Are Macs More Expensive? Let’s Do the Math Once and For All

Round one: The MacBook takes on Dell, HP, and Sony and does just fine.

By  |  Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm

[UPDATE: This is one of the most popular stories we've ever published, but with the arrival of the new MacBook on October 14th, it's also obsolete. Read it if you like--but this new article compares the new MacBook to comparable Windows computers.]

It’s of those eternal questions of the computing world that never seems to get answered definitively: Does the “Mac Tax” really exist? Some folks are positive that Macs are overpriced compared to Windows computers; others deny it steadfastly. Almost nobody, however, bothers to do the math in any serious detail.

So that’s what I’m going to do. And since Apple manufactures multiple models, I’m going to do it one computer at a time, starting with the MacBook, the company’s consumer notebook.

First, a mini-FAQ on this project:

Q. I see Windows notebooks for $500 everywhere. There are no $500 Mac notebooks–that proves Macs are more expensive.

A. Um, that isn’t a question, but yes, the cheapest Windows machines are cheaper than the cheapest Macs, and probably always will be. But the most expensive Windows PCs also cost more than the priciest Macs; there’s simply a far wider range of Windows computers out there. That’s a point in the favor of Windows systems for sure, since variety is good and some folks want a very basic machine at a very basic price. And it’s true that the average selling price for Windows boxes is around half the average price of Macs. But the only logical way to compare prices is to do so for roughly comparable systems. That’s what I’ve done here.

Q. How did you do your research?

A. I chose a standard MacBook configuration–the middle one, which is neither stripped down nor high-end…

Then I configured laptops as similarly as possible from the country’s two largest PC manufacturers (HP and Dell) and one which, like Apple, is associated with sexy-but-not-dirt-cheap machines (Sony).

The Dell was the XPS M1330…

The HP was the Pavilion dv4t…

…and the Sony was the VAIO VGN-SR190.

I did all my shopping at the manufacturers’ sites, since they all provide extensive tools for custom configurations, letting me pick machines that were as close as possible in specs.

Q. How do you take into account the fact that OS X is so obviously superior to Windows Vista?

A. I muse about how the operating systems compare a bit towards the end of this article, but I didn’t factor the question into my overall conclusions, since this is a price comparison, not an attempt to answer the overarching question of which platform is better. I also considered only purchase price, not overall cost of ownership. (You might make a case that Macs are cheaper to own than PCs simply because you spend less time worrying about spyware, adware, and junkware.)

Q. How do you take into account the fact that OS X is so obviously crummy as a gaming platform, or the fact that I can’t run my favorite accounting software on it?

A. See above answer. Whether a Mac is a good gaming or business PC is a different question from whether it’s cheap, pricey, or somewhere in between.

Q. Will you tell me which of the four machines I should buy?

A. Nope, this isn’t a review–I did no hands on testing or speed benchmarking.

Q. Are you going to make me read this entire article to learn whether the MacBook is expensive?

A. Oh, all right, here’s an executive summary: It’s in the same zone as the Dell and HP, while the Sony is around $300 more. If Macs are overpriced, the MacBook isn’t very good proof.

Q. Will you get on with your conclusions, already?

A. Sure–just click on to the next page.

(UPDATE: I answer even more questions about this project in this post.)

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116 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    Kind of a mac-biased approach to the whole deal (yes 1 lb heavier is a big difference in a laptop, no you can't give the MacBook an advantage with the media software without actually testing them, etc.), but an interesting exercise to say the least. Kind of surprising to see that you can get an Apple for the same price (basically) as a Dell or HP. However, I think the main comparison lies with the desktop machines. For me personally, I think the next question to be answered is why does everyone I know (and many people on the web) use Vista on a Mac?

  2. Happy Says:

    You forget the cost of paying for a slightly newer version of OSX every year, or IOW, the $100/year cost of purchasing a "new" OS for your shiny Mac. (For comparison, Windows is one price…once.)

    You're also ignoring the cost of the MobileMe service, which is required for some of your alleged benefits. (Another $100/year).

    AND that's not even getting into the hardware issues. Apple's got great customer service, true, but that's only well known *BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE NEED TO USE IT.* (I don't know what Lenovo's or Dell's customer service is like because I've never needed to call them.) So factor in the costs of not having access to your hardware for at least a week.

  3. Alan Smith Says:

    To Happy,

    You forget that Apple upgrades its OS frequently, MS doesn't. So in the next 3-5 years we should have 2-3 Mac OS upgrades and major improvements. With MS, well you'll still be stuck with yesteryear's Vista.

  4. Scottitude Says:

    "…unquestionably constrained by the the fact that the configuration options for Macs are relatively limited."

    Apple knows best, I suppose.

    An interesting comparison but as others have said, the most important factor is what the user needs in a machine/OS and which one meets those needs. An Apple desktop that even almost offers the same functionality as my XP MCE machine doesn't exist and while add-ons can get a Mac close, it would cost twice as much.

    Yeah, I know you're talking laptops/notebooks but I use a tablet and the same formula applies. If and when Apple does release a tablet it will most assuredly be as over-priced as everything else.

    But I applaud the marketing; scads of folks are convinced that Apple products make them somehow cooler or better than those of us who live, and more importantly work, in a Windows world.

  5. Mike Peter Reed Says:

    The MacBook also has optical audio I/O. I don’t know if those others do. Personally I rarely use optical I/O with the mini-TOSlinks, but if I did then it would be on par with the HP’s dual headphone jack. (Of course, I’m assuming the other laptops probably don’t have optical I/O, but obviously I don’t actually know).

  6. Ram Says:

    I am a MacBook (and a Dell M1530) user.
    MacBook Cost me $1350 (with APP)
    Dell Cost Me $1400 (with 3 year warranty)

    Dell is 2.5Ghz (vs Macbook’s 2.0)
    Dell is 15″, with Nvidia 8600MGT (found in MacBook Pro, which is nearly around $2000 (with APP, of course).
    Dell has (as you noted) more ports, Card Reader, HDMI out, (Same Slot Loading Dual Layer DVD)
    Dell has 4GB RAM (while macbook was only 2GB)
    Dell has bigger HDD 250GB vs 120)
    Dell has Express Card Slot

    and more ..

    Dell for $1400 is same as Macbook Pro (but NOT MacBook) for >$2000.

    Now .. how did Dell fare ? The only contention was OS X .. which makes all the diff .. but now … you can even load OS X on the Dell

  7. Todd Says:

    Since you list rebates for the other guys, it’s worth noting that right now Apple will give USA students a $299 iPod touch free with any laptop purchase, so that’s worth quite a bit (at least the $100 rebate on hte others) even if you just turn around and resell it.

    Only good till October 15th though.

