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Summary:

The latest Laptop Hunter ad is out, and it went where it had no business going. The first ad featured Lauren, and setting aside that she was cute, the best thing about her was that she was enthusiastic and a non-techie. Her purchase was as much […]

hphdx16_priceThe latest Laptop Hunter ad is out, and it went where it had no business going. The first ad featured Lauren, and setting aside that she was cute, the best thing about her was that she was enthusiastic and a non-techie. Her purchase was as much emotional as anything else. While I’d disagree with that kind of computer purchasing logic, there’s a certain truth to it.

Giampaulo: Technically Impaired

The star of the new ad, Giampaulo, claims to be “technically savvy,” and then spends the rest of ad proving he’s not. Apparently, his (and Microsoft’s) definition of “technically savvy” means buying a machine with Windows on it. By that definition, Lauren was “technically savvy” as well.

Near as I can tell, the primary reason Giampaulo got a machine one could argue was “better” than Lauren’s was simply because he had a higher budget, which was something he didn’t even control! And though the guts of the machine are better than Lauren’s, that huge 16 inch screen has less vertical resolution than a 13 inch MacBook. I mentioned in my write up of the Lauren ad that the way PC makers market screen sizes is a joke, and for Giampaulo to swallow it whole totally refutes any claim he had to being “technically savvy.”

The strangest thing about the ad is that Giampaulo’s machine choice (this HP HDX16) could be a nice machine — albeit with compromises — for $1,500 if he was as “picky” or “savvy” as he claimed.

Why didn’t Giampaulo simply go online and configure a machine to the maximum budget amount? Well, partially because he’s not “technically savvy,” but also maybe because Microsoft is getting a few bucks on the side for featuring HP and brick and mortar stores in their ads. This is comical because, for all the chest-beating Microsoft does about PC “choice”, these people just go into a local retailer and walk out with whatever they have on hand. That may have washed with Lauren, but it’s ridiculous when featuring someone who’s supposed to know the drill.

What I’d Get

As for me, I went online and configured an HDX16 as shown below:

hphdx16_configure1

  • The 2.53 GHz P8700 processor is what shipped on the high-end 15 inch MacBook Pro until a couple months ago. While Apple’s moved on to something better, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.
  • It sucks that DDR2 memory is used, but the machine’s designed to a price, and at least there’s 4GB.
  • The graphics chip is what ships on the MacBook Pro.
  • I’ve turned that 16-inch screen into something other than a portable IMAX. Ultra bright and 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  • Got Bluetooth.
  • Got a backlit keyboard.

Biggest change from Giampaulo’s is the vastly improved screen. To me, with a sprawling 16-inch display it’s a night and day difference. There’s a better processor (clock speed increase is small, but cache doubles from 3 to 6MB). There’s also a Blu-ray drive. Oh, and I love backlit keyboards, so I consider that a nice improvement as well.

As configured above, this is a very nice machine, though there are some weaknesses.

What I’d Miss

At only $1,500, some things had to get left behind:

  • No software. I’ll need to spend money on productivity, AV, and other software.
  • No extra or improved battery (see below for more detail on this).
  • Not particularly impressive build quality.

It should be noted that PC makers in this economy are racing to the bottom in terms of pricing, since there’s nothing else to differentiate them. Notice that there’s a $200 instant rebate, the 4GB RAM upgrade was free, a 320GB drive upgrade was free, and so was the Blu-ray drive. In a better economy, and if not a “me too” product, this machine would be more expensive than it is right now.

There are other weaknesses. First, while the footprint is about what you’d expect for a 16-inch screen (between most 15 and 17 inch models), it’s really thick. From 1.3 to 1.7 inches. I think PC designers suck at handling a laptop’s heat, and they compensate by making the thing huge. I hate that. That also makes it a relatively heavy 7.37 pounds.

