So he strikes like Thunderbolt
Other than the internals, there's little difference between the new MBP and the old one. They look identical, with only the lightning icon alongside the DisplayPort mini connector to indicate a change: the addition of the as-yet-useless Intel Thunderbolt 10Gb/s IO technology.
A nice, backlit keyboard and a big, joy-to-use touchpad
Again, I'd like to stress Apple's inclusion of a 3x3 antenna 802.11n Wi-Fi card. It's an uncommon addition in these financially strained times. Many rival vendors sneak in 1x1 cards. These can also claim 802.11n compatibility, but you'll get no more than 72Mb/s out of them - the MBP's adaptor will go up to 300Mb/s. It will also operate in the relatively noise-free 5GHz band, as well as the busy 2.4GHz space.
Actual speeds depend on the relative positioning of laptop and router, the construction of the building they're in and the presence of other wireless networks, but the Apple adaptor will give you better speed and resilience.
Still rare in notebooks, the backlit keyboard in the 15in MBP deserves a mention - and Apple plaudits for continuing to implement this bloody useful feature.
Next page: Créme de la créme
Like for like, Apple's good value for money
Expensive compared with what? A top-end Viao F series is (Sony's site is so damn slow it's timed out) - maybe it knows I'm just comparing prices. What a crap website.
Looking at other websites, there's no like-for-like comparison, e.g. with an equivalent processor, hard disc, memory, GPU, etc. From past experience their top-end machines cost as much if not more than Apple's machines and they're made from plastic and run "windows".
Checking Dell's website (that works although is very noisy) a "Precision M4500" specced up with an inferior 2.13GHz I7, etc. came to £2230. This is plastic and runs "windows".
Checking on the Apple website (it works and is fast - Sony take note), even when speccing up the machine to the max (8Gb, 2.3 quad-core I7, high-res screen) it's less than £2300. Perfectly reasonable price for a professional -- my plumber spends more than that on tools in his van.
BTW, speccing the Macbook with the slower 2.2GHz processor reduced the cost to under £2100, e.g. better performance for much less than the Dell.
From my own experience, Apple laptops are very much designed as workhorse machines.
The Viaos I've had in the past have really shown their age after a short amount of time as the plastic wears away and it cracks and creaks. IMO Dells are fugly, fully living up to their corporate drone persona, yuck.
Bad example, bad comparison
That's not a very good example to compare against. A 17.3" screen with 1600x900 resolution? That's bargain bin trash...
Can you give us real world battery life on that thing? Less than the Mac? Oh... no dual graphic cards that autoswitch to conserve energy AND a 17.3 inch screen to light up.. ok.
Also, fitting the components within a bigger chassis is easier. Dropping the pitch of the screen significantly reduces a part of the cost, and gives an indicator towards the cost saving measures taken in other parts of the device.
I seem to recall a story about people complaining about the 27" iMac being expensive, but a closer examination showed that if you wanted the same quality screen (IPS) in that size you could also buy a hard drive and a keyboard before hitting the price of the complete iMac.... The quality of each component counts.
Don't get me wrong, I really like ASUS. I used to sell and service their machines and if I were to buy a computer for Linux or, against all odd, Windows, then ASUS would be among the first I would examine. Relatively cheap, and extremely good for the price.
Just a crap comparison.
Re: Like for like, Apple's good value for money
I buy Apple laptops for the spec and build quality. As you point out, comparing like for like they are pretty good value. I actually run Linux on them, so to me Apple are just another laptop vendor, and I could certainly go elsewhere to make my purchase if the quality and spec wasn't so good.