  8. Anne H Says:

    It’s an interesting comparison and I suspect surprises some people (except people that have bought Sony notebooks). Until all apps are web-based, I still have to factor in what I plan to do with the computer since a significant cost is the non-bundled software. Sadly, not all programs exist on both platforms.

  9. Andrew Kippen Says:

    I was a systems administrator, programmer, and technical support on Windows systems for many years. Last year I needed a new computer, and I bought my first Mac. Parallels/bootcamp/fusion was enough of a safety net for me not to care about familiarity with Windows.

    The only reason I have needed to boot into Windows since has been to check compatibility for certain websites on Internet Explorer. From Spotlight, to installing and removing programs, to Stickies – Mac does many things better than Windows. Even more interesting is that I haven’t found anything I wanted to do that I couldn’t, which I assumed would be a major problem. From programming, to graphic design, to bitTorrent, to DVD ripping, Mac has everything I need.

    Granted there are still some games that aren’t available for Mac, but I’m sure the tides will start to shift as Macs take more market share. The updated OS thing doesn’t bother me that much, and as far as support goes all of these companies offer email/chat/phone support. After cursory research though, Apple is the only one that offers face to face interaction with a real person. That’s a huge plus in my book.

  10. Intosh Says:

    I’ll take CPU, graphics card and display advantages over ethernet, power brick and thickness advantages any day. Macbook failed. Thank you.

  11. bubba Says:

    The whole exercise depends on configuring a PC to match a standard Mac.

    Of course, the reason is that you cannot do the opposite, for example you cannot get an integrated media reader in a Macbook at any price.

    You can’t even order one with a 7200 rpm drive.

    Want a 17″ laptop for less than a grand? Don’t waste time at Apple.com…while Dell offers several.

    A $600 laptop will meet many people’s needs, why should they pay double that for diminishing returns?

  12. Woadan Says:

    One thing you could have included for comparison would have been the crapware that Apple doesn’t load on the system, and the other 3 do. One more Apple advantage. *

    Woadan

    * 1: I’m not a fan of Apple. 2: MS Works is crapware.

  13. Richard Brandt Says:

    The comparisons of features are interesting. You present the devices as roughly comparable. But let’s look at the categories in which the Macbook comes out ahead (there are actually 6, not 5):

    Power Brick
    Ethernet
    Firewire
    Bundled media software
    Thickness
    Warranty

    Whereas the features in which the HP comes out ahead are trivial things like:

    CPU
    Hard drive
    Graphics chips
    Display
    USB
    Expansion slot
    VGA
    HDMI
    Sound
    Memory card reader
    Bundled productivity software

    Seems to me HP could use this as an ad!

  14. Ben Metcalfe Says:

    This is a very flawed comparison, as you used the Mac Book as the control and modified the other test candidates to match the attributes of the control.

    Therefore, this is not so much “are macs more expensive” but “which company provides the most cost efficient machine at a spec comparative to a mac”

    What would have been more appropriate for the test case you were trying to evaluate is to work out a set of use cases that a given computer had to be able to perform and then compare differently speced machines.

    If it was simply email/internet/word processor, then arguably a $350 EEE or similar machine would pass the requirements.

    Equally, if you had said the use case was basic video editing then perhaps the macbook would come out stronger.

    The point is people don’t (or shouldn’t, at least) buy computers based on specs, but based on what they want to do with them. Even in your test you said you compared the mid-range MacBook without justifying why the entry level machine would suffice. As it happens the entry level MacBook is probably more higher speced than the medium level offers of HP or Dell.

    I’d love to see this article re-written, from a more appropriate evaluation perspective.

    Oh, by the way, in case you think I’m a Mac hater – I have an 8 core Mac Pro and I’m writing this from my MacBookPro. For me computer decision is very little about price, but I apprecaite that for others cost is often the defining factor.

  15. Harry McCracken Says:

    Richard–thanks for the correction (made!). You’re right, the HP is a well-equipped machine for the money. I cheerfully admit that I didn’t weight the importance of the factors. It would get pretty complicated, since you’d want not only to weight each factor, but how big the advantage was of one machine over another. (For instance, I woulda given the HP more brownie points for having a significantly larger hard drive than for coming with Microsoft Works; I also would have given the MacBook a pretty big edge under warranty to reflect the fact that Apple does well in customer-satisfaction surveys.)

  16. Harry McCracken Says:

    Ben–thanks for the feedback. I chose the midrange MacBook because the low-end one doesn’t have a DVD burner, which is pretty darn chintzy in this day and age; I wanted a more well-rounded machine.

    As for why I chose a Mac configuration and tailored the other machines to match, my comparison was unquestionably constrained by the the fact that the configuration options for Macs are relatively limited. Then again, they’re relatively limited in part because Macs come with some stuff, such as Bluetooth and Firewire, that’s often optional on a PC.

    One note about my experiment which I maybe shoulda mentioned in the piece itself: I didn’t set out to prove a particular point, and didn’t know what the prices of the machines would be until I configured them. If the Mac had come out looking pricier I would have reported that…and maybe I will in the stories I’ll do on other Macs versus other PCs, if the data bears it out.

  17. Jim Says:

    I think you were as fair as possible given a relatively simple experiment.

    Make sure you consider the cost of purchasing Parallels/Bootcamp/Fusion as well as Windows OS when you do the business laptop comparison. I’m considering the switch to Mac and this info is really helpful. Looking forward to the next one.

  18. Lee Says:

    Hilarious. Didn’t need to read post past this: “average selling price for Windows boxes is around half the average price of Macs.”

  19. michael Says:

    this comparison really isn’t that great. you like the power brick? advantage apple? slight advantage to the PCs because you can buy a separate vga adapter for the apple? i’m sorry but i thought this was about money. since when does the size of the power brick matter towards that end?

    the flaw in this experiement is you get to choose the models for the three different companies. yes, if you want a macbook clone, the prices might even out but if you don’t care about what model you get, the SALES on dell laptops ($750 off $1500 and such) and to a lesser extent HP and Sony creates a huge difference in price between mac and pc. in these cases, it’s not even like there’s equivalent performance between the two as the pc almost always has significantly better specs. if you assume that people pay retail all the time for pcs, yes, maybe the prices are even but i can’t think of a single person who goes to dell’s website and just pays retail for a laptop. example below. dell for $450! you will never see a mac at that price with decent specs.

    http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=60868&t=895547&highlight=dell

    Best Buy has the Dell Inspiron 1525 Notebook for $450. Select in-store pickup to save on shipping (Review).

    Specs:

    Jet Black
    Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor T2390
    15.4″ Glossy XGA HD widescreen (1280 x 800)
    2GB DDR2 (expandable to 4GB)
    160GB SATA HDD 5400 RPM
    Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW
    Intel Integrated X3100 Graphics
    Lithium-ion w/ 6 Cell Battery
    Windows Vista Home Premium with SP1

  20. mark schneider Says:

    Nice job on the comparison, although your opinion of Vista (or Leopard)isn’t one I share it was still well worth reading your views. Look forward to reading your posts whenever they show up in my reader.

