features that are offered with any measly 500 dollar laptop.

Re:Macs have always been competitive. (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450801)

that was true when they included things like FireWire/SCSI as standard in all of their consumer-grade systems. they had a reputation for selling systems that catered to the professional user. also, it was hard to make a direct comparison between PPC and x86 architecture, so the price difference was easier to swallow.

but now they're relying increasingly on the brand and aesthetic design features (single-piece aluminum construction, white earbuds, UI eye candy, etc.) to sell their hardware.

i don't own a mac so i can't comment on whether the mac tax is worth it. personally, i think it's silly to treat a computer as a fashion accessory. and i strongly dislike companies that put too much emphasis on marketing. however, having used an iPod Nano and an Video iPod, i have to give credit where it's due. Apple makes great user interfaces (at least this is true with the iPod line) and that is something that other companies can learn from.

but a laptop/desktop computer is not the same as a PMP. performance matters much more in a computer than it does with a simple media appliance. i would not pay the mac tax for a sleek, easy-to-use, but weak computer.

No Firewire. Won't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450361)

No Firewire, so I'm not buying it. It's too bad since I am looking for a new laptop and, other than the absence of Firewire, it seems like a fine machine. What are some good alternatives?

Re:No Firewire. Won't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450443)

Try getting a used MacBook Pro on ebay.. about $1000 or so and beefier then the current crop of macbooks in overall spec, usually....

Macbook Pro (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450825)

No Firewire, so I'm not buying it....What are some good alternatives?

Macbook Pro. That was easy.

What do you really need Firewire for, if you are otherwise OK with a Macbook?

"Mac Tax" (5, Informative)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450367)

The article uses the phrase "Mac tax," which one commenter points out is a recent Microsoft marketing canard.

Did that commenter also point out that "Mac tax" is (the first time) both written in quotation marks to imply that it's not their phrase and link to an article that was called "Are Macs More Expensive? Definitely - Just Ask Microsoft!"? The whole point of the article is that the phrase has been coined and they're investigating whether Macs are more expensive for the specs than comparable PCs.

Not that I'm saying Macs are cheap - I'd rather custom build/upgrade and slap Linux on it - but it's not as if it's an unbalanced comparison article.

Old news. (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450377)

It's [slashdot.org] generally [slashdot.org] known [slashdot.org] on Slashdot [slashdot.org] that Apple's MacBooks are competitive with Windows PCs at their price, when all of their features are considered (specifically, screen size and battery life), when first released. It's usually the higher-end MacBook Pros and Mac Pros that are considered overpriced (and the upgrades [slashdot.org]).

And there are the other arguments, such as the increased stability and usability that comes when an OS manufacturer has such control over hardware (although whether this is a good or bad thing is left as an exercise for the reader).

Fingerprint items (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450381)

Here is one of the items of comparison:

Fingerprint Scanner
The Dell and Sony have one. ADVANTAGE: DELL AND SONY

It makes me laugh every time: Hmmmm a finger print reader......where would I be able to find fingerprints of someone who has used this laptop that I have just stolen? Sure hope they don't always use gloves when they type.....

I mean, where can you think of a more cool-but-useless feature? And it is sooo cool.......

Re:Fingerprint items (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450511)

Way to not understand how a fingerprint reader works!

Re:Fingerprint items (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450587)

Or maybe the finger print reader is just a password replacement. A password doesn't protect your laptop if it is stolen. But you might have heard of people who have unsecure simple passwords, a finger print reader helps with that. And can someone please think of the children?

Re:Fingerprint items (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450717)

I use fingerprint reader in my work laptop (Lenovo T61) and I find it very handy. I like to lock my workstation when I go somewhere and just swipe my finger to unlock it later. It is handy.

If somebody stoles your laptop and you don't have strong drive encryption (I belive Macs do have that) it makes no difference if you have fingerprint reader or password.

You have completely missed the point.

Re:Fingerprint items (1)

B47h0ry'5 CuR53 (639887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450879)

The fingerprint reader is merely a convenience. Slide your finger instead of typing your password. Neither provide much security in the case of a stolen laptop unless your file system happens to be encrypted with it.

Groundhog Day: (5, Insightful)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450409)

1) MacBook (Beginning of 2006):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

2) MacBook (End of 2006):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

3) MacBook (Mid 2007):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

4) MacBook (End of 2007):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

5) MacBook (Beginning of 2008):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

And now - totally surprising:

5) MacBook (End of 2008):
"AAAAH, EXPENSIVE"
"See, i did the math, it's comparable!"

