My 15" Powerbook was faster performing and better value than my new Dell

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
I want to relate to you my experiences as a recent reverse switcher. For the past couple of years I've been content to let my primary home computer be the laptop I get from work. Previously that was a 15" PowerBook, but recently I changed jobs and got a Dell laptop (see signature).

After two weeks of using the Dell I have to say the PowerBook was the zippier computer. People that say that Windows XP is zippier than OS X must be using Windows on a 3GHz or higher Pentium 4, I guess. On my 1.6 GHz Pentium M, Windows XP is NOT more responsive than what I was used to on my 1.5GHz PowerBook. For all of people's bitching about the Finder, I find Windows Explorer to be more sluggish. And Windows XP overall seems to be more sluggish, especially at multitasking. If I have one CPU-intensive task running (e.g. copying files from DVD), the whole system grinds to a halt. Granted, my PowerBook had 2GB of RAM, but even my old 1GHZ iBook with 768MB RAM was better at multitasking than my current Dell.

So then I thought to myself: well of course the Dell is slower, it must be a $1000 "value" laptop. Wrong. I go on the Dell website and find out the Dell D600 is actually comparable a 15" PowerBook. The base configuration is about $1800, but once you add 512MB, an 80GB hard drive, and a combo drive (all of which I consider essential features, not "bells and whistles"), the price goes up to $1950, about the same as the base configuration 15" PowerBook which includes those essential features standard. Add a Bluetooth module to the Dell and the price goes up to $1989, nearly identical to the $1999 price of the PBook. I can do without the Bluetooth for now, since my Sony Ericsson phone syncs over infrared (which the Dell includes), but in the future Bluetooth is going to become the standard for synching phones.

The only advantages I saw for the Dell were these:

- Seems to be about a pound lighter (but then again only 14" screen)
- Longer battery life (just under 4 hours as opposed to just over 3 hrs for PBook)
- Much stronger Wi-Fi reception
- Ran far cooler than PBook, which tends to really heat up
- Slightly higher resolution: 1400x1050 vs. 1280x854 for PBook

But for day-to-day productivity my PowerBook was simply better. I could run Microsoft Office and my Java development tools (primarily Eclipse) without a hiccup. My assessment is that Apple's G4-based laptops are currently outclassing the competition's Pentium-M based laptops.
 

jpod999

macrumors newbie
Mar 19, 2005
9
0
California
lmalave said:
So then I thought to myself: well of course the Dell is slower, it must be a $1000 "value" laptop. Wrong. I go on the Dell website and find out the Dell D600 is actually comparable a 15" PowerBook. The base configuration is about $1800, but once you add 512MB, an 80GB hard drive, and a combo drive (all of which I consider essential features, not "bells and whistles"), the price goes up to $1950, about the same as the base configuration 15" PowerBook which includes those essential features standard. Add a Bluetooth module to the Dell and the price goes up to $1989, nearly identical to the $1999 price of the PBook. I can do without the Bluetooth for now, since my Sony Ericsson phone syncs over infrared (which the Dell includes), but in the future Bluetooth is going to become the standard for synching phones.
So why do people say that Apple computers are WAY more than PC's??!?! I have always thought that even though Apple computers are slower, they are better in the overall.

So you want your PB back? lol.
 

Chrispy

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2004
2,126
1
Indiana
I had almost this exact same experience but it was with a 12" powerbook Rev. C and an IBM Thinkpad T42. I had to get rid of my powerbook 12" in favor of the Thinkpad T42. While the Thinkpad was awesome for a windows based laptop, I always missed the apple. Windows XP was faster than OSX...... for about 10 mins haha. In reality, it took a few weeks for the computer to really start to slow down a bit, but when it did oh man did I ever miss my powerbook. I decided I could not take it anymore and ended up sticking with a cheap Dell desktop and went back to the powerbook. I now have a 12" Rev. D and I love it! As for the PC... I sold the tower and now I just use VPC 7.0... and my work deals with it ;)
 

MacHarne

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2005
321
0
Virginia, U.S.A.
I have been in a similar situation, lmalave. My university required me to purchase an XP machine to run some specific Windows-only apps (granted, they do run on VPC6 or VPC7 but it is rather slow). I got a well-equipped Dell Inspiron laptop with 1GB of RAM (personal install, Dell's RAM upgrade costs are ridiculous) and had it ready for school. But it was such a horrible experience.

Windows is just not capable of multi-tasking in any dramatic way. Sure, it can multi-task, but nothing compares to burning a CD-R, running 3-D modeling, and having several internet browser tabs running all at once in OS X. I've been so impressed with my Macs. Additionally, something about OS X's responsiveness makes my productivity soar; the better environment truly allows me to work better and faster.

Good write-up, lmalave! My favorite part (not to be rude) was the "2GHz of RAM" :D
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
MacHarne said:
I have been in a similar situation, lmalave. My university required me to purchase an XP machine to run some specific Windows-only apps (granted, they do run on VPC6 or VPC7 but it is rather slow). I got a well-equipped Dell Inspiron laptop with 1GB of RAM (personal install, Dell's RAM upgrade costs are ridiculous) and had it ready for school. But it was such a horrible experience.

Windows is just not capable of multi-tasking in any dramatic way. Sure, it can multi-task, but nothing compares to burning a CD-R, running 3-D modeling, and having several internet browser tabs running all at once in OS X. I've been so impressed with my Macs. Additionally, something about OS X's responsiveness makes my productivity soar; the better environment truly allows me to work better and faster.

Good write-up, lmalave! My favorite part (not to be rude) was the "2GHz of RAM" :D
Haha, good catch! Freudian slip.
 

JeDiBoYTJ

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2004
859
0
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
the Powerbook is definatly one of the best laptops on the market today. Everything I throw at it (even Doom 3), handles well.

I had to use a P4 2.5ghz, 512RAM, 7200RPM 60GB HD, Sony Vaio today for pictures today. That thing is sluggish. takes 5 seconds to open "My Computer", and dont get me started on Photoshop work. I was working with 3MB Digital Picture Files, and photoshop would take forever to open them. And the kicker to that computer, its never been on the internet (well, only once for updates), so virus's and spyware problems are out of the question. I had to restart the computer twice because Windows just couldnt handle all that work. I had pictures transferfing from a Compact Flash card, to the 7200 RPM HD, then to be opened in Photoshop... man, way too much work for Windows. I do that crap in my sleep while on my Powerbook. I would have like 5 or 6 other programs over while Photoshop is doing its thing, and the computer is still running great. while on the PC, I would minimize Photoshop, go the Preview the upcoming pictures, and then open back up photoshop, and nothing would happen... then the screen would turn white as Photoshop was *trying* to open back up... then finally it would load, but it would be sluggish.

Man... once you have used a Mac laptop, you dont want to ever touch another one again... lol
 

lmalave

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 8, 2002
1,614
0
Chinatown NYC
JzzTrump22 said:
Save some money and get the powerbook again.
What can I say, I'm a cheap bastard. Well, before I used to have my own iBook when I only had a desktop machine at work. I'm too cheap to spend $2K on a PBook, though. If anything I'll get a Mac Mini or a 12" iBook. I'm leaning toward the Mini since I already have a laptop for when I need mobility. But I'll wait until Apple makes 512MB RAM standard, as it's rumored to plan to do this summer.
 
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