  21. Xavier Says:

    I think Apple makes an excellent product and there are a lot of great reasons to buy a Mac, but price isn’t one of them.
    Interesting comparison, but there are a lot of hidden costs of buying a Mac, especially for those switching from Windows.
    If you do a 15.4-inch PC vs Mac notebook comparison it’s not even close.

  22. JS Says:

    You forget the cost of paying for a slightly newer version of OSX every year, or IOW, the $100/year cost of purchasing a “new” OS for your shiny Mac. (For comparison, Windows is one price…once.)

    Yeah 400 smackers to get the same level of OS as OSX (Windows Vista super double dog ultimate resource hog). How many updates to tha OS in a year & a half? One.
    No one is forced to upgrade. Purchasing is a choice…this is pure nonsense. You’re grasping for straws.

    You’re also ignoring the cost of the MobileMe service, which is required for some of your alleged benefits. (Another $100/year).

    What? Again a choice. Don’t need it don’t buy it. What alleged benefits do you speak of. Blowing smoke again.

    AND that’s not even getting into the hardware issues. Apple’s got great customer service, true, but that’s only well known *BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE NEED TO USE IT.*

    BS pure BS. I have never reloaded an OS on a Mac & have owned the for15+ years…not saying it doesn’t happen nothings perfect…maybe it’s time to stop talking out of you’re arse like most Windows users who have never touched a Mac for any length of time. Most Mac users have used a PC.

    (I don’t know what Lenovo’s or Dell’s customer service is like because I’ve never needed to call them.) So factor in the costs of not having access to your hardware for at least a week.

    Factor in the cost of anti-virus & malware software/downtime, etc.

    I use both & you have no clue as to what you are talking about…it’s pretty obvious. So the question is why post?

  23. SF Says:

    I would love to see the same comparison for desktop systems. It seems to me this ought to be the area where the price difference really appears, even more so if one considers custom builds. But a comparison with Dells and HPs would already be enlightening.

    Laptops, as a rule, tend to be more easily expensive precisely because there is no (very little) choice but to get a pre-assembled system.

  24. Dave Says:

    I think the MacBook should get a couple points for physical design features which prevent it from needing costly repairs. I’ve been working in a school which supports both Dell laptops and Macs and we see the Dells come in more frequently with broken CD trays, broken lid latches, and more catastrophic damage when people (usually teachers ;-) ) trip over the cord and pull it off the desk. The mac has slot load cd drive, a magnetic break-away power cord, and no mechanical latches. So on an individual basis, people should just buy what they need but in an institutional setting, the Macs (regardless of the OS they are running) can be less expensive. I don’t know how the $500 laptops would survive but we have 4 year old iBooks still in use with the only problem being a lack of hard drive space.

  25. Xavier Says:

    @SF- agree a desktop comparison would be interesting. Of course Apple doesn’t even use desktop processors in any of its desktops so you’d probably have to compare the iMac to the PC all-in-ones.

  26. Eric Says:

    How come I have a better computer from Dell (Vostro) in all categories except weight, and yet I only paid $700. It’s a “refurbished” machine straight from Dell but they warranty everything like a new one. Does Apple do that?

    This was not a really fair comparison at all because while PC laptop prices fluctuate a lot depending on where, when, and what discounts are available, Macs pretty much stay expensive until they no longer make that product line. Your conclusion (that they are all pretty much the same price) is misleading because you are truly comparing apples with oranges (pun unavoidable, as you said). Apple prices for the same machine remain high for years, while the PC competitors get cheaper more quickly.

  27. Gary D. Says:

    I agree with the earlier comment regarding viewing this from a use case perspective. Given the progression in computing power, most people/use cases are probably well served by a sub $1k XP laptop. That’s where I think Apple is missing the boat today. Once you get over $1k, the Mac is an attractive machine, the pricing is close enough with Windows machines, and the power of OSX carries the day. In the very large sub-$1k market though, it’s currently Windows only (plus some Ubuntu etc.).

    I think that the recent reduced margin forecast from Apple may be a harbinger of a sub $1k Macbook. With the challenges and negative image of Vista, Apple has a great opportunity to gain enough market share, before Microsoft responds in 3-5 years, to break the Microsoft de facto OS standard. A rare opportunity and it makes sense for them to chase it hard while it is available.

    I discussed the opportunity for an OS inflection point on my blog earlier today. http://cell-canada.com

  28. Roy Says:

    I am a Mac Guy.
    A most important difference not mentioned is Mac’s very low screen brightness. A very easy parameter to compare. Using a Mac laptop outside is worthless. The other consistently poor hardware element is Mac’s inability to offer graphic performance nearer to the top of what is available. Performance is always well off the PC mark. I have the impression that ATI and invidia just will not make their top products available to Mac or Apple consistently has decided that weaker video performance is not important to the Mac customer. No game products so no fast video required-Chicken and egg problem.
    Roy

  29. Ted Landry Says:

    Hate to break the news to everyone, but Apple employs several people to do competitive testing in real-time. So Apple’s pricing is constantly calibrated to MATCH or be slightly LOWER than any of the Top Tier Vendors.

    Yes, Apple currently doesn’t have a mid-range tower offering so things get quite skewed there, but for most of their products, they are quite competitive with comparable offerings in the marketplace.

    And just a correction from above. OSX has had FOUR Major upgrades in 8 years, so it’s once every 2 years, not once a year. All updates are free, so compared to Windows, there have been 3 more MAJOR advances to the Mac OS compared to the Windows OS environment.

    To see all “real-time” Mac prices visit:

    http://www.pcprices.net/

    And lastly, a lot of people seem to forget or don’t yet understand that Macs hold their value MUCH better than any PC running Windows or Linux. Expect to get back 30% or more compared to a similar PC purchased for the same price, at the same time. The reason for this is Apple builds a stronger product and supports their machines for a longer period of time, then you have a better software library on the Mac compared to the PC (except some games) and the “value equation” always points to the Mac as the better investment.

    So keep the above in mind when you purchase your next Mac.

    - – -

  30. BJK Says:

    Was holding off but felt I had to comment. I was a PC guy for years until I finally got a Mac.

    1. I don’t have to buy the latest OS for a few upgrades, I upgrade only when I’m satisfied with what’s being offered. And Apple’s upgrades are actual ‘upgrades’, not like the scenario with Xp and Vista. I am using Vista on a Dell Inspiron notebook and I hate hate hate it. Its literally an insult to a PC user. (you can configure some settings on that crap, and it will behave as if nothing was changed. just one of the many things… don’t want to start…)

    2. You don’t have to spend on antivirus software at all, for a mac, YET! Apple takes care of that on a regular basis sending out security updates when necessary. Updates that don’t slow down the computer, very much unlike Windows. that’s saving right there considering you have have no AV software to update every few months.