Who would have thought!

Depends where you buy it (5, Informative)

dafing (753481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450465)

In Europe (UK at least) Apple computers are taxed more, I've heard the stories of people flying to america to buy their Macs there, even with the plane tickets it still works out less than buying at a local shop! WTF?

Im a big Mac guy, but even I felt bad for my friend who wanted to switch, he wanted to rebuy his computer again (long story), his $1500 NZD PC (some media centre thing with tv tuner card etc) was roughly equal in specs to the $3000 NZD iMac he ended up getting, once the warranty on the Mac was brought up to 3 years as well as rebuying Office for Mac. It was painful, and he misses the TV Tuner, ones I've seen that plug in cost HUNDREDS! Ouch.

Maybe in America, but I think in many parts of the world, Macs are very sadly more expensive than PCs. I compare my Macs to computers a friend has built for himself, and theres a big difference in price. I would still take the Mac for design and OSX, but they are not cheap here in New Zealand :)

Re:Groundhog Day: (2, Insightful)

barrkel (806779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450811)

TFA is completely bogus. He explicitly compares mass-produced Apple configurations to custom-configured generic versions:

I priced them in build-to-order configurations sold directly by the manufacturers so I could customize them to match the MacBook when possible

In other words, when there's a generic laptop that has higher specs than the Apple, and priced lower under the usual deals that e.g. Dell does (40+% discount), it is expressly ignored.

When you manipulate the data like that, you can prove anything.

Sigh... (4, Interesting)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450419)

There are many, many examples of how the 'reviewer' has simply picked the wrong comparisons. Sony and Lenovo are notoriously expensive. Generic Dells are notoriously crappy. And of course, where the Apple is deficient (e.g. hard disk space or RAM) the reviewer doesn't add the necessary upgrades at Apple's prices to make the price comparison fair, it simply ignores them.

I can't link to it because of Dell's site, but for about $100 more Dell currently has an XPS 1330 which whips the Macbook in virtually every respect: much better graphics, much more RAM and HDD, significantly faster CPU, bigger battery, better connectivity, and so on. Mysteriously, the reviewer has instead selected a relatively poor quality Dell as a comparison point.

Some other selections from TFA:

Those Windows cheapies are simply a different class of computer

How? This is not explained. Does "different class" mean "much cheaper?

I looked for ones with 13-inch screens and Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, and I priced them in build-to-order configurations sold directly by the manufacturers so I could customize them to match the MacBook when possible.

I understand that the objective is to compare "like-for-like" and see whether Apple is adding a premium, but if an AMD chip (or a different Intel chip) offers comparable or better performance but is not available on a Mac, then how is that not part of the 'cost' of buying Apple? Limiting it to Core 2 Duo seems unneccessary. And why is it legitimate to reconfigure the competition, but not the Mac? Could it be that Apple savagely gouge you for any upgrades?

I configured the MacBook, white Macbook, and Sony with 160GB drives The Dell and Lenovo come with 25GGB ones. Theyâ(TM)re all 5400rpm models. ADVANTAGE: DELL AND LENOVO

Why not pay whatever Apple charges for the same capacity? One of the biggest Apple gouges is when you add RAM or storage to their preconfigured systems. Ignoring this is not justified.

Macs sometimes suffer in comparison to Windows PCs when it comes to the quantity of USB ports, but all these machines seems to provide just two of âem. PARITY

And yet, there would be hundreds of x86 laptops on the market that provide 4 or more.

Everybody can output to a VGA display, but the MacBook has the new DisplayPort connector, and you need to buy a $29 adapter to do VGAâ"but on the other hand, you can also buy a $99 dual-link adapter that can drive a 30-inch display. The white MacBook has mini-DVI, and also needs an extra cost adapter to do VGA. The Dell, Lenovo, and Sony have standard VGA connectors. Iâ(TM)ve going to give the ADVANTAGE to the MacBook for its power but also to the Dell, Lenovo, and Sony for their convenience.

Or you could pick a different Dell, like an XPS series model, and get HDMI, s-video and DVI as standard. In addition, the review does not appear to add in the cost of Apples various dongles and attachments.

Theyâ(TM)ve all got audio in, audio out, and a microphone; the MacBooks are the only ones with optical in and out, or at least the only ones that tout it. ADVANTAGE: BOTH MACBOOKS

HDMI equates to "optical out" and is arguably more useful for modern hi-fi equipment. I am relatively ignorant about audio in options.

