Justify Mac prices for me

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by crobb1011, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. crobb1011 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #1
    I currently have a toshiba satellite and have been a windows guy all my life. I have only used a mac a couple times and really liked the simplicity of the system. I am in the market for a new laptop and am debating between a sony p8400 running vista or a macbook (or mbp). I really like the mbp cosmetically, but I do not know a lot about it and it seems very similar internally to the sony and yet carries a $800 higher price tag. Someone please tell me why its so expensive and if its worth it.

    Also..I'm a student, and the majority of my computer use is for web surfing/emailing, word processing, and spreadsheets. I do a little pictures and videos but nothing extreme

    thank you
     
  2. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
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    NYC
    #2
    First off, for what you're doing I don't think there will be a difference between Windows and OS X.

    Now that said, there are already a zillion threads on this subject.

    And there is no real justification--you're paying $800 for great support, the Genius bar, OS X, iLife, and this community.
     
  3. dchen720 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #3
    sounds like a macbook is good enough for you.
    however, i can understand the temptation to get a mbp,,, just like myself.
    i play warcraft, web surf,, etc,, but still couldn't resist and went for the macbook pro.u sound go for the 2.4 ghz, 256 vram mbp, it's lot cheaper, relatively
     
  4. jroller macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #4
    You do not need the MBP. Buy the MB or the Windows box, whichever you think serves you best. The bottom line: OS X is the difference maker. I invite you to visit this site as you look for reasons to consider the switch.
     
  5. sonia1234321 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    #5
    Well, you shouldn't forget that Macs have bootcamp, which allows you to run Windows, and quite well. PcWorld found out that the MacBook Pro actually runs Vista the best... Out of ALL computers! You sound like you just need a MacBook though, since the MacBook Pro is more aimed towards a crowd that does maybe, heavy graphical stuff (heavy video and photo editing).

    So, if I were you, I'd get a 2.4 GHz MacBook. But don't forget, the MacBooks and MacBook Pros are going to be updated very soon! :)
     
  6. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    Around
    #6
    I wish I knew about this. I was so excited about getting a macbook (my 1st mac) that I got one a few weeks ago. I do love it, but I wish I waited. Oh well I still rather have this than my old PC.
     
  7. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #7
    Thats old, the MBP was never close to being the fastest windows laptop, it was just the fastest laptop they had tested at the time, which doesnt mean much since its been several years since they became Mac World 2.
     
  8. asphyxiafeeling macrumors regular

    asphyxiafeeling

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    May 31, 2008
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    Cali baby!
    #8
    if "this community" is going to react like that every time a newbie comes here with this question, I'd tell them to stick with windows :rolleyes:

    truth be told, macs are just overpriced. plain and simple. yes, they have better support. yes, they have iLife. yes, they have OS X. but, they are still unjustifiably overpriced (and in some ways under-spec'd). why? because they can be. they'll still sell a million macs at this price, so why drop it?

    if all windows machines were made by one company we'd see the same thing- but they're manufactured by several different companies (dell, hp, etc) so the prices inevitably fall down. with Apple being the only manufacturer, they can set the price as high as they want and they'll get away with it.

    that being said, if you want a mac, and you like OS X so much etc, get one. if the price really bothers you, stick with windows :D

    EDIT: i'd also like to add in a majority of cases you can get a PC-savy buddy to help you with your PC just as much/if not more then a "apple genius" can at an apple store.
     
  9. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #9
    Agreed. To buy a Mac, you pay a premium just because it is a Mac.

    You can buy a Vista notebook that can probably run games decently around $1000, but spend that same amount of money on an entry level Macbook and you probably won't get the same amount of raw power.

    This being said, I bought a MBP knowing full well that I was paying a premium, but I am very happy with my purchase. I love the interface of OS X, I love the aesthetic design of the system, and I love that OS X seems to juggle tasks a lot better than Windows.

    Because I love the experience I've had using this so far, I'm going to go ahead and say that I am very happy with my computer purchase and that it has been worth it for me.

    But hey, to each his own. Apple systems aren't for everybody. I have my reasons why I like my MBP, and I can also understand why someone would want a less expensive Vista system.
     