    3. I have yet to come across a full fledged package like the ilife suite offered with any mac. Music/podcast creation, DVD burning and authoring, Basic movie editing, and basic webpage creation all beautifully handled in a mac basically for free. Nothing yet on the Pc that comes close.

    4. Now talk about productivity. I’ve used Dell, HP, and many of my own configured machines. I have 2 macs that haven’t been switched off for the past 4 years, literally. They still run just great, haven’t suffered any hardware faillures, great performance. And above all that, I’m still waiting for it to crash when I’m in the middle of a major project. I use it for video editing and music composition. (FCPro and Logic Studio Pro/Pro Tools) Was never able to achieve that and still… on a PC. PC’s update softwares just go off whenever they feel like it, and boom crash bang…!!!

    5. Considering productivity alone on a mac especially if you’re in the field of media raises the cost efficiency of a mac. not to mention that you dont’ have to upgrade your machine for quite a few years. I bought my machines over 4 years ago, and I still haven’t felt the need to upgrade for what I do. It was never the case with a PC unless you splurged and bought a $3000, which is the range of prices of the gaming PCs out there.

    6. Windows vista was in the ballpark of $400 and above in stores, Mac’s upgrades and Os have always been $129, and lesser for students.

    Since this post is not about the actual OS, I won’t start down that road. Suffice to say, I’ve never felt the slightest need to turn to a PC to achieve anything.

  31. James Says:

    Earlier this month I was pricing laptops and got the equivalent specs of a 15in 2.4Ghz MBP with some supped up features for $600 less by buying a Linux(pre-installed) laptop than it would have been from Apple. I think it’s better to say that Macs in some cases CAN be as inexpensive as PCs but it is far from the rule.

  32. mike vee Says:

    Who cares what OS you have when you’re only browsing the web or checking email? You can rationalize it any way you want but you just paid at least 3 times as much to be able to do the same thing I do. I know…..you look cooler in a coffee shop with your Mac.

  33. Tom Says:

    @Mike Vee: “Who cares what OS you have when you’re only browsing the web or checking email? You can rationalize it any way you want but you just paid at least 3 times as much to be able to do the same thing I do.”

    It’s 2008 and all you do with your laptop is browse the web and check email? How incredibly sad.

  34. Scott Says:

    To the comments people added about Apple upgrading Mac OS X more often and how that is a benefit. This hurts the Macbook as much as it helps. Why? It’s $129 each time and disadvantage’s the Macbook on cost of ownership.

  35. Scott Says:

    It would help to profile the intended user and use a bit more. Despite the near similar technical specs of the 4 machines, the 3 Wintel machines seem a little more in the space that Apple aims the Macbook Pro at than the regular Macbook. That would change the price comparison significantly.

  36. benn nugyen Says:

    This study says the difference is not so trivial…

    http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2008/08/the_price_difference_between_macs_and_pcs_wid.html

  37. UsesBoth Says:

    I have to agree with Harry’s assessment. I’ve used both platforms and I consider them fairly equal in value.

  38. Ted Landry Says:

    @ Scott

    There has only been 1 OSX upgrade during the entire life of the MacBook or MacBook Pro. Average price is $110, not $129. PC users tend to think there are all these big, expensive OSX upgrades every year, which is simply NOT the case. Every couple years is the cycle, and if you are a typical buyer you purchase a new Mac every 4 years… so you get one of those upgrades for free, so the most a Mac user pays (if they choose) is $110.

  39. uway Says:

    what i use to like about a mac is yes it was more expensive but they last longer then any pc on the market. For instance im on a 2001 Power mac and it still runs. i can’t really do any big processing task but internet is pretty fluent. I have gone through at least 4 pc and one notebook to this one mac. do the math on that. But with everybody going mac im starting to hear all those same problems starting to happen due to the mass manufacturing of macs. All computers are very delicate in the way you handle them and the everyday user don’t give a shit on how they use a computer and wonders why there getting problems.

  40. Dan B Says:

    This comparison by specification is fatally flawed because you disregard the operating system. The fact is that my MacBook with 1.8GHz processor and 512MB RAM will load the operating system and run programs with no problem – whereas the commit level of Windows Vista would consume my entire memory. The microkernel design of OS X is a major advantage over Microsoft’s bloatware offering.

  41. Sid Says:

    Great article, Harry.

  42. Robert Says:

    I read the old PC versus Mac debate still rages. Microsoft Windows(tm) hast the advantage of being available to a wider range of platforms and processor architectures, the manufacturers of which compete with other for features, price and performance. Apple machines with Macintosh operating systems have the advantage of one operating system for a limited array of machines and processor architectures, thus they can devote more resources into an optimal operating system for the smaller number. Apple machines with base hardware configurations are more expensive than their PC counterparts, but to upgrade a PC to comparable levels with their counterpart Mac, they’re about the same price, if not the PC being more expensive. I’d noticed this article focuses on laptops and notebooks, all of which – because they are portables – tend to be a relatively poor value for the money compared to desktop machines, my two favorites of which are the Linux-powered Dell Inspiron 530-N, and the OSX-powered Apple iMac Core 2 Duo. ^..^~

  43. Khürt Williams Says:

    When I have a question about my Mac or I need something repaired ( rarely ) a trip to the Apple Store and a conversation with a human being is easy. I’ve called Dell support and ended in a frustrated useless conversation with someone in India.

  44. ian Says:

    You state that there is no HDMI output on the mac, but you can also buy a dongle (which sticks in the same slot as the VGA dongle) which outputs to a DVI connector. Converting to HDMI is them not a problem, as the DVI spec is a subset of the HDMI spec, and anything that can handle HDMI can handle DVI. (At least this is true for my black macbook).

  45. Jon T Says:

    A much simpler test is to pose that question to the people who in the last three years have bought a Mac and a Dell/HP/Vaio…

    The resounding answer will be that they feel the Mac was infinitely BETTER VALUE, regardless of actual cost.

    Macs give you freedom and positive state of mind. Life is too short to live with Windows’ mediocrity.

  46. owen-b Says:

    @Eric, who wrote “How come I have a better computer from Dell (Vostro) in all categories except weight, and yet I only paid $700. It’s a “refurbished” machine straight from Dell but they warranty everything like a new one. Does Apple do that?”

    Yes. Yes they do.