And the biggest weakness is battery life. Put simply, it has none. According to AppleInsider, “HP rates its built-in battery for less than 3 hours, but reviewers gave it less than two.” And that was at the “base” configuration. With the more powerful processor, ultra bright screen, and backlit keyboard, you’d be lucky to pull 1.5 hours on the thing. That’s worthless.

hp_battery So why not get a better battery? Because the 12-cell battery is $50, and adds to the weight and size of the machine. Further, it would likely not even get three hours, so I’d have to be close to an outlet anyway. (PC makers seem to have problems with battery life; perhaps Vista’s a pig?) You might want to spend $50 on a battery and skip the backlit keyboard, but for me it’s not enough improvement, so I opted for the keyboard.

What It Boils Down To

Weaknesses aside, the machine I configured could be a very nice portable office. Yes, you’d need to be near a power outlet, but if you can live with that (and the size/weight), the machine has big screen resolution and brightness, very good power (both CPU and GPU), plenty of memory, and good hard drive storage.

Yes, I’ve set aside the Mac OS vs. Windows Vista argument so far. This is a Microsoft ad, so that question has already been addressed as far as the ad is concerned. Personally, there’s no way I’d trade my high-end unibody 13-inch MacBook for the HP I configured (let alone Giampaulo’s), and it was only $100 more. The HP has the larger screen and a bit more speed, but it’s huge, heavy, and plastic, with no software or battery life and, of course, runs Windows Vista.

I’m not sure why a “technically savvy” guy like Giampaulo didn’t understand what he could do with HP’s machine. In fact, the only thing he got right in the entire ad was to declare the MacBook “sexy.” I actually feel a little sorry for HP in the ad; it’s not presenting their product in the light I think it deserves. I chastised Lauren for getting a 17-inch screen and only having 1440 x 900 resolution, but she looks like a freakin’ genius compared to Giampaulo’s 16-inch model with 1366 x 768.

  1. oh my god. enough already. WE GET IT. Apple computers are better than most other computers, but they cost more. END OF STORY.

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  2. @Victor Umm.. I thought the point of this article is that the Microsoft add was dumb? He almost didn’t mentioned anything about apple until the last two paragraph… Tom almost sounded like he is praising HP…

    Great article anyways.

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  3. @Victor I mean, if you point is we have seen enough articles about this/these ad(s) lately, then I sort of agree. It’s plain stupid and simply doesn’t deserve to be taken that seriously. But still, I think this article is one of the best one among its kind.

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  4. Victor, I think you’re missing the point. Yes, a MacBook Pro would cost $500 more than the HP laptop. But what you get for that extra $500 is much more than just a pretty laptop with a cool logo. You get what you pay for.

    I’ve talked about this very thing on my blog (http://tr.im/ijU5) and used the Dyson vacuum as an example. While a Dyson vacuum may cost as much as five times more than other competitor bagless vacuums, there’s simply no comparison. The Dyson has better technology, has a 5 year warranty, and is simply a better quality product that the competition. It’s a vacuum that’ll last a lot longer than most other vacuums so the cost is justified. Now, you may dismiss it and say, “There’s no way I’m going to pay $500 for a vacuum!” If that’s the case then so be it. Go ahead and buy the $150 vacuum. Dyson doesn’t care. There’s plenty of people who understand the value in quality products and are willing to pay a little more for a good vacuum and Dyson knows this. The thing is that you’re never going to know just how good a Dyson vacuum is till you use one. Me telling you that it’s good isn’t going to do anything. You have to get over your fear of spending $500 for a vacuum, take the plunge, and see for yourself. Hell, if you’re not happy with it and still think it’s not worth $500 then simply take it back for a refund. No loss.

    The same applies to an Apple computer. Till you actually use an Apple computer for a given length of time you’re never going to understand what the fuss is all about. Go buy a Mac Mini and use one for three months without using Windows. Then, after you’re done, go back and start using Windows Vista again. After all that, come back to us and tell us whether you would be more willing to switch to a Mac. I rarely, if ever, have seen anyone who decided to switch back to a Windows machine after using a Mac for a while. And, out of the ones I have seen switch back, it’s usually due to the Mac not being much of a PC game platform.

    So just saying “Apple computers are better than most other computers, but they cost more” isn’t the end of the story. There’s a lot more to it. You get what you pay for.

