PC World Finds Apple Laptops Cheaper Than PC Laptops
by , 2:15 PM EDT, July 9th, 2008
If you want to compare apples to PCs, don't buy into the old hype that MacBooks and MacBook Pros cost more than a PC laptop, according to the Windows-oriented PC World magazine. The magazine compared Apple's MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air to similarly configured laptops from Dell, HP, and Lenovo, and found that Apple's offerings were the cheaper, with a caveat or two.
The first caveat is in the MacBook Air and Lenovo X300 comparison, which found that the Chinese laptop was cheaper if you bought it with a 20% discount that was being offered when the systems were configured on 6/20/2008 (that discount is still available as of this writing on 7/9/2008). PC World found that the discounted price of the X300 was US$2711 with 3rd party photo and video editing software, compared $3,098 for the MacBook Air.
The second caveat is that PC World included software in its pricing comparisons. The magazine included copies of Adobe's Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements for $99 in order to make the PC laptops from all three vendors include (some of) the same functionality as Apple's iLife suite, which is included in Apple's MacBook line for free.
PC apologists often discount the inclusion of iLife as a point of comparison, while PC World felt it an issue that needed to be addressed. In our own comparisons -- as well as Charles Gaba's more recent shootouts -- we have tended to include 3rd party software on the PCs we're looking at, as well.
PC World priced a Dell XPS M1330 at $1,308, compared to a stock MacBook at $1,299. On the pro side, the magazine priced an HP Compaq 8710w Mobile Workstation at $3,561, compared to a MacBook Pro at $3,049.
Author James A. Martin concluded, "Don't buy into the old argument that Mac laptops are categorically more expensive than Windows machines. Sometimes that's true--but they're often on par with, or cost less than, their closest Windows laptop equivalents."