Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Dec 2009 23:57 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems On a number of occasions, Apple has stated that it cannot design a laptop at around 400-500 USD that isn't total crap. This seems like a reasonable point to make - but why, then, is Dell - of all companies - seemingly able to do so? Dell just launched the Dell Vostro V13 (official press release), and it looks pretty good.
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Love it
by kragil on Wed 9th Dec 2009 00:32 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I really hope these will be available when I need a new one.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 00:35 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

On a number of occasions, Apple has stated that it cannot design a laptop at around 400-500 USD that isn't total crap. This seems like a reasonable point to make - but why, then, is Dell - of all companies - seemingly able to do so?


Because when you buy 'Dell', you just buy the product and when you buy 'Apple' you buy into the brand.

Edited 2009-12-09 00:39 UTC

Reply Score: 8

v RE: Comment by Laurence
by kaiwai on Wed 9th Dec 2009 04:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by darknexus on Wed 9th Dec 2009 05:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I have to second this view. I could care less about the brand, I buy a Mac for the trouble-free experience I usually have and because Apple provides the product I can best use. Windows and Linux both require too much maintenance, and I get enough of that working on other computers besides my own. With Windows it's malware, driver issues, straight out registry corruption, and many other things. With Linux it's Xorg issues, kernel updates breaking drivers, iffy and sometimes completely nonexistent hardware drivers (ath5k, I'm looking at you), and a general all-around unpolished feel to the desktop experience. I like tweaking and fixing computer systems but, at the end of the day, I want one that just works for myself and makes my life easier. For my particular needs, a Mac fits me best.
Sometimes it seems people have an easier time bashing others instead of actually comprehending that a different product may work better for those they demean. The Mac zealots are just as annoying as the anti-Mac zealots, the Windows zealots, the Linux fanatics... well, you get my point. At the end of the day, it's a tool to get things done, not a religion. If ever anyone starts to feel that they must influence another's computer choices for their own good... well, it's time to take a serious step back and count to ten.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 10:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I have to second this view. I could care less about the brand, I buy a Mac for the trouble-free experience I usually have and because Apple provides the product I can best use.


You're still buying into the brand though.

And the very fact that you say Apple provides the best products states that you trust Apples brand.


The problem with raw text is it's emotionally sterile. My opening post wasn't meant as a negative - just as a straight fact.
Many people buy Kelloggs Corn Flakes because they prefer the taste to Tesco's own brand - there's nothing wrong with that either and nor does it suggest that most people are buying Kelloggs just because it's a prettier box.

However, you're still paying a premium for Kelloggs simply because it's a big name brand.
Kelloggs don't drop the price of their goods for those who buy for the taste and raise it for those who buy for the name - thus everyone, regardless of motivations for purchase, are buying into the brand.

Edited 2009-12-09 11:06 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by sanctus on Wed 9th Dec 2009 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

I paid more for a mac, because I had more for the money, plain simple.

If Dell or whatever give me a best offer, I'll considered it next time.

When I bough my MBP, it was 300$ more than the Dell XPS. But it was

thinner
lighter
double battery life
tougher (hard aluminum body)
LED display with good quality webcam(not the Dell at that time)
greener
bigger and multitouch trackpad (how much efficient on the go)
OSX
iLife

And the customer service is simply great. Apple was the first to upgrade de video card warranty to 3 years (defect nvdia). They change my battery for free even if it wasn't on warranty (after 2 years).

BUT, price for PCs drop considerably the past couple of month. You can now have a Dell XPS for 1000$ less with better spec. For that much, I would buy a XPS today if I have to change.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Friend of mine baught when the XPS gaming notebook was in the $5k range and it was a dream for the first six months. After that it constantly overheated and burned out batteries. After several cooling surfaces, battery replacements and such it's no more portable than a desktop and will burn your legs if your foolish enough to use it on your lap.

Now, it may have been a defective unit. XPS hardware may have improved vastly since. I'm just saying that you need to check the forums for reports of hardware issues before you plunk down on your own purchase.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by waynej on Wed 9th Dec 2009 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
waynej Member since:
2007-07-04

I don't think that smearing "all Mac users as clueless, illiterate schmucks with brains the size of a pea" was actually what was intended.

Apple products are premium products and are priced accordingly (wrt companies like Dell). As a result, for a given price (and remember at this "budget" price point the cost to the user is hugely important) the spec to compete, for a company like Apple would not be as good as the less "desirable" products from companies like Dell.

Brand to a company like Apple is massively important. By keeping the Brand to the forefront and in the public eye, a premium price (wrt companies like Dell) can be charged.

The products in the current range are excellent - no doubt about that at all - but at the price point involved (400 - 500 USD) Apple's product would probably not be to the same quality as the competition.

Edited 2009-12-09 09:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Its interesting how you smear all Mac users as clueless, illiterate schmucks with brains the size of a pea.


How the hell did you get that from my post?

You pay a premium for Apple hardware because you pay into their brand. That's a fact.
You might personally buy the hardware for the OS, but the fact still remains that the hardware is priced above PC hardware of the same spec because it's Apple branded.

If OS X users didn't want to pay into the brand, then they'd all be running Hackintoshes with legitimate OS X licenses.

But the fact remains people still pay the premium because they like the brand and trust that it will "just work".

That doesn't make them (or you) "clueless, illiterate schmucks with brains the size of a pea" as you so melodramatically (and grossly inaccurately) stated I smear people like yourself as.

So get off your sodding high horse for once.

I don't by Apple for the brand, I buy it because I can't stand WIndows. I don't care how great Dell (HP, Lenovo etc) computers are, until something better than Windows is offered, the only option I have is a Mac.


IMO there already is PC OSs available that's better than Windows, but that's a matter of perspective.

As I've said many a times (and contrary to your arsey post), I don't hate Mac users not Mac's themselves.
I just hate users that think Apple branded hardware is somehow superior to PC hardware of the same spec.

At the end of the day though, I respect people who stick to a brand if it's because it's a brand they trust - after all we all do it; I only buy Sennheiser headphones, for example.



Sorry if I've come across a touch strong in this post, but you've genuinely wound me up with your ridiculous statement about some completely fictional anti-mac user comments I've supposedly made.

There was absolutely no need for you to lie like that to make your point.

Edited 2009-12-09 10:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

v RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by foljs on Wed 9th Dec 2009 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by JAlexoid on Wed 9th Dec 2009 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Apple makes mostly high-end machines --in that market segment their prices are competitive and sometimes cheaper that other brands.


When Apple releases new HW, the machines are usually equally priced to same spec'ed machines from other companies. However, they quickly start to be more expensive, until new HW is released.


Also, keep in the mind that "specs" are not just cpu, hd, video card, number ports and the like. If you want to compare a computer to another you also have some other specs that contribute to the price: money spent on case design and ergonomics, finish, cost of materials and machining, etc. While not necessary for raw computing, those factors are neither trivial to the price, non undesirable for the consumer --and they help make everyday use better if well implemented.


How much "they" spend on ergonomics, design and production is irrelevant. They can have Armani design and virgins make a laptop, that will be total crap but the design and production will cost millions.
What counts, is the end product.
I absolutely hate MacBooks' keyboards, for example. And that is the ONLY, rational, reason why I don't want to buy one.


For example:

Good, I love example game ;)

Is a laptop with an extruding camera to cost the same as an Apple one with a camera hidden in the body?

My 300 Eur netbook, has the camera hidden! What are you talking about?!?!?!?!

Does paying a high-end industrial designer for designing the aethetics and the ergonomics of the case cost more?

Yes. I bet, Dell also has high-end industrial designers. But less fanbois and apologists.

Does a unibody construction cost more than the usual multi-part style?

Is Apple the only one that produces unibody notebooks?

Does an embedded DVD drive cost more than a usual slide out one?

That is just a fasion statement, without any real value. Taking into account the fact, that most people don't even use their DVD drives.

Does making the product x inches thinner or y kg lighter cost more?

You are getting into technical specs here. Same can be to Dell's HW.