  47. owen-b Says:

    The thing is, no matter how clinically you look at PURE hardware costs, whether you find that a similarly specced PC machine to any given Mac is more or less expensive by a small or significantly large amount, there are ALWAYS going to be PC users who categorically hate Mac users for NO apparent reason who will shout you down, find flaws with the comparison method, throw mud at Apple for not ‘letting’ them pick their own configurations. It’s an almost pointless exercise, this comparison. As someone above said, Mac users do generally consider their purchase to be very good value, because you’re paying for more than the hardware – it’s the experience, the reliability, the ease of use.

    Some of the mud-slinging in here is hilarious. I see there’s at least one idiot using the good old “Yeah you spend more on your Mac so you look good in a coffee shop” line. Nice one – it’s a great line, that’s for sure, and definitely a watertight argument.

    Someone else came out with that classic about how Apple won’t let him configure the way he wants – well “boo f***ing hoo” :)

    Yes, there’s a reason they don’t offer complete re-speccing – because they’ve spent a lot of time fitting those components inside that case, making sure they work and that they all work with each other. If you want to build your own – get a PC. That’s the experience PC offers. Apple doesn’t, and that’s their prerogative. Apple’s business model is built on the principle that they want to control “the whole widget” – they offer reliability because they design their stuff to work with the stuff you put on it – whatever you put on it. PCs are boxes that you can put any old processor or drive or graphics card or whatever in, and MS has the daunting task of designing an OS that will run on every possible combination of components.

    Personally I prefer to use Mac. And I don’t have Vista on mine either (someone up there said something about everyone HE knows running Vista on their Mac, not sure why).

  48. Kun Xi Says:

    Good post for head-to-head comparison.

    Though it does not convince me your point.If you compares the desktop, that is perfectly fine. But laptop features mobility, it is always a trade off between functionality and mobility. It is easier to do the addition than the subtraction, though the latter is much harder.

  49. Tyk Says:

    All these people mentioning updating OS X, you don’t HAVE to do that. I still run Tiger and guess what, my Mac still works! Imagine that!

    Apple doesn’t update once a year, either. Plus factor in, we don’t need antivirus programs or subscriptions like Windows does. Factor THAT in.

  50. atticusforwin Says:

    good article, was considering Mac but id like to know the market. thanks.

  51. Dan Says:

    At the end of the day, I will always be willing to pay a premium for a superior operating system. That’s the end-all, be-all for me.

  52. mark Says:

    “But I applaud the marketing; scads of folks are convinced that Apple products make them somehow cooler or better than those of us who live, and more importantly work, in a Windows world.”

    Jealousy is so ugly.

  53. hildigunnur Says:

    Dan #1, whaaat? I don’t know a single person (well, maybe one) that voluntarily uses Vista. And that’s on a Dell. No one on a Mac. I’d never…

  54. BB Says:

    I work in a computer repair shop in southern CA.
    Let me just say that the problems associated with Windows laptops keep us very happy and profitable. We joke about how we hope there will always be viruses.
    If you’re on a Windows machine now, you most likely have more than a few viruses that Norton, etc, could not detect or kill. Sorry but true.
    I use a Macbook. I use it A LOT. Barely a hiccup.
    In the end, I see customer after customer spend $$ on something they should have avoided in the first place by buying a Macbook. I don’t tell them that if course. Business is that good.

  55. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    I love my mac! I love my G5, I love my laptop. I’ve been in love with
    mac ever since my first old box that now resembles an antique….I don’t care what the price-I worked in business on PC’s and I still love my mac!
    The post was very informative and very interesting-THANKS!

  56. Terrin Says:

    Let me add two comments. First, the PCs looked at here came with Vista Home Edition. To get the full version of Vista, you need to pay an extra $150. There is only one consumer version of Leopard and it is as full featured or more then Vista Ultimate. So, that should add $150 to the cost of the PCs. Second, Apple updates every year or two are not mandatory. On my laptop I am still running Tiger. My step father is still running whatever came before Tiger. Accordingly the frequency of the updates shouldn’t matter. Moreover, most PCs don’t seem to stay in operation that long. I am running a six year old Power PC Tower that runs great.

  57. chibimagic Says:

    If all you’re doing with your laptop is browsing the web and checking email, Apple’s iPhone or iPod touch is cheaper than any of the laptops from Dell, HP, or Sony. =P

  58. MacHatersGetALife Says:

    “Lee Says:
    August 15th, 2008 at 4:20 pm
    Hilarious. Didn’t need to read post past this: “average selling price for Windows boxes is around half the average price of Macs.””

    Absolutely typical of a Mac-hater. Not only have you made yourself look stupid by reading the wrong conclusion into this quote, but you have used it to reinforce your biggotry.

    NEWSFLASH – Some people like Macs, Some like Windows machines, Don’t people have better things to do than play fan-boys to either ‘side’ – It’s that kind of attitude that means there still hasn’t been a female or black president in the US. Time to get with the modern world people.

  59. trevorblanco Says:

    You forgot to include the $300 worth of virus/spyware that every windows computer needs.

  60. bildad Says:

    One thing that I have not seen mentioned, given that both platforms have their merits, is that with the Mac you can Boot Camp or Parallels Windows OS so you have the best of both worlds. You cannot do that with a PC. Therefore in terms of a computer that can run the widest selection of software the Mac wins hands down.

  61. Chas Says:

    The idiots like JS who claim that a “slightly newer” version OS X comes out every year would look less stupid if it were actually true. FYI, 10.0 came out March 24 2001, 10.1 was September 2001 (and was free!), 10.2 was August 24 2002, 10.3 was October 24 2003, 10.4 was April 29 2005 and 10.5 October 2007 – discounting 10.1 which was really a maintenance release, that’s 17 months, 14 months, 18 months and 30 months.

    So much for “every year”!

  62. Jeff Medcalf Says:

    The really interesting thing to me, reading the comments, is how many people simply don’t know what kind of company Apple is. As far as I can tell, every single PC company is a production-driven company. That is, they have production facilities, and they make a product (a line of PCs). Their goal is to keep those facilities running at full capacity, so that they get the maximum profit from their invested capital. Thus, they have a requirement to sell as many different machines as possible in order to be profitable, and they do this by producing a wide range of models with essentially no technical innovation. (That all happens in things like high-end gaming PCs, rather than in the standard models that would be price-compared with anything else; and even there there is a limit, because the gaming PC makers still don’t make the whole package: the OS platform drives any innovation, and that is entirely in MS’s hands.) Because they produce a wide range of models, and compete directly with each other (only indirectly with Apple), it is possible to get PCs in every kind of configuration you can imagine, and at every price point you can dream up.

    Anyway, Apple is not a production-driven company. Their volume does not have to be high to make profits, because they don’t have a large capital investment in production plants (they contract that out). Instead, Apple is driven by their customer market: opinion and trend leaders. As such, they market to the young, educational institutions and employees, upper-middle class and wealthy people, journalists and the like. In order to be successful and profitable, given this model, Apple needs customer loyalty, some hook to differentiate themselves from the pack (they use a cachet of coolness, and the quality of their offerings), and software tailored to their key customers.