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  5. Wow, you guys (and the Apple faithful community at large) seem so put off by these ads, it’s really impressive. It seems with this one and your discussion of the first one, that you’re angry at them. Why? Surely it’s not technical accuracy, as you claim, because — correct me if I’m wrong — I don’t see the posts tearing apart the Apple vs PC ads for their rather … unique … take on reality.

    “Apparently, his (and Microsoft’s) definition of “technically savvy” means buying a machine with Windows on it.”

    Yes, that’s a perfect definition for a LOT of people, including a wide array of programmers and IT pros, all of whom are very technically savvy.

    I find it interesting, also, that you’re attacking their battery claims. While, sure, the battery in the laptop seems to be crap, are Apple’s offerings any better? I’ve got a 15″ MBP, and I’m lucky if I get 2 hours on my battery at nominal usage; the implication that we Mac owners have it easy or even any different from PC users is kind of crazy, especially considering we all use the same batteries.

    I think this dissection, much like the first, misses the point: sure, they could’ve gone online and spent a lot of time looking for the exact right computer (which is something that the Mac faithful seem not to, as they just buy whatever’s newest on the shelf), but these people who don’t want some new piece of tech to worship just go into a store when they need a laptop, and get one that fits their needs.

    Giampaulo said is explicitly at the end of the commercial, too: it’ll work for him, and that’s all that matters. And that’s all that SHOULD matter, isn’t it? Criticizing the commercial for not doing more than it set out to seems to miss the point.

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  6. The graphics chip is one of the two that ships on the MacBook Pro.

    Fixed.

    If Giampaulo was “technically savvy”, he’d recognize the value of having two GPUs. Today, the value is in power consumption, as he could have switched to the integrated GPU when on battery. Tomorrow, he’ll have an unused GPU with stream processors to spare for Photoshop or whatever OpenCL-powered goodness comes with Snow Leopard.

    At least he wasn’t as condescending as Lauren was.

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  7. @Jeff Whitefield,

    very well said.

    It really boils down to “you get what you pay for”. It’s so true.

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  8. @Brian Hogg

    You say that your MBP 15in only gets about 2 hours of nominal use?? Then I say you have a bad battery or you don’t charge it like you are suppose to. My MBP 15in is 3 years old and I STILL get about 4.5 hours out of it. This is not just with nominal use, I also use it to do all my admin tasks, and resource intensive tasks.

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  9. Very nice article. You have some how read my mind and applied it to this post :)

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  10. @Beau I’m jealous of your battery then, sir, as I’ve NEVER gotten anywhere near to that. Now, the current batter is about a year old, but my previous battery wasn’t any better. I suppose I could have gotten two bad batteries in a row, but I wonder how likely it is.

    Normal use, not nominal. If I have it sitting there literally doing nothing but background tasks, I probably get more, but even just doing typing (am a programmer, so that’s a good chunk of my computer use) kills it.

    I go to work in a Starbucks sometimes, and go without my plug, and I’m ALWAYS there for about exactly two hours.

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  11. This was a good post, and I agree with some of the comments that Apple’s not any better with their Im a Mac Im a PC commercials, but in reality, they are more humorous. Almost enough to make me go out and buy a PC just to see if it is as bad as it sounds. I have grown up in both worlds, and currently work on both systems every day at the office, and sometimes at home. As it was mentioned unless you want to game, the choices are endless for what you can buy. But Macs are getting out there, and the gaming ability is ever increasing since the initial release of the intel chips. Now with the multi GPU, it is definately going to open that door more (I must admit, when I got my G5 when they were first release, I was in awe of its gaming ability with Unreal Tournament, compared to the quality on my friends supped up gaming PC), all that aside. Buy what you want. I will always recommend to my friends a Mac, I just find them more stable, and to those who like to tinker, you can still surely do it on a mac. I find it even easier on a mac to be honest.

    But back to this ad… did you know the Lauren ad was actually an actor? It was on Gizmodo… http://i.gizmodo.com/5190861/we-found-microsofts-lauren-and-shes-an-actress.

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  12. I love comments like Brian Hogg’s wherein people say “I’ve got a Mac and it does such and such and is crap!” when, in all likelihood, they don’t have a Mac and never have.

