Coffeehouse Thread

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MS beats the Apple Tax drum ... again

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  • User profile image
    Ray7

    Microsoft seems to be getting into its stride with the whole Apple Tax thing. This time, the company has made the dubious move of sponsoring a white paper to hammer home the point.


    And over at Engadget, the discovery that the new Shuffle only costs $28 to build doesn't really make things that much easier.

    Although I don't doubt that the white paper has got most of its facts right, I wonder when this idea of 'huge profits' became the 'Apple Tax'?

    I mean the Shuffle costs $28 to put together and Apple flogs it for double that. Okay, that's the Apple Tax.

    So how much does it cost Microsoft to knock out a copy of Vista. A dollar or so to stamp the disk and then say a little more for that flash box.

    Okay, being generous, say about $15 manufacturing costs and then by the time it hits retail, it sells for $400

    Isn't that the Microsoft Tax? Where's the difference?




  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    The difference is licensing....

    Since Apple owns EVERYTHING that the shuffle is made out of, it's almost pure profit for Apple....

    For Microsoft, since they have to license the libraries, etc that they use...well then Vista != all profit for Microsoft. Plus crappy packaging, etc....

    Also consider...(rant here)...my iPod Touch ran me about ~$250 I think when I first bought it....however my G1 I just bought ran me $170.00 + 30.00 for a 4GB memory card and I now have the equivelent device of a 4GB iPhone...and STILL haven't met the $ of a iPhone...plus I can take my G1 to another network....oh and it can play iTunes AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis, etc....what's the iPhone have...?

    BIGGER RANT....the iPhone is so locked down proprietarily it's disgusting to me...PLUS...you have to pay to join the developer program...I don't think even Microsoft does that....ok...I'm done now before I get more *flustered*

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Yeah, I wonder if the whole apple tax thing isn't going to backfire when they release Windows 7... which is probably going to be a lot more expensive than OSX, if Vista is anything to go by. And yeah, I know about the whole update frequency thing and how you can't really make that comparison, but that's not what ads care about.

    ..unless the major announcement they're apparently going to make come the RC is price related.

  • User profile image
    Royal​Schrubber

    Cybermagellan said:
    The difference is licensing....

    Since Apple owns EVERYTHING that the shuffle is made out of, it's almost pure profit for Apple....

    For Microsoft, since they have to license the libraries, etc that they use...well then Vista != all profit for Microsoft. Plus crappy packaging, etc....

    Also consider...(rant here)...my iPod Touch ran me about ~$250 I think when I first bought it....however my G1 I just bought ran me $170.00 + 30.00 for a 4GB memory card and I now have the equivelent device of a 4GB iPhone...and STILL haven't met the $ of a iPhone...plus I can take my G1 to another network....oh and it can play iTunes AAC, MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis, etc....what's the iPhone have...?

    BIGGER RANT....the iPhone is so locked down proprietarily it's disgusting to me...PLUS...you have to pay to join the developer program...I don't think even Microsoft does that....ok...I'm done now before I get more *flustered*
    "Since Apple owns EVERYTHING that the shuffle is made out of, it's almost pure profit for Apple...."

    I don't think upper casing is justified - if I'm not mistaken ipod plays mp3 files - so they must be paying Fraunhofer Society some licensing fees, so Apple don't own absolutely everything...

  • User profile image
    tfraser

    So how much does it cost Microsoft to knock out a copy of Vista.

    When Vista launched Microsoft said it cost 6 billion dollars to develop, if memory serves. How is this investment supposed to be recovered if the retail price just reflects the disc replication and shipping costs?

    Edit 1: What I mean to say is that Vista costs more than 15 dollars per copy to produce.

  • User profile image
    Evil SEO

    The HUGE Apple tax is a lie.

    If the shuffle components cost $28 you have to add the costs for developing the software, R&D, warranties, advertising and all the price increases from manufacturer to retailer. Don't think the "Apple tax" is as huge as people want you to believe, usually the retail price of a product is 2x, 3x times the mere components' costs. I'll just tell say that the profit margin a shop usually gets from a laptop with a suggested price of 1000$ (be it Apple or not) is about 250$, yes that's right, almost 1/4 of the price goes to the shop.