Iâ(TM)m going to give the MacBook the ADVANTAGE here, for the aluminum case and near-seamless design

Again, this is simply a result of picking the wrong competition - again check out (for instance) Dell XPS laptops, which are extremely well built and solid.

In fact (4, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450461)

To reply to my own post, knocking the 13" Macbook up to the same specs as the Lenovo in terms of RAM, HDD, and video out increases the price to $1,457.00, or $150-200 more than the Lenovo depending on whether we go by the "sale price" or the list price.

So in summary: yes, there is a "Mac tax" (which incidentally is a phrase which was in use long before MS adopted it).

Re:Sigh... (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450475)

You have some great points, as a Mac user you make me sad when you tell it like it is :(

I mentioned my Switcher friend here in NZ, he wanted to replace his $1500 computer which had to be sold (long story) a month or so old, to get the comparable iMac was.....$3000 NZD including a 3 year warranty and Office for Mac, and it didnt have a TV tuner card like the media centre did. I really felt bad for him.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450569)

For pretty much any article online, someone on Slashdot would have done better. Maybe that's why no one RTFA.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450631)

I can't link to it because of Dell's site, but for about $100 more Dell currently has an XPS 1330 which whips the Macbook in virtually every respect: much better graphics, much more RAM and HDD, significantly faster CPU, bigger battery, better connectivity, and so on. Mysteriously, the reviewer has instead selected a relatively poor quality Dell as a comparison point.

I'm curious about a few things.

First, your claim of "much better graphics". Is a GeForce 8400M (the best video card on an XPS 1330) significantly better than a GeForce 9400M (the MacBook video card)? Their names would suggest otherwise - Nvidia's naming system says one is a medium-end 8th generation video card, while the other is an equivalent medium-end 9th generation.

Second, the closest I can find to "about $100 more" is the $150 more $1449 M1330, which comes with a T8300. If $150 is negligible, then the 2.4GHz MacBook for another $150 more has an even better P8600. (Personally, I'm not sure how much I'd really feel a 20% difference in CPU speed; it doesn't sound like anything dramatic.)

Third, I'm not sure how a "bigger battery" is better; I'd assume people would prefer a lighter and smaller battery. Perhaps you meant a longer battery life? According to Notebook Review [notebookreview.com], on an M1330 with the best non-deforming battery and aforementioned video card, you get 3 and a half hours browsing the web. Having used a MacBook advertised for 5 hours of battery life, I've gotten around 4 hours browsing the web, so I'd assume the new MacBook is comparable.

I would agree that the XPS M1330 is better, it is a non-trivial $150 more expensive, and I wouldn't say it's as much better as you say it is.

Re:Sigh... (3, Insightful)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450633)

How? This is not explained. Does "different class" mean "much cheaper?

Let me explain it for you then :)

I've said it once [slashdot.org], and I'll say it again: The power brick of the macbook (any mac laptop i guess) alone is worth the price difference already. :)

Also add in the:
      - magsafe power plug
      - the new glass trackpad
      - LED backlit screen
      - OS X
      - the new unibody design
      - (to me) fantastic industrial design

Some of the other companies have 1 or 2 of the above points (like LED backlit? I'm not sure) and maybe some of the Sony designs are nice. But still not nicer than the macbooks (to me).

Anyways, I'm happy to pay the nominally extra charge for the above features. They just don't exist in any other laptops.

Will you people PLEASE stop comparing specs. It's useless I tell you. The price difference isn't in the specs, it's in other parts of the computer.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450733)

Actually if you check the Dell website, the CPU for the XPS 1330 has a much slower bus speed, so is going to perform worse. Also the graphics card is much less powerful. Also there is no LED display.

If you customise the laptop to include:
- LED display
- NVidia graphics
- Vista Ultimate (to compare favourable with Mac OS X)

Then the price quickly exceeds the price of the Macbook.

In terms of value for money the mac wins out.

But yes if you want a less powerful machine then Dell has extremely cheap options.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450759)

Could it be that Apple savagely gouge you for any upgrades?

Yes, they do.

Why not pay whatever Apple charges for the same capacity? One of the biggest Apple gouges is when you add RAM or storage to their preconfigured systems. Ignoring this is not justified.

As long as I can upgrade the machine by myself, why should Apple's prices for RAM / HD upgrades figure in my purchasing decisions ?

