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It's difficult to give advice for notebook purchase
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ecs
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
 
2006-03-11, 07:03

Hi,

I've been asked for advice regarding Mac notebooks, and, I don't know what to answer. The person who asked me is very used to the prices of PC laptops. I looked at the MacBook Pro prices, and I believe it's too much for what he's used to. Then I look to the iBooks and it looks better, but there're some problems: Inminent (?) release of Intel iBooks,... and very little VRAM (just 32MB).

I don't know what to tell him, because he needs the notebook __now__, and usually you can't get a new Mac until about 2 months after the product was announced.

I believe I just can say "the iBook is in your range, but getting one now may not be a good idea... and the MacBook Pro has the features you're looking for, but at a price higher of what you're used to".

Am I missing some additional thought which could help in his decision?
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-11, 07:27

Apple laptops, despite what trolls may tell you, have always been priced quite competitively compared to other brands. You will not find a laptop comparable to the MacBook Pro that's significantly cheaper.

That said, if he's used to lower prices, he's used either to lower quality, to less features, or, most likely, to both. Clearly what he would want is an Intel-based iBook, and as you point out yourself, it may be a while until he can have that.

If he needs a laptop now, there's obviously the option to go with another brand, but if he really strongly wants an Apple laptop, he could always buy one now, then sell it once the real desired one has become available.

That said, it would help a great deal if you could be more specific regarding his needs. For example, "very little VRAM" is vague. What would he want the VRAM for? To play games? I don't think any (good) laptop is truly optimized for playing games. To do high-end professional graphics, e.g. Motion, Final Cut Pro, Maya, etc.? A laptop at his (assumed) price range will never be able to do that well either. So what, specifically, would the VRAM be for?
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ecs
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
 
2006-03-11, 08:35

No, he won't play games, nor use high-end graphics apps, but he will use some OpenGL apps and I tend to believe 32MB can be a bit scary for him.

Buying and selling it later this year can be a good idea, I didn't think of it. I'll look for info about this. Thanks!
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 07:01

well apple laptops are quite expensive, and what chucker said about lower qaulity of the other laptops... i don't really agree with that point. for example you can buy a branded Windows OS laptop with Pentium Centrino 1.8 Ghz, 1GB ram, radeon X700 128 MB, 100 GB HDD, DVD-RW and all those bluetooth, firewire, WLAN and blah blah included for about 1500 Euros. And PB 1.6 Ghz with less configuration cost 2100 Euros. (I don't about the US)

I myself have a PB G4 15" and yes i paid 2100 Euros and it looks good and I like it. But if i really think about it, I could have a bought a PC-comp with same config and more warranty period, branded one for way cheap. and that doesn't make that notebook poor quality.

Ecs, what you should be asking him is that... which applications does he want to run, and what is the most compatible OS for that... because now i am stuck between the windows OS and Mac OS and trying to choose one for my next laptop. read my thread posted here and there read the post from beardedmacuser. that would help your friend a significant amount.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 07:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
for example you can buy a branded Windows OS laptop with Pentium Centrino 1.8 Ghz, 1GB ram, radeon X700 128 MB, 100 GB HDD, DVD-RW and all those bluetooth, firewire, WLAN and blah blah included for about 1500 Euros.
Battery life? Thickness? Weight?

Don't give such generalizing "you'll find... for..." claims without backing them up.

Quote:
And PB 1.6 Ghz with less configuration cost 2100 Euros.
A MacBook Pro 1.83 GHz with roughly the same configuration (less RAM, better GPU, etc.) costs 2100 Euros as well and has two cores instead of one, a faster bus, etc.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 08:09

batterlife 6 Hrs approx... and i know that because my friend has it... thickness (it is as flat as PB).. weight... the same as a PB.

dual core... o.k yeah as for dual core... it is the same... dual core PC notebook cost 1500 Eur... and same config as i have mentioned above... with the weight, battery life and blah blah blah...

relax man... it is just a comparison to help the other guy... not that i am favoring one or the other...
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SonOfSylvanus
Fro Productions(tm)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: London Town
 
2006-03-12, 08:13

Nah ah. Quotes, links, numbers, please...
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 08:18

Yeah, honestly. You are not "helping the other guy" by just throwing out some information here without actual references. Nearly double the battery life at the same thickness and weight, for a lower price? I don't buy it.
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ecs
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
 
2006-03-12, 08:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
Ecs, what you should be asking him is that... which applications does he want to run, and what is the most compatible OS for that...
All the apps he uses have great support in OSX, so no problem about that. However, I do agree with you that the laptops seem to be the most expensive Apple products if compared with PCs. For example, an iMac has also a great design, and it's quite silent too, but its price is more comparable to an equivalent PC. The same happens with Mac Mini: Nice design, a tiny box, silent... but as affordable as the cheapest PC. However laptops are quite different.