    But if you still want to believe Apple makes all these HUGE gains from all of its products try to find a 13'' laptop that has has specs comparable to the Macbook at a considerable lower price (100$ or less), you probably won't find any other laptop with LED screen, P7450 and Geforce 9400, or maybe two of the threes, for under 1000$. Same for the shuffle: yes, you can find cheaper players with better features but the point of the shuffle is that it's extremely small and portable, try to find any player as small that has a comparable battery life if you can. Same for the Mac Mini too, generally low-end Apple products have a very competitive price. There are cases where Apple makes more profits (MBP, Mac Pro, iphone) but the reason is the same for Microsoft to try selling the 300$ Vista Ultimate, it's is because they know they're targeting market segments where  those products are more profitable with an higher price, maybe because other companies can't easily match the features/price or because they know that people would pay the premium to have a better configuration. Don't think however that PC manufacturers don't do the same, better is the PC configuration much higher are their profits. Also, before saying that Apple pricing schemes are "so disgusting", first keep in mind that nobody's forcing you to buy their products, just like nobody's forcing you to buy an expensive Audi over a Ford car and remember what Microsoft did in Europe with Vista pricing. Apple has less choice, yes, but prices that are so shockingly high is not true: their products often have more bang for the buck than other companies, providing you understand what market those products target (it's easy to claim "OMGXZOR MY ZEN STONE KICKS THE SHUFFLE'S *" when the shuffle is marketed for its size and the stone is more than 4 times bigger).

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Apple's hardware isn't more than 10-20% higher priced than their competitor's offerings while I think it is easy to argue that the amount of R&D that goes into a lot of Apple's products is impressive. A lot of the competition just buy a bunch of Chinese chips, package them, and sell them under their own brand. Look at Apple's yearly Laptop refresh, they're almost always ahead of the game... Ditto with the iPhone... Ditto with most of their Mp3 players (iPods etc).

    It is up to you if you want to buy an Apple or buy one of the dozen cookie cutter chinese repackages under a multitude of different brands like Creative or Panasonic.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    ManipUni said:

    Apple's hardware isn't more than 10-20% higher priced than their competitor's offerings while I think it is easy to argue that the amount of R&D that goes into a lot of Apple's products is impressive. A lot of the competition just buy a bunch of Chinese chips, package them, and sell them under their own brand. Look at Apple's yearly Laptop refresh, they're almost always ahead of the game... Ditto with the iPhone... Ditto with most of their Mp3 players (iPods etc).

    It is up to you if you want to buy an Apple or buy one of the dozen cookie cutter chinese repackages under a multitude of different brands like Creative or Panasonic.

    But, it says on the back of my iPhone that it was assembled in China. Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    Sven Groot said:
    ManipUni said:
    *snip*
    But, it says on the back of my iPhone that it was assembled in China. Tongue Out
    What isn't?

    My point was more about "off the shelf" chip sets and less about if it was made in China or not...

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    ManipUni said:
    Sven Groot said:
    *snip*
    What isn't?

    My point was more about "off the shelf" chip sets and less about if it was made in China or not...
    I know, I was just kidding. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    The difference is that for Microsoft, which is a software company and Vista is a piece of software, there are software development costs, it's ridiculous to threat Vista as a piece of hardware when it's really software.

    As for Apple don't forget there are design costs there and also software development costs (the Shuffle's firmware), so yes, your calculations are totally wrong and an insult!

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Evil SEO said:
    The HUGE Apple tax is a lie.

    If the shuffle components cost $28 you have to add the costs for developing the software, R&D, warranties, advertising and all the price increases from manufacturer to retailer. Don't think the "Apple tax" is as huge as people want you to believe, usually the retail price of a product is 2x, 3x times the mere components' costs. I'll just tell say that the profit margin a shop usually gets from a laptop with a suggested price of 1000$ (be it Apple or not) is about 250$, yes that's right, almost 1/4 of the price goes to the shop.