Frankly, all these comparisons completely miss the obvious - none of Apple's competitors can offer OS X. If you don't care about that, then yes, a non-Apple laptop is probably a better deal, not least because with the much larger number of choices, chances are you can find a better fit for your exact needs.

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450781)

You forgot this one:

Warranty and Service
Everybody comes with a one-year warranty; the Dell is the only one that promises some sort of level of on-site service. But Apple still seems to lead the pack in terms of customer satisfaction with the actual service experience, with Lenovo doing the best of the Windows-PC punch. ADVANTAGE: BOTH MACBOOKS AND DELL

DELL and Lenove both offer a wide variety of warranty options, and over here their business offerings come standard with 3 years next-business day on site repair - and they are still significantly cheaper than comparable macbook pros. You just cannot get anything comparable for Apple notebooks. If you can't afford to be without your notebook for almost a week, apple is only an option if you can afford a spare notebook.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450831)

I can't link to it because of Dell's site, but for about $100 more Dell currently has an XPS 1330 which whips the Macbook in virtually every respect:

I bolded the funny part. Assuming you meant '$100 more than the MacBook', this kind of proves the point, doesn't it?

However, it is indeed true that Apple asks ridiculous prices for HD and RAM upgrades. You can without any problem replace them yourself for much less though (e.g. 4 GB RAM ~= $60), without voiding the warranty or anything. It's also not hard at all. I totally agree that it would be better if Apple stopped asking such ridiculous prices for upgrades though.

Re:Sigh... (1, Interesting)

red star hardkore (1242136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450845)

I agree.

A few months ago my father was looking to buy a new laptop. He had been an apple user for years but was balking at the price of the macbook (1100 euro). I convinced him to buy a Dell.

People think that Dell's do not match Apple in quality but that is a myth. It's spin by the masters of spin, Apple. Why did he have to replace his three year old iBook while my four year old Inspiron was still running fine (and I use mine a hell of a lot more than he uses his)?

The supposedly super strong Polycarbonate chassis was creaking and felt like it was about to fall apart. The battery was loose and if the laptop was moved without being plugged in the power would die. The charger or power slot was faulty because you would have to keep plugging/unplugging and fiddling with the plug for it to start charging. That laptop never left the comfort of the front room in his house. My Dell has been travelling everywhere with me and taken a hell of a lot more knocks.

Then we get back to the price... I reminded my father that that was his third Apple laptop in 10 years. He had a Powerbook 3400c (which was second hand and still works, just incredibly slow), a Wallstreet PowerBook G3 (had more problems than his last iBook) and then there's the previously mentioned iBook. I then reminded him about my laptop, how old it is, what it's been through, and how it's still fine.

He decided to go with Dell then so I bought him an Inspiron. He got a 2.2Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 15 inch screen, HDMI out (he's got a 1080p telly so that was essential). It cost 600 euro inc shipping and taxes. That's 500 euro less than the comparable macbook at the time, which didn't have HDMI.

The funny thing is that he had Macs because I used to be a Mac user. That is until Mr. Jobs took over at apple and made them fashion accessories rather than computers. I now build my own desktops and media PC, and use my Inspiron and eeePC. All run Linux.

Re:Sigh... (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450883)

I absolutely agree that Apple gouges you for upgrades to hard drive and ram. Everyone I know that buys a mac and wants more ram will just upgrade it themselves once it arrives. You'll pay FAR less.

Just don't try it with a mac mini - two putty knives and 4 hours later you'll be wishing you either paid the premium or didn't get a mac mini.

I lucked out when I bought my mac - I bought it refurb, and it was supposed to come with 2 gigs of ram. I figured I'd put 4 gigs in it when it arrived. It arrived with 3 gigs (your mistake, Apple...), and I haven't had issues with performance so I left it at that.

Actual Conclusion: the Mac Tax = 70% (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450431)

Long story short, the least expensive Windows laptop he found comparable to the $1400 MacBook was an $820 Dell, making the Mac Tax a whole 70% on top of the price-conscious buyer's choice in the Windows world.

However, he did succeed in finding two similarly overpriced models to the Mac from Sony and Lenovo, demonstrating that bad choices are also available in the PC world, if you look hard enough.

Re:Actual Conclusion: the Mac Tax = 70% (2, Informative)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450709)

You failed at reading comprehension. In what way is an underpowered Intel X3100 comparable to a geforce go 9400? You might as well say that the dell is overpriced compared to an EEE.

Make that Mac Advantage (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450807)

Long story short, the least expensive Windows laptop he found comparable to the $1400 MacBook was an $820 Dell, making the Mac Tax a whole 70% on top of the price-conscious buyer's choice in the Windows world.