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  13. Brian Hogg,

    “Yes, that’s a perfect definition for a LOT of people, including a wide array of programmers and IT pros, all of whom are very technically savvy.”

    Just buying a Windows PC makes you technically savvy? You can believe that if you want, but it’s nonsense. You can certainly be “technically savvy” and buy a Windows machine, but simply doing the latter does not make you the former, which is the valid point I made.

    By claiming to be technically savvy I held Giampaulo to a higher standard. A standard by which he failed. If Giampaulo is what passes for technically savvy in the PC world, that explains a great many things.

    “…sure, they could’ve gone online and spent a lot of time looking for the exact right computer (which is something that the Mac faithful seem not to, as they just buy whatever’s newest on the shelf), but these people who don’t want some new piece of tech to worship…”

    Quoting from the Apple bashers handbook now? I wouldn’t necessarily claim a Mac user who just goes in the store and buys whatever is handy is any more savvy than this PC guy. That’s my point. Savvy buyers go online and configure. But why criticize a Mac buyer in derogatory terms (“Mac faithful”) for doing what the alleged tech savvy PC user did? And why the crack about the Mac just being a “piece of tech to worship”? It doesn’t help.

    My article was actually complimentary to HP and the machine I built. Clearly, the HDX16 is a capable machine that can be configured very nicely, and it’s an especially good deal now as PC vendors are practically giving their hardware away. It gets good reviews, too, except for the battery life.

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  14. I’ve used both, prefer my mac and now with my 17″ UMBP I don’t care what the price difference is. I open my laptop use it, close it, move on with life. I find them funny that MS is working so hard to promote HP more then Windows and the fact they are obviously threatened by Apple’s sales growth. MS has zero innovation to do anything related to Windows so they have to focus on price, makes sense. Every company that sells on price has no other benefit to the customer. I don’t see the point of people getting upset about it, clearly Americans don’t buy on price. I see more $40k SUV’s and luxury automobiles on the road then I do the “smart cars” or anything that is considered cheap. I don’t see people in their local retail stores buying generic LCD TV’s, they still buy the Samsungs, LG’s etc.. not the off brand cheap ones.

    Even at the grocery store I don’t see people filling up their shopping carts with “generic/store brand” food. They all are still buying the name brands they always have. The ads just prove MS is seeing their market share erode and has no innovations to stop the bleeding so they only have one avenue.. price.

    Anyone that is in sales for any amount of time, if your selling on price alone you won’t be selling long. Zero value, zero quality, zero benefits.

    I don’t see car companies advertising price in this economy, they are ADDING benefits, buy back, make your payments, assurance etc…

    MS clearly only cares about pushing out one more copy of their OS, if the cheap hardware fails you, oh sorry not our problem. These ads just say “were desperate, and have no clue why you keep leaving us, please if we give you a computer will you use MS products?”

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  15. Lets save some real money, drop Vista for Ubuntu. If your going by price alone why would you keep Windows.

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  16. [...] Squarepants,” “South Park” and more to its streaming service (NewTeeVee) How Microsoft blew it with its latest Laptop Hunter ad (TheAppleBlog) [...]

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  17. [...] an HP laptop, coming in under the $1500 Microsoft allowed him for the task. This ad is getting the Mac camp up in arms as he states that while sexy, the Mac lacks the power he needs to get the job done. Hey, what else [...]

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  18. Tom,

    You said this:
    “Apparently, his (and Microsoft’s) definition of “technically savvy” means buying a machine with Windows on it.”

    To me, given the tone (not just of this line but both posts on these commercials), you sound like you’re saying that you can’t be technically savvy and pick Windows. Was I saying that picking Windows automatically makes you technically savvy? No, of course not; for most people Windows is the default. My point was that, contrary to your implication, you CAN be technically savvy and choose Windows (such as the multitude of programmers I know who only use Windows, even though they’re aware of the alternatives). Similarly, the implication that the reverse holds, that Apple users are savvy, isn’t necessarily true.

