Archive for February, 2010

The “Apple Tax”

I was in a local computer store yesterday having to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 for my Mother’s work PC. Imagine my complete shock when I saw the price.. $600. For office.. I was gobsmacked to say the least.

It made me think though, I don’t think there’s as much to the “Apple Tax” as people say.. They often cite the sticker price of the two machines and that’s it. But what about in a configuration you’d actually buy? Add on the software and bits you actually *need* to be productive.. how does it stack up then?

I surfed on over to the Dell website and selected a laptop which closest matches the specs of the base Apple Macbook. I selected the Studio XPS 13 and this is what I found:

Studio XPS 13″ Specs: Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, 4GB DDR3, 500GB 7.2K HDD, NVidia Geforce 9400M, Windows 7, Office 2007 Pro, 3 Year Warranty
Macbook 13″ : Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz, 4GB DDR3 500GB 5.4K HDD, NVidia Geforce 9400M, OS X 10.6, iLife 09, iWork 09, 3 Year Warranty.

Pretty close specs– you’ll note the CPU is slightly quicker in the Macbook but the HDD is slower, but I think they’re pretty even.. One thing to note is that the Apple comes with the iLife suite (DVD editing, Photo Editing/Library, Music Composing), while the Dell does not.

The Dell’s final price ended up being $2,196.29, while the Macbook actually came in cheaper at $2,068.00.

Now, the verdict? This was actually what I was predicting– once you add Office and a bigger warranty to the PC, it’s price jumps. The slighly higher cost on the Apple hardware is negated by the fact that the software is significantly cheaper..

As a side note.. one thing I’ve also noticed whilst using my Mac, *lots* of the handy little applications you will buy on your travels are extremely well priced.. I’ll admit I used to pirate software when I was a windows boy, but now I tend to just buy the application, as it’s usually well written and completely affordable.

My thoughts about the iPad

Well, now all the whirlwind about the new iPad has died down, I wanted to make some comments about what I thought about the launch, as well as the iPad itself.

I’ll admit– like a lot people I was initially underwhelmed, but as time went on, I started to get the idea.. The iPad isn’t about the tablet itself. it’s about defining the form-factor and enabling a whole new avenue for application and content creators to do new and exciting things.

The application that *really* caught my eye during the keynote was the MLB application.. now I’m not a baseball fan– but the example this thing sets is awesome. Imagine this as an application for the AFL or Cricket.. watch the game while having instant access to replays or in-game statistics, quizzes etc– or even put little sensors on the their jumpers and have a topological view of all the players on the field at any time.

Another awesome app would be the ability to surf/control your media library and have it play on your Television either through your apple TV or Media Centre.. I know what you’re thinking– “Use one of the media remote applications on the iPhone!”, but that’s not the point, imagine flicking through your movie collection, reading about it and just tapping on it and bam, it starts playing on your TV. You could have one-tap access to the synopsis, reviews, cast information (IMDB)– I think it’s a killer application.

So you can either complain about what the iPad doesn’t have or doesn’t do, or you can be excited and contemplate all of the awesome applications and experiences this device will enable.

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