Why is the MBP so expensive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jamesjdk, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. jamesjdk macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    I've been configuring a laptop of the dell website to match the base MBP and it come out at £1,052, £250 cheaper but with a 40gb bigger hard drive and an extra 128mb of video memory. Not long ago apple laptops used to be competitive with equivalently machines but no it seems they are falling back into the old stereotype that macs are more expensive.
  2. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    You get what you pay for. Save £250, but be stuck with a big ol' pile of Dell.

    Don't forget to add on your antivirus subscription, a decent firewall package, a nice photo management program, video editor, etc.
  3. jamesjdk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    Don't get me wrong, i'd still much rather get the mac and plan to be doing so shortly. I just don't think it's acceptable that apple hasn't bothered to stay competitively priced. I remember doing this test some time late last year and the apple came out on top.
  4. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    Dell is just a system integrator. They buy all the parts in bulk, put them together, add an OS and sell it to you cheap. Apple designs the whole experience so you know that everything will work and work well together.

    Have you ever reinstalled Windows on a Dell (or any PC) and then had to determine what drivers to install for your specific machine? Not a pleasant task.

    You are paying a premium to apple to pop the OS X DVD in, click a button and watch it happen all on its own. Time is money and a lot of people think it is worth it.
  5. XheartcoreboyX macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2007
    The hardware if very powerful..the aluminum body is very attractive..it has some extra stuff that doesnt exist in any other notebook like the keyboard's backlight and the light sensors plus the battery level light in the bottom of the laptop...and ofcourse mainly the OS .
    it woths every 1 cent you pay on it.
  6. saberlam macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2007
    That is because people will spend twice the price to have a macbook pro just for a dedicated graphic card instead of rubblish built-in GMA950.
  7. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    You didn't say what model you were looking at but I'd assume it's an inspiron, probably the 1520, as I don't think Dell include that 8600 graphics card on other ranges?

    If that is the case, you can't do a straight comparison I'm afraid for a few reasons but mainly because the Macbook pro is significantly better built, is far lighter (about half a kilo lighter as a matter of fact), includes some toys the Dell doesn't get (iLife, backlit keyboard, light sensors, magsafe etc) and for one other very good reason:


    Sorry for the (rather unnecessary in retrospect) caps, but that component is currently running at a VERY significant price premium. Heck, Dell charges £82 just for the 13 inch LED-lit screen on their XPS 1330 so you can add in at least £100 for a 15 inch option if it was available. Oh, and that price from Dell only includes a .3 megapixel camera for some reason so that's another tenner on top. Figure a minimum for the LED screen and comparable web cam to the iSight from Dell would be at least £110.

    So, let's use that (low) figure of £110, that leaves about £140 to find, right? Well, for a start you can knock off the £55 for iLife if you bought it retail, so we're down to £85. That £85 buys you:

    A half-kilo reduction in weight (and corresponding drop in unit size)
    Mag safe power adapter
    Backlit Keyboard
    Light Sensors
    Gigabit LAN port (the Dell packs a 100Mb only)
    DVI-output with VGA adaptor
    Apple Remote
    Touchpad with multi-finger scroll (or whatever it's called officially)
    Optical audio in and Optical audio out
    Choice of glossy or matte screens (the higher res Dells are glossy only)

    Oh, and of course the support of Apple's retail environment if you have the option of using them. Not everyone does though so we can't really include it in the main list of benefits.

    Although the Dell does pack in a modem, a couple of extra USB ports, s-video and a memory card reader as standard which the MBP does not. So that needs to be taken into account as well. Still, I honestly think that the above shows that, in terms of a full and accurate comparison the MBP is still on an even playing field with this particular Dell. Whether you agree with that or not is of course down to your own personal opinion.
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Last year Dell didn't have a 15" laptop that could be specced the same as Apple, but yes Apple were competative with HP and ASUS who had very similar specs and prices. Apple have a thing of not needing to cut prices to compete in the same way against the windows sellers so prices are static. This year the Inspirons (I assume that's what you're looking at) can be compared more fairly, showing a big price difference for very similar specs. However, Inspirons are no where near the quality of MBPs. They are aimed at a different market for the most part. Many people fail to realise that with laptops, far more than desktops, that it is not just those hardware speeds and sizes that are important. It's very possible the many hardware features that the MBP has over the Dell aren't relevant to you, making the Dell are more enticing option, but there are big differences (see smiddlehurst's post above).
  9. ProFont macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Personally I think that is the number one reason to pay the Apple tax. OS X is a really, really nice operating system that will make you forget all about Windows (ones you get over a few small speedbumps).
  10. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Jan 29, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Indeed. The thing about the Inspiron 1520 is that it's a basic chassis designed to accommodate everything from a $700 bare-bones machine to a $2000 machine.

    smiddlehurst already covered a lot of this, but really, these are not identical machines.