    Different business strategies drive different product lineups, different costpoints, different marketing strategies and so forth. It is similar to the difference between GM (a car for everyone) and Mercedes (the finest engineering in the world).

  63. MacPhobia Says:

    A windows tablet PC comes within 1000 USD ( HP )with good configuration.. Does apple have it.. Windows is a ruler and will rule the Computer market…

  64. mschaef Says:

    One of the biggest problems with this comparison is that it defines the market in terms of Apple’s offerings, and excludes options that Apple simply does not or cannot offer. Apple may be cheaper, but it’s not cheaper if you want a TrackPoint, two internal mouse buttons, and a 14.1″ display. Apple doesn’t even offer that configuration, and yet it’s pretty easy to find in the PC space. It’s a choice that has an innate value that is overlooked in the original analysis.

  65. Shervin Says:

    Let’s not forget that some of those machines (Dell and HP) were recently upgraded to Intel’s latest chipset which has the X4500. Apple will be doing this and unveiling redesigned Macbooks in less than a month. Then, it will be a more fair comparison. Apple is going to be getting more aggressive with price/performance in the coming few months.

  66. Michael Says:

    Seriously? The man proves that Macs aren’t as expensive as everyone thinks and it becomes a “Mac-biased approach”????
    Good Lord….

    Great article and breakdown. I’ve been telling people this for awhile. Nice to have numbers to back it up.
    Thanks!

  67. Michael Says:

    “For me personally, I think the next question to be answered is why does everyone I know (and many people on the web) use Vista on a Mac?”

    Two words.

    Hardware Compatibility. Apple has figure out how to tie all the best hardware together into a a cohesive unit that has incredible driver support right out of the box. No need to hunt down the latest anything from the manufacturer.

    I work at Microsoft and you’d be surprised how many people are using MacBook Pros as their laptop….

  68. Daniel Says:

    Not certain if anyone has mentiond this yet but the built in video camera on the macbook is worth its weight in gold (not to mention the tight integration with apps such as iChat). If any of the other laptops in this comparison included cameras (uncertain) I doubt they would be as easy to use or as useful.

  69. Give Or Take Says:

    Give or Take says, mak book are expensive and much hyped. HP and Dell are kings of Windows where as Sony equates to what macs are in apple

  70. Richard Says:

    It does not matter to me. I would not use Windows not even if they paid me to use it.

    The other day a friend with a Gateway Laptop lost all his info … he says a virus did it .. he went ahead and installed the “Vista” CD that came with the laptop. Well, the network does not work.. wireless does not work.. He is now hunting for drivers on the Internet using his desktop .. he took it to Circuit City, where he bought the thing and the “expert” told him that since he re-installed Vista .. he is basically on his own as he voided the warranty.

    That is the type of experience that is just NOT WORTH SAVING a couple hundred dollars. Sorry guys.

  71. mschaef Says:

    “The other day a friend with a Gateway Laptop lost all his info … he says a virus did it .. he went ahead and installed the “Vista” CD that came with the laptop.”

    I recently reinstalled WinXP on my Dell laptop. It took about an hour, largely because I was able to enter the Dell laptop tag into their website, and it gave me a list of the five or six download links for the drivers I needed.

  72. Jeff Says:

    It always cracks me up when one fanboi bashes another.

  73. Zerstörer Says:

    I for one couldn’t be happier than if Apple’s marketshare suddenly went stagnant… I am blissfully happy with every MacBook I’ve ever owned, so it doesn’t matter to me how many people have them. Plus, the smaller Apple’s marketshare, the less likely people will want to develop malware for OS X.

    Keep buyin’ them PCs boys and girls!!!

  74. pete f Says:

    Things not mentioned,

    Lifespan, my macs are all 6 to 10 years old, still run all the needed software, and do what I need simpler and faster than windoze. I have spent 64.58 cents on my main computer in 6 years for repairs and parts, and that was for a new to me (used) harddrive with larger capacity.

    My laptop is a pismo, Circa 2000 is still my working office laptop, Its big,thick and heavy, but its an amazing piece of technology, so how many of you have 8 year old working and up to date PC laptops,? how much have you had to add to them in parts and service, My only fix has been a memory increase, a newer (used) harddrive and a new power cord my dog chewed.

    It came with all the software I needed for what I do, I have added a few new off the shelf programs when needed but freeware has so far matched up most of my needs.

    The other point made by some is that by numbers the PC from HP seemed to have more for the money, part of this is negated by the fact the Mac does not need as much memory, as much HD space, or as much add ons as the PC’s need to function.

    Its a better designed system, rather than the grab bag of parts that PC”s are.

  75. mschaef Says:

    “My laptop is a pismo, Circa 2000 is still my working office laptop, Its big,thick and heavy, but its an amazing piece of technology, so how many of you have 8 year old working and up to date PC laptops,?

    This is just too easy. In my basement is a functional PC (A Toshiba T3400) that I bought in 1993. It’s right next to the iBook I bought in 2001, which broke just over a year after I bought it (right after the warranty expired). I did manage to convince Apple to repair it under the iBook defect warranty extension, but it broke again within a year of when I got it back.

    The grocery store down the street still runs its books on a PS/2 Model 30/286, which is 20 years old… In my parent’s house is a Compaq Portable that they bought in 1987. It still works too.

    This notion that Apple has some kind of monopoly on reliable machines is just farcical.

  76. web design company Says:

    It is the rigid option list and lack of any kind of useful low end product that makes them more expensive, I need a $500 laptop for my job I am not going to spend $700 more to get a mac that I dont need. Component by component price they are somewhat reasonably priced, but unless the mac product is exaclty what I am looking for I will continue to purchase something that fits my needs and budget.

  77. Yacko Says:

    # Chas Says:
    August 17th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    The idiots like JS who claim that a “slightly newer” version OS X comes out every year would look less stupid if it were actually true. FYI, 10.0 came out March 24 2001, 10.1 was September 2001 (and was free!), 10.2 was August 24 2002, 10.3 was October 24 2003, 10.4 was April 29 2005 and 10.5 October 2007 – discounting 10.1 which was really a maintenance release, that’s 17 months, 14 months, 18 months and 30 months.

    Let me further clarify for all Windows users. Although Apple has focused on 10 point etc updates, you should realize that the 10.x updates are the major ones (like 98SE, 2000, XP, Vista) and cost money and the 10.x.x updates are the minor ones that come out far more frequently and are free. The numbering is more Linux/Unixy that traditional WIN or older classic Pre OSX Mac. Mac OSX 10.0 is the baseline, and 10.1 more like 11, 10.2 more like 12 etc, compared to more traditional Win/Mac numbering. Typically the major updates are every year and a half and there are 4 or 5 minor free ones in that 18 or so month span. Know what you are comparing.