Does a multi-touch glass trackpad cost more than the usual mediocre one?

Definitely, yes. And this point is probably the one that makes the most sense.

Does even simply taking the man-time of arranging the inner wiring and cards neatly (as in any Mac Pro) instead of making a mess of it costs more?

Technically, a pre-built computer should not be opened. So only real geeks and Mac fans care and brag about that point. From engineering point of view, a Whole Sort of General Mish Mash can be as effective as "neat", but costs less to implement.

Does using LED backlighting of specific luminance cost more comparable to the less well made by a competitor?

"Well made" is not really an objective comparison method.

The main reason I don't like Apple, is that they are total control freaks. Though I do understand why. And I even recommend buying a genuine Apple laptop to my non technical friends.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Laurence said:
-----
"You pay a premium for Apple hardware because you pay into their brand. That's a fact.
You might personally buy the hardware for the OS, but the fact still remains that the hardware is priced above PC hardware of the same spec because it's Apple branded."

-----

"That's a fact", how? It has been actually shown to be false many times.

So you believe that Apple isn't a brand name?
Or you believe that Apples hardware doesn't have a mark up?




Also, keep in the mind that "specs" are not just cpu, hd, video card, number ports and the like. If you want to compare a computer to another you also have some other specs that contribute to the price: money spent on case design and ergonomics, finish, cost of materials and machining, etc. While not necessary for raw computing, those factors are neither trivial to the price, non undesirable for the consumer --and they help make everyday use better if well implemented.

For example:

Is a laptop with an extruding camera to cost the same as an Apple one with a camera hidden in the body?
Does paying a high-end industrial designer for designing the aethetics and the ergonomics of the case cost more?
Does a unibody construction cost more than the usual multi-part style?
Does an embedded DVD drive cost more than a usual slide out one?
Does making the product x inches thinner or y kg lighter cost more?
Does a multi-touch glass trackpad cost more than the usual mediocre one?
Does even simply taking the man-time of arranging the inner wiring and cards neatly (as in any Mac Pro) instead of making a mess of it costs more?
Does using LED backlighting of specific luminance cost more comparable to the less well made by a competitor?
etc etc...

That's all very good and well, but aside the touch pad, none of that affects the performance of the machine.
Again, if that's what people want to spend their money on, then so be it. I have no problem with this and nor should I.
However most people choose their laptop based on speed and what OS is running, not because the wires have been hand-placed or the case was designed by professional artists.

So forgive me when I neglect to include aesthetics when costing up computer specs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Dec 2009 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

A bit touchy there. Hitting too close to home?
He didn't say they're stupid, he say you buy the brand. That's true and that's why it's more expensive. Apple is more recognized as a brand than Dell. If you personally buy it for the brand or not is immaterial.

Edited 2009-12-09 11:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by Evan on Wed 9th Dec 2009 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
Evan Member since:
2006-01-18

The reason every single Mac user I know (all switched in the last 6 years)buys a Mac is because of hating having to deal with the constant threat of viruses, and spyware.

And sadly, as much as we can give Apple crap about not properly using random memory allocation, and some safari and disk mounting vulnerabilities, malware, viruses, and worms are basically a non-issue.

After the 3rd or 4th reinstall of XP due to malware issues, and Vista being slow and not compatible with their software or printer (same reason why you wouldn't switch to Mac), is it any wonder why those people switched? It was cheaper and less painful.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The reason every single Mac user I know (all switched in the last 6 years)buys a Mac is because of hating having to deal with the constant threat of viruses, and spyware.

And sadly, as much as we can give Apple crap about not properly using random memory allocation, and some safari and disk mounting vulnerabilities, malware, viruses, and worms are basically a non-issue.

After the 3rd or 4th reinstall of XP due to malware issues, and Vista being slow and not compatible with their software or printer (same reason why you wouldn't switch to Mac), is it any wonder why those people switched? It was cheaper and less painful.

Nobody is questioning the motives nor blaming people for buying Macs.
The whole point of a free market is people are free to choose whatever product they want and for whatever reasons they want (and certainly I don't care what you own and why you bought it).

In fact, the motives for buying Apple is slightly irrelevant to my original point anyway.
So please don't see my comments today as a criticism against yourself nor Apple.

Though I will point you that you're chatting about software and this thread is about hardware.
Though the two are a unified brand on Macs, (unlike MS Windows and Dell laptops - for example), they are interchangable (ie you can run Windows/Linux on a Mac and you can run OS X on a Dell laptop).
Hence why I'm focusing on the hardware side of the Apple brand.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Laurence
by Evan on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Laurence"
Evan Member since:
2006-01-18

I don't know anyone who buys Apple because of the brand.

I know people who buy Dell, or hp because of the brand. I recommend Thinkpads because of the brand.

Everyone I know buys Apple because of NOT wanting to use Windows but still use Office/Adobe/etc.

That is not buying into the brand, it's having constraints. I don't think you understand the difference.

Brand makes a difference when the products are equivalent.

Edited 2009-12-09 14:41 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

As I've already said: motives are irrellevent.

The simple fact is, you end up paying more BECAUSE of the brand name thus you ultimately end up paying into the brand (whether it was the brand name that sold the product for you or not).

Apple don't price the same product differently depending on what sold the product to you. So to say you don't pay into the brand because the brand doesn't bother you personally doesn't really work as a real world argument because you're still paying a premium for a branded product (regardless of your specific motives for purchase).

My Kellogg's Corn Flakes example ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?398597 ) explains this point better as it detaches the argument from the platform flamewars

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Laurence
by kaiwai on Thu 10th Dec 2009 02:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Laurence"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

As I've already said: motives are irrellevent.

The simple fact is, you end up paying more BECAUSE of the brand name thus you ultimately end up paying into the brand (whether it was the brand name that sold the product for you or not).


What a load of bullshit, this is what you stated:

Because when you buy 'Dell', you just buy the product and when you buy 'Apple' you buy into the brand.


Which clearly indicates that you've split the buying public into two groups based on motives; the Dell purchaser making the decision based on functionality and those who purchase Apple's for the sake of having the brand. I suggest anyone who is going to moderate me down and be a grade A prick that they look at the first post by Laurence in the thread before contorting in all manner of poses as to the avoidance of his original thesis statement.

The rest of your post is irrelevant - either prove that people who purchase Apple computers do so purely on the basis of brand whoring or retract your original thesis statement.

Edited 2009-12-10 02:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by kaiwai on Thu 10th Dec 2009 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

A bit touchy there. Hitting too close to home?
He didn't say they're stupid, he say you buy the brand. That's true and that's why it's more expensive. Apple is more recognized as a brand than Dell. If you personally buy it for the brand or not is immaterial.


No, when he stated, "buy the brand" you are claiming that those who purchase Apple are purchasing it solely for the idea of having that brand rather than the decision being made on something non-superficial such as a preference for the UI, the UNIX underpinnings, the ease of use and so forth. It was you who made the assumption that every person who purchases an Apple computer do so because they want the Apple brand.

The fact that my post is now rated -3 shows how pathetic and immature so many people here are - apparently people who are over 20 years old playing cheap popularity games and silencing those whom they can't tolerate. It is further re-enforced by the fact that that his post has been moderated up to 9 points. So if you slander people as clueless brand whores you get the points but when you point out the inaccuracy of such claims you get moderated down.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Soulbender on Thu 10th Dec 2009 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No, when he stated, "buy the brand" you are claiming that those who purchase Apple are purchasing it solely for the idea of having that brand rather than the decision being made on something non-superficial


Stop being so touchy. To buy the brand means that you're paying for the brand recognition no matter why you personally purchase the product.

It was you who made the assumption that every person who purchases an Apple computer do so because they want the Apple brand.


Stop putting words in my mouth, I said no such thing. Buying the brand, or paying for the brand if you like, has nothing to do with being a brand whore. You pay for it regardless. It's not like you get a rebate if you buy it for the quality.