I'm still using a Macbook that's about seven years old now. It works fine and runs Tiger.

Will that $820 Dell even be running seven years form now, much less anything close to the latest Windows?

Suddenly that "70% Tax" doesn't seem like such a bad bargain when you otherwise have to keep buying new laptops every few years...

And that's also why you'd get a better quality Windows laptop if you were smart, BTW.

Re:Actual Conclusion: the Mac Tax = 70% (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450873)

However, he did succeed in finding two similarly overpriced models to the Mac from Sony and Lenovo, demonstrating that bad choices are also available in the PC world, if you look hard enough.

So price is the only thing that matters? If it costs a single dollar more than a similarly-specced alternative, that's it, it's a bad choice?

This may sound strange, but the value of a computer is more than just the actual hardware. Things like OS support, build quality, warranty, and support are important. In the case of the MacBook, you can run OS X, they are by all accounts very soundly-built machines, and come with a year of some of the best-rated customer care in the industry.

Now that may not matter to you, so maybe for you the MacBook isn't a good buy -- but to claim that the only important thing is the price/hardware ratio is to overlook three things that are very important to a hell of a lot of buyers.

Funny that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450449)

Noone here seems to have pointed out that "Microsoft Tax" is a marketing canard as well.

Biased comparison (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450491)

It's interesting, how the reviewer first talked about the MacBook being a different class than the el cheapo laptops yet in the comparison one the most defining characteristics of a business class laptop, construction (you know, the reason that (ex-)IBM laptops cost so much) did not have its own category, it was lumped together with "asthetics". (And yes, construction-wise the old MacBook was some weak plastic shit, I have not seen the new one yet, though.)

'recent'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25450495)

The article uses the phrase "Mac tax," which one commenter points out is a recent Microsoft marketing canard.

That idea was mentioned all the way back to the days of WfW 3.11. And was mentioned when the (short lived) CEO said "we are committed to maintaining shareholder value" (windows 95 timeframe, Pre Gil)

The difference is now that:
1) Apple is UNIX (FreeBSD)
2) Apple is using the same data buses as others
3) Apple is using the Intel processor line

The idea of a Jobs/Apple/Max tax is easier to make.

Microsoft can't really complain about closed source or screwing over customers/suppliers (See Newton or Apple ][, or ask Motorola about the Power PC) and Microsoft has a history of flogging others ideas as their own - so if the submitter wants to think Microsoft 'came up' with the idea of 'mac tax' - fine...whatever. Reality is otherwise.

The math shows that Macs are overpriced (3, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450517)

In TFA it is stated on page 3 that the MacBook costs 1299$ while the Lenovo is 1264.84$, the Sony is $1194.99 and the Dell is $819. Yet, in order to make the MacBook appear to be not so expensive in comparison, it states that they are all of comparable value and therefore, as you should ignore price differences in the scale of 100$, they all cost the same. I mean, WTF?

But that isn't all. There are a few more laptop manufacturers that, oddly enough, happen to be the world's leading laptop manufacturers (Acer, HP, Asus, etc) and also, oddly enough, offer similar laptops in the same price range of the Dell laptop. In fact, Sony and Lenovo are known as the inexplicably expensive laptop brands.

So, having said that, how exactly can anyone claim that the Apple laptops aren't expensive when you realize that their laptops are more expensive than the already expensive windows laptops? You can't.

P.S.: The current Apple laptops are also PCs. It doesn't make sense to claim that a Windows laptop is a PC while the Apple laptop is something else.

"Environmental Impact" ?! SERIOUSLY? (0, Offtopic)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450523)

This guy has the gal to say that the MacBook should get points for having a low environmental impact.

That alone makes the entire article meaningless.

Screen resolutions are a deal breaker for me. (4, Interesting)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450623)

One reason I dislike current laptops are their (generally) crappy LCD resolutions. Over the past 7-8 years I've only used laptops with 14.1in SXGA+ LCDs, including the T60p I'm typing this from. I actually prefer the 14.1in SXGA+ LCDs, but I know it's a losing battle. A very limited number of T61p were released with them, and I'm pretty sure they'll be the last in history.

I'm not unreasonable, and I understand that movies look better if they fill the widescreen. Although with all the variations in widescreen ratios, I'm yet to see a movie without any black borders. You can also display two documents side by side, even though 90% of people I've seen only show a single maximized instance of MS Word with a single document open. Widescreens do take less room in cramped spaces, allow for more keyboard space and even numpads, etc. However I use my laptop for typing, and screen height is far more important than width. I'm a minority though, so I'll adapt.

