Macbook Pro vs. Dell XPS 15

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dannyr, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. dannyr macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2011
    Forgive me if this is question Im assuming you are all familiar with, but I need some direct input as sales associates at various stores are unable to help me as they don't know the products well enough.

    I am a long time PC user and am in the market for a new laptop. I would say my computer knowledge is perhaps novice. I have always heard macs are a great computer, but I would like to know why they're so great compared to a PC.

    Ultimately I will be using my laptop surfing, word processing, watching movies, downloading media, and perhaps some autocad, I don't play games.

    I have visted the Dell website and found their XPS 15 models, and they appear to offer 2x the computer for essentially $600-$800 less.

    For example:
    2.2GHz Intel Quad Core, 6GB ram, 750GB Harddrive at 7200rpm, Nividia Geoforce 1GB Graphics, Blu-ray burner, JBL Speakers, 15.6" FHD B+RGLED TL 1920x1080 monitor, 2.0MP HD Cam, 9 cell battery, and microsoft office for $1568.99, OR alternatively the same model with 4gb ram, 500gb hard drive at 7200rpm, and no blu-ray for $1418.99, also possible to subtract $200 for the 2.0GHz Quadcore.

    Now with the macbook pro lineup of 15" models I would for sure like a hard drive working at 7200 rpm, the 1688x1050 display, and microsoft office.

    I need input as to why am I paying so much for the macbook pro? What makes it so much better than the machines I can get from Dell? Is it really worth the extra $600-$800? Do my computer needs justify such powerful machines?

    Advice/comments would be greatly appreciated.
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - They work.
  3. eC1990ho macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2011
    I for one am very curious about this as well since a friend of mine just bought the XPS and I will most likely buy the new MBP 15" top-end
  4. alent1234, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    if you have ever dealt with dell or HP tech support you will know the answer. the last time i bought a dell was in 2004 i paid $1500 or so for an Inspiron 6000. still have it and it works except for the battery. built like a tank. battery died a few months before the 3 year extra warranty expired. called dell and they said they don't cover batteries. used to support dell's 10 years ago. good machines but the support was a PITA to work with. one time i had a bad motherboard and it took 2 days to get a replacement. guy wanted me to run diagnostics. i did, but the dell ones didn't include NIC. and the only way windows booted was with a NIC disabled. he said run the special NIC diagnostics. i said every time i enable it i can't boot windows and they don't work in safe mode. 2 days later a tech showed up to replace the motherboard. and this was calling from a corporate account with a major government agency that employed 30,000 people and used dell exclusively

    $300 - $700 or so i'll buy dell or HP. for an expensive laptop you're a fool to buy a Wintel

    the $1799 MBP is about $1500 for a comparable XPS. add in the no crapware preloaded, aluminum body, good support that speaks english, no crappy OEM hardware diagnostics software to have preloaded, no hidden recovery partitions on your hard drive taking up space, etc.

  5. nwbusa macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    BC, Canada
    Not by a long shot, mate.
  6. zippys macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    A comparible XPS 15 is only $1050 by the way. I've never had a problem with Dell support and the software related issues are not a problem since it takes about 30 minutes to reinstall Windows.
  7. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well for one, you get the ABSOLUTE best customer service of ANY technology company out there. Two, the resale value of MBPs are so much higher than a PC. So think of it as a "savings" account. You pay the extra, but if/when you sell it, you will probably get the difference back out you paid initially.

    My MBP (one that was replaced) was probably worth $900 before the refresh. I paid $1600 for it over two years ago.

    Also, and this may sound stupid (but once you use one you will see what I am saying) but everything just seems to work seamlessly.
  8. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    My $0.2 is NEVER buy a DELL as there literally junk. I'm not saying this as a Mac fanboy.(Hence the pc Thinkpad in sig) But as a tech who has had more issues trying to fix dells and get replacement parts than any other computer brand I have worked on. Hope that helps.
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Windows 7 is actually more stable in my experience than OSX.

