Dell Studio XPS 1640 vs MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by waloshin, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    As this is a Mac forum I would like to hear your comments on the Dell Studio Xps 16(1640).

    a) You cannot include problems with Windows, all I want debated is specs and build quality... when compared to the MB/MBP!

    b) Do you hate it, do you like it? What do you not like about it and what do you like about it?

  2. ndstrenge macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2008
    Not exactly the reply you're looking for, but I own a dell Inspiron 9300 (17 inch) from almost 4 years ago and a unibody mbp 15.

    I like that I was able to update my dell to handle the vista release (new hd, video card, etc) and it's still functioning really well at work. Build quality has been superb and I hauled that thing around on a daily basis for a couple of years. It still gets hauled around my office. It's not very stationary. I'm quite impressed how long that machine has lasted given its use.

    But, the moment I touched the mbp, I knew I was buying it. The aluminum unibody and the trackpad are pure heaven for usability.

    Specs are specs, you can compare them side-by-side yourself. Most of us don't buy macs for specs, that's insane. Most of our spec needs were surpassed years ago anyway. We just want bombproof stability and high-quality builds.
  3. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    Spec wise the specs are a lot better almost everywhere. If you upgrade it the laptop get better at a cheaper price then a baseline MBP.

    -The screen, while having a lower resolution, can be upgraded to an HD resolution for 200$
    -The graphics looks better then the 9600m GT.
    -2.93GHz & 4 GB of RAM baseline

    It just come down on the case and OS.

    -We could argue that Mac OS X is better then Windows, but it's just a matter of preference.
    -No information on the weight, but review showed that it was kinda heavy. The 15'' MBP is 5.5LB and I believe it's too much to haul all the time (I don't). If the XPS is any heavier and that you're not really that strong, you will hurt your back over time.

    Do you really need a Mac? I did, and I took the MBP without regrets.
  4. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    A good operating system doesn't need super high-end specks to make it perform properly.

    Good OS + 2.4GHz > Bad OS + 2.4GHz
    Good OS + 2.4GHz = Bad OS + 2.8GHz
  5. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Dude... 6.5lbs, 1.4" thick, barely 2 hours battery life (in reality) and VISTA vs. 5.5lbs, 0.95" thick, 4+ hours battery life and LEOPARD/iLIFE. 'nuff said. :)
  6. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    I looked at this machine before I bought my Mac. While the specs are actually better than the Mac for the price, I read a few bad comments on Dell's own site about the build being cheap and plastic and seams not quite lining up.

    Bottom line is the unibody build is far superior to XPS Studio.

    But if you want to save $$$ get the Dell.
  7. sehnsucht77 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2008
    good solid build, lower price = i likes. i've never had problems with the dell computers i've owned and the support is top notch. i had a HD failure while I was away from home and Dell DHL'd me the restoration disks so i could get back up to work. i've yet to hear apple do something like THAT for its customers. granted, i do my own troubleshooting and stuff (i hate being bothered by "geniuses"...psh) but to see a company go out of its way to help you complete your work with O/N shipping earns top points in my book. coupled by good build quality and good support..very nice. cost to me? zilch.

    windows problems depend on how well you install your programs and how competent you are with the proper upkeep of your machine. there is a tried and true correlation between a computer getting shot to sh*t and a user that doesn't know jack sh*t about the machine in the first place. both go together like peas and carrots so make whatever you want out of this correlation but it happens...a lot and not just to windows users.
  8. snowmoon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Dell = lots of "special" software to make the thing run that doesn't play well with the OS. I have a work laptop lattitude E6500 and it sucks rocks. The bottom case feels like it's going to warp when I pick it up ( secured with 1 frigging screw ). When I made the mistake of unplugging it the other day Vista ate itself ( as in it's now unbootable ). BT is quirky, trackpad is tiny, system is much slower than my previous MBP ( 2.16 pre-SR ) despite having all around better "features".

    It will probably sit in the corner until the next time I desperately need a windows system for work when I'll reinstall a copy of XP that I have.