    But if you still want to believe Apple makes all these HUGE gains from all of its products try to find a 13'' laptop that has has specs comparable to the Macbook at a considerable lower price (100$ or less), you probably won't find any other laptop with LED screen, P7450 and Geforce 9400, or maybe two of the threes, for under 1000$. Same for the shuffle: yes, you can find cheaper players with better features but the point of the shuffle is that it's extremely small and portable, try to find any player as small that has a comparable battery life if you can. Same for the Mac Mini too, generally low-end Apple products have a very competitive price. There are cases where Apple makes more profits (MBP, Mac Pro, iphone) but the reason is the same for Microsoft to try selling the 300$ Vista Ultimate, it's is because they know they're targeting market segments where  those products are more profitable with an higher price, maybe because other companies can't easily match the features/price or because they know that people would pay the premium to have a better configuration. Don't think however that PC manufacturers don't do the same, better is the PC configuration much higher are their profits. Also, before saying that Apple pricing schemes are "so disgusting", first keep in mind that nobody's forcing you to buy their products, just like nobody's forcing you to buy an expensive Audi over a Ford car and remember what Microsoft did in Europe with Vista pricing. Apple has less choice, yes, but prices that are so shockingly high is not true: their products often have more bang for the buck than other companies, providing you understand what market those products target (it's easy to claim "OMGXZOR MY ZEN STONE KICKS THE SHUFFLE'S *" when the shuffle is marketed for its size and the stone is more than 4 times bigger).
    UK Price for 13" White Macbook on Apple Website: £719


    # Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 2GB DDR2 Memory
    # 120GB hard drive
    # NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
    # Standard keyboard
    # White polycarbonate shell


    A couple of comparable systems (specs don't exactly match) http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X3M

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X60

    http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?b=&c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&kc=NRS15451&l=en&m_30=136643&oc=N0454504&rbc=N0454504&s=dhs





    And on none of these do you have to pay extra to plug your laptop into a projector or external screen. Also the Apple is not listed as having WiFi which I'd imagine all these have and seems to be lacking on the USB ports too. Also the Apple is not list as having PCMCIA/PC card which I'd imagine the others have.

    Plus many other things.

    And you can buy laptops similar to the above but with AMD processors. I don't see Apple offering that anywhere. What about if I want ATI graphics?



  • User profile image
    Evil SEO

    GoddersUK said:
    Evil SEO said:
    *snip*
    UK Price for 13" White Macbook on Apple Website: £719


    # Intel Core 2 Duo
    # 2GB DDR2 Memory
    # 120GB hard drive
    # NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
    # Standard keyboard
    # White polycarbonate shell


    A couple of comparable systems (specs don't exactly match) http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X3M

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X60

    http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?b=&c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&kc=NRS15451&l=en&m_30=136643&oc=N0454504&rbc=N0454504&s=dhs





    And on none of these do you have to pay extra to plug your laptop into a projector or external screen. Also the Apple is not listed as having WiFi which I'd imagine all these have and seems to be lacking on the USB ports too. Also the Apple is not list as having PCMCIA/PC card which I'd imagine the others have.

    Plus many other things.

    And you can buy laptops similar to the above but with AMD processors. I don't see Apple offering that anywhere. What about if I want ATI graphics?



    "http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X3M"

    That laptop, that costs 539£ that is 180£ (25%) less has a CPU that is quite slower because the P7350 of the macbook is a Penryn CPU (the 3xxx is one of the first core2duos renamed just like the T5800 and the T6400) that is 26% faster (check charts here) and has a TDP much lower (25w vs 35w), has a far slower GPU since the 9400M of the macbook is not 2x, not 3x, but 4x faster than the slow X4500HD (see the macbook review on engadget) and has a 4cell battery vs the Macbook 6 cells one. Also the macbook not only ships with a newer chipset and in fact uses the much faster DDR3 (1066mhz vs 667mhz of that laptop) but it also has wi-fi N (vs the old wi-fi G of that laptop), multitouch trackpad and many other cool things.