    I’m not an Apple basher, Tom. I’m writing this on a MacBook Pro, which I consider to be the finest computer I’ve ever owned, I have an iPhone, and I’ve recorded a lot of video (as a puppet, but video nonetheless) where the entire point was how much I love Apple. I know a number of Apple users, and since the brand identification is such a strong component to the perceived value of Apple, a lot of them go in for the blind “it’s just better” mentality, and will just get whatever happens to be newest on the shelves when they’re buying a new machine. Is this everyone? No, of course not, but they’re the “faithful,” as I was alluding to.

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  19. Matt Dillon Monday, April 6, 2009

    Tom, really got to hand it to folks like you to dissect ads like this.

    I’m a born-and-bred PC guy, but I’ve had my fair share of time dinkin’ around with both Macs and Linux. Like you mentioned in your blogs, it’s all about what works. I’ve happily recommended Macs to people and they are very happy with them.

    What really makes me feel ashamed though is the fact that ads like these are coming out in times like these. True, you will have the cost argument regardless of how the economy is doing. Either way, it’s hitting below the belt.

    It would be interesting to see Apple’s response to these recent ads and I’m hoping to maybe see something here in the weeks to come. I’m writing an argument for a college class and I’m hoping to see the response to help keep the paper relatively neutral.

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  20. I agree. Just because someone chooses to buy a computer with Windows on it doesn’t mean that they are not “technically savvy”. But claiming you’re tech savvy and that you care about battery life and buying a laptop that only gets two hours of battery life? Yeah, that’s not exactly a sign of being tech savvy at all.

    Before I converted to Macs and got into web development, I was an IT Administrator for the better part of five years and administrated nothing but Windows servers and desktops. I’m about as tech savvy as it gets. These commercials are a really dumb move on Microsoft’s part. They’d do better if they actually focused on the things they do well as rather than constantly trying to bounce off of Apple. Better yet, they would do well to reinvent themselves, stop wasting money on useless advertising, and actually develop better products.

    Quality matters.

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  21. Brian,

    Maybe we’re losing something in translation.

    In the article, I said that Giampaulo’s definition of tech savvy meant “buying a machine with Windows on it”.

    In your reply, you specifically said that that was “a perfect definition for a LOT of people, including a wide array of programmers and IT pros, all of whom are very technically savvy”.

    In my opinion that’s wrong. It’s not a perfect definition for any people, at all, ever, and I said as much in my comment to you.

    Judging from your follow-up response, you think my definition meant (or implied) you can’t be tech savvy and also buy Windows, but to believe that is to misread it. It says no such thing. In fact, I drove that very point home in my comment to you: “You can certainly be “technically savvy” and buy a Windows machine, but simply doing the latter does not make you the former, which is the valid point I made.”

    So to summarize:

    – Tech savvy is NOT defined by “buying a machine with Windows on it”.
    – Buying a machine with Windows on it does NOT mean you can’t be tech savvy.

    The odd thing is that your follow-up response agrees with what I’m thinking, so maybe there was just a misunderstanding.

    As for the Apple bashing, you can harp about some Apple fans going in blind and being the faithful, etc. Fair enough. But I would remind you that plenty of Windows users do the same thing, and I would also remind you there are a lot more of them than there are for Apple.

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  22. Luke Randall Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    @Brian Hogg

    There is definitely something wrong if you are only getting two hours out of your battery. I comfortably get 3+ out of my 18month old MBP, and that’s with a decent load (coding, music playing, watching shows, etc).

    Are you by any chance running Windows on your machine? That’s not a baited question – tests have shown that Windows does terrible things to battery life, at least on Apple hardware.

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  23. The niced-up version of the HDX16 is a significantly better machine and might even have caused some genuine deliberation from those of us who really are “tech savvy’ and facing a choice of Mac or PC at our next buying opportunity. But even then I think Tom R nailed it on battery life, size and weight – there really is no comparison for someone who is actually going to move that thing out of the house. (My 17″ MBPro is 1″ thick, weighs 6.8lbs and gets almost 4 hrs batt life after 2 yrs of use, with 1920×1200 screen.)

    Also, I posted on my blog (http://blog.brocklebank.info) about the fundamental oddness of Microsoft having to use hardware to promote its OS when the hardware vendors make such terrible choices. Why not just let HP sell their own kit and Microsoft can promote the brilliance of the OS… oh.

