Posts for Tag: laptop hunters

Laptop comparisons

So I was accused the other day of being a Mac snob which is odd given that I only started using them a couple of years ago (not counting my Apple IIe days). The first Mac I bought at that time was a Macbook Air. I had been using a 15.4" Dell Inspiron which was pretty heavy and also on its last legs so I thought it was a good opportunity to try a super-light computer. Also, I had been using the iPhone for about 6 months and wanted to see how pairing a Mac with an iPhone would be. The experience was good so my next machine was an aluminum Macbook (the one that was stolen). During that time, I wouldn't have been against going back to PC laptops but there weren't any compelling reason to do so. When I switched from the Inspiron to the Air, it was because I wanted the lighest laptop available at the time. Is there a PC laptop that could make me want to switch back? I guess I did my version of the Laptop Hunters commercial...

I had pretty strict requirements for my laptop. 13" to 14", about $1200, light, and must have good battery life. On the Apple side, the 13" Macbook Pro was the standard by which I would compare all the PC laptops. Here's the rundown on what I found:

Dell M2400
14.1" WXGA+ LED
2.53ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
160GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
DVD burner
3-4 hour battery
Backlit keyboard
$1,464 after $328 instant savings

HP Envy 13
13.1" HD LED
2.13ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
250GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
DVD burner
~6-7 hour battery

Sony Vaio SR590
13.3" LED
2.20ghz Intel core 2 Duo
250GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
DVD Burner
5.5 hour battery

It actually looks like the Sony Vaio SR590 is pretty decent. Still not enough to make me want to switch back to a PC laptop but I think it's a good laptop for the money.

ZunePass and iTunes - Not exactly apples to apples...

I recently saw the above ad for ZunePass, Microsoft's unlimited music service. Basically, you're renting music as opposed to buying it. I'm not against the concept of a music subscription service, I just think they could have done a better job in the ad of promoting the pros versus always comparing/contrasting with Apple. At some point, Microsoft just needs to go in another direction with its advertising strategy. Always comparing yourself to Apple is a sure fire way of constantly reminding people that a highly competent (not necessarily better in all cases) competitor exists. Same thing with the latest Laptop Hunter commercials.
So here's my free advice to Microsoft. Pitch your strengths versus the strengths of your competitor. Stick to the fact that there is more choice in hardware for PCs, they almost always cost less than Macs, Microsoft Office works much better on a PC than on a Mac, Exchange is better than whatever is available for Macs (is there anything available?), and the fact that most IT folks hate supporting Macs.
The good folks over at Penny Arcade made a very insightful and hilarious comic mocking the latest ad.

Of MacBooks and PCs

Here's the most recent Laptop Hunters commercial. I think Microsoft has officially jumped the shark with this one. If you're willing to spend $2,000 on a laptop, it shouldn't be an HP HDX. Also, why would you want to do video editing in Vista? The original intent of the Laptop Hunters series was to demonstrate the areas that a Windows laptop had over an Apple. More selection, more component bang for the buck - better value. Going up against what Apple does exceptionally well seems misguided.
For full disclosure, I currently own a MacBook Air. It's the first Apple machine I've ever owned (not counting my first computer, the Apple IIe) after a very long string of Windows based PCs and laptops. I had two reasons for switching - Vista sucks and I needed a super light laptop that was easy to take through airport security. Of all the laptops available at the time, the Air was the only 3 pound laptop that had a 13" screen. The price was steep and the only reason I bought it was because I got a great deal. I don't think I would have bought it at full retail and that's what these Laptop Hunter commercials should have continued to focus on. Because there are so many different PC manufacturers, laptops have become commodities and thus very affordable. I get asked for laptop recommendations all the time and for the most part, I always recommend PCs (specifically Dells). Rarely do I suggest Macs unless there is a specific reason (A/V editing, design work, etc).
I will say this though. Having used a Mac for almost a year, I have a hard time going back to PCs. Vista still sucks and my fear that I wouldn't be able to conduct business with all my PC cohorts has vanished. Microsoft Office for Mac translates seamlessly to PC versions (except Entourage stinks) and other software like Fireworks-Dreamweaver actually work better on the Mac. But the cheapskate in me just can't pay full retail for Macs.  I just bought a 13" MacBook to replace my Air (not enough computing power - Intel graphics processor sucks). And again, I didn't pay full price... ;-)