The fact that my post is now rated -3 shows how pathetic and immature


Yes, that is pathetic and immature but what else is new?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by BluenoseJake on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

The 449 model comes with Ubuntu. No need to run Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by red_devel on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

Its interesting how you smear all Mac users as clueless, illiterate schmucks with brains the size of a pea. Sorry to rain on your parade, I don't by Apple for the brand, I buy it because I can't stand WIndows. I don't care how great Dell (HP, Lenovo etc) computers are, until something better than Windows is offered, the only option I have is a Mac.


Uhhhhh, as Thom clearly states the base model comes with Ubuntu & I bet you can pick Ubuntu on the upper end models too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by kaiwai on Thu 10th Dec 2009 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Uhhhhh, as Thom clearly states the base model comes with Ubuntu & I bet you can pick Ubuntu on the upper end models too.


So you're saying I can run Adobe Creative Suite 4, Wacom Bamboo Fun Touch, Elegato Hybrid, iPod Touch and so forth through it without needing to jump through 400 firing hoops? If it doesn't do that - or more, then what you suggest is entirely useless to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by kramii on Wed 9th Dec 2009 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
kramii Member since:
2005-07-22

the only option I have is a Mac

...or Linux.

Edited 2009-12-09 16:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Are these glib endorsements for Linux really necessary?

This isn't the NewComputingGrannies.com forum. It's the OSNEWS forum.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Laurence
by cpiral on Wed 9th Dec 2009 19:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
cpiral Member since:
2006-04-19

We may well ask why Apple Inc. won't make $US450 laptops from the same basic resources as Dell Inc. We should ask. We are blind to the production (craft) system and it's attendant monetary (trade) system.

Both Apple brand and Dell brand computer products are the orchestration of a computer from a basic set of openly shared, widely professed concepts, and from their own special trademarks and trade-secrets. A new Dell brand product will always cost less than a comparable Apple brand product because Apple consistently invests more time (time is money) and/or talent (talent is money) to produce a higher quality product (and more proprietary trade-secrets). Trust is maintained by a trademark, and this commands the money out of our pocket. In theory, money buys a quality that time and talent deserve for creating a quality, and when we need a product, we buy the best vision our research time plus our brand trust can afford.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by big_gie
by big_gie on Wed 9th Dec 2009 00:35 UTC
big_gie
Member since:
2006-01-04

These machines seems pretty nice, but I find all this a bit marketing. The cheapest one migth be 450 USD, but it comes with a Celeron. I did not know they were still producing these! Maybe an atom would have been better?

But most importantly, why is the ubuntu version only available on the lowest-end one? It might be a good thing for ubuntu that it can run on lower-end machines, but I'm afraid people will associate the lower performance to the OS. Crappy performance = crappy os. I would have liked to see the option to choose which OS on any of the machines. But then I'm daydreaming... ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by big_gie
by sanctus on Wed 9th Dec 2009 00:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
sanctus Member since:
2005-08-31

On a marketing point of view you are perfectly right.

This is really a bad marketing strategy, for Ubuntu/Linux at least. For technology enthusiast like us, it doesn't mean that much, but for the general public, it tells a clear message : "Crappy computers runs Linux the rest rocks with Windows" or "Poor customer uses Linux!", ...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by ngaio on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
ngaio Member since:
2005-10-06

Not necessarily. Value conscious users who simply want to get on with things and surf the web, produce some documents and the multitude of other tasks that in no way require windows will certainly appreciate a computer like this. Why not? For the price, it looks amazing -- and completely impossible to imagine 4 or 5 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by big_gie
by sbergman27 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by big_gie"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Not necessarily. Value conscious users who simply want to get on with things and surf the web, produce some documents and the multitude of other tasks that in no way require windows will certainly appreciate a computer like this

I, personally, don't see any reason ever to pay that much, or lug around anything that huge ever again. I'd never give up my desktop box with 22" monitor. But on the go, I'd never tolerate anthing bigger and heavier than my netbook.

They could make it a tenth of an inch thick, and it would still be more unmanageable that I would care for. Because at this point, thickness is not that significant.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by big_gie
by ngaio on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by big_gie"
ngaio Member since:
2005-10-06

If that works for you, great. It would be interesting to compare the pluses and minuses of that strategy for the general population, who may not be very sophisticated when it comes to syncing their work between two different machines.

I personally have one computer -- a laptop, and that's the way I prefer to keep it. A netbook is of zero interest to me, as is a desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by big_gie
by Bobthearch on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by big_gie"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

That's where I'm too, a netbook for portability and basic computing and a desktop for the serious stuff.

Laptops generally hold little interest for me - unfavorable performance/price ratio, poor upgrade and repair options, and high cost of replacement.

But this Dell, on the other hand, is something I would consider if my current Eeepc kicked the bucket. The Dell costs only slightly more than the Asus but offers an aluminum case and a screen that's 3" larger.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by big_gie
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 9th Dec 2009 19:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by big_gie"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Laptops generally hold little interest for me - unfavorable performance/price ratio, poor upgrade and repair options, and high cost of replacement.


It does look like netbooks have been a major disruption to the previous pricing models for laptops - especially for ultra-portables/sub-notebooks/whatever.

I imagine it seems strange to casual computer buyers to see that a netbook weighing 2lbs goes for $300-$500, while a sub-notebook weighing 3lbs goes for $2,000-$3,000.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by big_gie
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 06:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

...and the multitude of other tasks that in no way require windows will certainly appreciate a computer like this. Why not? For the price, it looks amazing -- and completely impossible to imagine 4 or 5 years ago.


It is an amazing deal compared to what you used to get for the price, especially when you consider inflation.

I have a feeling that the Linux model will be mostly popular with pirates and people that have an xp cd lying around.

Dell would be better off putting Moblin on it and playing up the Intel sponsorship. Ubuntu sounds too weird and foreign.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by big_gie
by mintar on Wed 9th Dec 2009 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by big_gie"
mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

It is an amazing deal compared to what you used to get for the price, especially when you consider inflation.


Inflation is far outweighed by Moore's Law (in its various forms) when it comes to computers. When you buy a new PC, you should expect to pay half the price and get ten times the power compared to your old one. So inflation doesn't have anything to do with it.

I have a feeling that the Linux model will be mostly popular with pirates and people that have an xp cd lying around.


There will be definitely some people that install Windows, pirated or not, over (or in addition to Ubuntu). But please don't overgeneralize as you do, or some people will be offended.

Dell would be better off putting Moblin on it and playing up the Intel sponsorship. Ubuntu sounds too weird and foreign.


Please tell me this is a joke.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by big_gie
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Inflation is far outweighed by Moore's Law (in its various forms) when it comes to computers. When you buy a new PC, you should expect to pay half the price and get ten times the power compared to your old one. So inflation doesn't have anything to do with it.


Technological advancements that allow for cheaper yet faster hardware is a bigger factor but I thought that was obvious. I was pointing out that these computers are quite a deal especially when you consider that unlike typical goods they have been immune the the effects of inflation.

Please tell me this is a joke.


Oh right, how dare I criticize Dell for supporting Ubuntu. It's been such a raging success after all. A free OS that is backed by a millionaire with 200+ employees and yet not even 1% of the population wants to use it. Meanwhile Apple ties their alternative OS to higher-priced hardware and yet the imac was the top selling desktop in October.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10409462-37.html

People are fickle when it comes to tech brands, especially when they are outside of their comfort zone. It's better to have new brand backed by an old one that they are familiar with. At the very least the name should not sound like a tribal ritual. Calling a new OS Ubuntu makes as much marketing sense as calling a new Cad program Tiki-Taki-Tookie.

But don't take my advice, just keep supporting the status quo. That seems to be working well for the Linux desktop.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by big_gie - not really
by jabbotts on Wed 9th Dec 2009 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by big_gie"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"Oh right, how dare I criticize Dell for supporting Ubuntu. It's been such a raging success after all. A free OS that is backed by a millionaire with 200+ employees and yet not even 1% of the population wants to use it."

