17" MBP compared to 17" Dell studio - What if I just want a high res screen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thesmoth, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    Macbook pro 17" base model:

    # 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X2GB
    # 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    # SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    # MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution Glossy Widescreen Display
    # None
    # Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide

    Price: $2650 with educational discount (Canadian price)

    Dell Studio 17":

    #intel® Pentium® Dual Core T4200 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/1MB cache)
    #Bright, Hi Resolution, glossy widescreen 17.0 inch RGB LED display #(1920x1200)
    #4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
    #Size: 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    #256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
    #8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    #85 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
    #Dell Wireless 1510 802.11 n half mini-card
    #backlite keyboard

    Price: $1309 for everyone. (Canadian price)

    So obviously the MBP is better. It has a much nicer case, looks better, has a better battery, is probably thinner and a bit lighter, has a faster processor/ram/video card, etc...

    But the bottom line is that the dell offers more ports and expandability, and although it won't be as fast it will do everything the macbook pro will do. For example for most people who don't do a lot of really intense work, but want the 17" for the nice big screen, the extra horse power is wasted. I would love something like the dell, but in a Mac. I don't care if the specs are low I just want the extra screen space! Obviously OSX is better but seriously. The 13" MBP is actually a good deal if you compare it to similar offerings from other companies, but the bigger models are a bit extreme.

    I didn't realize the price difference was so extreme.
  2. yahoodlums macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    apples and oranges (excuse the pun!)

    Also the model you compare is 2.0 GHz Dual Core and the Mac 2.8 Ghz.

    Does the dell have nearly 8 hours battery and an aluminium case ?
  3. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    Try configuring a similar specified machine from Dell and then comparing again.

    You wouldn't consider a Ford Ka over a Bugatti Veyron because both had seats that could fit you, would you? ;)
  4. hitman45400 macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2008
    MacBook Pro, hands down.
    I bought the 15" studio, within 2 weeks, the mother bored died.
    they are slow, bulky, the screen doesn't look that good, kind of foggy looking.
    Plus, it has vista, and all of those random ass programs it loads on for free that you have no idea to uninstall.
    so, after it died, i went back to where i bought it, and they offered me another one and some other stuff on top of that, i just laughed, and walked away with my 900 bucks.
    you will beat yourself up if you buy the dell, and remember their slogan?
  5. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    You clearly didn't read my post.

    Obviously the MBP is better, but the improved performance won't make a practical difference for 95% of users who use internet/music/word/excel, etc...

    If a person wants a high resolution screen so that they can be more productive while working (and maybe can't have an external monitor plugged in) and they want a mac, they need to pay $2650, which is double (don't forget double the tax) what the dell offers.

    Now the MBP 17" is beautiful with an amazing battery and case and all of that, and the dell probably looks ****** and feels cheap, but it will do exactly the same job. The obvious downfall is that you can't have OSX on the dell, but that is exactly my point. Apple forces people to go big or go home, so to speak, so you don't have the option of getting what you actually want.

    I don't think anyone in their right mind would say they want the dell over the MBP, EVEN if you could have OSX on both, but not everyone has $3000 to drop on a laptop that will be obsolete and probably replaced in 2-3 years anyways. For the price of the MBP, I can buy the dell, put the other half $1400 dollars away in the bank, not buy any sort of waranty, and 1-2 years later when the dell explodes, go and buy a system 4 times as fast as that $3000 MBP that was SO much better a year or two before.

    I know this is not going to go anywhere since this is a mac forum, and I know that Macs are way better (I plan on buying the 13" MBP next week) but i'm just stating some obvious practical and economical facts here. If I wasn't so caught up in the glam of mac and their pretty shinny laptops (and their solid OS with handy features like spaces and expose) i'd save myself a ton of money and get a dell.
  6. Mintin8 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2009
    United Kingdom
  7. yahoodlums macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Well... it is a Mac Forum! :)

    Seriously, you get what you pay for. I think the Dell will be a piece of cheap plastic crap with a piece of **** OS and average build quality. If price is your only determining factor then by all means buy the Dell, otherwise there is no comparison. In my opinion, that is.
  8. yargk macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
  9. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    These are all Canadian prices,

    sorry I forgot to mention that.

    And I agree that hands down the MBP wins, but functionally they aren't that different (for the price).
  10. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!
    You're asking the wrong crowd for an objective opinion.. :D

    If all you're interested in is the high res screen.. get the dell.
  11. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
    If you want a high res screen, dude get a dell.

    If you want a computer, get a mac.
  12. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    The Windows bashing is getting out of hand. Now people are accusing Dells of fatiguing and then killing their mother? Jeez...

    Do you need the Macbook Pro features? The "Pro" is in there for a reason (at least with most of the lineup). If you are planning on using Firefox and Office most of the time but you want a big screen, just get the Dell and save your money.
  13. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    No bias here. Get the Dell. It seems like like you'll simply be wasting your money if you buy the MacBook Pro.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Why can't you get refurb?

    Go to online apple store, look for "special deals".

    Laptops are made for portable use. The dell is heavy and clunky.

    The 17" MBP weights the same as most 15" pc laptops.