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  24. John Sacamore Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    I have both a PC and Mac and like them both for different reasons. Also note screen size does matter on battery life the smaller the screen the longer the battery life.

    I still have yet to see a MACbook with Blu-Ray hopefully soon and an HDMI port. If people are using Macbooks for video editing how come Apple isn’t given the people what they want like a burnable Blu-Ray drive? HDMI out would be great too.

    For security it would be nice to have a built in swipe finger print reader in or around the touchpad.

    The HP can switch out its battery if needed, but it adds weight. Also the HDX 16 power supply is much heavier than the Macbook pro 17. Also there is a 3 year guaranteed battery that is safe for the environment, I don’t see Apple making those claims even though the rest of the materials used in the product

    You are going to pay for good software no matter what or you can get open source stuff that works well enough.

    The price points between PC an Apple are starting to converge to a middleground, but it all still comes down to personal preference. I still like my PC and my Mac. Each is a different tool.

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  25. John Sacamore Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    I have both a PC and Mac and like them both for different reasons. Also note screen size does matter on battery life the smaller the screen the longer the battery life.

    I still have yet to see a MACbook with Blu-Ray hopefully soon and an HDMI port. If people are using Macbooks for video editing how come Apple isn’t given the people what they want like a burnable Blu-Ray drive? HDMI out would be great too.

    For security it would be nice to have a built in swipe finger print reader in or around the touchpad.

    The HP can switch out its battery if needed, but it adds weight. Also the HDX 16 power supply is much heavier than the Macbook pro 17. Also there is a 3 year guaranteed battery that is safe for the environment, I don’t see Apple making those claims even though the rest of the materials used in the product are much “greener”.

    You are going to pay for good software no matter what or you can get open source stuff that works well enough.

    The price points between PC an Apple are starting to converge to a middleground, but it all still comes down to personal preference. I still like my PC and my Mac. Each is a different tool.

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  26. Battery life on a Macbookpro is terrible, my MBP is 12 months old and I’m down too my second battery soon to be replaced by a third, they wear out pretty fast, I get 2 hrs max which is simply not good enough. Granted the first couple of cycles are OK but it deteriorates fast. I never had that with my Lenovo which would get me 4hrs. under similar conditions easily.
    As for software, I don’t think there’s a decent sized company in the world that can, or actually uses iWork. The 2009 version is ok for home use and very small, or one man companies but certainly is not comparable to Office.
    One matter however is the styling of any Mac product is fantastic and it’s this one pays a premium price for (50% or near and sometimes over) But I seem to be one of the very few apple users whom actually prefers functionality over design. Technically speaking a Mac is not better than a PC, nor is it worse … just way more expensive, even in the end after out weighing the software purchases in the end price.

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  27. Tom, if your battery life is that bad and you’ve gone through two batteries then there is likely a problem with your MacBook. I would take it in and have it looked at. I’ve seen similar issues like this even on PC notebooks. No telling what it is but that doesn’t sound normal at all to me.

    Also, regarding price, Apple sells premium computers, not budget computers, so yeah you pay a premium price. However, to say that Apple’s computer are 50% more than the competition isn’t accurate. I’ve debated this very issues over and over again. If you were to configure a laptop or desktop with the same processor, same amount of RAM, same hard drive, same chipset, and the same features, you’ll find that an Apple computer will only be about an average of 10% more than the competition.

    Looking at Dell’s laptops, spec for spec, the only one that even comes close is their XPS line of laptops. I configured up an XPS M1530 with specs as close as I could get to a MBP and ended up with a laptop priced out at $1972. Even then, the specs don’t match up. The FSB of the processor is 800 Mhz instead of the 1066 Mhz for the MBP. Plus, the Nvidia video card in the MBP is much better and more current (NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT in the MPB vs. NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT in the Dell). Those two specs alone easily make up for the $500 difference in price.

    All I’m saying is that Apple sells premium computers with premium components. They don’t sell budget computers, period. As such, there really isn’t a major difference in the prices between Mac’s a PC’s. Problem is that your average buying public can’t see that due to the overemphasis on price and features. Just because a laptop has a 17″ screen doesn’t mean that you’re getting a “good” 17″ screen. There are difference in screen resolutions and quality. Same applies to other specs.

