MacBook Pro 13.3" vs. Dell Studio 15

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aggie03, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. aggie03 macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    I have been reading this forum on-and-off for the last few years. As the son of an IBM and now Dell hardware engineer, I grew up on PCs, namely IBM's and Dells. Up until 4 years ago, I had only owned IBM compatible PCs, so much so that the first operating system I remember using was OS/2 on IBM.

    Long story short, 4 years ago to the month, I bought my first Mac, I bought a 12" PowerBook G4 with money I had received for passing the CPA examination. Well after four years, it is time for an upgrade. However, I am having a hard time justifying the extra expense of a Mac, and was hoping for some help with the justification.

    I am pretty easy to please, so I was going to go with the $1199 Mac Book Pro, and buy Apple Care straight from Apple. Since my wife is a teacher, I can get these at discounted "education" prices. The alternative would be to buy the Studio 15, upgrade the screen to be a 1080P screen, get a 256 ATI Radeon Video Card, and a backlit keyboard. The computer would come pre-loaded with Win 7, and when all is said and done, would cost about $500 less than the Mac.

    While I know the feedback is probably going to be one-sided, I am looking for reasons to justify the Mac. 90% of the time I am surfing the internet and checking emails. Might start a blog some day, but I don't edit videos or music.

    Thoughts? BTW, it is all or nothing, the White MacBook isn't an option for me.
  2. Andy348 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2009
    The thing I love about my MacBook the most (I only have the white one) is the battery. As stupid as this sounds, that was a HUGE selling point. I was really tired of seeing my PC laptop lasting 2 hours one day and 20 minutes the next. A 7 hour battery is unquestionably the best in its price range all across the board.

    The MBP still has the 256MB graphics, not the 1080p screen, and definitely better build quality.

    In the end its up to you, but a longer battery, better build quality and a better OS with minimal problems is worth the extra ~500 for me.
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I agree in whole with Andy, but not on some specific points. If you are going to keep your computer for another four years, the Mac hands down. However, Dell's XPS warranty puts most to shame.
  4. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    Absolutely incorrect. Dell offers in home service with accidental damage coverage for less than Applecare costs. Dell's warranty is undeniably better than Apple's.
  5. Andy348 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2009
    Really? I never knew that!

    Sorry about that guys, I guess I just assumed. Perhaps the experiences that I've heard from friends weren't Dell, but HP.
  6. swamesp macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Somewhere on Earth
    I'm also a PC person still, I thought I had finalized to buy a Mac though it is costly.... But threads like this make to me to think about PC.... :D

    But with the overall support of apple and Stability of OS(at least for years until apple increases its market share) I think we can go with Mac...

    Fine what ever you decide, do share about it....
  7. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    I offer a compromise: grab the stability and reliability of a Mac, AND save some moola. Say hello to the refurb store! Apple does a first rate job at refurbs (have a mroogle search on it to find plenty o'fans), and you can usually save $200-$350.
  8. phineas macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2006
    South of the Border I-95
    Dells warranty is NOT undeniably better than Apples,:eek: NO Fing way,

    1st you have to go through Dell Hell, and than once you get a "Please to help me understand your problem" Non Technical Person on the phone and speak to him and his brother and rest of the family, than and only than will you get something sent too a tech to come to your house and fix the problem. Dell Hell will come to the house as Apple won't but that's it.

    As for what computer you should buy? Simple go with your first choice and do not look back, you've obviously been around since you remember OS/2 which means your older and your needs are few, if money is a major problem, than go cheap and take care of it. Apple Care can be had cheaper on eBay. Other thing to mention is that Dell has refurbs just like Apple.

    Dells Optiplex systems and early Inspiron were good I never had a problem except for a misadvirtisement on the video card, took me 3 hours to rectify and get someone in Texas in upper management on the phone and email and prove to him, that Dell screwed up , he shipped the correct video card overnight, and than 3 days later I got 4 more of them because of a system glitch , which they sent fedex to pick back up and take away.