Actually, it's probably more about your suggestion that a complete distribution with large software repositories (Ubuntu) be replaced with a small specialized distribution (moblin). It's similar to suggesting one replace Ubuntu with the Asus eeePC crippled Xandros. That would be why your suggestion was questioned. (and before you start, I'd replace Ubuntu with Debian on my own purchase; it's not about Ubuntu but about a more complete distribution)

Also, names should be taken a lot less seriously. I'd happily use a CAD app called Tickie-Tickie-Too if it was cross platform and let me work with AutoCAD files. The name isn't nearly as relevant as the actual software functions.

Edited 2009-12-09 21:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Actually, it's probably more about your suggestion that a complete distribution with large software repositories (Ubuntu) be replaced with a small specialized distribution (moblin).


That's because I don't think the majority of those repositories are useful to the typical consumer and I believe Linux is better marketed on machines that are presented as being clear in their use, even if it is more limiting than a traditional distro. Furthermore Ubuntu has an awful name and hasn't taken off so it is time that Dell tried something new.

I'd happily use a CAD app called Tickie-Tickie-Too if it was cross platform and let me work with AutoCAD files. The name isn't nearly as relevant as the actual software functions.


A bad name will discourage people from even investigating potential functionality, especially if they are fine with what they are using. You may be fine with silly Cad name but the typical engineering shop would assume that the software is sub-par and would only investigate potential functionality if pressed. For the typical business software costs are negligible compared to other costs like salaries and insurance.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by big_gie
by bhtooefr on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Celerons and Pentiums are lower-end versions of the current mainstream (Core 2 Duo, in this case) processor.

A Celeron M 743 will absolutely eviscerate an Atom N280 in performance. (And, Celerons get the same chipsets as Core 2 Duos, Atoms get 2 generations back, so better graphics performance, too.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by big_gie
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

These machines seems pretty nice, but I find all this a bit marketing. The cheapest one migth be 450 USD, but it comes with a Celeron. I did not know they were still producing these! Maybe an atom would have been better? But most importantly, why is the ubuntu version only available on the lowest-end one? It might be a good thing for ubuntu that it can run on lower-end machines, but I'm afraid people will associate the lower performance to the OS. Crappy performance = crappy os. I would have liked to see the option to choose which OS on any of the machines. But then I'm daydreaming... ;)


Dell Australia: Starts at $999 AUD for the Vostro, no Linux option at all.

It will be a cold day in Hell before those idiots see any of my money.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by Bobthearch on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Yeah, but those richy-rich Australians can afford it. A thousand dollars is pocket change for someone who can afford a $600,000 house (average home price in Sydney, according to recent Morning Herald article).

;)

Can't you order one from the States and have it shipped?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by big_gie
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by big_gie"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yeah, but those richy-rich Australians can afford it. A thousand dollars is pocket change for someone who can afford a $600,000 house (average home price in Sydney, according to recent Morning Herald article). ;) Can't you order one from the States and have it shipped?


Be simpler to order something sensible from a Local company or an Asian company that didn't mind if I ran it with Linux.

A local company would be preferable ... that way the money stays in the local economy.

Something like one of these, maybe?

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/nsintro.html

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/nsacerLX.EB40X.070-C70.html

An option for Kubuntu Linux 9.10. Sweet.

Edited 2009-12-09 01:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by big_gie
by sbergman27 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by big_gie"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

A local company would be preferable ... that way the money stays in the local economy.

Because as citizens of the Earth, we should always remember that "Us vs Them" is the optimal global strategy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by big_gie
by lemur2 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by big_gie"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"A local company would be preferable ... that way the money stays in the local economy.
Because as citizens of the Earth, we should always remember that "Us vs Them" is the optimal global strategy. "

No, it just means that all other options being equal, it is better for me if a local company gets my business. That local company will pay out wages locally, employ other local companies to transport my goods, and generally spread my money around locally.

Local people having my money will allow them to spend that money back with me, for services that I may offer. Once any of the money is spent on an import (by anyone in the chain), it no longer circulates locally.

BTW: other economies in other countries are often just as keen to promote local spending. Its all good, keep your shirt on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by big_gie
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 05:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Because as citizens of the Earth, we should always remember that "Us vs Them" is the optimal global strategy.


That's touching.

Maybe we should just airmail our dollars to China directly instead of bothering to invest in our local economies.

Oh and by the way the Chinese don't subscribe to that world collectivist outlook that is popular in the West. They are citizens of China first and will walk away with your cash as you sing songs about how we are all united under Gaia.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by big_gie
by spiderman on Wed 9th Dec 2009 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by big_gie"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


Oh and by the way the Chinese don't subscribe to that world collectivist outlook that is popular in the West. They are citizens of China first and will walk away with your cash as you sing songs about how we are all united under Gaia.

"The americans" are fat, they like their guns and their corporate overloards and they can't think beyond what their religious leaders say. "The europeans" are snobby racists and they can't stop thinking about ways to take over the world. "The africans", well, they are africans, you get the picture... So where should I spend my money?

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Comment by big_gie
by sbenitezb on Wed 9th Dec 2009 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by big_gie"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

And southamericans are always forgotten.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Comment by big_gie
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

So where should I spend my money?


On an English book perhaps? If you are going to use crude stereotypes then at least learn when it is proper to quote them. If I state that Americans like apple pie there is no need to use quotes since the group I am referring is not subject to interpretation.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Comment by big_gie
by sbergman27 on Wed 9th Dec 2009 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by big_gie"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Maybe we should just airmail our dollars to China directly instead of bothering to invest in our local economies.

If country 'Q' provides the best product for the best price, and if there are no ethical reasons to shun country 'Q', then I would recommend the product over a local brand. Regarding 'ethical reasons to shun', I would point out that it is is fairly slippery topic. Economic sanctions end up hurting the people far more than they hurt the leaders. Sanctions basically put economic pressure upon the people to rise up against their leaders. And from the standpoint of the entity imposing the sanctions, that's an ugly little rat's nest of ethical concerns. When individual's impose their own personal economic sanctions upon a country, the issues are the same.

I've never felt particularly comfortable with the attitudes of the general run of my fellow Oklahomans, or the way our duly elected representatives vote in our US Congress. And in many cases, I really would prefer my dollars to go to a business in some predominantly, say, Buddhist community.

Programs which urge people to "Buy American" or "Buy Oklahoman" are counterproductive when one considers the big picture. It's the same "Us vs Them" that we learned in the jungles as our species grew up... now hardwired into our supposedly rational brains. (Ha Ha.)

It's time to start thinking outside of the little boxes where we live. And purchasing decisions are a good place to start exercising the ability to Think Globally. Because the most critical problems our species faces are going to require that we develop that skill in order to be resolved. And the problems we face today are only the beginning. As our power as a species increases, so will the problems that that power creates. And we have no one to count upon to resolve those problems but ourselves and our fellows... wherever on the globe they happen to live.

Edited 2009-12-09 21:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by thavith_osn on Wed 9th Dec 2009 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

I don't get it either...

You can get a MacBook for $1299 in Aus, so for only $300 more you get...

2.26GHz : 250GB
2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB DDR3 memory
250GB hard drive1
8x double-layer SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
Built-in 7-hour battery2
Polycarbonate unibody enclosure
Estimated Ship: Within 24hrs
Free Shipping
A$ 1,299.00

I might be wrong, but the Dell sounds like not good value...

I am sure a lot of PC guys can find way better deals on PC laptops too...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by big_gie
by andrewg on Wed 9th Dec 2009 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by big_gie"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

If you get the Macbook and assuming you are not comfortable with Hackintosh you have to put up with MacOs. Which means you get crappy font rendering and an inferior plain ugly version of Microsoft Office. And no other Office package can replace Microsoft Office right now especially as it relates to Excel.

I bought the 2.53Ghz 13 inch macbook pro recently and sold it after a few weeks for that reason. The hardware is outstanding but software can't match Windows 7 and Microsoft Office. I love the way Windows 7 scales everything so nicely on high DPI screens and the way fonts look so crisp and clean. I look at a fonts on a Mac for a few minutes and I end up irritated and annoyed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by big_gie
by thavith_osn on Thu 10th Dec 2009 02:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by big_gie"
thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

You do realise you can put Windows 7 on a Mac don't you. You don't have to run OS X.