  78. DrBunsen Says:

    The difference between Windows fanbois and Mac fanbois?

    Mac fanbois have actually used Windows.

  79. Matthew Guenther Says:

    Think about this. Mac’s are perfect for film design, music production, and photography work. If you compare side by side the power of a MacBook Pro with another Windows laptop of the same power, price wise…..well, they are pretty much the same. Mac’s are designed in California. California is a state well known for the entertainment business. Macs shine in this realm, that’s why more than 90% of the worlds largest music production sudios use and rely on macs. The film industry, your looking at the same. It really depends on what you need it for. A computer is a tool, to get a job done quickly, and efficiently. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both have concluded, that specific jobs require specific types of computers, just depends on what you need for the job.

  80. Howie Says:

    Harry,

    Thanks for netting out the differences between PCs and Macs. I used a Mac Plus in the 80′s then moved to PCs until last year. I enjoy my MacBook Pro especially the quick launch and shutdown. It does take some getting used to with the different user interfaces between the PC and Mac. Some Web sites still don’t work well with Safari so will now try Firefox.

    Next, I want to use the multimedia capabilities of the Mac which I believe are a lot strong than the typical PC.

  81. randal Says:

    One thing not mentioned is that in order to run Windows on a PC you absolutely have to buy antivirus software, while no Macintosh or Linux user needs it. I have used both MS PCs and Macs for over 17 years and have never ever needed virus software on any Mac. It is a built-in cost of using a vulnerable system like Windows.

  82. Dave Says:

    @JS:
    Windows is one price…once? That’s a laugh. Windows is one price once because when you want the NEW version of Windows, it WON’T FREAKIN’ RUN on your current hardware…so you have to go buy a NEW LAPTOP with it already loaded. I can run Leopard on my almost-8-year-old PowerBook G4. Try running Vista on 8 year old hardware!

  83. ArthurT Says:

    Having 2GB of ram isnt parity. The author knows NOTHING about OSs. 2Gb of ram on a Vista machine means 640MB free. 2GB on a MacBook pro means almost 1400MB Free. That is almost 3 times the free ram for applications. Try adding 3x ram to the Vista Laptop? Try… go ahead….

  84. Matt Says:

    Also, don’t forget the quality and ease of use of the keyboard and trackpad.

    The MacBook’s keyboard has keys that are spaced out so they’re not cramped together, giving the keyboard a more desktop-like quality and ease of use.

    The scrolling gestures on most Windows notebooks can be considered harder to use since the scrolling sections are on the right and bottom portions of the pad, Apple uses the full pad for scrolling by being able to identify multiple finger inputs. Plus, from my experience, Apple has some-what larger trackpad area’s than some other Windows machines.

  85. David Hutson Says:

    one thing that nobody seems to grok is that “PC” doesn’t automatically equal “Windows.” I’m actually a Mac fanboy, my primary machine is my iMac – however when I bought my most recent laptop I chose an HP. Why you ask? Because linux is crippled on Intel Macs – and because for 2k I got an unheard of gig of dedicated video memory. OS X is the obvious choice for all-around engineering excellence of an OS (IMHO) but for those of us that work with and use multiple *NIXes a PC is just the obvious choice. I love my Mac, and I use it for linux development every day – but if I had to choose between one or the other I’d have to choose a PC, for the flexibility.

  86. Jeff Says:

    The debate rages on. You know, this whole thing comes down to personal preference. I used Windows faithfully for many years and it did the job. However, Macs offer a more pleasant computing experience for my mileage. Apple prices are reasonable enough so I’m happy.

    A greater factor (for me) is that OS X is simpler, more elegant, OS solution. I like the experience better. But your mileage may vary and that is fine with me!

  87. delusion FTL Says:

    Well I read about half of the comments and no one pointed out the glaring issue fundamental to the inaccuracy of the article.

    The macbook which is mac’s entry level consumer marketed laptop should have been compared to something like the Dell inspiron 13, since that is Dell’s entry level consumer marketed laptop.
    As closely as can be spec’d the inspiron comes out approximately 300 dollars cheaper.

    Additionally since this is an article simply asking if mac’s are more expensive, giving ANY points for personal preference things like a breakaway power adapter, or thickness only serves to lower journalistic integrity.

    I didn’t bother to price out an HP or Sony since they tend to be expensive, but this:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220387
    Is 100 dollars cheaper has similar or better specs and has WAY more features

    By the way, I don’t buy a computer’s extended 3 years warranty, because if I thought there was a reasonable chance it would die in years 2 and 3 and the repair would be more than 250-300 dollars, I would never invest the money in that chintzy of a product to start with.

    The simple answer to this question has ALWAYS been that mac’s cost more. Any result not coming to that conclusion is flawed, typically in the way you have done it. Sure, picking and tweaking the competing pc models can be twisted in a way that puts apples expensive hardware in a better light, but that only serves to delude and mislead less intelligent readers and not actually better anyone with factual information.

    In my professional position I purchase dozens of Macintosh’s and PC’s a year. I know what they cost for what you get.

  88. fan boy Says:

    [email protected]

  89. jgoto Says:

    What if you don’t want a computer that with a 2.4 GHz processor, 250 GB Hard drive or productivity apps? You just want something that will run your spreadsheets and allow you to go online. This is not an insignificant portion of the total PC market. If you want a macbook that will do all of that, you have to spend $1000+ because no cheaper models exist. If you want a dell or HP you can get one that does all of that for $600-$700. Sure the hardware is better on the macbook than the cheap PC’s but unless you are a graphics designer or a video editor, are you really going to notice?

  90. larry c. lyons Says:

    Just an additional comparison that needs to be made, for digital sound output the MacBook has a s/pdif port while the others do not. Also you neglected to mention when you compared the video output you fault Apple for not having an HDMI port. Actually it has, it uses a similar dongle as the VGA output.

  91. reev Says:

    Does OSX leopard can install to Dell (with similar hardware spec from newest MBP) and running smoothly? Any issued?

  92. Javi Says:

    I’m a PC user, never used Mac, since here in Europe, and especially is Spain, Macs are far more expensive that a PC, since they are more like collectionists’ gadgets.
    But I can’t bear it any longer. Vista is so shitty. So, so so so so shitty. I have Linux installed with Wubi, but I’m thinking about leaving it as the only OS for my machine. Either it or downgrade it to XP.
    Ohh my God, oh sweet Jesus! How could this kind of crappy company take over the IT business. Apple should open their Macs to clone companies and wipe out PCs.

  93. Mr. Atheist Says:

    Harry,

    After 3 rounds of comparisons you still not provide a conclusion as whether the MAC price is justified or not. What is your conclusion or is this based on perceived opinion ?

