Steve Whitford
Steve Whitford

Macs still overpriced

All the Mac acolytes have been jumping up and down this year with the iPad 2 and the falling MacBook prices. Quite frankly it’s just more of the same hot air.

Before you think I’m just a Mac basher/deluded Windows follower, let me assure you that I am quite happy to give credit where it’s due. The iPad 2 is a great device and the iPhone 4 is the slickest smartphone on the market when it comes to the look and operating system speed.

But to move onto my focal point of the article, when you compare the MacBook Pro with laptops, as I have recently done, you come to realise that laptop prices have fallen just as MacBook prices have and, for a similar spec machine, the laptop is just the logical choice.

“But it’s a Mac,” the Apple acolytes chant. Yes I know, but how about we compare “apples with apples” or, in this case, a MacBook Pro 13″ screen with a HP ProBook 4530S.

OK so these machines are in the same ballpark when it comes to specs. They both have an Intel i5 processor in them, they both have 320GB hard drives and the MacBook Pro has an extra gig of RAM (four in total) while the HP has three GB of RAM. However, the HP has a 15” screen where the MacBook has a 13” screen.

From there the two trade off with minor differences — the MacBook is slightly thinner and lighter, and has a firewire port, while the HP has more USB ports, an HDMI port and mine came with a bag.

The MacBook is slightly stronger on graphics and comes with a little more software, but the HP has a built in 3G modem and all you have to do is insert a SIM card and you can have connectivity wherever you are.

Otherwise it’s pretty much of a muchness with Bluetooth, wireless, SD card readers and really nice keyboards on both machines.

The MacBook Pro looks fantastic of course, it’s a Mac, but HP have done a fine job of replicating the same kind of class and a sleek all-metal finish. It also has a surprisingly “Macish” keyboard layout, which is fantastic.

“But it’s a Mac,” the Apple acolytes chant. Yes I know but let’s talk about cost. Obviously in both cases it’s dependent on where you buy the devices, but if you buy the MacBook Pro 13” model then you’re looking at R11 999 from ZAStore, although there was a huge variance upwards depending on where you shop.

The price variation is no different on the HP ProBook side, but I shop for all my hardware at PC International in Randburg, where I bought the HP ProBook for R7 387.

So the difference — R4 612 or 60% of the cost of the HP ProBook. Having less RAM in the HP is something that can be easily rectified at minimal cost, but the smaller MacBook Pro screen is a big disadvantage with the bigger screened MacBook Pros costing a lot more.

Windows 7 is every bit a match for Apple’s OS, so when you come down to it, MacBook Pro users are paying R4 500 more for …

“But it’s a Mac,” the Apple acolytes chant …