    If you have a Dell Kiosk near you, go and check out an Inspiron 1520 in person. The Inspiron 1520 in particular is a behemoth; it's very large, very thick, and weighs close to 7 pounds. It's one of the heaviest 15" notebooks on the market.

    Also, as many Dell owners were disappointed to find out, Dell went with slower DDR2 RAM, so performance of the 8600M GT in the Inspiron 1520 isn't comparable to the 8600M GT in machines like the MBP or the Asus G1S.

    And yeah, no LED-backlit screen. Even with 13.3" screens, LED-backlighting commands a premium price - to get an LED-backlit XPS M1330 for example, you have to pay a $139 premium. And Apple is using a 15.4" LED-backlit screen.

    The Inspiron 1520 is a decent machine for what it is, but it is about a pound and a half heavier and not close to the 1" thickness of the MBP.

    I think you ultimately have to decide what your needs are in a laptop. There's plenty of things to recommend the Inspiron 1520 (and the comparable Vostro 1500) if you are looking for bang for your buck, but you should be aware that the differences between the MBP and Inspiron 1520 are significant and real.

  11. jamesjdk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2007
    All very good points. I'll be getting the higher education discount anyway so i shouldn't really be complaining :)
  12. aliquis- macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2007
    I think smiddle* said most of it.

    Also the price are the best when the product where just updated, now it's already 2 months ago and technology steams ahead.

    Did the Dell have 8600GS or GT?

    And sure the software of the mac must be worth something.
  13. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    Not to mention once you figure out those speed bumps, it's a lot smoother ride! At first I was extremely confused by how OS-X was set up. Now that I used it for a few months, it is SOOOOOOO much easier and makes so much more sense. Love it and won't switch back unless forced to!
  14. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Jan 29, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    The Dell has an 8600M GT, but with DDR2 RAM instead of GDDR3 RAM (like the 8600M GT in the MBP, Asus G1S, etc.). It allows it to be cheaper, but also is considerably slower.

  15. -::ubermann::- macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2006
    Not to mention OSX comes with the developer tools
  16. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    Which is worth so much the Apple target user group of grandma and grandpas who don't even play games...
  17. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    Lots of good points mentioned.

    The biggest thing for me is out of the box functionality (think iLife). Computers aren't just about numbers printed on the side of the box.
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Very good cost-feature comparison. The mbp is simply leagues ahead of most other notebooks, and the LED backlighting is worth a decent sum.

    Haven't we had enough of these "Dell is cheaper this week" theads:rolleyes:
  19. theocurrie macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2007
    Edinburgh, UK
    you'll also get a better resale value with a Apple Laptop too :)
  20. EmptyG macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2007
    Yeah I bought a MBP in April and it was tough to pay $2500 for it. However, the people who have posted so far are right - you do get what you pay for. It just works fantastically. It runs so smooth and fast, wireless-n, gigabit ethernet, comes with iLife, I can plug it into my HDTV and it works with no hassle, etc.

    I have not regretted my purchase for a second. After the initial shock of paying that much wears off, you are left with a beautiful piece of technology.

    One piece of advice - get the AppleCare stuff. It's a few hundred bucks, but total piece of mind :)
  21. flipperanubi, Aug 10, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  22. -::ubermann::- macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2006
    for me that worths a lot, how much does MS visual studio products cost?
    We have different needs, GarageBand, iWeb or iPhoto are not that useful for me...
  23. aliquis- macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2007
    Avira Antivir, Comodo, Picasa and MovieMaker? Ok, that's $ 0.
    You mean something like the free Visual Studio Express?

    Also I wouldn't say iLife is free ...
  24. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    its expensive so Apple can make a high profit margin on it; and because it is an Apple, people will usually be content to pay a premium for it.
  25. aliquis- macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2007
    1) Choose a Dell modell which doesn't have any special price this month.
    2) Add expensive options to make it match the Apple notebook
    3) End up with a more expensive machine.

    1) Choose a Dell modell with decent specs which have a special price this month.
    2) Compare it straight to the Apple notebook or add expensive options to the Apple notebook to make it match the Dell.
    3) End up with a much more price worthy machine than the Apple one.

Share This Page