Comparing new 15" MacBook Pro with Dell laptop.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Evolvere, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Evolvere macrumors member

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    #1
    I've only ever owned one Apple computer, my current white MacBook bought in late 2008. I'm happy with it, and I was happy with the price when I bought it, as I got student discount and a free printer and iPod Nano. I'm a basic word processor and Internet user and not so techy, so I was hoping someone could explain to me the price difference between the new base MacBook 15" and this Dell (the one on the far right for £629): http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspiron-1564?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&~oid=uk~en~20211~inspiron-1564_n0056411~~

    The specs seems similar but then as I said, I'm not so techy. I'm not trying to start another 'why are Macs more expensive' thread, if you don't want something you don't buy it. I'm just curious if there are differences I don't know about. Thanks.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    Higher resolution display, longer battery life, FW800 port, lighter and thinner, ... .

    I may be too dumb, but I can't configure that PC so I don't know what CPUs I can get.
     
  3. GadgetGeek71 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Are you going to "Hackintosh" the Dell?

    Personally, I've never had good luck with Dell Laptops. I'm very happy with my Mini 10 netbook though.
     
  4. Evolvere thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    The CPU for the Dell is Intel Core i5-520M (2.4GHz, 4 Threads, turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz, 3M cache) - is that not the same as the MacBook Pro 15"?

    And the longer battery life etc. are definitely nice, if someone offered to buy me one or the other obviously I'd choice the Mac! But what the differences that make people in the know pay an extra £870 more over the Dell?
     
  5. Evolvere thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    I wouldn't even know how to Hackintosh the Dell! What bad luck have you had with Dell laptops?
     
  6. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    In the know... Macs just work, very little maintenance, few if any viruses, OS X is awesome. Build quality is excellent, Apple's customer service also excellent.
    Basically the thing just works, and works well.

    PCs are able to lower costs by bundling tons of crapware, AV, trials, etc which subsidizes to some degree the cost of your laptop. You can always format the drive clean, but most don't want to bother.
     
  7. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    LOL, NOBODY has 'luck' as you put it with Dell laptops.
    My company is all Dell and we buy their corporate Latitude series which are very good indeed. Dell's consumer laptops are awful. Everyone I know has them break down irreparably after their warranty is out. I've had motherboards die, heatsink fans be badly designed and clog, overheating issues, even the latest Latitude Ex400 series had severe performance issues.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=348221

    Just don't buy a Dell over a Mac. You won't regret that extra cash. It will last you much longer in the long run.
     
  8. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #8
    Consider a Lenovo T510 instead. Same processors as the new Macbook Pro's, but a lot easier on the wallet.

    [​IMG]

    Same specs as the $2200 MBP for over $500 less... The only disadvantage is has is the battery is smaller and you'll only see about 6 of battery life instead of the 7-8 you might get out of a new MBP...

    EDIT: The ultrabay batteries are no longer compatable with the T510 as I just found out :( So you're stuck with 6 hrs unless you swap the battery entirely.
     
  9. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a

    ScottishDuck

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    #9
    I would +1 this. Levono have excellent build quality.
     
  10. Evolvere thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Thanks for the Lenovo comparison. I have heard that they have a good reputation for reliability and build-quality. A study late last year suggested otherwise, although Lenovo did contest this (the site where I read about it for anyone who's interested). But the whole reliability debate (for any piece of consumer electronics) is normally an inconclusive one for the host of tired reasons that I'm sure most here will already know.

    What I want to do now is be completely honest about why I asked my initial question and give a brief outline of my thoughts on the matter.

    I have a friend who simply thinks that most Apple products aren't worth the price premium. When the updated MacBook Pros were released yesterday we looked on the Apple store and he was genuinely amazed at their prices. As I said in my first post, I'm not a particularly techy guy, and my only Apple computer is my current mid-2008 white MacBook which I am happy with and which I believe was good value for money. I had no answer for him at the time, and so I too wanted to know what people were getting for the extra price. If we take the Lenovo T510 to be a reasonably fair PC comparison to the new top MacBook 15", then the Apple laptop is about £400 or $550 more expensive.

    To be absolutely clear, I am not complaining about the prices. I understand there is an Apple premium which you either think is worth it or not. I just want to know if there is anything that can be added to the list of: build-quality, good customer service, OS X, little maintenance, no viruses, longer battery life, lighter and thinner? My friend would say these aren't enough. I don't agree with him, but I think that's because I see it from a different angle. The comparison I would make is with a cheap and an expensive car. Both get you from A to B but the latter has those extras (and the looks) that simply make it more enjoyable.

    What do others think? Do people agree with my idea that to some extent you are buying a luxury product (but with the luxury aspect extending beyond the looks alone)? Or are there other nuts-and-bolts reasons, as it were, that I'm missing?

    For those who have read this far! I plan on buying a new MacBook to replace this one about this time next year to take advantage of my student discount one last time. This discount has always been a big factor in my decision to buy an Apple computer.
     