I wouldn't be surprised if the new Intel iBooks ship with outdated or low performance GPUs in order to differentiate them from the MacBook Pro. They already did this several times in the past, and they just did it again with the Mac Mini (it seems they said "hey! this machine can become more powerful than a high-end Mac, let's put the lowest GPU we can find or this toy could be too good).
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 08:50

for chucker:

here is the comp configuration for non- dual core and here is the price for that comp.

and as for dual-core

here and the comp is 200g more than apple MacBook Pro... and yeah i agree the design is not as sleek as macbook pro... but it is 1500 Euro. It has 2-year warranty... and if you add all the things that it has more than the MBP and would want to put in MBP... you gonna end up paying a lot more. so it really up to the person whether he wants to go for design and speed or no saving money or not much design, but speed and save money with bit extra stuff on it.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-12, 09:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
and as for dual-core

here and the comp is 200g more than apple MacBook Pro
The Samsung R series are budget/low-cost. You'll need the X series to get a fair comparison.

Anyways, I'll bite.

The geizhals.at link is extremely unclear in the particular configuration being sold, so I'll do some educated guesses.

Your option apparently has shared memory(!!), slightly slower CPU, slightly higher weight and dimensions (these things are crucial for a laptop), a non-widescreen resolution of apparently 1024x768 in this configuration (ahahahaha), no Serial ATA, no Gigabit Ethernet, no backlit keyboard, no scrolling trackpad and no drive shock sensor. The only two things it has over the MacBook Pro is twice the RAM and a $3 built-in memory card reader that's likely to cause more trouble than it's worth.

Not to mention that Samsung doesn't export laptops to North America anyway, so the point is moot.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 10:16

well i gave the link to the samsung X series... if you didn't read it properly then read again

as for the sleek core duo... here.

and about the US... just like i said in my first reply.. i don't know about the US... but i guess you can get a sony there.

One more thing... if i could come to the US... then I would have definetly bought a MPB... because for us it gets cheaper. 1.83 MBP would cost only 1680 EUR (1 Euro (EUR) = 1.19027 US Dollar (USD) ). But for Europe... it simply too much money unless you are rich and can buy the software after buying the comp.

as for that guy... well does he care about the OS? well if he does then that is another point. only thing i know about windows is that they are planning to launch Windows Vista which has some similar features as Mac OS... but i don't know further details. Well this is as much I can give. If the guy is in the US... then there is no point arguing about the freaking notebooks in EU and US. BTW... i am a MAC user and I have a PB.

And i have question about apple cinema displays...coz i need to buy one and don't know whether I should spend more on sth that doesn't deserve so much money other than the design. So here is the link to my thread
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-12, 10:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
if i could come to the US... then I would have definetly bought a MPB... because for us it gets cheaper. 1.83 MBP would cost only 1680 EUR (1 Euro (EUR) = 1.19027 US Dollar (USD) ). But for Europe... it simply too much money unless you are rich and can buy the software after buying the comp.
I wish that urban legend would disappear, because it's so embarrassing.

The reason Apple products (and products from any other manufacturer) appear more expensive in the EU than they do in the US is that they are expensive to import. Most importantly, you have to add taxes, which are excluded in US prices, as well as EU import customs, which are extremely high. In addition, stuff like localization costs, shipping costs, etc. add up fairly quickly.

If you want an MBP for an US price, go ahead and import it from the US, but don't complain if customs officers catch you.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 10:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
as for the sleek core duo... here.
Shared graphics.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2006-03-12, 10:33

iceman009: The first computer you linked to (the X series) is not remotely comparable to the MacBook Pro. I hope you realise that it has a vastly inferior processor (less than half the speed of the MBP for media tasks), far slower graphics (X700 versus X1600), slower front side bus, slower memory, slower hard disk bus, no Gigabit Ethernet, no Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (which makes Bluetooth usable for file transfer with new phones), no DVI, no 6-pin FireWire, no iSight or even low-resolution webcam, an XGA (1024 x 768) old aspect-ratio screen (who are they kidding?!), no iLife or possibility of buying something equivalent for love or money (though notice they do include "Adobe Acrobat Reader" ), XP Home edition (Pro is bad enough but Home is cheap garbage), a larger footprint, thicker (31.3 mm versus 25.9 - note that the 2.6 cm figure is an outright lie, like so many PC manufacturer's specs), etc.