    XPS 15
    is bulkier, heavier and has a worse battery life (depending on battery selection you can afterall get the 6 cell standard + 9 cell which takes you through any day)
    it is cheaper, has better sound quality (speakers and analog out), a slightly better screen (more color gamut, more pixels) compared to hd glossy MBP but you cannot get a matte afaik.

    In anything else they are almost equal. Build quality of the XPS is said to be pretty good it can handle the heat of new CPUs probably better. It does not have OSX and this brilliant touchpad with BetterTouchTool. I don't know how much one can already do with a multitouch pad in Windows.

    OSX is better in some and worse in other things. If hardly game very infrequently or not at all. Switching might be a good idea. If not I would stay with windows. But for info about win or OSX you should just mroogle some threads about the topic.
  10. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    not if you add adobe elements, win 7 ultimate and the other features to make it comparable

    my mom bought an inspiron as well and it took me hours to repartition the hard drive and install windows from my HP discs. out of the box it was insane. there were 10 different security or some other programs loading on startup and flashing boxes to buy the real license and asking for your credit card number.

    i might buy a dell laptop, but a cheap one. once the 2011 i5's come out. and i'm going to buy it from costco
  11. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Apr 27, 2010
    Aarhus, Denmark
    - I mostly agree. I have a DELL from my school, and I am going crazy over it sometimes... It's from their Precision line, which is their best professional line of computers - and it's a piece of trash. I am going on my 3rd motherboard and 2nd CPU on this computer...
    I got fed up a couple of days ago, so I purchased a new MacBook Pro. :)
  12. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148)

    Look at the construction of the MBP, now look at the Dell XPS. There's a huge difference in form factor and quality. The MBP is chiseled hunk of metal, the Dell is a hunk of plastic tonka toy.

    If build quality isn't your concern then you should be fine with the Dell.
  13. C1raider, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    C1raider macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    My opinion and my experience, I just bought a macbook pro 13 because I like the aesthetics. I've been a long time pc user and I personally believe the OS differences are give and take and really depend on what applications you'll be running. If you're a gamer and dont see a lot of value in the aesthetics of a mac GO PC and save yourself some cash. IMO macs have a low performance VALUE. For what I paid I could have built an amazing custom pc. HOWEVER, For me i dont know of a different machine I would rather be on because of my mbp13 size, construction, battery life, and resell value (I've looked). Plus there are a lot of programs to allow the mac users to still access window's applications and file ext.

    Edit: I need to defend HP a little. I have an hp envy which I paid $300 less when compared to my mbp13 and it has an i7 QUADCORE up to 2.8ghz, 1080p screen, and a 5830 gpu AND it's over a year old. I have had some issues with it, part of the reasoning behind picking up the mac, and have had some interaction with their customer service. While it can be a little frustrating when they want you to run diagnostics an a machine under warrant, B(*@&(%&)($s, and sometimes the person you're talking too isn't the most knowledgable; they have always been prompt in sending out a fedex pre-paid next day, back and forth, box so my machine can be repaired quickly. With my recent issues with my envy they GAVE me an extra year of warranty and bumped it up to accidental coverage FREE of charge.

    I have not had ANY experience with mac customer service, excluding the one time I wanted to know some specifics about the mini display port capabilities and the rep just kept repeating herself about the awesomeness of macs and how they dont get viruses
  14. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    don't diss plastic. my work lenovo is plastic and survived a 3 foot fall on concrete. all it needed was some tape
  15. zippys, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    zippys macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    You are seriously including software in the price? I don't know why you NEED Windows 7 ultimate lol. Windows 7 Home Premium has everything you need. Does Adobe Elements come with the new Macbooks? It's only $89 by the way and ALOT of mac users use software to use Windows programs...are you including that in your $1799 ?

    Including software prices is stupid because it is subjective on the user.

    Oh, lets look at warranty. 3 Year AppleCare: $350 and does not include accidental drops/spills.
    3 Year Dell Advanced Warranty: $310 and DOES include accidental drops/spills.