    You say not to concentrate on the OS, but at the end of the day it's what makes or breaks your experience.
  9. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    It depends on what you mean by build quality. The Dell - and I have one - is constructed to a more 'industrial' standard than the Apple, but variances in panel fit are less critical than on the Apple. Let's just say it's a less 'precious' machine than the MBP, although equally effective. Undoubtedly the Apple takes the style crown, but a laptop isn't just about how good it looks - at least, for me.

    Assuming we're comparing between the 17-inch and the XPS 16, then the 9-cell *replaceable* battery gets me just under 4 hours of runtime in the same usage pattern that gets me just under 6 hours of runtime on the Power Saving profile of the 17-inch.

    If we're comparing with the 15-inch... well, the XPS is a different class of machine. I guess in that case it becomes about what you need.

    The only thing really I don't like about the XPS really is the screen, and I can say the same thing about all of the Aluminium Macs bar the antiglare 17-inch. The screen is just ludicrously reflective, and like the Macs, is unusable in certain lighting. Other potential dislikes include how long the leather accent actually stays looking good, as opposed to worn and tattered. Probably not a factor in my case as I don't intend to keep it longer than a year - 18 months on the outside, but definitely a factor if your replacement schedule is longer.

    Costwise, and also in terms of utility - the XPS beats the 17-inch into submission with a GPU that's roughly equal, runtime that's not too shabby in real-life comparative situations, good general performance, superior utility in many respects and a ~thousand-dollar cost difference even factoring in three-year warranty and accidental damage cover. The 17-inch definitely has the style stakes tied up, but at the cost of lower durability in real-life use and a nonreplaceable battery that might result in usability issues, especially given that the runtime isn't long enough to be a true all-day companion for some (read: me).

    Build quality variations? Out of all Dell lineups, I've easily had the most issues with the XPS line of notebooks - although not to a functional level that I've experienced with Apple - and it can be argued that in the case of Apple, it is easier to get purely cosmetic issues acknowledged, especially as you can walk into a store. I've had an isolated number of cases getting purely cosmetic, non-functional issues acknowledged by Dell when it occured. My single completely negative Dell call stems from a cosmetic issue I had with an M1330 where the supervisor was telling me that it was OK because his had the same thing. As you might imagine I was rather incensed and later I extracted an apology from senior Dell staff as well as compensation. You might not be accorded the same attention as I spend - well, quite a lot with Dell. So YMMV.

    As for the comparison with the 15-inch, I personally wouldn't as they fall into different categories of machines.

    I doubt if you're posting on a Mac forum that the decision will swing towards anything other than a Mac, but personally, as a sole machine I'd be depending fully on, I'd rather have an XPS 16 fully warrantied up than a 17-inch Macbook Pro with Applecare.
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If those are your requirements, I'd get the Dell. ;)

    As Sesshi said, the one thing the 17" MBP offers is a longer battery life. If you include aesthetics, then yes, the 17" (and 15") MBP are better looking, while the 17" MBP has a better battery life. If you compare overall specs related to speed, and even the real-world durability of the machines, both MBPs fall behind. Arguably, the MacBook Pros, like the PowerBooks before it, were never about durability anyway, so you know what to expect. ;)

    Anyway, I'll listen to Sesshi when it comes to things like durability and usability. You can only get a feel for the machine by using it, and I'm sure Sesshi has used them all.
  11. philips macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    I buy laptops mainly for portability. MBP17 is the most portable 17" I have ever seen: weight, build and battery life.

    Also I'd give a word of warning against high specs on laptops. High specs - pretty much all of them - are eating into battery life. E.g. more/faster RAM -> higher power consumption during sleeps, faster hard drive -> higher power consumption and overheating, higher FSB frequency -> higher power consumption when idle/in power-saving mode. And so on. Performance and nice specs always come with the price.

    After some time, I have started appreciating that (1) my MBP17 easily hits 6+ hours of non-CPU-intensive work on single charge and (2) thanks to SSD is stays most of the time cool and silent.
  12. philips macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    Can you elaborate on durability?

    I have now 4(5?)yo PowerBook G4 12" and it still kicking. For past two years it was always with me and had seen quite an amount of abuse: I intentionally started using it heavily as to wear it down and justify purchase of something newer. But the damm thing still works.

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