    As I’ve said before in other comments, you get what you pay for.

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  28. John Sacamore Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    @Jeff: If you max out the configuration online for a 17″ MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles 8GB RAM($1000 premium don’t tell me Apple isn’t ripping off the public here) and all the external cables,remote control, etc needed to work properly it is a pinch over $4000 if you do the same with an HP, that comes with an HDMI out built-in, BlueRay, fingerprint reader,Intel Core2 Quad Processor QX9300 @ 2.53Hz with a 1066MHz FSB, 640GB 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard Drives (320GB x 2) larger memory graphics card – 1GB DDR3 Nvidia GeForce GT 130M, Vista Home Premium (Vista ultimate is another $120) built in hynrid HDTV tuner, remote control, built-in sub woofer, memory card reader(come on Apple at least throw in an SD reader – the freakin’ new DSi even has one!) extra 8 cell battery,built-in high-speed eSATA combo/USB2 port for large scratch drive work, BluRay burner with Lightscribe(which barely anyone uses) and 18.4″ 1920x1080p display for $2,970.31 3/4ths the price of the maxed out 17″ MacBook Pro with half of the hard drive space, inferior video card,processor and much less @ $4,276.00. It would be nice if Apple was premium it would up its specs of its powerhouse laptop at the same price point.

    -Funny sidenote the HP store sells an HP Mini as an accessory aka companion PC with the HP HDX, which can run as a Hackintosh. :)

    All this said – the design build of an Apple product and color resolution is superior to the above HP product with the new Dell Adamo coming close to mimicking the MacBook Air, which is a tip of the cap towards the ID folks at Apple. The weight of the desktop replacement HP is at 8.7 pounds, while the MacBook with a smaller screen weighs in it at 6.6 lbs a 2 pound difference not including their charging bricks. When you pickup and feel an Apple laptop you feel you are getting a quality product and something you can establish a relationship with. The battey life is debatable on how you use it I never got the claimed 8 hours of the MacBook Pro maybe closer to 4.8 even less if I am video editing. Still good for a long flight, even better with an external battery pack for the coast to coast flights, it also fits better on a plane than the HP and and can even use an Intuos at the same time. :)

    Personally if I were to buy any a new laptop, I would wait until the I7 based laptops come out alter this year in both PC and Apple flavors and maybe with USB 3.0 and both flavors should be sporting a newer OS as well.

    Again it all comes down to personal budget, needs, lifestyle, and preference.

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  29. You make some very valid points with the HP config, John. While the HP may be cheaper, I probably wouldn’t recommend it even for a PC user. When I was an IT Administrator, I worked with a lot of different laptops from different vendors: HP, Toshiba, and Dell just to name a few. Dell was probably one of the best of the three PC laptop vendors with HP following behind them and Toshiba in dead last. The Toshiba laptops we purchased were on the bleeding edge and quite expensive. However, after six months of field testing the things were falling apart and crashing left and right. I had more complaints from Toshiba users than any other laptop.

    So, while the HP might have better specs and is cheaper than the MacBook Pro, that doesn’t mean that the HP is a better deal. At least on paper, the HP would look to be a better deal to the average consumer. But, like you said, the difference is in quality and design. Personally, I find the MacBook Pro to be a laptop of higher quality and design. My experience with Apple has been that they do their best to really run their computers through their paces to ensure that the hardware is rock solid. So, yeah, it costs more but I think the extra cost is justified because it means that the laptop will hold up better and will last much longer than the competition.

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  30. I’m a Mac owner and I agree that Mac offers a great value. And a fantastic user experience. All agreed.

    But this ad is probably not targeted at me. Or many of the people reading this blog. It’s a well crafted ad that is (one of) Microsoft’s answers to the “I’m a Mac…” campaign.

    Consider the target for the ad.

    Buddy Scalera
    http://wordspicturesweb.com/?p=257

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  31. [...] good job showcasing the (initial) affordability of a low-budget PC laptop. Certain blogs, including The Apple Blog, contend that the Apple laptop is actually a better value. Whatever. I still thought it was a good [...]