  10. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #10
    For me, the price difference is worth it because I spent way too much of my time on Windows machines trying to make things work. With my Macs, I spend all of my time doing what I want to do.

    I know the "It just works" slogans sounds a little hokey, but for me, it's proved to be true.
     
  11. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #11
    I bet that sony isnt 1" thick, made out of Alu, has the screan comparable to 1440x900 LED 15", has an awesome keyboard with backlight and 4+ hours of real battery life. And of course it can't run OS X with all great Mac-only software.

    After seeing the specs of the Sony you specified, I can say that the low end MBP also has faster processor and faster graphics card.

    Enough to justify the price difference?
     
  12. winninganthem macrumors 6502a

    winninganthem

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #13
    Wow that was written quite recently huh?

    Awesome article, thanks very much :)
     
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #14
    The Tomshardware article shouldn't be used as an example of mac pricing, it's a poor piece.
     
  14. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #15
    Nah, I think it's fine as a guideline.
     
  15. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #16
    if you deciding wheter apple is overpriced..dont look at your sunday fliers such as best buy. you will see the laptops go for 100s less for even better specs inside.

    anyways...as people already said..you are paying for the operating system, the service and the community.

    one warning...dont hold them up to some heavnly presence. in the end they are just like any other computer company (although they are the best). For example, i ordered my laptop online and it is still missing. Apple doesnt know where it went, fedex never got it. wait wait wait. yep..apple still makes mistakes..
     
  16. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #17
    For the extra premium I paid to get a mac I get:

    Nice hardware design - simplicity and no fuss to match the software.

    Software that is integrated with itself, other software and the hardware. It's kind of an invisible thing, but I think it's rather important, and is the keystone of Apple's business. When Apple makes a piece of software, they KNOW what configuration their users have. This makes for much better integration, and smooth sailing for users. This includes the type of built in camera, graphics setup, controls, and so on. Granted, as standards improve, this point may become less and less important, but as it stands, it's an important reason to own a mac, in my opinion.

    The software itself (OS X) is simple and unobtrusive. Of course, if you do not like it (it's very much a preference thing), or if you are a heavy Windows power user, a Mac may not be for you.

    Bundled software. I really like iLife. The apps are more 'professional' (a lot less like a throwaway addition that some bundled software is), and has very good integration with the OS and each other.

    It really depends on how important you place these factors. If they don't matter, then stick with a Windows PC.

    For the extra premium I paid to get a mac I get:

    Nice hardware design - simplicity and no fuss to match the software.

    Software that is integrated with itself, other software and the hardware. It's kind of an invisible thing, but I think it's rather important, and is the keystone of Apple's business. When Apple makes a piece of software, they KNOW what configuration their users have. This makes for much better integration, and smooth sailing for users. This includes the type of built in camera, graphics setup, controls, and so on. Granted, as standards improve, this point may become less and less important, but as it stands, it's an important reason to own a mac, in my opinion.

    The software itself (OS X) is simple and unobtrusive. Of course, if you do not like it (it's very much a preference thing), or if you are a heavy Windows power user, a Mac may not be for you.

    Bundled software. I really like iLife. The apps are more 'professional' (a lot less like a throwaway addition that some bundled software is), and has very good integration with the OS and each other.

    It really depends on how important you place these factors. If they don't matter, then stick with a Windows PC.
     
  17. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #18
    Only you can decide if a Mac makes sense for you. I can tell you why I think the hardware is good or what makes me prefer the operating system but you have to justify it or not to yourself.

    First thing I'd say is that I used to prefer the Microsoft products big time. In fact I still get paid to do so at work, and I do a lot of work there with Windows Server and products like Sharepoint and Exchange and SQL Server that run on top of Windows Server, and these do work very well.

    I used to be a Microsoft MVP too. If you don't know, these are people who Microsoft "recognise and reward" for making big contributions to the community around Microsoft products. I received that award for about 9 years in a row up until the year Vista was released. So what made me change my tune? What justified a Mac to me?

