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View Full Version : Dell has new notebook, but iBook still the value leader


lmalave
May 19, 2003, 11:43 AM
Dell announces new 12" Latitude model:

http://news.com.com/2100-1044_3-1007592.html?tag=cd_mh

"Prices on the D400 will start at $1,499 and include a 1.3GHz Pentium M, 128MB of RAM, a 20GB hard drive and Intel's 802.11b wireless module."

Hahahaha, that's so weak! And it doesn't even include an optical drive:

"The D400 itself does not include bays for optical or floppy drives, but it offers a special external-drive bay to house and connect to them."

Consider that for the same amount of money you could get:

An iBook with included combo drive, plus an Airport card and extra memory (reseller will usually include a "free" 256MB with a $40 installation charge anyway). Plus the iBook has a 40 GB drive, twice the size of the Dell. And Dell is supposed to be the value leader??? If only more of the PC-using public was aware of what a great deal the iBooks are....

wdlove
May 19, 2003, 11:55 AM
So to copy is the sincerest form of flattery! Wonder why they couldn't offer more?

ddtlm
May 19, 2003, 12:17 PM
lmalave:

Hahahaha, that's so weak! And it doesn't even include an optical drive
It also wieghs 3.7 pounds, which was the idea. Dell has lots of other laptops with optical drives.

And Dell is supposed to be the value leader???
This machine is by no means a value-oriented Dell. Go to their site and you'll find you can get faster+more hardware for less money if you go with a larger laptop.

wdlove:

So to copy is the sincerest form of flattery!
Critical thought will reveal to you that this Dell is really not copying anything from Apple, in fact it is simply following a well established laptop format (small, light, driveless).

macktheknife
May 19, 2003, 12:26 PM
A combo drive is only another $99.00 for the Latitude D400. The thing also weighs only 3.7 pounds vs. 4.9 pounds for the iBook (I doubt a combo drive will weigh an additional pound). Also, the Dell laptop comes with a 1.3 GHz Pentium M processor that will beat the lights out of the 900 MHz G3 that the 12 inch $1,299 iBook comes with.

Also, this is a poor notebook to compare the iBook to. It is designed to be an ultra portable. The Dell Latitude D400 is not a value notebook.

lmalave
May 19, 2003, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
lmalave:
It also wieghs 3.7 pounds, which was the idea. Dell has lots of other laptops with optical drives.


Yeah, but that's weak. As someone who actually carries around my laptop, having an external drive is pointless, and I think people who go this route aren't really thinking things through. If I had an external drive I would always carry it in my bag. Sure, the laptop might weigh less when I'm just moving it by itself from one desk to another, but what I really care about is: how much does my laptop bag with all accessories weigh? My iBook weights 4.9 lbs with optical drive. And Apple even thought to make their power adapter lightweight. Again, another accesory that I always put in my laptop bag, and the Dell power adapters always use that heavy "brick" design.

ewinemiller
May 19, 2003, 12:27 PM
Have you looked at it, Dell has probably a half dozen different models that are 12" laptops, that doesn't mean they are all copies of iBook or are even trying for the same market. This particular one is lighter, thinner, and a hell of a lot faster.

ewinemiller
May 19, 2003, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by lmalave
Yeah, but that's weak. As someone who actually carries around my laptop, having an external drive is pointless, and I think people who go this route aren't really thinking things through. If I had an external drive I would always carry it in my bag. Sure, the laptop might weigh less when I'm just moving it by itself from one desk to another, but what I really care about is: how much does my laptop bag with all accessories weigh? My iBook weights 4.9 lbs with optical drive. And Apple even thought to make their power adapter lightweight. Again, another accesory that I always put in my laptop bag, and the Dell power adapters always use that heavy "brick" design.