    I belong to the third group of users that just does not really care about platform. I am however a great admirer of the the designs that apple puts out. once upon a time I have been a NEXT/Step user (the origin of Leopard comes out of NEXT) and definitely appreciates the hardware quality of my MacBookPro that I am using now. Apple does put out good quality therefore I do not have a problem paying the extra bug. I am by no means a Mac basher !! I write software for Linux, Windows and Mac’s and have no issue with the high price of a mac. I know what I am paying for. I have a office personal budget for more that $20K/Year. I can buy any hardware I like. Sorry to brag…:)

    If your article is about price then I do not see my friends that are not as fortunate as myself walking out of the Apple store with a Macbook or Macbook pro below $1000 mark or even a MacMini with Keyboard and Monitor !!! The math simply does not add up for those people that have low budget and low computing needs. I am talking about occasional PC users (Grandma, and John Doe that have no desire to use computers when they don’t need to. These people are forced to use a the internet to access their bank or Medicate account and occasionally need to read an email from the grand kids.

    I think your article should be renamed to something like perceived value of a Mac.

    I hope this helps with your efforts. Good luck.

  94. Paul Says:

    This is a late response, but I thought it might be useful to some people. I use both platforms, work at a university department that is on Mac, and do minor (part-time) IT for a research company that is only on Windows. When my 2003 iBook died two weeks ago I did my own comparison for a new notebook. My conclusion? You DO actually pay a bit more for a comparable Macbook/Macbook Pro, but it’s less than a lot of people think (HP, Dell, Toshiba etc. had notebooks priced at $699-799 that compared about equal to the MacBook I bought on sale for $949 (2.4GHz core 2 duo, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD). Since I teach in a dept. that is totally Mac-based, and since most of my students have Macs, the extra $200 (averaged) was a no-brainer. The biggest thing I noticed was that there are far more sales/discounts on Windows-based machines. In fact I found a great-looking Compaq for $399 (after $200 rebates) from Office Depot that spec’d close to my MacBook, but if everybody around you used Macs, and you’re using Final Cut Pro (the industry standard for video), you need a Mac. The point is, you can find Mac deals (ie, Mac Mall) that are a lot closer to Windows machine prices than even 5-6 yrs. ago. OS X is nice, and so are Mac designs. I just can’t believe that a Mac STILL can’t copy an audio CD without first ripping it to iTunes…. :(

  95. preisvergleiche Says:

    The Macs are more expensive than Windows!

  96. JustTheFacts Says:

    I work for a large company and we ask in the interviewing process if you own a Mac or Windows computer at home. If you say Mac you won’t get the job… Windows users come pre-trained. If you say Linux then you get a higher rate of pay. (because we do not have to pay for software with a Linux user)

    Sorry MAC users but that is the Truth

  97. russ Says:

    wow your getting ripped.

    I have an hp elitebook 8730w that blows those specs out of the water for less than the sony. Majorly biased tags.

  98. sms Says:

    “I don’t know what we can do at Intel to implore our partners in the software player companies to get this done, but we need them to implement a fix for this issue ASAP.”

  99. anthony Says:

    Just my beef with macs, take windows 95 machine and a mac from that era, you could still use the windows 95 machine…heaps of shareware/freeware/warez for the 95 machine…..the mac gets outdated very quickly.
    OsX it takes linux/unix and and you can use the shell at best…nothing from linux/unix ever worked on my macs properly…they would work on my linux pc.
    I believe mac vs pc pc just have better speed I could video capture on my pc amd 2000mhz….as for my G4 nowhere near speed of mac i still need to get a g5 dual cpu just to do what i do on pc. Macs are just slow in hardware. Another beef they just lose their value quickly, they are like porsch very good 2-3 years underwarranty …out of warranty forget it. I have a $10000 mac server i found its close to useless. Alot of things you can do on mac done on pcs machines for a lot less. Issue with some mac users still think pcs are dos driven…yet will talk about how great terminal commands are in Osx.

  100. bart Says:

    Lol, you can use free antivirus software (avg) wich works fine for me.
    instal windows 7 instead of vista. instal a few drivers and your done. saved 1000 dollars… nah let’s buy mac i don’t want to instal drivers takes like 10 minutes, minutes i can use to do uhm… PHOTOSHOP :D o no i don’t got the money for that uhm. games ah no doesn’t work on mac uhm browse the internet yay ! well atleast it looks awesome

  101. AppleIsExpensive Says:

    This is a failed argument. People who say that macs are cheaper than pcs usually look at the MORE EXPENSIVE pcs, and usually just stupidly say that it will last in the long run. If I need a computer NOW, I need one NOW.

  102. jim Says:

    Um, with OS X you also get XCode. So don't forget to roll the cost of Visual Studio into the cost of a commodity PC if you want a fair comparison. Whoops. I think most MS defenders probably don't program and don't realize what a steal this is.

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  105. Martin Says:

    Has anyone brought up RESALE VALUE?

    It's easy to sell a 3 year old Mac for 60% of the original price. Try that with any PC – or rather, don't bother.

    I know, I've been doing it for 15 years. I end up paying about $300 per year for the privilege of owning the latest Mac.

  106. notebook Says:

    "It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly."

  107. forget mail Says:

    I'd love to have a notebook but do not have the money it would have to wait first until there is money to buy it

  108. home and garden tips Says:

    Where is better laptops Dell with toshiba laptops?

  109. steven Says:

    you think INSTANT rebates are annoying. i call them great because they are cheaper!

  110. Barry Says:

    LOL…..I stopped buying gucci and hilfiger for the last tens years to save up for my MAC……just because it is what I wanted…..bottom line.

  111. sadfgasd Says:

    No, Macs are not overpriced. You are gaining the right to use the OS and platform-specific software. No matter what the hardware is, that Apple-specific incentive will always bump the price up a few dollars, as it should.

    Apple has a product people want. No one else on the planet has it. They can set whatever price they damn well please and people will still buy it if they want the OS.

  112. Dillon Says:

    That is the most biased thing I've heard, and it's a lie. Mobile me is mainly free (and nothing really uses it) and windows is 100$+, while os x is only 30$. I've never needed to use apples customer service for any of my devices. You, my friend are a Microsoft fanboy

  113. Nameless Says:

    Lol I'm writing this from an iPad, and they aren't that expensive for what you get. The real way to see which is best is to try them

  114. Carl Says:

    Well…we see how THAT theory worked out for ya. lol

  115. Muay Thai Says:

    Yea, Vista on a Mac is like going to Mcdonalds and getting a salad. Muay Thai Combinations | Muay Thai Kick | Martial Arts for Children

  116. alex Says:

    this article must be old, because currently it costs $1200 more for a macbook pro compared to a dell or $1300 more if compared to an hp for pretty much the exact same hardware.

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