If you are saying other companies make cheaper laptops than Apple, that is of course perfectly true. But nobody makes a laptop comparable to the MacBook Pro, much less for around 2k euros. The closest competitors are in fact usually more expensive, despite looking like ass next to the MBP.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 10:39

you have to read the reply again Dorian... because i gave the samsung for the non-core duo... i don't whether MBP comes non-core duo does it :P. so you can keep you reply to yourself. and the sony does come with the camera. again this arguement does not valid since it is simply EU and US.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 10:41

as for chucker... who saif anything about importing. If you bring your own personal computer... no one is asking question nor taxes. so it is cheap.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-12, 10:45

1. Please try and speak proper english.

2. You pointed out that the MBP is more expensive in the EU compared to competing laptops than it is in the US compared to competing laptops, and I corrected that. That's it.

3. I don't even begin to understand this sentence, even after reading it ten times.
Quote:
i don't whether MBP comes non-core duo does it :P.
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Dorian Gray
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2006-03-12, 10:52

So if I understand correctly you are taking the sleek (though not as sleek as the MBP) looks of the X series, adding the dual-core from the R series, adding the camera from the Sony, ignoring the remaining specs that don't compare, then smuggling the resulting creation into the US to compare the price? I think I'll have to concede defeat on that one!
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 13:13

well i missed some words in that sentence...
I don't know whether the MBP comes with non-core duo does it?

no i am not trying to combine anything... sony is sleek and it is core duo and it does have a camera. if you want to go for MBP... sure np.
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DMBand0026
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2006-03-12, 13:39

No, the MacBook Pro does not come with anything other than a dual core processor.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 13:59

Fine, Sony. They couldn't design a website if their life depended on it, but at least they have an "Advisor" (you know your product line is messed up if you need to guide your customers through it).

So by the time we specify the requirements to vaguely match the MacBook Pro (in this case, I specified Notebook, 12-15" or 15-20", 3-5 lbs or 5-10 lbs, Cameras, Bluetooth and Dual Core), only two options are left, the VGN-FE590PA and the VGN-FE590PB. Aaaa-choooomp!

Let's start out by looking at the price tag. Ooohoo! Now doesn't that look familiar. $2199 for the first, $1899 for the second. Strange, isn't it.

Second, weight. 6.17 lbs in both cases; that's 10.2% above the MacBook Pro's. Not terrible, but not great either.

Dimensions. Again, they're both the same. They specify two different heights since their designer team doesn't understand the concept of a 'surface' either, but that's okay; we'll compare both. The lower dimensions are 17.4% larger than Apple's. The upper dimensions? Maybe you didn't want to know: the two offerings are both a whopping 60.0% larger.

But let's continue.

The right model has 1.83 GHz, so that's what we want to compare against. Let's leave the left one out for the remainder of the post.

We're talking about the same CPU and all, so bus speed etc. are going to be the same as well.

A-ha! RAM. Finally something where the Sony shines. It comes with twice as much as the MBP does. For the same configuration, Apple's prices goes $100 up.

$1899 vs. $2099.

But wait: Sony's RAM is 533 MHz, and Apple's is 667 MHz. Let's assume $50 difference.

Hard drive. Again, the Sony comes with a better configuration. Add $100 for Apple.

$1949 vs. $2199.

Screen resolution. Sony loses out: Apple's resolution is 26.6% higher. This kind of BTO option is usually worth at least $100, if not more, but Sony doesn't appear to have any BTO options at all. Let's assume $100.

$2049 vs. $2199.

Further, Sony's screen uses "I love to look into mirrors" coating, which some people for whatever reason prefer. A matter of opinion, I suppose; I personally could never work with something like that.

DVD burner. Sony clearly wins here: their burner is basically the same as the last-generation 15-inch PowerBook's. Apple can't use that one, as it's slimline, as opposed to ultra-slimline. Either way: Sony wins. Let's assume $50 difference.

$2049 vs. $2249.