Personally, I struggle with Windows 7, I don't like the look and feel compared to OS X and I find the OS X so much easier to use... But, that's personal preference, I know people like you who prefer Windows 7.

Anyway, the point is, it comes with OS X preinstalled, but Windows 7 can be put on there instead, choice is yours...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by lemur2 on Thu 10th Dec 2009 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"These machines seems pretty nice, but I find all this a bit marketing. The cheapest one migth be 450 USD, but it comes with a Celeron. I did not know they were still producing these! Maybe an atom would have been better? But most importantly, why is the ubuntu version only available on the lowest-end one? It might be a good thing for ubuntu that it can run on lower-end machines, but I'm afraid people will associate the lower performance to the OS. Crappy performance = crappy os. I would have liked to see the option to choose which OS on any of the machines. But then I'm daydreaming... ;)
Dell Australia: Starts at $999 AUD for the Vostro, no Linux option at all. It will be a cold day in Hell before those idiots see any of my money. "

Apparently I have misunderstood.

http://www.liliputing.com/2009/12/dell-vostro-v13-thin-light-enough...

Interestingly, Engadget also reports that the $450 price tag applies to the base model which will ship with Ubuntu Linux. If you want Windows 7, the price jumps to $600.


Apparently the $450 US Vostro is Ubuntu Linux only. If you want Windows 7, the price jumps to $600 US. (Possibly because the Celeron CPU cannot run Windows 7 at an acceptable speed, and a beefier CPU is required to make it perform acceptably well).

Therefore, I should be comparing the $999 AUD price that Dell Australia has set as the cheapest model Vostro in Australia to $600 US.

Dell Australia refuses to offer any machines with Ubuntu. The sell only Windows machines.

If Dell Australia don't want my business, I am more than willing to refrain from giving it to them.

Edited 2009-12-10 03:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by big_gie
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 04:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

These machines seems pretty nice, but I find all this a bit marketing. The cheapest one migth be 450 USD, but it comes with a Celeron. I did not know they were still producing these! Maybe an atom would have been better?


It's actually a very low power Penryn based dual-core cpu that is adequate for typical office work. It has a 10 watt TDP which is incredible.
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42779

They should probably call it something else. People will assume it is tech from the P4 era.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by darknexus on Wed 9th Dec 2009 05:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

They should probably call it something else. People will assume it is tech from the P4 era.


Very true, I made that mistake myself at first. Celeron just has too many bad connotations from many years ago. They used to be low power, low performance chips and were, essentially, the lowest you could go when it came to Intel i686. Many had overheating issues as they did not run as cool as many of the OEMs believed, and they got a very bad rep out of that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by big_gie
by Evan on Wed 9th Dec 2009 06:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by big_gie"
Evan Member since:
2006-01-18

It is the single core version, sadly:

http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=37135

Reply Score: 1

how lame
by nt_jerkface on Wed 9th Dec 2009 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by big_gie"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Looks like the next model up has a single core as well:

http://www.dell.com/us/en/business/notebooks/vostro-v13/pd.aspx?ref...

Core 2 Solo? Who keeps coming up with these awful names?

Reply Score: 2

RE: how lame
by Evan on Fri 11th Dec 2009 11:02 UTC in reply to "how lame"
Evan Member since:
2006-01-18

I just looked up all the different products Intel id developing... Holy crap, I can't even blame them for the horrible names. There are so damned many different CPU cores with various features.

2,4,6 core xeons all with 3 tiers of power usage and some have different interconnects.

2/4 core core 2s with 3-4 tiers of power consumption, 2-4 different cache sizes, some have different sse4/whatever technologies. Different packages (sockets), different FSB clocks, QPI/DMI etc.

My God.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by big_gie
by darknexus on Wed 9th Dec 2009 05:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Especially since all Dell would need to do to counter that image is offer a choice of os on all of these machines. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but it does make me wonder why this is the case and if, perhaps, a certain os vendor is providing some insentives.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by big_gie
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by big_gie"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree. Here in Italy the only Core 2 Duo one costs 629 Euro. You might want some upgrade, like a larger HD or Windows 7 Professional, and you are easily going to spend 750 Euro or more.
You'll easily find competition for such a price, and even the cheapest MacBook doesn't sound too bad at € 899.00

Reply Score: 2

And this compared to a MacBook how?
by elanthis on Wed 9th Dec 2009 00:47 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

What makes you think this is in any way comparable to a MacBook?

I see an ugly edge behind the screen for starts. There's absolutely no mention or proof anywhere of quality of components. Not EFI-based. Screen may or may not be of the same quality, battery life may or may not be as the same duration...

All this is is a thin laptop from Dell. Whether or not it is of the same quality as a more expensive MacBook is totally unknown at this point.

Yes, you pay a premium for the Apple brand. A premium I don't find worth it (I own a Dell myself). But brainlessly claiming that just because Dell can put out a cheap slim laptop that Apple can put out its same hardware at a similar price point is not logically sound in the least.

Reply Score: 9

Comment by Delgarde
by Delgarde on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:00 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

All in all though, the 449 USD model is a pretty serious machine, which blows most netbooks out there straight out of the water.


Well, yes - it would, since practically anything does. It also weighs about 50-60% more, and takes up a lot more space than a typical netbook. Granted, they cost about the same, but they're not really worth comparing until you deliver the same performance in the smaller package - currently, it's a tradeoff between size and performance, and which is better depends entirely on the person buying...

Reply Score: 4

Profit Margins
by Praxis on Wed 9th Dec 2009 01:15 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

The reason apple can't says they can't make a decent laptop in the 450-600 price range is that they can't make a decent laptop at that price range and still make off with their customary profit margins. Dell is willing to go for the lower margins so they can make a nice machine there. Compared to other machines in this price range and device class, this is a nice offering.

This is a sexy looking machine, but it doesn't quite do it for me, if they allowed me to get one of the faster processors with Ubuntu then it would make a good replacement/upgrade for my current Ubuntu netbook. But currently the celeron ubuntu isn't that much better than an atom based system to tempt me, and the win7 variations are just expensive enough that I would rather got for a normal laptop.

Edited 2009-12-09 01:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The real reason...
by tupp on Wed 9th Dec 2009 02:35 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

On a number of occasions, Apple has stated that it cannot design a laptop at around 400-500 USD that isn't total crap.

Heck. Apple can't even make a laptop at around 1000-1500 USD that isn't total crap!

Reply Score: 1

RE: The real reason...
by VManOfMana on Wed 9th Dec 2009 05:47 UTC in reply to "The real reason..."
VManOfMana Member since:
2006-11-01

Oh you mean like the 13" MacBook Pro?

Reply Score: 2

mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...to a mere 449 USD (with Ubuntu).


If it contained an OS and application software that was developed by Dell, tightly integrated with the hardware with on-going updates provided by Dell for that OS and the bundled application software we might have something to compare costs with...

Reply Score: 3

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

"...to a mere 449 USD (with Ubuntu).


If it contained an OS and application software that was developed by Dell, tightly integrated with the hardware with on-going updates provided by Dell for that OS and the bundled application software we might have something to compare costs with...
"

Would anyone be able to explain real clearly what exactly 'tight integration' is. Like, how can I test for its presence or absence?

I really do need to know, because I am going to buy a computer pretty soon, and I obviously want this 'tight integration' product built into it, so I will be checking out models from various suppliers to see if they have it. I gather this particular Dell does not, but which other Dells have it? What about Lenovo, do any of their models come with it? I am also thinking of having the local shop put one together for me, and I will have to make sure he includes it. Could you maybe give me a few tight integration model numbers so I can be sure and tell him to fit some, and make sure it goes in?

What I would really hate would be if I bought a machine which was supposed to have this tight integration, and when I got it home it just had a bunch of drivers like all the others. That would really hurt.

Reply Score: 5

mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

Would anyone be able to explain real clearly what exactly 'tight integration' is. Like, how can I test for its presence or absence?