    The differences in warranty are huge because I know ALOT of people who kill their computers by accident.
  16. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    To be fair you'd have to say that the regular macbook is plastic, so I guess that would classify as tonka toy also. At $999 it's more expensive than average PC laptops.

    I only use Macs, but that's because I like Macs.

    Both machines can work. Just depends on your wants and needs.
  17. JoJoCal19 macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    Mac and PC live harmoniously in my house. I've been using a MacBook for the past going on 5 years. As someone who works in IT and also does real estate and utilizes various professional and business apps, I love having a PC or Wintel laptop. I'm at a crossroads where I'm going to either get the new high end MBP 15" or a maxed out Dell XPS 15. $1999 or $1399.

    I love the fact that when I'm in relaxed mode and just surfing the net or working with photos, the Mac is just more pleasant to use. But I can appreciate the better specs on the XPS and ability to do more with Windows.

    I was set on getting the MBP when it was refreshed but the new XPS 15 is making it hard for me to justify the $600 premium. I can say the hardware on the MBP is top notch, especially the trackpad. But I have not used the XPS trackpad so I dunno, it may be near as good.

    Tough decision for sure.
  18. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    Mac's come with iLife. my wife has been bugging me for a MBP just for ilife. OS X out of the box does a lot more than Win 7 Home Premium, it has features only found in the more expensive versions of Windows.

    by the time you add advanced wireless with bluetooth, extra batteries, recovery disk, backlit keyboard, etc it's $1418 or so from dell
  19. zurichuk macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Don't know much about the XPS 15 but I have a 2009 XPS which was maxed out in various options and a 2009 MacBook 15 (bought just before last years update, didn't know you could change at the time)

    XPS obviously plays high demand graphics games well, but to my surprise the MacBook isn't bad either.

    The Macbook does my video processing better and more reliably.

    Support from Dell was good, they came out within a day to replace the motherboard, Apple Care I've not had chance to use, because it hasn't broken.

    But I just don't know why, the XPS sits on the desk, switched on maybe once a month whilst this MacBook Pro gets daily use, I've grown into it, even being a gamer, it's the one that travels with me (XPS is a monster for a laptop, this slides into a backpack), and this one wins no contest on battery life.

    And these days if I want to play a game, I just Bootcamp into Windows (didn't like VMWare).

    It's a bit like comparing apples and oranges, or should that be Apples and Dells, but all in all, this is the one I use.
  20. zippys macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    There are alot of free software for PC that do exactly what iLife does.
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    and there is also thunderbolt, might be useless but it's there. i've been watching and buying dell's since the 1990's and every time something new comes out dell always charged a premium for it as well
  22. zippys macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    You dont need a recovery disk and the MBP doesnt come with extra batteries. Everything else comes out to $1150 (larger battery and bluetooth). If you take into account the extra $40 for 3 year Applecare warranty it's about $1100. The Dell warranty covers spills/accidents too.
  23. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Dell has poor quality control, build quality, and customer service and support. Plus you are stuck with Windows.
    I've worked as an IT Architect and consultant for some very big name companies and seen 3 or four of them dump Dell completely because of poor quality and support. These are companies that buy many thousands of desktops and laptops a year and had finally had it with Dell.
    Resale quality of these pieces of plastic is very poor as well.
  24. trip1ex, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011

    trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    gotta agree. Apple side is slicker and easier.

    That being said I just returned my 2010 MBP 15" refurb (still have my iMac)

    and bought a

    HP Pavilion Quad-core i7 Sandy Bridge cpu, ATi 6750 gpu with 1gb video ram, 750gb hard drive, 6gb ram, 15" screen, ... for $850.

    MBP was very nice, but was nearly $500 more than this HP and that was least year's model. To get this gpu in a new Mac laptop you need to spend $2200. :eek:
  25. zippys macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Thunderbolt is only a novelty item. Right now it has very limited and very specific uses where it is actually useful. To take advantage of TB you also have to buy TB-equipped equipment. So unless you buy new equipment you probably wont be making use of TB for a while. I think we have to wait at least a year to really see if TB will catch on. Personally I just don't see it happening.

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