Card reader. An accessory worth nothing more than a few dollars, and likely to be in your way, but let's generously assume $10 difference.

$2049 vs. $2259.

Graphics card. Ehehehe. Sony's graphics use shared memory. Let's assume $100 difference.

$2149 vs. $2259.

Bluetooth. Apple has Bluetooth 2.0+EDR; Sony doesn't specifically state so. Let's assume $20 difference.

$2169 vs. $2259.

Now, you'll notice that quite a few price changes here are artificial on my part, making the whole thing rather non-empirical. (Don't try this at home, kids.)

Sadly, though, there is no other way: without these important changes, you simply can't fairly compare the laptops at all. And now, what do we have? We have a difference of $90. Well, woah, clearly Apple is overpriced! A shocking 4% more expensive!

And even then, you're left with a laptop that's significantly thicker and quite a bit heavier, too, both of which are important for something portable.

Not to mention I haven't actually compared battery life between the two; mere technical specs can't really do that.

Last edited by chucker : 2006-03-12 at 14:05.
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2006-03-12, 15:13

Man. Sony's charging $2000+ for a laptop with shared graphics? Ridiculous.

See, the point is it's hard to find a PC laptop that's comparable to the MacBook Pro on features and price, when you take everything into account. You can get powerful ones that are cheaper, but they tend to be big and heavy and have awful battery life. You can also find ones that are smaller and cheaper, but they are woefully underpowered. If you actually want all the MacBook Pro's advantages (good build quality, dual core, dedicated graphics, under 6 lbs, under 1.5" thick) you have to pay just as much as you do for the Mac. The only thing PCs really have going for them is there are so many you can easily choose to sacrifice in a few of those areas while spending a lot less money.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-12, 15:25

Quote:
See, the point is it's hard to find a PC laptop that's comparable to the MacBook Pro on features and price, when you take everything into account. You can get powerful ones that are cheaper, but they tend to be big and heavy and have awful battery life. You can also find ones that are smaller and cheaper, but they are woefully underpowered. If you actually want all the MacBook Pro's advantages (good build quality, dual core, dedicated graphics, under 6 lbs, under 1.5" thick) you have to pay just as much as you do for the Mac. The only thing PCs really have going for them is there are so many you can easily choose to sacrifice in a few of those areas while spending a lot less money.
Quoted for truth. Emphasis mine.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 15:51

well like i said at the beginning... if you don't depend on the sleek design... then you can go for a normal PC notebook. But then again... the OS matters, money ... that definitely matters, sony vaio is not ugly or sth... if you say that then you are have a real problem... besides for the money you pay then yeah it is worth... you can't argue with that... then of course if you can afford to buy MBP... then go for it. comon how many ppl do you think owns a mac... that is because they can't afford to buy such an expensive notebook and they can find sth for cheaper and yet powerful enough and close resembly and with more software compatibility (for "FREE" you know what this means don't you). period
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2006-03-12, 16:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman009
well like i said at the beginning... if you don't depend on the sleek design... then you can go for a normal PC notebook. But then again... the OS matters, money ... that definitely matters, sony vaio is not ugly or sth... if you say that then you are have a real problem... besides for the money you pay then yeah it is worth... you can't argue with that... then of course if you can afford to buy MBP... then go for it. comon how many ppl do you think owns a mac... that is because they can't afford to buy such an expensive notebook and they can find sth for cheaper and yet powerful enough and close resembly and with more software compatibility (for "FREE" you know what this means don't you). period
Jesus Christ, man, I can barely read that. At least type out your words and use periods instead of ellipses once in a while.

Quote:
Well, like I said at the beginning, if you don't depend on the sleek design, you can go for a normal PC notebook. But then again, the OS matters, money definitely matters, and the Sony Vaio is not ugly. If you say that then you have a real problem. Besides, for the money you pay, the MacBook Pro is worth it. You can't argue with that. Of course, if you can afford to buy a MacBook Pro, go for it. Come on, how many people do you think own a Mac? That is because they can't afford to buy such an expensive notebook. They can find something cheaper and yet powerful enough and with more software compatibility (for "free;" you know what this means, don't you?).
I fixed your statement. Hopefully it conveys the same meaning that you tried and failed to convey in your original post.
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Sketch
Formerly “iceman009”
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Some place
 
2006-03-12, 16:32

nah...in the first post i don't have dots. In this one i don't know why i put it. ooops, sorry. and thanks for the correction.
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