Oh come on. Just go to any Linux or Windows support forums and you'll see heaps of bug reports that only occur on a specific combination of hardware which the developers didn't test on before shipping the OS. Because Apple is NOT a general-hardware OS, their task is a lot easier. They can assume that their OS runs on a very limited set of hardware configurations, so they can test them very thoroughly and eliminate many bugs before the hardware is shipped.

I'm not an Apple fanboy by the way, I had the option of getting a Mac and chose a Dell (with Ubuntu) instead. I don't like Apple's closedness, but you have to admit that their degree of tight HW/OS integration is a nice thing to have that just can't be expected of a more open operating system.

Reply Score: 0

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Oh come on. Just go to any Linux or Windows support forums and you'll see heaps of bug reports that only occur on a specific combination of hardware which the developers didn't test on before shipping the OS. Because Apple is NOT a general-hardware OS, their task is a lot easier. They can assume that their OS runs on a very limited set of hardware configurations, so they can test them very thoroughly and eliminate many bugs before the hardware is shipped.

This is true of installing Linux some random machine. But Ubuntu will certainly do a better job than a stock Windows installation (not OEM CD with all the needed drivers and junk). And I'm guessing that Dell tests the machines with Ubuntu first to make sure everything works properly and integrates well. So there is really no difference here between what Apple and Dell are doing (besides that Dell doesn't have to develop the OS).

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

But Ubuntu will certainly do a better job than a stock Windows installation (not OEM CD with all the needed drivers and junk).


Don't lag behind now. Driver hunting is a thing of the past on modern versions of Windows, as everything is done through WU.

Reply Score: 2

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Other than the network card, of course.

I'm glad that Windows 7 is able to go out and find drivers for a lot of hardware. The first time that happened I was pleasantly surprised.

The only issue (other than the NIC of course) was touchpads on laptops. So far, I've had to go out and get a synaptics driver for all of my laptops that I upgraded to 7 (except for my Netbook). Of course, these were 3-7 year-old laptops. Not a big deal, but I would have thought that touchpad support was mostly a given. The main missing feature for me was scrolling (2-finger or side-scrolling, I don't care). The synaptics driver took care of that.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not entirely true, Thom. There are a lot of drivers through WU, yes, but not all hardware is up there. Further, just having the driver coming through WU doesn't guarantee driver quality by any measure, and in my experience buggy drivers are the number one cause of Windows crashes. There are other drivers too besides your usual hw drivers that many times WU doesn't have. Install windows 7 on an Eee 1000HE and you'll see what I mean, there are no chipset or super hybrid engine drivers in WU since Asus didn't create them for Windows 7, and installing the XP drivers does work after a fashion though it does create major system instability since the drivers were not made for Vista or 7.
I'm not casting blame, just pointing out that not all driver stuff is done through WU and, even when it is, the drivers can still be buggy as all get out. Microsoft doesn't have the resources or the hardware to test every driver with every other possible hardware and driver combination.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Dell tests the machines with Ubuntu first to make sure everything works properly and integrates well. So there is really no difference here between what Apple and Dell are doing (besides that Dell doesn't have to develop the OS).


What you aren't mentioning is that the Ubuntu 9.10 update broke some of those Dell machines that came pre-installed with Linux. This happened with the 9.04 update as well.

So yes there is a major difference when it comes to hardware integration. It doesn't help that the people working on the Linux kernel could care less if their changes break your wireless card. Linux development is too disjointed and this becomes apparent when working hardware is routinely broken from updates. The lack of a stable abi doesn't help either.

At the end of the day hardware companies hate dealing with Linux and the kernel devs like it that way. A company like Dell should have forked the kernel years ago and provided an interface for drivers based on the needs of grown-ups and not the kernel devs who act like children when it comes to working with hardware companies.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This is true of installing Linux some random machine. But Ubuntu will certainly do a better job than a stock Windows installation (not OEM CD with all the needed drivers and junk). And I'm guessing that Dell tests the machines with Ubuntu first to make sure everything works properly and integrates well. So there is really no difference here between what Apple and Dell are doing (besides that Dell doesn't have to develop the OS).


There is a local company here in Oz that has tested the laptop machines it sells with Linux. It offers customers the option to get the machine with Linux, which is not particularly interesting for people who don't live in Australia.

What might be interesting is this list of 204 reasonably current laptop models with a rating of how well the hardware supports Linux.

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/nsintro.html

They offer a convenient CSV file:

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/notebooks.csv

You can load this CSV file into a spreadsheet, and use a filter to list only the machines with "excellent" Linux support. Those machines with "none" in the "optical" column are netbooks, all others are notebooks. There are 10 netbook and 75 notebook models in the list which have excellent Linux support.

There are an additional 23 machine (one is a netbook) which have "good" Linux support ... but why buy one of those when there is such a wide choice of machines which support Linux perfectly?

PS: The Linux kernel and drivers is the Linux kernel. It shouldn't matter what distribution you want to run, as long as it has a current kernel, it should run on any of the machines which support Linux.

Edited 2009-12-09 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

There is a local company here in Oz that...

This one phrase explains so much to me that I did not understand before!

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"There is a local company here in Oz that...

This one phrase explains so much to me that I did not understand before!
"

EPIC WIN. +9837948574398570234570349762340978.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This one phrase explains so much to me that I did not understand before!


ozzie, ozzie, ozzie, oi, oi, oi !

Can we rename it to OzNews?

Edited 2009-12-09 23:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, I think this is one time that we can all laugh *with* each other. :-)

We all kinda do agree, I think. Even when we disagree.

Reply Score: 2

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Obviously any manufacturer, such as Dell, only ships a limited set of hardware, and tests all the hardware that is shipped with the OS, for instance Windows, before shipping. I don't in all seriousness see how there is any more of this 'integration' in Apple products than Dell's. The process of limiting the hardware is exactly the same. I have bought very many Windows PCs from quite a few main line suppliers, and have never had one that had any driver problems out of the box.

This is what you get when you buy a complete package of a machine and an installed OS, whether from Apple or from Dell or HP.

The situation is completely different if you assemble your own set of hardware and then install either OSX, Windows or Linux or Unix on it. Then there is no-one but you responsible for whether it all works, which is basically a question of whether there are drivers and are they all compatible.

The marketing trick played by the Apple people is to pretend that the situation of Dell is not like Apple, but is like you when you buy whatever bits of hardware you choose, and then seek to install an OS on them without prior testing. It is not.

In fact, whatever OS you buy with your hardware, you are getting exactly the same kind of testing and integration from Apple with OSX as from Dell or HP with Windows or Unix or Linux. If Dell were to start shipping OSX, you would get exactly the same level of 'integration' by buying a machine with OSX on it from Dell as you would if you bought a machine from Apple, and it would be exactly the same level of 'integration' as if you bought a Windows machine. If Apple were to ship with Windows preinstalled, that too would be just as 'integrated' as if they ship with OSX.

And if you do it yourself, you are getting exactly the same lack of testing if you do it with OSX, Windows or Linux.

Apple 'integration' is just a feelgood marketing term, like the wonderful 'wide tracking' that Pontiac was said to have in the seventies of the last century. It does not correspond to any difference in the products or methods of the companies.

Reply Score: 2

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Please don't hold up Apple as an excellent example of the mythical "hardware-software integration" advantage.

If Macs are so wonderful at hardware/software integration, then why do we have sites like Macfixit?: http://reviews.cnet.com/macfixit/?tag=bc
and also CNET's Mac forums?: http://forums.cnet.com/mac-forums/

Here's just one of the topic pages from the Mac forum at CNET: http://forums.cnet.com/mac-forums/mac-desktops-forum/?tag=contentMa... Notice how almost every one of the problems involve only Apple hardware/software? "My New iMac won't sleep" -- Boo Hoo! This is just one page amongst zillions that is chock full of Apple HW/SW problems.

Yes, Apple has certainly fine-tuned the HW/SW integration.

