Mac vs. Dell price

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by juan.medin, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. juan.medin macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008

    Today I've been checking the Dell prices (it's been years since the last time I did it) I was really surprised by their extremely low price and high number of features.

    A similarly equipped laptop is 1.279,00€ vs. 2.199,00€. This is close to 1.000€ more for the MBP.

    I see five things I really love about the MPB:

    1. The OS
    2. The design
    3. The touchpad
    4. Their Java support (I'm a Java developer)
    5. How it integrates with my iPhone and my old iPod (I don't know if the PC has the same level of integration, but I certainly love the Mac one)

    The dell has four things I really like:

    1. A higher resolution (1920x1200 -already included in the price above-). This is for me a killer. I'd love to see a 15" MBP with this resolution.
    2. HDMI output
    3. The excellent 3 years Dell home service included
    4. Extra input options included (I use memory cards all the time - the optical drive only for installations (close to never - I download everything from Internet. If they removed it I won't notice the difference)

    So, my question is: what are your real reasons for buying a Mac today, taking into account the points above ? I was really shocked with the price difference. I'm certainly willing to pay more for a Mac but paying 1.000€ more for basicly the same configuration (or even a little less) is too much. Sounds like Apple is positioning the MBP as a piece of jewelry -pay for the status-

    I'm not trying to open a flame war, it's just I think this is becoming the same situation as many years ago when the prices of the macs lost their touch with reality.

    I'd love to know your opinion and what makes you buy a Mac or maybe features I'm missing.

    Best regards,
  2. ptjh macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2008
    The only thing your missing is the design and the OS. Macs a costly!
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    OS X is the only reason I buy my Macs. I try to spend as little money as possible as well. If I want hardware power I just buy or build a PC.
  4. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    yeah, same here, it's all about the os.. but it is true that the difference gets pretty ridiculous at some points..
  5. juan.medin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2008
    Yes, but somewhat you would expect a bit more from Apple in this new line of notebooks, not just the aluminum case. Something like custom memory for fast start-up, higher resolution screens that are already available (man, how I'd love to see this one), some kind of extra device (like the original ideas about the brick being a wireless usb), 3G support on board (this would be utterly fantastic) or support for more RAM (8GB would be really, really great)... Something more Apple'ish.

    Yes, I'm disappointed with this new line of MBP. There are many things out there that aren't just included in the MBP... Maybe this is just a transition product and we must wait for the next one ?
  6. jTreu macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    It's apple to oranges, you cant really compare b/c of the different OS's, it you want a os x buy a mac, if you dont mind vista the Dell laptops will almost always offer more power and features for your money
  7. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004

    With Windows, you just get the newest version of Java from Sun on the first day. With the Mac, you have to wait until Apple ports it.
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I'm not trying to act the part of the fanboy.

    However what is not mentioned is what are the GPU differences between the two? Difference in RAM type (DDR3 is more expensive the DDR2)? Quality of case materials? Difference in weight? Difference in battery life at the respective weights? Does the Dell include wireless N and bluetooth?

    The biggest difference rarely mentioned when it comes to OS X is that it costs Apple a lot of money to develop the Mac OS but sell far fewer copies than Microsoft. I think part of the price of Macs includes this development cost and that the retail upgrades are likely sold at cost or for a loss. I could not say this is definitive but it makes sense to me since Apple at best sells 1/10th as many copies of OS X as MS sells Windows. If Apple was not offsetting costs in this manner I would think that Mac OS upgrades would be much more expensive.

    Obviously this does not explain all price differences but if my assumption is correct that Mac OS X upgrades are sold at a small loss then when price planning the cost of the included Mac OS, iLife and losses for two Mac OS upgrades would be included in the range of $130 to $200. While Dell only has the cost of the Windows license to plan for (as they do not even maintain links to the most recent hardware drivers available unless there is a major bug in their current driver).

    Of course I could just be completely off base about the cost of development and that Apple is just raking in gobs of cash.
  9. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    In truth you are paying for the OS, the design and the exclusivity of owning a mac. The last reason sounds and is really snobbish. But that doesn't make it any the less true. Even time you take out your apple product whether it be a notebook, iPod or iPhone, and someone goes "wow that's gorgeous." Or something similar that is what you extra paid for.
  10. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Any comparison on prices has to include a rather large modifier to account for the incredible frustration of dealing with Vista.

    I use a Dell every day at work an oh my it is painful.
  11. stooley macrumors regular

    Apr 2, 2008
    I priced out a Dell Precision (which in my opinion would be the closest to a Macbook Pro in terms of quality) and it came out to $2526 with a 2.53 chip, LED Screen, 4 gb ram, vista ultimate (as OS X is the greatest EVER), bluetooth, Wireless N, Webcam, and a backlit keyboard.

    The ram is only DDR2-800, not DDR3-1066
    Video card is the Quadro FX 770M with 512 MB Ram.....was not sure which would be comparable to the 9600GT with 512 so I left it at that option. The other choice is the Quadro FX 1700M for an extra $499.
    It does not have the option to switch to integrated graphics to save on battery power.

    On the Dell's side, it does have a 3 year at home warranty included so you can subtract $300 or $350..whichever it is for applecare.
    The 320 GB HD priced out above is 7200 RPM instead of 5400 RPM.

    Anyways, we can do this all day by picking different models, but in the end, you are the only one that can justify the price to yourself.

    The highest end Dell's still feel cheap and have a ton of plastic on them. Yes, you can save a few bills but you get what you get. OS X and Aluminum...I know what my choice will be :)
  12. liquidtrend macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2008
    are you just compairing 15" notebooks? the 17" macbook pro has a 1920x1200 option...

    yea, it would be nice to have hdmi right now, but apple feels hdmi is not the way to go.

    apple care...(which, yes, you pay extra for)

    im guessing you are talking about the media card slots?
    i dont see the point of "using it all the time". do you use multiple styles of memory cards? SD XD MS CF? i would see myself using CF cards alot...
    when i switched to macs i realized how, i personally, didnt need them...but can understand where its important to you. have you tried maybe leaving the memory stick alone and went into the direction of usb flash drives?

    there are multiple differences between the apple and the dell, something as big as the OS to something as small as the amount USB ports. HDMI and memory card readers are nice add ons, but, as everyone else is stating, the OS is the main dealbreaker.

    Do you want to run windows vista, with the possibility of having a computer that needs to be upgraded before use of the new windows7 slated to be released 3Q of next year? Considering the fact that you can not buy a machine with XP, you have to be okay with vista.


    Do you want to run mac OSX+ which you being a java developer would enjoy and how it just works perfectly for your phone and ipod?

    Yes, there is a premium price you do pay for a design of a mac, but there is also a premium you pay on the simplicty of using a mac.

    i like how everything i have it works together...and it works great.
  13. liquidtrend macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2008
    isnt that what makes a dell a dell?
    theyre just..poorly made.

    if i were to get a PC i would go elsewhere.
  14. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Yes I'd likely by an HP or a Sony if i were buying a PC at this point.
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Macs aren't made of poor materials as well, right? :rolleyes:

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