    My Dell Hell experience came from the Inspiron and a heat problem.

    Good luck in your decision , goto the local apple store and pick that new MBP up soon. Or wait and see what happens coming down the road on the holidays.
  9. NikFinn macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2009
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I'm not sure what the Education discount is at this point, but I imagine it has to make the refurb savings a tad less. It's still quite a significant percentage difference between the two.
  11. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    Spill coffee on your MacBook or drop and dent it and see how far you get with Applecare.
  12. bigdaddyp macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2008
    I think you could get by on the Dell but there are a few caveats.
    I had the Dell extended warranty with accidental damage and here are my observations as I had to use it several times. First time the case cracked, from use not abuse, they did indeed come to the house. The next 4 times they did not, this case cracking was a common flaw on the 600m. The power jack on the computer went bad and they would not send a tech to fix it, had to send it in with turnaround in one week. The video card went bad requiring a new motherboard and they would not send a tech, had to send it in. It did get dropped once and damaged the screen, sent it in and one week later got it back. The screen was obviously used with wear marks on it but I figured it was better then nothing.
    When you contact Dell odds are you will get their overseas tech support which is very frustrating, especially when their english is lacking and their tech knowledge consists of reading a script.
    Dell has actually been taken to court by some states for misleading its consumers on their in home service. What they say they will fix in home and what they actually will is very different.
    If you look at what many of these Dell laptops look like at three months old and what a unibody apple looks like at the same age, the difference is amazing. The Dell creaks and flexes, has the finish wearing off the trackpad and just is not as well built.
    If these points wont bother you then by all means get the Dell as windows 7 should be fine for your needs and save you some money up front.

    Good Luck
    P.s. I like Apple products but I do not consider my self to be an Apple Fanbois.
  13. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    i would also suggest unibody...if you just do normal stuff like internet and movies, you can also buy a refurb that is $300 cheaper on apple online refurb store...:eek:
  14. Kik87 macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    I just joined MacRumors and thought I had to add to this thread.
    Recently I was also asking myself the same question on what to purchase. After recent troubles with a Dell purchase for my kids, I decided on the Mac.
    I purchased a 13" MacBook Pro. With four other computers in the house including desktops, netbooks and an HP laptop, the MacBook provides the best user experience I have ever had in a computer. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new laptop.
  15. chstr macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    honestly, if you are only surfing the web and checking email a mbp is gonna be way too much computer for you, but if you feel you need the bigger screen go for it. OSX is a dream compared to windows
  16. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    give me a break! you're a cpa! treat yourself accordingly!

    i would go mac no doubt. the next 4 years will be a lot better!
  17. aggie03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    This post made up my mind. Thanks, I decided to treat myself.
  18. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    Hah if you could give me an accounting crash course before Friday that'd be helpful!
  19. aggie03 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2009
    What do you have on Friday that requires a crash course?
  20. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    Accounting Exam :) Haven't been paying enough attention in class. :p
  21. combine macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2009
    even if its just for surfing the internet, doing in on a macbook pro multi touch is just full of win.

    The multi-touch is well worth the "apple tax" you will be paying over the dell :)
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    For email and internet, you probably could have bought either computer and not have noticed the difference. You're not comparing SL to Win XP. You're comparing it to Win 7, and would get a good OS either way. I like my Mac, but if all you do is surf the net and email, I'd have a hard time justifying the extra cost for the more expensive 'internet machine.'
  23. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    If all you're doing is surfing and emails, and are on a tight budget, keep using your powerbook. What g4 processor is it packing, and how much ram do you have?
  24. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2009
    honestly, there is no justifiable reason to get the mac over the dell, especially for half a grand more.

    if you just REALLY loved mac os that much, i suppose you just gotta do what you gotta do. windows 7 is taking the world by storm though and is definitely my preferred OS for now. snow leopard was a complete disaster for me. i actually boot into win7 on my macbook by default now.

    reliability and stability used to be mac key points ...5-10 years ago. macs just aren't built the way they used to be.

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