I imagine that this famous Apple HW/SW integration is part of the special Apple "user experience" that we keep hearing about and which is so intangible that it cannot be explained.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

If you consider the Core 2 Duo version, it has a decent but lower speed processor and a higher resolution display than the MacBook Air. US$649 isn't bad for a compromise, though.

The graphics hardware is reasonable for business use and hopefully, most of them arrive in working condition, unlike my experiences with Dell. I'd be surprised if the Bluetooth 2.1, the webcam, or the media card reader are appreciated in many businesses, though.

Reply Score: 2

Cost factors...
by foljs on Wed 9th Dec 2009 11:35 UTC
foljs
Member since:
2006-01-09

You pay a premium for Apple hardware because you pay into their brand. That's a fact.
You might personally buy the hardware for the OS, but the fact still remains that the hardware is priced above PC hardware of the same spec because it's Apple branded.


"That's a fact", how? It has been actually shown to be false many times.

Apple makes mostly high-end machines --in that market segment their prices are competitive and sometimes cheaper that other brands.

Also, keep in the mind that "specs" are not just cpu, hd, video card, number ports and the like. If you want to compare a computer to another you also have some other specs that contribute to the price: money spent on case design and ergonomics, finish, cost of materials and machining, etc. While not necessary for raw computing, those factors are neither trivial to the price, non undesirable for the consumer --and they help make everyday use better if well implemented.

For example:

Is a laptop with an extruding camera to cost the same as an Apple one with a camera hidden in the body?

Does paying a high-end industrial designer for designing the aethetics and the ergonomics of the case cost more?

Does a unibody construction cost more than the usual multi-part style?

Does an embedded DVD drive cost more than a usual slide out one?

Does making the product x inches thinner or y kg lighter cost more?

Does a multi-touch glass trackpad cost more than the usual mediocre one?

Does even simply taking the man-time of arranging the inner wiring and cards neatly (as in any Mac Pro) instead of making a mess of it costs more?

Does using LED backlighting of specific luminance cost more comparable to the less well made by a competitor?

Is the battery of the same duration and of the same watt-hours?

etc etc...

Specs in relation to cost are not only numeric measurements of cpu speed, front size bus speed, GB ram et al...

Reply Score: 2

FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

Dell's Adamo wasn't meant to compete directly with the MacBook Air. It's price was $150 more than the air, it's bus 33% slower, a lower-grade display, and 2/3 the battery life. It was meant to stand on its own as a product, with the idea that folks would buy it with the perception that Dell had higher quality standards than Apple, or that you couldn't run Windows on the cheaper Apple product.

The reason Apple doesn't sell $500 computers isn't because they can't make one that cheap. They certainly could. From Apple's point of view, however, it's a part of the market that they don't want to get into. Why? Well, it's fantastically crowded and the margins are so fantastically that it's a high-risk low-benefit proposition. For today's Apple, it simply wouldn't make any sense to make a cheap laptop like this.

That said, the V13 looks like a half-way decent little machine for your basic computer-mediated communication functions.

Reply Score: 1

Uh...
by chrish on Wed 9th Dec 2009 14:27 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

A VGA port? Seriously?

- chrish

Reply Score: 2

RE: Uh...
by earlycj5 on Fri 11th Dec 2009 03:04 UTC in reply to "Uh..."
earlycj5 Member since:
2007-04-12

Perhaps I'm an oddity but I do use projectors for presentations frequently with my Netbook.

Those have VGA connectors on them.

I've not seen anything else on a projector that I've used thus far. Guessing businesses and Universities aren't going to rush out and get projectors with HDMI or whatever connector you want on your laptop as long as the projectors still work fine.

So yeah, VGA, because it works for the target audience.

Reply Score: 1

Apple Could, If They Wanted To...
by Ranger on Wed 9th Dec 2009 16:18 UTC
Ranger
Member since:
2006-05-03

Buying an Apple laptop/Notebook or desktop isn't all that different from buying from other computer manufacturers.

First of all, Apple products are very over-priced for what they offer by comparison to other manufacturers. The profit margins enjoyed by Apple simply scream (to me) about the over-pricing.

One of Apple's best selling points in the past was that most (if not all) of their products were over-built, over-engineered and designed to last. I recall the Apple II Series and early Macs and remember that they were all designed & built with superior components and materials. They were extremely sturdy, meant to last and the higher price was justified.

By current standards, I find product offerings from Apple to barely be on par with other manufacturers. In fact, I've felt some Apple Notebooks offered to be flimsy & cheesey when compared to similar models made by Toshiba and others.

If Apple truly wanted to offer a laptop in the $400-600 USD range, they could easily do so. All they'd have to do is cut the over-priced tag. Their claim of not being aboe to is just a hollow excuse to keep their prices artificially high.

Greed. That's all it is.

Apple also wishes people to believe they're buying into the, 'Apple Experience.' The so-called, 'Apple Experience,' should come with a few shares of STOCK for the prices they charge.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Are we really supposed to begrudge Apple for not joining the commodity race to the bottom?

Apple took a risk when they invested in OSX and it has paid off. Dell, IBM and HP all could have invested in their own operating systems but chose to keep selling Windows. Dell even begged Apple years ago to him to sell OSX on his machines. What has stopped Dell from making his own OS?

Oh my God Apple notebooks now have high profit margins.

So do Guess jeans.

I don't buy either nor do I resent Guess or Apple for providing a product at a price that people are willing to pay.

The dead stinking rhino in the room is Linux which if you recall was supposed to supplant Apple for the #2 position. No one 10 years ago imagined that Apple would have these high profit margins today. I really think a lot of this anger towards Apple is from people who resent them for not only having success but strict control over an OS that can compete with Windows. It certainly takes away a lot of the excuses people have made for Linux over the years and diminishes belief in the ability of the open source community to compete with proprietary companies.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

It certainly takes away a lot of the excuses people have made for Linux over the years and diminishes belief in the ability of the open source community to compete with proprietary companies.


Quite on the contrary.

Apple undermines, on its part, the Microsoft monopoly. The more non-Microsoft computers we have in the hands of money-spending consumers, the better the chances are for other solutions - including the open ones; mostly because the "de facto" standard no longer exists.

You could argue that Apple has become a monster itself, worse than Microsoft - but at its core Apple is much weaker, they don't have the lasting revenue generating foundation Microsoft has (win32 api).

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


Apple undermines, on its part, the Microsoft monopoly. The more non-Microsoft computers we have in the hands of money-spending consumers, the better the chances are for other solutions - including the open ones; mostly because the "de facto" standard no longer exists.


This is the attitude I can not stand. It is almost like you would care about your own product, Linux, only as long as it relates to Microsoft.

Edited 2009-12-09 22:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

"It certainly takes away a lot of the excuses people have made for Linux over the years and diminishes belief in the ability of the open source community to compete with proprietary companies.
Quite on the contrary. Apple undermines, on its part, the Microsoft monopoly. The more non-Microsoft computers we have in the hands of money-spending consumers, the better the chances are for other solutions - including the open ones; mostly because the "de facto" standard no longer exists. You could argue that Apple has become a monster itself, worse than Microsoft - but at its core Apple is much weaker, they don't have the lasting revenue generating foundation Microsoft has (win32 api). "

The diminished belief is in the failure of Linux to live up to the expectations that were set for it 10 years go. Linux was supposed to kill off the de facto Windows standard on its own. It was supposed to do it without the help of Apple's team of engineers. I suppose you could argue that Apple keeps hope of an alternative open source OS alive which is ironic given the dependency on a proprietary OS.

As for Apple not having lasting revenue that is quite funny given that Linux advocates said the same thing about MS 10 years ago. Linux was supposed to cut Microsoft's margins down to size. People on Slashdot debated as to whether or not Apple would even be around.

I also remember when tech pundits would say that Apple can only sell the ipod for so long. It was only supposed to be a few years before they would be undercut by cheaper devices. Go to a college campus today and you'll see that about half the people listening to music are using white ear buds.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I also remember when tech pundits would say that Apple can only sell the ipod for so long. It was only supposed to be a few years before they would be undercut by cheaper devices. Go to a college campus today and you'll see that about half the people listening to music are using white ear buds.


