Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dell vs. Mac

Enough Wealth suggested on my last post that really I could have gotten a Dell laptop and saved money over buying a Mac. So, at least part of my Mac purchase was discretionary. Well, I would have had to buy all new Windows versions of my software including a stats package that costs about USD700 so that would wipe out any gains and after 20 years of using Macs I'm not planning on switching. But anyway, I thought I could check out what a comparable Dell would cost for the purposes of this post.

This seems to be the closest model I could find:

It has the same CPU, screen width, and RAM though a slightly larger hard drive (500GB vs. 320GB). Price is $1,150 vs. $2,199 for the Mac. Actually, you can get the larger drive on the Mac for $2,339. So the Dell is $1,189 cheaper.

Are these models really comparable? Which would you get?


Bankstown Bloke said...

I would get the Dell and invest the spare $1,200. said...

I'd get the Dell ;)

Cost comparisons are probably moot though, as you don't intent to switch OS after 20 years (since I initially trained on Unix, and did systems admin for a mixed Mac/Windows network for ten years in my previous job, I less wedded to a particular flavour of OS), but the $700 cost to switch the stats package may be able to be reduced if you switched OS version during the next upgrade cycle (assuming your stats package isn't the same one your bought 20 years ago -- just kidding).

I tend to focus more of hardware costs than software - being perpetually doing one course or another I've usually bought academic versions of Windows and Office etc. I'm currently using the free beta version of Office 2010 on my laptop, and will buy the academic version for $75 when Office 2010 is released. Apparently there's also an academic version of a couple of stats packages available for JCU students for less than $100 each (academic licences) - perhaps your uni has some academic licencing available?

In my case I used the hardware cost saving on my last laptop upgrade to pay for DS1's Dell laptop (a lower spec one for $600), and still have enough cash left over to upgrade DWs old Toshiba laptop when it finally dies.

mOOm said...

USD 700 is the academic price :)

Clifford said...

Being a former large supporter of Dell, I'll never go back.

While Dell prides themselves on being a cheap provider of computers, the phrase "you get what you pay for" comes to mind.

When I switched to my Mac, yes it was more expensive. But the hours on the phone with technical support vanished. And dealing with their technical support was no picnic. I wasn't googling odd error messages to try and figure out why Windows wasn't working. Installing and configuring drivers became a thing of the past. Really, can you put a price tag on the stress level that that simply vanished?

Ultimately in the end, everyone does what is in their best interest. And if the mighty dollar alone drives your purchasing then Dell it is.