    My first mac was in late 2003 just after OS X 10.3 (aka 'Panther') was released. I was un-interested in older versions of Mac OS prior to the current 10.x series but decided that OS X was starting to look interesting, and with 10.3 being a new release around the time I had some spare cash, I decided to lay down the cash and get a 800Mhz (I think) 12" G4 iBook. It was about the cheapest laptop they had available at the time and so was a "low risk" way of trying out Apple stuff for me.

    This laptop was an amazing beast to me. Being small it was very portable, which worked out well for me with taking a laptop when I travel around for work or leisure, and it seemed very well built and seemed like it was put together with a lot more care and attention than a lot of other Windows-based laptops at the time. Little touches like the power indicator in the charger plug, and fantastic battery life compared to my previous laptops all felt so nice to me.

    After running this laptop for a few years, I upgraded to a black macbook core duo as soon as these became available with Apple's switch to Intel. The iBook was still going strong but I'd basically outgrown it. I managed to sell it on Ebay, with Office 2004 and OS X 10.4 disks for only slightly less than I paid for it new, showing how Apple kit can hold its value.

    The Macbook is great. While I was still a MVP, testing Vista, I had beta versions of Vista running on the macbook quite happily and I still maintain that Apple actually make some of the nicer platforms for Windows XP and Vista. The Macbook has also been every bit as reliable as the iBook - neither have given me much trouble at all, and the one time I did ring Apple about problems with the battery life on my Macbook, they sorted it out for me no trouble at all.

    This brings me to one of the great things about Apple kit. Apple make the hardware and the operating system. If you have a problem like my one with poor battery life and you ring Apple up, it's *their* problem. You're not going to get told "It's an operating system issue, we just make the hardware, ring Microsoft" and you're not then going to be told "I don't know why you got sent to speak to us... it's clearly hardware not software so you need to speak to the people who make the hardware". Doesn't happen with Apple, as they make both it's always *their* problem either way.

    Same thing shines through day to day use of the hardware and software. As Apple produce a limited range of hardware and only two operating system editions (OS X and OS X server), things just tend to work a lot better. You get far less odd issues with things like laptop sleep not working right or bad drivers or anything like that which you seem to see sometimes in the Windows world. This isn't a "Windows sucks" point, in fact given the diversity of what Windows has to support it's a miracle it works as well as it does, but rather a point where the relative simplicity of what Apple have to deal with works in their favour.

    Malware is an interesting point that deserves calling out. One of the things I used to be a MS-MVP for was security back in the day, and while I was working with "enterprise" security rather than home security, it's clear that Microsoft have had a big problem with security issues in the past which means you have to spend a lot of time and effort and (yes, sometimes) money on securing your Windows system.

    OS X isn't magically immune to malware and anyone that tells you otherwise is an idiot with a remarkably poor appreciation of how computers actually work. However, due to a combination of factors, OS X is currently more or less a malware free zone when compared to Windows. You don't really need a virus scanner or a spyware remover on your Apple system, just a bit of care and common sense will suffice for most people. If you hate spending time and money on malware removal tools for Windows or if your work is very important to you and you can't afford for it to be disrupted by some stupidity then this might be all the justification you need by itself to buy a Mac.

    I won't go into whether or not the OS is so much better than Windows, though I do think the gap between OS X 10.5 and Vista is larger than the gap between OS X 10.3. I think the best thing to say here is try it for yourself and see. You have to be prepared to give a new OS time and to get used to it, same as with anything new. One thing I will say about OS X is that it tends to "stay out of the way" a lot more than Windows when you are working.

    I'd strongly suggest to anyone who has to cross the divide between Windows and OS X in *either* direction that you have to take the new system on its own values instead of trying to force it into working the way your 'old' system did and getting frustrated when it can't pretend to be something it isn't.

    And don't forget, with a Mac, you're buying a computer that can run OS X, Windows OR Linux. Part of the benefit is that extra choice, right there. I might not be a typical user, but this last bit alone is worth the price of admission for me.

    Whew! reading this again, it's turned into a giant post. I guess I can't tell you why *you* should buy a Mac but I have told you what made me do so. Hope that wasn't too boring and actually helps!
     