    Also notice how that laptop doesn't have HDMI or DVI, you're stuck with VGA (you claim you can use a projector, but what about high-res monitors that only have DVI-D and HDMI like a common 24'' Samsung T240? you can't use those with that laptop) while with the macbook you have VGA, DVI and HDMI with the respective adapters, that's why displayport rocks, it's compatible with all other ports. You also have an optical out (if you want to connect it to a decent 7/5.1 setup or your TV), an optical IN and very good speakers with subwoofer.

    For 25% the price you get a 26% faster CPU, a 4x faster GPU, 60% faster RAM, faster chipset, wi-fi N, DVI/HDMI, multitouch trackpad and far better battery life because of the CPU with lower TDP and the bigger battery (and it's still 2kg).  So, that said, is the macbook really that expensive? Finding a really comparable laptop (better CPU, GPU and RAM) that really matches those specs for a lower price is almost impossible.

    The other laptops you linked are a 17'' and a 15'' so obviously they're not comparable.

    "Also the Apple is not listed as having WiFi which I'd imagine all these have and seems to be lacking on the USB ports too. "

    Of course it has wi-fi, wi-fi N and also the latest bluetooth revision (2.1+EDR). About the USB ports there are very small adapters you can buy if you really need to plug so much stuff together.

    "And you can buy laptops similar to the above but with AMD processors. I don't see Apple offering that anywhere. What about if I want ATI graphics?"

    Why would anybody buy a laptop with AMD processors that are slower, waste more battery and also come with plenty of cheap chipset that can cause plenty of problems? Also don't think that ATI videocards are faster on laptops, the 9200, 9400 an d 9600 are faster than the respective ATI 32xx and 43xx and 44xx counterparts: the 9200m is faster than the x32xx, the 9400m is faster than the 43xx and the 9600m is faster than the 44xx series.

    As I said Apple doesn't give you the choice you have on the PC market however as you could see the macbook even if you compare only its performance kicks the hell out of that and many other 13'' (including cheaper Acer and Dell offers) laptops. Its performance, features and hardware quality are unmatched for that price.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    Evil SEO said:
    GoddersUK said:
    *snip*
    "http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/range.html?t=nb&c=all&r=X3M"

    That laptop, that costs 539£ that is 180£ (25%) less has a CPU that is quite slower because the P7350 of the macbook is a Penryn CPU (the 3xxx is one of the first core2duos renamed just like the T5800 and the T6400) that is 26% faster (check charts here) and has a TDP much lower (25w vs 35w), has a far slower GPU since the 9400M of the macbook is not 2x, not 3x, but 4x faster than the slow X4500HD (see the macbook review on engadget) and has a 4cell battery vs the Macbook 6 cells one. Also the macbook not only ships with a newer chipset and in fact uses the much faster DDR3 (1066mhz vs 667mhz of that laptop) but it also has wi-fi N (vs the old wi-fi G of that laptop), multitouch trackpad and many other cool things.

    Also notice how that laptop doesn't have HDMI or DVI, you're stuck with VGA (you claim you can use a projector, but what about high-res monitors that only have DVI-D and HDMI like a common 24'' Samsung T240? you can't use those with that laptop) while with the macbook you have VGA, DVI and HDMI with the respective adapters, that's why displayport rocks, it's compatible with all other ports. You also have an optical out (if you want to connect it to a decent 7/5.1 setup or your TV), an optical IN and very good speakers with subwoofer.

    For 25% the price you get a 26% faster CPU, a 4x faster GPU, 60% faster RAM, faster chipset, wi-fi N, DVI/HDMI, multitouch trackpad and far better battery life because of the CPU with lower TDP and the bigger battery (and it's still 2kg).  So, that said, is the macbook really that expensive? Finding a really comparable laptop (better CPU, GPU and RAM) that really matches those specs for a lower price is almost impossible.

    The other laptops you linked are a 17'' and a 15'' so obviously they're not comparable.