    If you don't need a laptop, then get iMac.
  15. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    if your looking for just a computer to do basic tasks on, get a low end macbook pro with an external display?
  16. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    By the way, where are you from in canada? Just curious.
  17. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Not for nothing, but you can do the same at the Dell outlet and get the specified Studio 17 above for less than $1,000.

    The 17" Macbook Pro weighs in at 6.6 lbs. The Dell weighs in at 7.9 lbs. I would not call either of them "light". The Dell is only about 1" deeper, but otherwise the dimensions are similar (15.47 x 10.41 x 0.98 vs. 15.46 x 11.36 x 1.18).

    The Macbook Pro is a much nicer machine, but it is overkill for the large majority of potential users. For the target market, it makes sense. Sounds like the OP would be in the market for a 17" Macbook.
  18. phooi macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    I'll probably get flamed for this but I thought I'd share with you my thoughts...

    On the comparison of the two machines, I would say it is not entirely fair. There are some hardware differences that justifies the price premium -- processor (Apple has faster frontside bus, more cache), display (17 LED vs. LCD at same res 19x12), longer battery life, weight, and flexibility in OS choice. I am excluding design, OS and on board apps on purpose.

    I've noticed that Apple generally has a first mover advantage in terms of processor, display and video which makes a direct price comparison difficult when new macs are released. Over time, the mac price premium becomes apparent (within months) as the same components become ubiquitous.

    However, to say that macs are better made than PCs, I would have to respectfully disagree. I will preface this by saying that I am a recent MBP owner having been a long time PC and Dell laptop user. My experience with Dell laptops (all Latitudes) have always been positive and have never had any massive failures. I've used them for work and have treated them roughly since they were work machines.

    With my MBP, I am very careful about handling and try not to rough-house it. I find it to be a delicate machine. Unfortunately for me, it has also proven unreliable. The machine has been in the shop 3x now, most recently for a logic board replacement due to the 8600GT failure.

    So are macs more expensive than PCs? When you compare state of the art, comparable initially. Are macs more reliable than PCs? Perhaps in the past, maybe/probably. In my recent experience, not really.

    Finally, one thing I think everyone needs to realize is that all computers today pretty much use commodity hardware. Apple differentiate themselves primarily through design, manufacturing, power management, OS, software, and vendor relationships.
  19. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008

    And like i said I realize that the macs are way better, and for the 13" specifically there is a lot of value in what you get (including OSX). My point is that when you move up to the realm of the 15" and 17" models, they are far overpriced compared to competators (even though they are VERY nice). If you spec out a similar 13" lenovo or dell, they will be about the same price as the 13" MBP, AND they will be far worse quality. The same thing can not be said for the 15" and 17" models (well they are still way better, but the prices are not comparable).

    That is really my only point. I plan on buying the 13" MBP next week because I know they are awesome machines, and I think the portability of the 13" is nice, but a high resolution large display would also be very handy since I won't be able to get a second display at home or work/school (due to space).

    A 17" macbook would be great, or take same specs in the baseline 13" mbp, put them into the 17" body, and charge $1500-1700 for it.
  20. Zenze macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Get the dell if you don't need more powerful hardware and don't really care about using OS X.

    However, if I were you I would get a 13" MBP and a separate screen. The 13" is much more portable, and you still get OS X. You mentioned not being able to use a separate monitor, but I can't really see a situation were this is the case unless you HAVE to have the 17 inces on the go.
  21. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    There is where I disagree. I find the exact opposite. You want the latest processor, LED backlit screen, discrete graphics and form factor, the Macbook Pro is actually reasonably priced. Same with the 8-core Mac Pros.

    The specifications on the 13" Macbook Pro or 13" White Macbook? You can get a similar Dell (like the M1330) for a much better price.
  22. Smoothie macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2007
    I've also had very good experience with Dell notebooks. I currently have a 15 inch XPS M1530 running Vista. It has a very good LCD panel, has never crashed on me, boots quickly, opens programs quickly and has been a pleasure to use. It's not as pretty as a MBP, but it was definitely less expensive and does what I need it to do. It gets a little tiring hearing a constant refrain of Dell/Vista bashing, especially from people who have probably no first-hand experience with either. So far, I'm happy with both my Dell and my newly purchased MBP.
  23. Schraiber macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2009
    I have to say, just anecdotally, I have had some friends with HORRIBLE experiences with Dells. I think it's just bad luck, but one of my friends had his harddrive die TWICE within the first year of owning the computer and another friend had it happen once. I'd personally go with an HP, an OEM which I've seen fewer problems with.
  24. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    You clearly haven't seen the Dell Studio's screen which is the most important. The screen washes out like most cheaper notebooks. The viewing angles are horrible.
  25. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    I suppose I could get one for my desk at my office at university; however as a graduate student I don't have my own office with a lock, and the way our floor is setup there are about 30+ people with access to the labs (from different groups). I suppose I could get one here, but I would be worried about theft.

    At home I live in a tiny 1 bedroom appartment (too small even for a desk) so there is literally nowhere I could put one. I suppose at work would be the biggest benefit for an extra monitor. I will consider this because it would be nice. One reason why i'm wanting to get the 13" is because of this option, even though it isn't totally feasible for me right at this moment.

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