This isn't true for everyone, probably half my business trips and all my vacations, I wouldn't bother to pack an optical drive if it wasn't internal. If I'm going to corporate, I can grab anything I need off the network, if I'm on vacation I just need to dial up and check email, no optical drive needed. This goes after that same niche as the small Sony Vaios, there is a market for that.

lmalave
May 19, 2003, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by macktheknife
A combo drive is only another $99.00 for the Latitude D400. The thing also weighs only 3.7 pounds vs. 4.9 pounds for the iBook (I doubt a combo drive will weigh an additional pound). Also, the Dell laptop comes with a 1.3 GHz Pentium M processor that will beat the lights out of the 900 MHz G3 that the 12 inch $1,299 iBook comes with.

Also, this is a poor notebook to compare the iBook to. It is designed to be an ultra portable. The Dell Latitude D400 is not a value notebook.

Okay so that would bring the Dell to $1598 with a comparable external optical drive. And as for "ultraportability", see my comment above. If I had an external drive I wouldn't think of going on a business trip without it. And almost certainly I would still take it on my daily commute to work. So what has having the drive external really saved me?

And as for CPU, I haven't used the Pentium M so I can't make informed commentary on it. But I'm a lifelong PC user and use PCs both at work and at home, and my lil' iBook does not seem slow by comparison. At least not for what I use it for (surfin' with Safari, iTunes, various X11 and Unix applications). I guess I'm just the ideal iBook customer.

lmalave
May 19, 2003, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by ewinemiller
This isn't true for everyone, probably half my business trips and all my vacations, I wouldn't bother to pack an optical drive if it wasn't internal. If I'm going to corporate, I can grab anything I need off the network, if I'm on vacation I just need to dial up and check email, no optical drive needed. This goes after that same niche as the small Sony Vaios, there is a market for that.

Yeah but what about using the DVD Player on those plane rides? My iBook has both a DVD player and the battery life to handle watching a full-length movie.

I just think my iBook is a better value. It's light, yet cheap. Sure, those ultralites are 1 or 2 pounds lighter, but also cost hundred$ more. The closest to the iBook I've seen are Sony Vaio and IBM Thinkpad models that are both about 4 lbs. and have built-in optical drives. Of course, they cost about $2K. Also, the Fujitsu P2000 is an interesting competitor, offering a Transmeta Crusoe based computer that is only about 3 lbs with 10.6" widescreen and built-in optical drive for only $1499.

ewinemiller
May 19, 2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by lmalave
Yeah but what about using the DVD Player on those plane rides? My iBook has both a DVD player and the battery life to handle watching a full-length movie.

And that fits your need. The thread started out knocking the Dell as an inferior competitor to the iBook, but it's not trying to compete or copy the iBook, it's after a different market. I don't watch the DVDs on the plane, not because I don't have the battery life, but because I'd rather get some coding done, do a little 3D, read a book, take a nap, etc. I'd love to have something very light, small, and fast with a great battery life. I had been looking at some of the Sony Vaios, but would prefer the dell.

It's like comparing a civic to a mustang (no judgements implied about which is which), because they both have the same 6 disc changer. 6 disc changers are everywhere, that doesn't mean one is copying the other. They are different animals targeting different markets.

MacFan25
May 19, 2003, 02:04 PM
I think that the iBook is the better value, but, you have to admit that this Dell is pretty light weight. I still like the iBooks and 12" PBs. :D

iJon
May 19, 2003, 03:27 PM
but that dell has 2 key features, longer battery life and a way faster processor.

iJon

blueBomber
May 19, 2003, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by iJon
but that dell has 2 key features, longer battery life and a way faster processor.

iJon
I wouldn't say that it is "way" faster... the G3 is perfectly capable of competing with it. Competing, not beating, just to clarify.

DakotaGuy
May 19, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by macktheknife
Also, the Dell laptop comes with a 1.3 GHz Pentium M processor that will beat the lights out of the 900 MHz G3 that the 12 inch $1,299 iBook comes with.