    "Also the Apple is not listed as having WiFi which I'd imagine all these have and seems to be lacking on the USB ports too. "

    Of course it has wi-fi, wi-fi N and also the latest bluetooth revision (2.1+EDR). About the USB ports there are very small adapters you can buy if you really need to plug so much stuff together.

    "And you can buy laptops similar to the above but with AMD processors. I don't see Apple offering that anywhere. What about if I want ATI graphics?"

    Why would anybody buy a laptop with AMD processors that are slower, waste more battery and also come with plenty of cheap chipset that can cause plenty of problems? Also don't think that ATI videocards are faster on laptops, the 9200, 9400 an d 9600 are faster than the respective ATI 32xx and 43xx and 44xx counterparts: the 9200m is faster than the x32xx, the 9400m is faster than the 43xx and the 9600m is faster than the 44xx series.

    As I said Apple doesn't give you the choice you have on the PC market however as you could see the macbook even if you compare only its performance kicks the hell out of that and many other 13'' (including cheaper Acer and Dell offers) laptops. Its performance, features and hardware quality are unmatched for that price.
    I was actually looking at the slightly more expensive config on the right hand side but oh well,
    has a CPU that is quite slower because the P7350 of the macbook is a Penryn CPU (the 3xxx is one of the first core2duos renamed just like the T5800 and the T6400) that is 26% faster (check charts here) and has a TDP much lower (25w vs 35w)

    I can't help the fact that the only CPU information that was immediately obvious on the Apple website was 2GHz Core 2 Duo.


    has a far slower GPU since the 9400M of the macbook is not 2x, not 3x, but 4x faster than the slow X4500HD (see the macbook review on engadget) and has a 4cell battery vs the Macbook 6 cells one. Also the macbook not only ships with a newer chipset and in fact uses the much faster DDR3 (1066mhz vs 667mhz of that laptop)
    You're also getting more memory (2* as much) on the non-Apple system which makes up for the lower perf.

    (@GPU:) As I said you will not find exactly like for like. But as I wasn't intending on buying something I was not looking particularly hard... I'm sure the relevant systems are out there, just look a tiny bit harder.

    I've only used an apple trackpad once, but I found it didn't suite my personal preferences (didn't seem to have a vertical/horizontal scroll areas and the only way I could get it to click was using the (one) button, not by tapping my finger (although that may just mean I'm more gently to my laptop than the owner of that macbook is so I'm used to a greater sensitivity). And you know what, I'm yet to be convinced that having a multitouch trackpad has any tangable benefit bar bragging rights (although ftr wikipedia states that most modern Synaptics trackpads can be converted to multitouch, and Synaptics is very, very common these days)

    At least you have a fullsized graphics output on just about any non-Apple PC. And plugging laptops into screens isn't that common compared to projectors which do generally have VGA.

    Why are they not comparable... because you get more for the price? It's out of their favour as that should make them more expensive, it an improvement.

    @ the WiFi, my bad. I didn't notice it because it was listed as Airport instead of WiFi/802.11x

    It's all about consumer choice, I never said AMD/ATI were better. How come Dell gets taken to court for being intel only but Apple gets way scot free?

    So as you can see, when we remove your selective speccing we can see that it's not really a matter of better on every field, but of ups and downs - which combine to make the two systems more or less equal.

    (sorry, I gave up quoteing half way through Tongue Out)


    EDIT: At the RAM above: Only DDR2 is included in the £719 Macbook without customising and raising the price

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Ion Todirel said:
    The difference is that for Microsoft, which is a software company and Vista is a piece of software, there are software development costs, it's ridiculous to threat Vista as a piece of hardware when it's really software.

    As for Apple don't forget there are design costs there and also software development costs (the Shuffle's firmware), so yes, your calculations are totally wrong and an insult!
    Hardware also have significant development costs. If you think the hardware market is much different then software you are mistaken, the markup chip makers put on processors is very large for instance. Most of the cost is in building the fab and the engineering work that goes to design a piece of silicon, not the cost of the material itself. So really when you buying a AMD or Intel processor you are paying for a piece of software and the right to rent a chip printer for a few seconds.