"College campus today" is hardly representative of situation 5 or so years from now.

I don't believe iPods will necessarily be undercut by cheaper devices, but the more expensive ones (phones).

Reply Score: 2

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

The more non-Microsoft computers we have in the hands of money-spending consumers, the better the chances are for other solutions - including the open ones; mostly because the "de facto" standard no longer exists.

No, this is unfortunately not true. The issue is not MS, the issue is openness. If the non-MS computers are more closed and restricted than MS, then society, and open source with it, is the loser.

More share for Apple is great for Apple, and because of the way that the Apple fans identify with their company as if it were a football team, great for the fans. But our situation, the situation of society, is worse, because people are giving up their intellectual freedom and their ability to use what they want for what they want. A society in which Apple has 25% of the computer market and MS 65% is less free and less intellectually open than one in which MS has 85%. MS is far more open than Apple, and those who care about openness really do not want to see Apple much over single percentage points market share.

You think this is silly? Try to imagine a world in which ebooks and epapers were run in the way in which Apple showed it wanted, the world of the first iTunes or iPhones system. Those showed Apple in its true colors. In the world according to Apple, you will only run the Apple software on Apple hardware. You will only be able to get apps from the Apple store. You will only be able to connect to the networks Apple has a deal with. You will only be able to read or download content Apple approves of. You will only be able to manage the database on your ebook using Apple proprietary software. And as this stuff is cracked by hackers, Apple will perpetually change it, to make sure it keeps all the lockins. Formats will be proprietary, connectors will be pointlessly different from the standard and available only from Apple. The cases will not be openable, memory or storage will cost double or triple the market retail price.

One day you will wake up and discover that nice app that you used all the time to find various information is gone. A few days later you will find out why. It could be used to link to some perfectly legal information source that Apple does not like. The Kama Sutra, maybe, or perhaps a site which is critical of some company, or too sceptical, or not sceptical enough, about global warming. That nice math app you wanted to buy? It has been banned, because it competed with one that Apple preferred you to use.

Anyone who thinks that a world in which Apple has more share is better than one in which it has less, does not understand the relationship between computers and intellectual freedom, and why intellectual freedom is critically important for our society.

And probably does not understand, either, just how authoritarian and restrictive a company Apple really is.

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Anyone who thinks that a world in which Apple has more share is better than one in which it has less, does not understand the relationship between computers and intellectual freedom, and why intellectual freedom is critically important for our society.


Blah.

What I'm saying is:

- Apple is weak - they have nothing of "lasting value" (unless you are a fluffy that thinks their "design" and "marketing" are something that will last). Microsoft has the legacy app base, and the win32 api. Microsoft has real power, Apple has transient / illusory power.

- Apples popularity weakens Microsoft. *Not* Linux. The more evil Apple does, the better for Linux (as people will indeed react at some point, and seek alternatives). Linux can easily overtake Apple - overtaking Microsoft is much harder. Therefore, reducing Microsoft's power is beneficial to Linux, even if Apple gains some power for a while.

I would suggest reading some Macchiavelli, but I'm not sure whether Machiavelli wrote anything about this. But he might have ;-).

Edited 2009-12-10 11:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


- Apples popularity weakens Microsoft. *Not* Linux. The more evil Apple does, the better for Linux (as people will indeed react at some point, and seek alternatives). Linux can easily overtake Apple - overtaking Microsoft is much harder. Therefore, reducing Microsoft's power is beneficial to Linux, even if Apple gains some power for a while.


So are you saying that the future of Linux on the desktop is in the hands of two commercial vendors? When the big boys fight, Linux will finally get a chance to occupy Joe's personal computer?

When reading this line of rhetoric, it seems that there is always either some external force holding Linux back (Microsoft, OEMs, etc.) or some external force pushing Linux to breakthrough (netbooks, ARM, etc.). Seldom do we see angles that would seek to understand the failures and successes within the FOSS. In another words, maybe the big elephants are within the FOSS, not outside it?

It appears that long gone are the days when open source people sought technical excellence. Now any kind of crap seems to cut it as long as it hurts Microsoft or Apple (or who knows what as the goal post keeps moving).

As others have pointed out repeatedly, this sounds like shifting the goal post. First it was easily overtaking Microsoft, now it is easily overtaking Apple. All this while the presence of Linux on the consumer PC sector has been relatively constant.

Please call me when you have overtaken Apple.

Edited 2009-12-10 11:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Seldom do we see angles that would seek to understand the failures and successes within the FOSS. In another words, maybe the big elephants can be found within the FOSS/Linux ecosystem, not outside it?

That's what bugtrackers are for.

It appears that long gone are the days when open source people sought technical excellence.


Excellence is created through having money and developers (and companies providing both of those). You get that by having a bigger share of the pie.

Please call me when you have overtaken Apple.


Will do.

Edited 2009-12-10 11:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

That's what bugtrackers are for.


In the meantime it is just better to continue the decade-old advocacy, the same old arguments, the same old FUD. Like all problems would be solvable in bug tracking systems, like there would not be anything wrong with Linux in its core, in some of its fundamental, technical or non-technical, principles.

Day after day we have to hear this all over again in ONews because.... Why?


Excellence is created through having money and developers (and companies providing both of those). You get that by having a bigger share of the pie.


We must be living in totally different open source planets. This must be the new breed of FOSS.

For once I can actually agree with FSF/GNU on what this is all about. And FYI, it is not about market shares, companies or money. When I write open source software, I do not write it for money or world domination.


Will do.


Make sure that I am not dead by that time. Or living in Mars.

Edited 2009-12-10 12:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

That's what bugtrackers are for.

Well, that way lies the "Blame the user" ethos. "Complaining on a public forum, are you? Well where's your bug report, huh?!" You know the routine. I detest all that.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

...maybe the big elephants are within the FOSS, not outside it?...

The elepants are both within and without. We've driven a lot of them out. But the elephants outside are still the substantial barrier.

Qualitywise, I think that we've dropped out standards a bit. My criticicms of the worst OSS infringers are more well known around here than I would have cared for them to be, had I not felt compelled to voice my concerns.

The lesser offenders are in a feature war, largely driven by Microsoft's successful appropriation of the "I" word for its own PR purposes. I'm less judgemental when it comes to the less flagrant offenders. They may be making the proper decisions. I don't know.

Edited 2009-12-10 18:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

The German Communist Party urged its members to vote for the Nazis in 1933, on the grounds that things had to get worse before they got better, and this would bring the revolution closer.

When Hitler was appointed Chancellor, Hindenburg said complacently that now we had this Hitler fellow just where we wanted him.

Yes, its a violation of that law, whichever it is, I forget....

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


When Hitler was appointed Chancellor, Hindenburg said complacently that now we had this Hitler fellow just where we wanted him.

Yes, its a violation of that law, whichever it is, I forget....


Godwins law; this thread is now officially dead.

Reply Score: 2

v thom's a troll
by bnolsen on Wed 9th Dec 2009 16:23 UTC
Why even bring up Apple?
by robco74 on Thu 10th Dec 2009 00:48 UTC
robco74
Member since:
2009-10-22

I'm not sure what Dell's launch of a new ultraportable always invokes Apple. Why not compare it to the ThinkPad X300? Oh wait, that's an expensive Windows laptop. I suppose one could view it as a MacBook Air at half the price, but they aren't directly comparable. Yes Macs cost more because Apple engineers their own OS. They don't get the economy of scale benefit of licensing Windows. They're also actually implementing solutions to create less waste, make their machines more recyclable and reduce the use of harmful chemicals rather than simply promising to someday.

Dell sells a lot more laptops and as such, offers many more models to appeal to different market segments. Apple offers four notebooks and that's it. Either one works for you or it doesn't. I don't really see how this new Dell directly competes with any Apple laptop. Seems more like invoking Apple to generate page hits and comments. I suppose it's a double-edged sword for Apple. On one side it's good that every laptop gets compared to Apple as if they were the gold standard. OTOH, a lot of apples to oranges comparisons wind up being made.

Reply Score: 2