I don't think a 1.3 Pentium Mobile would beat the lights out of a 900Mhz G3. It might be a little quicker, but not nothing earth shattering. It should compete well. If Apple competed this well in processor speed with the desktops, we would be in the game.

macktheknife
May 19, 2003, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
I don't think a 1.3 Pentium Mobile would beat the lights out of a 900Mhz G3. It might be a little quicker, but not nothing earth shattering. It should compete well. If Apple competed this well in processor speed with the desktops, we would be in the game.

The performance of the Pentium-M 1.3 GHz is comparable to a Pentium 4-M 1.6/1.8 GHz processor. It isn't "earth shattering" speed, of course, but I doubt that the performance of the 900 MHz G3 comes even close.

iJon
May 19, 2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by blueBomber
I wouldn't say that it is "way" faster... the G3 is perfectly capable of competing with it. Competing, not beating, just to clarify.
possibly, benchmarks will tell, i do bet that the battery life is much longer though, intel has done remarkable on the new centrino techonology, amazing battery life.

iJon

DakotaGuy
May 19, 2003, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by macktheknife
The performance of the Pentium-M 1.3 GHz is comparable to a Pentium 4-M 1.6/1.8 GHz processor. It isn't "earth shattering" speed, of course, but I doubt that the performance of the 900 MHz G3 comes even close.

Well at least it sounds like a closer competition 900Mhz vs. 1.3Ghz then the current tower situation 1.42Ghz vs. 3.06Ghz...lol...

The numbers (Mhz ratings) sell them more then anything to the average consumer.

yzedf
May 19, 2003, 09:00 PM
Or you can go for the 14.1" D600 for ~4.7 lbs. You can get 2GB of RAM, a 1.6GHz Centrino P4 (P4-M?), 802.11a/b/g wireless (mini-PCI) etc etc. Pricey (compared to other PC's), but still a very nice modern machine.

Compared to a PB 15.2" G4 1GHz with only 1GB RAM, only 802.11b, and less battery life, for similar pricing.

And there is of course the D800 we spoke of in some other thread, with the rumored 15.4" display, that I hope is in the next PB 15"

macktheknife
May 20, 2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Abercrombieboy
Well at least it sounds like a closer competition 900Mhz vs. 1.3Ghz then the current tower situation 1.42Ghz vs. 3.06Ghz...lol...

The numbers (Mhz ratings) sell them more then anything to the average consumer.

The "Megahertz Myth" first got public attention when AMD began branding its Athlon chips with a figure (ex: "Athlon XP 1800") to demonstrate the comparable speed of its chips despite having a lower clockspeed. I think that the speed of Macs and PCs were comparable back in the mid-90s and that the Megahertz Myth held true then. However, in the past several years, Intel has basically sped ahead of the crowd, leaving AMD behind and Apple scrambling to put dual processors in its high-end machines.

blueBomber
May 20, 2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by macktheknife
The "Megahertz Myth" first got public attention when AMD began branding its Athlon chips with a figure (ex: "Athlon XP 1800") to demonstrate the comparable speed of its chips despite having a lower clockspeed. I think that the speed of Macs and PCs were comparable back in the mid-90s and that the Megahertz Myth held true then. However, in the past several years, Intel has basically sped ahead of the crowd, leaving AMD behind and Apple scrambling to put dual processors in its high-end machines.

so true. In fact, AMD is screaming what Apple users have been saying for what seems like ages; mhz isn't everything. But it is becoming apparent that this may not hold much water anymore. Intel has been doing more than simply bumping up the speed of x86 frequency, they have been decreasing die size, increasing memory interfaces, turning up the FSB, and gaining huge performance increases. Granted, SSE isn't nearly as supported on PC's as Altivec is on macs, but the P4 is still a fast chip without specialization. Basically what I'm saying is that in the notebook market, with it's lower clocked chips, Apple is still a competitor. But in the desktop market, Apple is clearly in last place in the speed department; mhz myth or not.

macktheknife
May 22, 2003, 12:52 PM
I was looking at the Dell Inspiron 600m and comparing them to the G4 PowerBook. Here are the specs of the current 15 inch TiBook:

Processor: 1 GHz G4
Cache: 256K SRAM Level 2 cache, 1MB DDR SRAM Level 3 cache
Memory: 512MB PC133 SDRAM
Display: 15.2-inch (diagonal), 1280x854 resolution, TFT
Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 with 64MB of DDR SDRAM
Hard Disk: 60GB Ultra ATA/66
Optical Drive: Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
Ethernet: Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
Modem: Built-in 56K V.92 modem
Wireless Networking: Optional Bluetooth 1.1 adapter; built-in AirPort Card
OS: Mac OS 10.2
Price: $2,799

Here are the specs for the Dell Inspiron 600m:

Processor: 1.6 GHz Pentium-M
Cache: On-die 1 MB L2 cache, 32 KB Internal L1 Cache, 400 MHz external BUS frequency
Memory: 512MB DDR SDRAM
Display: 14.1-inch TFT XGA active-matrix display with up to 1024 x 768 x 16 M resolution
Video Card: 64 MB DDR ATi MobilityTM RADEONTM 9000 4X AGP
Hard Disk: 60GB Ultra ATA
Optical Drive: 2x DVD+RW/+R
Ethernet: Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Modem: Internal 56K4 capable v.92 Fax modem
Wireless Networking: Optional Bluetooth 1.1 adapter; Intel® ProWireless 2100 (802.11b) mini PCI wireless card
OS: Windows XP Home Edition
Price: $2,416

That's about a difference of $383. The Dell also has more customization options too: if you want a 1.3 GHz Pentium-M processor instead, you could knock off $500, if you want a 802.11 b/g card you could add $20, if you want a DVD/CD-R combo drive you could knock off $199, etc. You could also downgrade to a combo drive for the TiBook and bring the price down by $200.

Let's assume we go with the current options. There's no doubt that the Pentium-M processor will be faster (the 1.6 GHz P-M performance is comparable to the 2.2-2.4 GHz P4-M), so in my opinion, the $383 difference lies with the bigger screen, the looks, OS 10.2, and a bunch of free iApps. If the customer wants a slower processor, the price differential will be even wider.

ewinemiller
May 22, 2003, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by macktheknife
I was looking at the Dell Inspiron 600m and comparing them to the G4 PowerBook. Here are the specs of the current 15 inch TiBook:



For comparison to a Power Book, a Latitude D800 is probably a better choice. It's got the 15.4(?) widescreen (up to 1920x1200, sweeeeet, but also a more PowerBook like 1280x800 is available) and the Pentium M for the nice long battery life.

macktheknife
May 22, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by ewinemiller
For comparison to a Power Book, a Latitude D800 is probably a better choice. It's got the 15.4(?) widescreen (up to 1920x1200, sweeeeet, but also a more PowerBook like 1280x800 is available) and the Pentium M for the nice long battery life.

I went with the Inspiron 600m because it could match most of the PowerBook's specs. The Latitude D800 has the 15 inch screen but weighs 2 lbs more and has no DVD-R capabilities or a 64 MB ATi video card. The Inspiron weighs about as much as the PowerBook and has almost all of the same specs except for the processor, OS, and screen size.

billyboy
May 22, 2003, 02:52 PM
The new Dell vs the soon to be updated iBook. It doesnt seem to matter where in time you freeze the frame, different companies are at different stages of the development cycle. Being the first to bring stuff to the market, it's no wonder Apple then fall "behind" at some stages. This particular few months Apple kit might seem a little off the pace compaed to the new offerings from the style and package catch-up kids, or a lot off the pace with the Powermac, but that is how it goes.

If the offering today was Apple's best shot ever, then there would be reason to get worried, but it isn't. Hopefully the new 970, but weeks away, will really nail the fact that Apple has more than moved alongside the field again in the sphere of processors. The problem is that even when Apple processors were on a par with double the size Intel chips, the sales pitch didnt get that fact across to the masses. That the marketing takes a quantum leap on 970 launch day too, brings a lot more switchers into the fold and wipes transient smiles off those at Sony or Dell!