    I don't think it's really right to fault Apple for their high prices, they spend a ton on R&D, much more then any other OEM (they write their own operating system for god's sake!). All the money they make is reinvested into to the company - they don't pay dividends.

  • User profile image
    Evil SEO

    GoddersUK said:
    Evil SEO said:
    *snip*
    I was actually looking at the slightly more expensive config on the right hand side but oh well,
    has a CPU that is quite slower because the P7350 of the macbook is a Penryn CPU (the 3xxx is one of the first core2duos renamed just like the T5800 and the T6400) that is 26% faster (check charts here) and has a TDP much lower (25w vs 35w)

    I can't help the fact that the only CPU information that was immediately obvious on the Apple website was 2GHz Core 2 Duo.


    has a far slower GPU since the 9400M of the macbook is not 2x, not 3x, but 4x faster than the slow X4500HD (see the macbook review on engadget) and has a 4cell battery vs the Macbook 6 cells one. Also the macbook not only ships with a newer chipset and in fact uses the much faster DDR3 (1066mhz vs 667mhz of that laptop)
    You're also getting more memory (2* as much) on the non-Apple system which makes up for the lower perf.

    (@GPU:) As I said you will not find exactly like for like. But as I wasn't intending on buying something I was not looking particularly hard... I'm sure the relevant systems are out there, just look a tiny bit harder.

    I've only used an apple trackpad once, but I found it didn't suite my personal preferences (didn't seem to have a vertical/horizontal scroll areas and the only way I could get it to click was using the (one) button, not by tapping my finger (although that may just mean I'm more gently to my laptop than the owner of that macbook is so I'm used to a greater sensitivity). And you know what, I'm yet to be convinced that having a multitouch trackpad has any tangable benefit bar bragging rights (although ftr wikipedia states that most modern Synaptics trackpads can be converted to multitouch, and Synaptics is very, very common these days)

    At least you have a fullsized graphics output on just about any non-Apple PC. And plugging laptops into screens isn't that common compared to projectors which do generally have VGA.

    Why are they not comparable... because you get more for the price? It's out of their favour as that should make them more expensive, it an improvement.

    @ the WiFi, my bad. I didn't notice it because it was listed as Airport instead of WiFi/802.11x

    It's all about consumer choice, I never said AMD/ATI were better. How come Dell gets taken to court for being intel only but Apple gets way scot free?

    So as you can see, when we remove your selective speccing we can see that it's not really a matter of better on every field, but of ups and downs - which combine to make the two systems more or less equal.

    (sorry, I gave up quoteing half way through Tongue Out)


    EDIT: At the RAM above: Only DDR2 is included in the £719 Macbook without customising and raising the price
    "I can't help the fact that the only CPU information that was immediately obvious on the Apple website was 2GHz Core 2 Duo."

    Because sadly the GHzs is the only information the average user goes looking for, that's why Intel enjoys so much releasing same versions of the same processor with only different amounts of cache (that makes very small difference on core 2 duos), there are 6 2.0ghz models alone.

    "You're also getting more memory (2* as much) on the non-Apple system which makes up for the lower perf."

    It may improve application load times with superfetch but applications won't run any faster unless you run out of memory and your system starts swapping.

    "(@GPU:) As I said you will not find exactly like for like. But as I wasn't intending on buying something I was not looking particularly hard... I'm sure the relevant systems are out there, just look a tiny bit harder."

    A GPU that is 4x faster can make a lot of difference, it also has hardware video acceleration that works very well, unlike the Intel HD that is known to have serious performance problems. I already made researchs before buying my macbook, performance-wise there isn't any comparable system out of there for that price, maybe there will be when the macbook will be old since Apple upgrades their laptops only once a year but when it came out there was nothing else with the p7350 or the 9400m (as usual they got deals with intel and nvidia to let them use those components first) and even now it's still almost impossible to find that hardware on decently-priced 13'' laptops.