  11. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    IMHO your list pretty much covers it. You pay the $550+ extra buying an Apple Macbook Pro for:

    build-quality (although some PC manufacturings are getting close like the HP Envy, Sony Vaio Z, etc. have nice build-quality)
    good customer service (although I've had good luck with Dell Business tech support)
    OS X
    little/less maintenance
    no viruses (I wouldn't say "NO" viruses, just much less of a chance I suppose)
    longer battery life
    lighter and thinner (some PC manufacturers match/beat this)
     
  12. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #12
    I've been using Thinkpads since the 300 series, and am just as happy with my current T500 as I have been with every previous Thinkpad I've owned. If you're worried about it, I'd suggest upgrading to the 3-year on site warranty, which can optionally cover even accidental damage to your computer. My experience with their tech support has been fantastic. Keep in mind that the study you linked to includes all of Lenovo's entire laptop line which extends beyond their business class computers, which are much more rugged, and built to tighter tolerances.

    Compared line by line to the MBP's I feel that the only place they're at a disadvantage is with the battery, but being ahead in so many other areas makes up for it in my opinion.
     
  13. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Personally I'd go for the MBP.

    I wish I had of made that decision when I got my last laptop, but then at the time the MBP 15" didn't have the same resolution as my current Dell XPS M1530. The rest was comparable at the time.

    Both a C2D between 2.4 and 2.6GHz, both with 4GB RAM, both with a dedicated graphics card, both 15.4".

    The Dell came in at about $800 cheaper than the MBP and had a 1680x1050 screen. So I went with the Dell...

    Funnily enough the Dell no longer runs windows as I have moved away from that, I only run it for my HTPC and my wife's laptop and general purpose household PC.

    Build quality on the Dell's are a bit ho hum, the XPS series are better, but still. I've had my motherboard replaced once and the HDD replaced in 2 years of ownership. I opted for the 3 years onsite warranty with accidental breakage. I have to admit that Dell after support service is pretty good, I've never had to argue with them to get them to fix anything.

    Other than that it does a mighty fine job, once I got rid of the Intel WLAN card for a Broadcomm based one (better driver support).

    But, my next laptop will be a MBP 15", no doubts about it. Given that I've never owned a Mac (the only Apple I had was a IIc), that is a big statement.

    What I like about the MBP over a normal laptop:
    1. Unibody construction
    2. That glorious touch pad
    3. Battery life
    4. Weight and lack of thickness
    5. Less heat generated

    What I don't like:
    1. No BluRay

    So for me the decision is easy.
     
  14. Evolvere thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    And clearly you think these things make the MacBook Pro worth it. A few other things that could be added to the list, would be: back-lit keyboard, SD card slot, higher screen resolution, a superior multi-touch trackpad, and OS and software discs included (rather than the OS residing on a hidden partition, a sore point for many PCs). All of these extras add up, but I was hoping for more comment on OS X itself, as this is arguably the biggest and most important difference between an Apple computer and a PC. What do professional users have to say about the advantages of OS X?

    I take it you also own an Apple computer as well, if so, what are it's advantages over the ThinkPad or other PCs for you?
     
  15. fenman macrumors member

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    UK
    #15
    Another point to consider is that the premium goes towards the parts of the laptop that age slower than the silicon inside - case, industrial design, screen, keyboard. As a result, Mac laptops lose value a lot slower than Dells. In absolute terms, A £499 Dell can not lose more than £499, but in 2-3 years it will be worthless as there is no value in it other than outdated chips inside; Mac on the other hand will still be worth good money and you will be able to upgrade by selling it and adding a little instead of just scrapping and buying new.
     
  16. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    well..I have realized that Macs hold good resale value only in the USA....back here in Asia, we don't get the prices we ask for our beloved Macs because of their weak specs...and the fact that Apple does not sell many laptops here...
     
  17. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

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    #17
     
  18. grapii macrumors member

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    #18
    One runs Mac OS X the other can run any version of Windows or Linux.

    I really don't see why people compare mac hardware with pc based hardware, you're comparing plums to oranges.

    If you want to run Windows or Linux, then you should compare between Dell, HP, Sony etc....

    If on the other hand you want OS X, you should compare between the offerings of Apple.

    So what if the Dell or Sony is better, you ain't gonna run OS X on it are you??

    And if you only care about the hardware specs and not the OS or software, then why are you comparing between Apple hardware and Dell hardware.

    Apple hardware is specifically for Mac OS X.

    Dell, Sony, HP etc hardware specifically for Windows/Linux.

    stop bitching about hardware and just buy what you need!
     
  19. Evolvere thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Sorry for the assumption. And I agree with you about the over emphasis on "fewer viruses" for OS X. For the the completely computer-clueless then it is an advantage, but for anyone who's reasonably computer literate, viruses on Windows isn't much of a problem.

    As for having a MacBook Air for when you want to use OS X - when is that? Is it about simply enjoying the experience or because of something technically unique to OS X?

    I'm sorry if I confused you about what I was asking. In hindsight, this probably wasn't the most appropriate forum for my topic.

    To recap, I'm not personally trying to decide which computer to buy between any of the those already mentioned. I have a white late-2008 MacBook which I use for university work and browsing the net and which I'm happy with. What I want to know is what reasons people would give for buying one of the new MacBook Pros. If you're right in saying that comparing Apple hardware to PC hardware is like comparing plums to oranges, then my question is, what is it that the orange can do that the plum can't?
     
  20. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Whilst according the the EULA that is true (specifically from an OSX perspective), technically it isn't. You can run Linux and Windows on a MBP and visa versa you can run OSX on a PC platform. It comes down to how much work you want to do and how much notice you take of all of the EULA when you purchase the OSX Operating System from Apple.

    BUT, running OSX on a PC platform requires a very narrow set of hardware and specifications for it to work correctly, which does narrow down the differences between the hardware specs of a PC and a MBP.
     

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