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5300cs
Jan 30, 2005, 09:07 PM
Okay, I'm doing a presentation on Mac OS and some basics surrounding the platform. I'll be presenting to beginners, so inevitably I will have to discuss price. This is where I need some help.

I went to DELL and was looking at these notebooks here (http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/featured_notebook1?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs), can someone tell me how these stack up against for example, an iBook or PowerBook? I see for example, a P4 for $1000+ which sounds pretty good. I know it's a DELL, it's got XP and all that, but what makes the iBook or PowerBook more worth it? In other words, how would you convince someone that Apple is the better way to go (for a general purpose machine)?

PLEASE do me a favor and don't turn this into a 'DELL sucks' or 'windows sucks' bash-fest. I need concrete evidence and facts to back me up.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Kevin Nelson
Jan 30, 2005, 09:53 PM
Depending on what you need the Laptop to DO...
Your first argument lies in software. The Mac OS has preinstalled quality software to do all those basic fun things we need done. These being called iLife. With Unix at the core, the IT guys will have something to make them happy. You already have built in windows networking compatibility so if you are on a network, the setup is pretty straight forward. Basically, there is nothing a PC can do that the Mac cannot also achieve in some fashion.
My boss just purchased an ibook and I helped him set that up in our ALL PC office. This comes on the heels of us buying four new dell PC's and one Dell Laptop as well. (Interesting note is that he had, exclusive use of the Dell Laptop for 3 weeks before buying the ibook.)
The other info you ask for is much more subjective IMO. How do you sell reliability and ease of use? It has to be experienced, people have got to have wanted a reason to switch, you cannot make the horse drink (to paraphrase). In terms of pricing, I don't think you are going to beat the giveaway prices that Dell is offering. If you want it cheap, buy the Dells. If overall price is not the bottom line then I do not think you should really have that much trouble selling the Mac.

Hope this helps! And Yes Dell does suck! But they are cheap and they gave me a credit line when Apple wouldn't.

nbs2
Jan 30, 2005, 10:09 PM
There are a couple of hardware differences that stand out fairly quickly between the machines you linked to and the iBook. I won't bother with the PB since there are better Dells available that would constitute more of a Pro line.

First, the Dell machines weigh a good deal more than the iB. If you aren't going to move your machine around, that's not a big deal - but then why wouldn't you buy a desktop?

Another point is the optical drive. To get the DVD burner sstandard on the Dell, you have to go top of the line (same with the larger 60GB harddrive). You have to do the same thing on the iBook, but you spend $200 less.

Of course, you do get more RAM with the Dell. This is a problem that Apple should correct, but is cheap enough to do on your own later.

Also a benefit with the listed Dells is that the top of the line notebook is listed with a 4 year service plan, while Apple Care stops at 3. Also, the Dell work is done at-home - a nice feature if you don't want to send your computer in. However, with that, there is the warning "provided via third-party contract with customer." With the iBook, you know the work is being done by somebody associated with Apple. I'm not much of a third party fan.

Like the other guy said - you can't really measure the intangibles. But, I think if you think about the amount of time you spend fixing problems on XP and updating virus and other protections, you can get to an impressive number. Of course, there are people with good experiences with Dells and bad with Apples. But, I think for the most part your experience will be better with the iBook as compared with the Dell. But, I figure enough people will go into the software, I just wanted to touch on a few hardware differences.

Good luck with the presentation.

5300cs
Jan 30, 2005, 10:27 PM
Thanks a lot for the reponses so far, they really help.

One thing with the DELL's website, is that the details aren't right up there; you have to click around to find things out. For example I wanted to know what kind of memory is standard, but clicking on the little ? gave me some remedial explination on what RAM is, and some generic chart with how much memory is recommended for which uses. I want to know what KIND it is, not WHAT it is. :mad: What speed is the HD? What is this so called 'Productivity Pack' that's included? While these are weaknesses of the website itself, this is the first thing that people see if they're shopping online. If I was shopping for a computer, I don't think I'd stay at DELL for any length of time.

I agree memory is a weak point, that needs to be fixed.

The software included appears to be the Big Deal. Looking at the list, you get a hell of a lot of software thrown at you, especially with iLife tossed in there.

Thanks again for the help, and keep it coming! While most of the people there are beginners, there's one person who loves to bash Apple over price and he will DEFINITLY bring it up. I want to make sure I have enough ammo (read: facts) to be able to shut him up :D

nbs2
Jan 30, 2005, 10:38 PM
Thanks again for the help, and keep it coming! While most of the people there are beginners, there's one person who loves to bash Apple over price and he will DEFINITLY bring it up. I want to make sure I have enough ammo (read: facts) to be able to shut him up :D

If price is the big issue, your best bet is to do a few comparisons, find out how much more (or possibly less) you would spend with the iBook, then make a fair guesstimate as to how much time you think a Dell would require you to spend doing maintenance and multiply that out by how much your time is worth. He, and the rest of the class, might be surprised by the numbers. It's like a car - up front cost doesn't include maintenance and repair, so pick your poison. But, avoid letting him get into an argument over price. Acknowledge and move on...:)

Kevin Nelson
Jan 30, 2005, 11:10 PM
Price is never an arguement to be won outright. A good salesmen sells a product on quality and service. Pricing is not a discussion to get into as someone is always willing to give a better deal. That said, the quality and service provided must be provided at a cheap price. If I may suggest that if this is a situation where people have a choice...Then make your presentation and suggest that given the comparitive choices people can decide which laptop they would feel best suit their needs. You have done the research, you have a passion for the platform (else we would be in Dell's forums) Let the consumer decide which product they want, be fair and be realisitic about what to spend their money on. Nobody likes to be forced to do ANYTHING, complacency is why windows is so predominant, it's the easy thing to do.
I also concur with "the other, other guy" If you are able to do a cost benefit analysis of potential lost time due to virus repairs opposed to potential uptime and other such info, that can only help in the long run.
People need to be aware of hidden costs and I believe all the cost comparisons between Mac and PC hardware show that the PC wins in hardware but loses greatly when you start adding all the software standard on New Macs. When you get to the high end of the PC's you start to see more of a APPLES to APPLES comparison (pun intended)
don't forget to tell us how this all turns out!

5300cs
Jan 31, 2005, 05:34 PM
Price is never an arguement to be won outright. A good salesmen sells a product on quality and service. Pricing is not a discussion to get into as someone is always willing to give a better deal.

You are quite right. Though now with these new PowerBook updates, the gap closes, does it not? :D

I gave a Mac presentation before, on the history of the Mac. As part of it, I showed the old iMac commercial which shows the back of a pc and Jeff Goldbloom (sp?) saying "the pc ... profusely corded...partiularly conspicuous?..." and that one guy said "Hey! That's not fair! There was more than one monitor cable!!" There's always someone to rain on a parade :rolleyes:

My presentation is February 19th, I'll let everyone know how it works out.