    "I've only used an apple trackpad once, but I found it didn't suite my personal preferences (didn't seem to have a vertical/horizontal scroll areas and the only way I could get it to click was using the (one) button, not by tapping my finger (although that may just mean I'm more gently to my laptop than the owner of that macbook is so I'm used to a greater sensitivity). And you know what, I'm yet to be convinced that having a multitouch trackpad has any tangable benefit bar bragging rights (although ftr wikipedia states that most modern Synaptics trackpads can be converted to multitouch, and Synaptics is very, very common these days)"

    You can scroll by putting two fingers on the touchpad and moving them, no need to reserve scrolling areas, also now you can not only tap with your finger, but the entire touchpad is clickable so you don't even have to raise your finger, just push, this is why they removed the button. The multitouch touchpad is much better because just like you can tap with 1 finger to do a left-click you can tap with two finger to do a right-click and have many other interesting gestures, also it's very large. You can get some multitouch stuff with Synaptics laptops but it's not anywhere comparable to the macbook's multitouch, it's just a few gestures like pinch for zooming and moving your finger in a circle to keep scrolling, synaptics' pinch has to be supported by each application by the way (it relies on a library supplied by synaptics) so it's not something that would work everywhere.

    "At least you have a fullsized graphics output on just about any non-Apple PC. And plugging laptops into screens isn't that common compared to projectors which do generally have VGA."

    I don't think that projectors are used more often than external displays, maybe at work but not at home. Not having a VGA can give you lot of problems when trying to watch high-definition content that requires HDCP compatible monitors like blu-ray discs, or some HD content downloaded from internet.

    "Why are they not comparable... because you get more for the price? It's out of their favour as that should make them more expensive, it an improvement."

    The macbook is more home/media oriented so you can't really compare the features between the laptops (one has more USBs, the expresscard slot, one has the optical audio, hdmi, better speakers) but you can compare performance and the battery life and the difference between the twos is abysmal (4 cell with a 35w CPU is something like 2:00-2:30 hours real world usage).

    "It's all about consumer choice, I never said AMD/ATI were better. How come Dell gets taken to court for being intel only but Apple gets way scot free?"

    Apple usually only gets hardware from the companies that gives them the best deal, for example the first mac mini was first using ATI graphics, then Intel, now Nvidia; the macbook was using Intel graphics and chipset and is all Nvidia. If they aren't using AMD products is because AMD can't offer them a better price, in fact as I said all ATI mobile videocards are outclassed by Nvidia models, same for AMD CPUs, they're slower and consume more.

    "So as you can see, when we remove your selective speccing we can see that it's not really a matter of better on every field, but of ups and downs - which combine to make the two systems more or less equal."

    I find far more selecting looking for the extra USB port, looking for VGA when on the macbook you have the displayport that includes all three VGA, DVI and HDMI ports in one when on the other laptop you're stuck with VGA, looking at RAM when you're stuck with the much slower DDR2, looking at CPU, GPU or battery that are really sub-par compared to what the Macbook offers. Yes, that laptop has some features the Macbook doesn't have, but the Macbook also has features that laptop lacks, like the speakers with subwoofers, optical audio, digital video outputs, much faster wi-fi that has better range (802.11n hardware requires at least 2 antennas, 802.11g doesn't) that for the average user far outweigh what the other laptop has to offer. Also don't forget that Apple products usually maintain the price far better than the other XXX-brand laptops so they have more value.

  • User profile image
    Ray7

    Bas said:
    Yeah, I wonder if the whole apple tax thing isn't going to backfire when they release Windows 7... which is probably going to be a lot more expensive than OSX, if Vista is anything to go by. And yeah, I know about the whole update frequency thing and how you can't really make that comparison, but that's not what ads care about.

    ..unless the major announcement they're apparently going to make come the RC is price related.
    That was exactly my point.

    Folk seem to think that only the cost of components makes up a laptop (Mac or Windows) and fail to take into account stuff like support staff, quality control (okay, bad example) and let's not forget marketing.  How much does Apple pay the cleaners? The rent on the Cupertino offices. Now yes, the Mac is more expensive than the equivalent HP, but how much did HP spend on advertising the laptop? How much did Apple spend?  How much does Microsoft spend on retail stores when compared to Apple?


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