  18. isauce macrumors regular

    isauce

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    #19
    From your post you do generally just the everyday tasks, and its not even demanding. You should consider a Macbook or something similiar, and if you should purchase a Macbook install XP through boot camp. Do not fall for all the marketing thats attached to the laptops. Just buy what you need, or you might just get buyers remorse. :D You can't justify another $800 for something you won't be needing, unless you want to play games. Then use that $800 you saved and build a PC to play.
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #20
    Macs ARE NOT OVERPRICED. at least, if you know anything about hardware. I recently was asked for advice on a Dell or a similar spec MacBook. So I went to two sites and got the specs as close as I could. Dell ended up being over 2K (with software comparable to iLife and such) and the MacBook didnt need any upgrades with the 1.3k price tag. Oh, and did I mention BootCamp and the glossy screen? Why not also throw in the remote (although its not included by default anymore).

    So, in short, it's actually the other way around. Macs are cheaper by $800, if you take into account the free shipping vs. Dell shipping. You get better hardware (yes you do) and software. No clutter (as in trialware and junkware) and when you reinstall the OS you can choose which software to omit or include during installation. Oh, and Macs are HFS+, more efficient than NTFS which is almost a decade old by now. Better support, 1 Year warranty, and superior hardware design that PC manufacturers try to mimic. Let's not mention the FREE IPOD TOUCH if you have a educational discount.

    Still think Macs are overpriced? Check this article out.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/134373/2008/07/laptop_price.html?lsrc=mwweek

    It's similar if not cheaper at the maximum.
     
  20. tmelvin macrumors 6502

    tmelvin

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #21
    Uh Oh...hear that rumbling? It's all the PC Fanboys running to this thread to say how crazy you are. I agree with you 100%. Even if a comparable DELL/HP were the same cost, or a little cheaper, you're stuck using Vista Home Premium [unless you want to shell out more $$$ to get a full functional OS like Ultimate, which can be the basis of a WHOLE other thread].

    At the end of the day, I enjoy using my MB and iMac. I could never say that about a PC/Laptop...
     
  21. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    #22
    I think it would take a serious case of Mac Fanboyism to deny that the value proposition of a Mac is less attractive when it is due for a refresh than it is just after one.

    Of course, Vista Home Premium might be "good enough" for the majority of home users. I'd personally prefer un-needed surgery to using Vista at all, but putting aside feelings about how it is to use and looking at the laundry list of features, it's got home users well covered. And it supports things like Blu-Ray, which is important to some people and not yet covered by OS X.

    Other people do enjoy using a PC though, or at least think they do. How would you explain the value of buying a Mac and getting used to OS X to them? It's a fair question I think.
     
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #23
    Well for one thing, when you buy OS upgrades from Apple, you get two versions. One is single license, one is family. You think about how many ppl use it, not the individual features its got. And the upgrades are cheaper, which PC fanboys cant argue about. And Pcs lose value faster than Macs do. I had an iBook G4 which got stolen but, I could of sold for 500 dollars after 3 years, I bought it for 1000. My friend's HP which cost him 2000, now can be sold for 500-700 and it's been less than a year. Nice value... :p

    And to tmelvin, "Uh Oh...hear that rumbling? It's all the PC Fanboys running to this thread to say how crazy you are." LOL that cracked me up. :D
     
  23. tmelvin macrumors 6502

    tmelvin

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #24
    It is fair to ask. I make a living off of supporting Windows servers [as well as desktops, Cisco networks, etc.]. I think it all has to do with comfort, and a fear that it's too different, and the response of "I'm not a computer person". Which supports my reasons for trying to get them to buy a Mac; you don't need to be a computer person. When I explain the ease of use [and show them], as well as them not needing Virus Scanning software, Malware, or running a defrag on a regular basis, they begin to see the light. Not all, but a good number.

    In the end, it's whatever you're comfortable with. Me, I'd prefer to work on my system, not take care of babysitting it on a regular basis.
     
  24. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Why should it be necessary to justify the pricing of the product when clearly you either like it or you don't.

    I feel that all of Apple's products are priced fairly as are products from competitors... At the end of the day, asides from it getting dark, you get what you pay for.
     

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