Now assuming I'd be looking for a replacement laptop tomorrow (hopefully my T60p will last a while), moving to Apple would mean going "down" to a 15.4in WSXGA (loss of 150pixel height) on the Macbook Pros or 13.3in WXGA (loss of 250pixel height and 200pixel width) on the Macbooks. THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS.

On the other hand I just checked out Lenovo's site. Their T500 laptop is offered with a 15.4in WSXGA or WSGA+ resolution. The WSXGA+ is only a $75 upgrade, and it offers the same height and much more width than my SXGA+. The rest of the specs are very close to the Macbook Pro, but at first glance it's about $200 cheaper.

Beyond their arguably sleek design, the absolutely only reason any rational person would even consider a Macbook or Macbook Pro is OS X. I used it briefly, and I really liked it. Unfortunately given my laptop use, the OS alone is not incentive enough to put up with the limited and (slightly) more expensive hardware.

They are more expensive (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450625)

Mac 13" 2Ghz Core Duo, 2gb, 160Gb - $1299. Lenovo IdeaPad U330 13.1" 2Ghz Core Duo, 2gb, 250 HDD $1199. Samsung Q310-34G 13.3" 2Ghz Core Duo, 3Gb, 250Gb - $1099. Asus F6 13.3" 2.26Ghz, 4Gb, 320Gb HDD - $1199 etc. Prices sourced from Apple.com, Lenovo.com and NewEgg.com. There are plenty of similar specced laptops available at or below the price of even the cheapest MacBook.

Not surprising really when there are 10x the number of PC laptops for sale and consumers have the freedom to buy their computers from any store they like. PC prices also head south (or the specs improve) while the Apple price doesn't until the next refresh which could be 6 months.

So yes Apple computers are obviously more expensive than their counterparts and represent terrible value as time advances. Maybe the gulf is not as wide as it once was but its still there.

They totally missed the whole point of the phrase (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450691)

"windows tax" The term "windows tax" was coined because you couldn't buy a PC from a major manufacturer WITHOUT buying Windows too, even if you would never use it. It was a response to an abusive monopolistic practice, not a complaint about price per se. I suppose you could argue that if you buy a Mac then immediately install Linux on it you are still paying an OS X tax, but since Apple hardly has the market for laptops cornered, I would argue that this is a moot point.

Re:They totally missed the whole point of the phra (2, Interesting)

guorbatschow (870695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450743)

seriously though, the largest part of laptops i see at my university (i study computer science) are macbooks. students usually arent that rich, but we usually know what we need more than the usual lets-buy-an-asus-laptop guy.

What I get from that article... (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450755)

Hmm, reading that article what I find myself thinking is "I wish there was a Hardee's somewhere in London", because that Monster Thickburger is making me hungry. I suspect there's something about computers in there too, but now I'm just hungry.

It's really just about appearance for Mac fans (1)

raven1268 (1367873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450821)

It's funny how every time the subject of Mac vs. PC comes up, Mac supporters somehow manage to mention the fact that their computers are "elegant," "sleek," or bring up the little light on the outside. I have two computers, desktop and laptop, both faster than this new Mac and I paid less than the cost of the MacBook for the both of them. They are uglier than hell, and you know what? I don't care! A computer is about the software and usage you get out of it - who cares how it looks! The closest I get to being amused or pleased with the appearance of any computer I've had is the ridiculous case I've got for my desktop - it's an old Intergraph machine's case, and I was very amused to learn that the machine it originally housed cost $3,300 in 1998, and bragged in advertisements about its 32mb graphics card...

Missing the point (1)

grahamtriggs (572707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25450867)

Sure, if you go on a strict - same spec, same dimensions, same weight, etc. - comparison, then the Apple's aren't badly priced in relation to Windows PCs.

But with Windows, you have a choice. You decide what features are important to you, what you compromise to get a better deal.

If I want a workhorse laptop, where portability really is secondary, I can get much better machines for far less in the Windows world. Often, to get the one or two features I really care about with Apple, it means buying the most expensive machines they do, with a bunch of stuff I don't care about.

Although I admire the design of Apple equipment, for the most part I have no need for it or desire to pay a premium because of it.

(The one exception is the standard MacBook, which makes a fantastic machine where portability is a primary concern.)

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