Monday, April 26, 2010

Mac vs ‘PC’ laptop/notebook price and spec (maybe others) comparison

Something I’ve been thinking about for awhile is getting a Mac Book Pro – they are thin and different to Windows in case you want something different for some task. I’ve always been a PC person (I’d better say that up front) but I’ve always tried to be objective as much as possible.

Plenty of other people have done reviews, I just want to look at prices – I may caveat them though. If the benefits or negatives out way the cost or cheapness. I will try match the specs of the Mac Book Pro 15”. And base my prices in AUD at the time of writing. Note that I have emboldened the better spec in each row.


  Mac Book Pro 15” Dell Studio 15 (customised)

HP Envy 15-1103tx

HP dv6-2114tx (WF601PA)
CPU Core i5 2.54Ghz 540M Core i5 2.53 Ghz 540M

Core i7 i7-720QM 1.60 GHz

Core™ i5-540M 2.53 GHz

HDD 500 GB 500 GB 640 GB 640 GB
Card Reader? SD 8 in 1 2 in 1 (SD, MMC) 5 in 1
Graphics Intel + GeForce 330GT M 256Mb ATI Radeon 5470 1GB Radeon™ HD 4830 1GB

Nvidia GeForce GT 230M 1 GB dedicated memory

Size (cm) 2.54 x 36.4 x 24.9 371.6mm x 39mm 253mm 38 cm (W) x 24.4 cm (L) x 2.65 cm (H) 37.85 cm (W) x 25.8 cm (D) x 4.1 cm (max H)
Weight 2.54 Kg 2.51 Kg Plus 2.35 kg 2.88 kg
Display 15.4” 1440 x 900, mini DisplayPort 15.6” 1336 x768, HDMI, VGA 15.6”  1366 x 768, HDMI 15.6” 1366 x 768, HDMI, VGA
Connectivity 2 USB, 1 Firewire, BDR 1.1, Gbit LAN 802.11n 3 USB (1 combo eSATA), Firewire, Gbit LAN, Wireless N, BT 3 USB (1 combo eSATA), Firewire, Gbit LAN, Wireless N, BT 4 USB 2.0 (1 shared with eSATA), Firewire, LAN, Wireless N; Modem!
Cool Stuff Backlit Keyboard, Genius Bar Support Backlit Keyboard, Dell Carry-In Support 3 years, Windows 7 Ultimate x64   DVD burner has LightScribe; TV tuner, remote; keypad
Battery 8h 5.5h unknown unknown
Webcam iSight 2MP Night vision Webcam with IR LED for illumination some sort of webcam
Cost $2499 $1861.10 $2799 $1,699
Optical Drive 8x slot-loading SuperDrive Slot Load CD/DVD Writer (DVD+/-RW) External SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW
Date Researched 22/04/2010 24/04/2010 24/04/2010 24/04/2010
Which part is the best? Battery life, thinness Graphics Card HDD, Graphics card. Graphics, TV Tuner, maybe HDD


“Oh, but in the long run, you’ll spend more time and money on security software for the PC”

Umm, no. Well at least I won’t.  I use Avast! Free Antivirus which is based on the same technology as their version for business use. (Just I’m not a business, so I can use it free).  Actually there’s one or two limitations, but I’m not overly concerned, so, I’m not really spending money on AV/Anti-malware.  Also, I don’t partake in dangerous activities online like pirating software or randomly clicking on links in emails/Facebook. (Also do the Windows update, just like Mac has to.) Having said that, if indeed (as I heard) it is very difficult for software on Mac to run on startup without user intervention then, I can understand that this would go a long way to keeping the Mac a more secure machine. (Also less malware generally for the time being)I just wanted to put this in to try to prevent flames…

Other cool things you could use to justify the extra cost of a Mac laptop.

8 hour battery life! I’ll have to give Apple credit for this, Acer has managed to get 8 or 9 hours out their Timeline, but it’s so underpowered you can’t use for much more than you would a netbook.  At least with the Mac Book Pro, you get 8 hours doing basic web browsing but you have the option of more resource hungry tasks if you aren’t interested in battery life.

It’s ridiculously thin. 2.5cm  - and it’s the same thickness all the way through.  I personally think that’s cool but I’m not sure if that makes it more portable, easier to carry in satchel though suppose. It seems that most laptops are expensive when they’re that thin.

Easy install of applications on Mac OS X, no installation wizards or uninstalling programs, just drag them to Applications (or wherever) and delete if you don’t want it anymore.  I don’t want to say too much about the OS, but think that Windows 7  and Mac OS X Snow Leopard are about equal – they each do some things the other can’t.

I think Apple is more environmentally friendly and conscience  than the other companies. If that’s true, I’d pay $100 to $200 for that.

But Seriously..

An extra $700 for thin-ness, battery (which they’re saving money on anyway, without having packaging on the battery (non user replaceable), and being free of some dangerous chemicals??  (Actually I was hoping to find a Mac the same cost as a non-Mac laptop, ‘cause I actually wouldn’t mind a  Mac.)  If anyone has ideas, feel free to comment.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Well, yeah. But thanks anyway.


I tried running DOOM 3 demo on Vista, should have worked, there is probably a patch for the full version though.  Still it proves that MS passes on the crash report data to the developer.