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  32. You’re absolutely right, Buddy. These ads aren’t targeted towards folks like you and I that have Macs and understand what they’re all about.

    However, to say that they are well crafted is a bit of a fallacy. Why are they focusing so much on the hardware with these ads? Not only that but why are the hardware differences they are focusing on so skewed? Your average computer buyer is kind of being led on with these ads. Microsoft is greatly misrepresenting themselves because they’re not talking about their products.

    Think of it like this when it comes to all of Microsoft’s advertising efforts since Vista came out…

    They tried to make themselves look hip with the Seinfeld ads. That failed.

    With the Mohave experiment, they tried to convince computer buyers that the problem isn’t Microsoft but you. That failed.

    With the “I’m a PC” ads, they tried to convince buyers that Apple is typecasting PC buyers. That failed.

    Now they’re trying to convince everyone that, although Macs are so sexy and cool, they’re also expensive and that a cheaper PC is “good enough”. In a way, they’re kind of digging their own hole with these ads. “Good enough” doesn’t cut it for many people. I think a lot more people these days want quality and a lot of bang for their buck. You buy a computer to solve problems, not create them.

    What is completely missing from any of these ads is Microsoft’s products. The only ads I have seen that are well thought out and effective are the Microsoft ads showing kids doing stuff on Windows Vista computers. Those are good ads. All this other stuff though is doing nothing for Microsoft.

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  33. [...] Dear Giampaulo (and Microsoft): You Had $1,500 and Blew It [...]

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  34. [...] visible to most people), but it’s the least important strategy of the bunch. I commented on the latest round of ads from Microsoft, and in my opinion their biggest issue is that they simply point out if you [...]

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  35. [...] of cheap laptops, those are practically being given away. The deals at HP and others are so “good” right now that there’s even less money in it for the [...]

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  36. There is a well-known phenomenon in marketing where people who overspend on a product subsequently find it necessary convince themselves that they got *so much more* for their money. Psychologists surmise that this is a mechanism intended to salvage the self-image.

    Every time I come to a board frequented by Applephiles, I am reminded of this phenomenon.

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  37. zane chmelyk Sunday, April 19, 2009

    im currently playing a video game while watching a bluray movie, in separate windows on my desktop, on my acer laptop 17inch with 4 gigs of ram purchased for 1000.00cdn. streamed to a 60inch plasma via hdmi out in 5.1 surround, 1080×1920 res.
    as i do this, i find myself not concerned about recyclable parts in my notebook, or how thin it is.

    sure beats making picturebooks with iphoto.
    im a pc.

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  38. M. Hunt, why would me or any other Mac user have to convince ourselves that we get *so much more* for our money? Does that mean that every BMW driver is deluded? How about the folks who spend $500 on a Dyson vacuum? Are they trying to convince themselves as well? Value is in the eye of the beholder; that much is true. But I don’t believe that this “well-known phenomenon” applies to these cases.

    Where that may hold true is in areas where the “street” value of an item is so much higher than what it originally went for. For instance, I’m a comic book collector and I will only pay so much for a back-issue of certain comics. Whereas I might be willing to pay $75 for a Superman #75, you would probably think someone is crazy to spend that much on a comic book. Or how about the people who are willing to spend twice what the retail value is for a Nintendo Wii when they were scarce? Yes, people will definitely try to convince themselves that they got what they paid for in these cases.

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  39. [...] similar-sized Zune. Huh? It would appear that Wes is a “financial adviser” in the same way that Giampaulo is “technically savvy” and that Sheila will “cut video”. In other words, they may be these [...]

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  40. [...] though, she eliminates them all based on her search criteria, which almost match that of Lauren and Giampaulo, with one final, key exception. Apple, in giving the customer a very clever last line, gets in a [...]

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  41. [...] at the wonderful omissions and deflections from the truth they contain (check them out here and here and here) while Charles Moore recently asked whether Apple’s high laptop prices are sustainable [...]

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  42. http://vkatalogah.ru/ – регистрация в закрытых каталогах

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