CNet compares Acer’s TravelMate 8200 to apple’s MacBook Pro, and concludes the Acer wins; but only by a small margin. “The Acer pulled ahead with ample features and superior performance and battery life, then sealed the deal with its lower sticker price. If you’re looking for the most connectivity and fastest performance for your dollar, the TravelMate 8200 is the laptop to buy. The MacBook Pro’s strengths clearly lie in aesthetics, from its lightweight, eye-pleasing design to its graphics-friendly display to its elegant operating system. And Apple’s superior software package could be said to offset the price differential between the MacBook Pro and the TravelMate 8200.”
Comparison: Travelmate, MacBook Pro
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2006-05-03 4:24 pmThom Holwerda
Why don’t you read for a change. CNet clearly states (and I even put it in the teaser):
“And Apple’s superior software package could be said to offset the price differential between the MacBook Pro and the TravelMate 8200.”
2006-05-03 4:37 pmnstuart
So, with that being said, why didn’t they count it? I saw that on the software round, but on the price round it was completly ignored. *shrug*
The only other thing I didn’t agree with was the ‘performance’ testing of Photoshop and the video encoding (both going through Rosetta). There are other ways to test performance of the 2 platforms. This is really the only category that just really doesn’t fly in my book.
2006-05-03 4:40 pmnstuart
*edit* just saw that one sentence on the price round, but still, didn’t it count again?
2006-05-03 6:00 pmBastian
One thing that struck me is that in the benchmark phase, the MacBook Pro came close for all the “traditional” benchmarks, while the wins for the Acer were for Photoshop and video compression, where the MacBook was at an obvious disadvantage since it had to run the benchmark in emulation, and in a video game. They didn’t really pause to mention that the Doom benchmark is different from the others in that it is mostly a test of graphics card performance.
I guess their goal was to provide a single winner at the end, and paying attention to important details and what the benchmarks mean for different tasks is obviously going to make that impossible. But still, I would have wished that they might have said something like, “If you want to do graphics/video work, obviously, the MacBook Pro can’t be a good choice until there’s some software support. And, just incase there’s anyone in the room who hasn’t paid any attention in the past ten years, a Mac is not a good choice for a gamer. But if you’re planning on using your computer for other things, they come out neck-and-neck in the benchmarks.”
2006-05-03 5:01 pmyorch
Thom, I have read the article and it’s true they point out the software difference into the text.
Nevertheless, as someone has posted just after me, they do not take that difference into account when they compare side by side in numbers.
That is exactly what I was trying to say in my “horrible” English
(BTW, why don’t you try to be a just a little bit more polite in your replies, for a change…)
2006-05-03 5:19 pmThom Holwerda
Nevertheless, as someone has posted just after me, they do not take that difference into account when they compare side by side in numbers.
That’s actually a good thing. To you, OSX might be a pluspoint; however, to someone else, it might be a downside. It’s too much a matter of taste to be of any use in a decent comparison. I actually applaud them for leaving it out.
2006-05-03 7:20 pmvimh
“To you, OSX might be a pluspoint; however, to someone else, it might be a downside. It’s too much a matter of taste to be of any use in a decent comparison.”
I have to agree with this. Quite honestly, I could care less about iLife and I’ve never liked the look or feal of OSX. I don’t much like XP look either. I prefer the Win2000 look.
Neither OS comes with software that I use so I’m more interested in the hardware and how it performs using those applications. I don’t care which OS they are running on.
Based on this review, I’d go for the Acer. Based on my own research and my personal hardware preferences, I wouldn’t buy either.
2006-05-03 11:35 pmprotagonist
“That’s actually a good thing. To you, OSX might be a pluspoint; however, to someone else, it might be a downside. It’s too much a matter of taste to be of any use in a decent comparison. I actually applaud them for leaving it out.”
I think you are missing the point. OS X aside, the iLife suite alone has no equivalent on the XP machine unless you go out and pay extra for the software. And what iLife provides is software that is essential if you are going to do anything with audio/video on your computer.
2006-05-04 6:16 amalcibiades
Are you really telling us that only 3% of the world is running software which permits them to do audio-visual applications? And within that 3%, that only iLife cuts it?
This is a denial of reality to the point of insanity!
Just think about the implications of one fact. Right now, whatever may happen in the future, right now Photoshop on MacIntel runs at one third speed, and will for at least a year. Think about what that means for audio visual applications on a Mac.
No, don’t write. Think about it.
2006-05-04 10:19 amsnowbender
No, he/she is _not_ saying that. Read his/her comment:
“OS X aside, the iLife suite alone has no equivalent on the XP machine unless you go out and pay extra for the software. And what iLife provides is software that is essential if you are going to do anything with audio/video on your computer.”
He is saying that for the ‘home’ user, OSX comes out of the box with nice software to do audio/video stuff on your computer. If you want something similar on Windows XP, you need to buy it separately.
2006-05-04 10:43 amalcibiades
He said in the other post:
“I switched to a Mac several years ago after an endless struggle trying to get decent software to work with audio/video on a Windows machine. I spent a lot of money on software for that end and it never seemed to work very well.”
Agreed, the second post is a bit less extreme, but I think he really does mean that macs are essential for audio video. And I think that is nonsense.
As for iLife, its probable real value is the retail price it sells for. Why would it be any different?
2006-05-04 12:03 pmsnowbender
Ah, ok.. in that sense I agree with you.
As for iLife, I believe most people never acknowledge this when comparing the price of an Apple computer with the price of another computer. Of course, you get iLife and (probably) pay its price whether you want it or not. But I believe that Apple wants to offer the consumer a “complete” product, a kind of ‘all-in’ package: hardware+software for doing the stuff the “average” user needs. And their software and hardware is decent quality. I think their idea is that you buy a computer ‘package’ at Apple, come home, unpack it and can start doing most “normal” stuff out of the box.
I think it’s a model you either like or hate.
2006-05-03 4:45 pmWintermute
We all know, that Apple does nothing new with its hardware. We also know that OS X isn’t objectively better than it’s alternatives. An Apple fan might believe OS X to be worth $100, but that doesn’t apply to everyone else. You guys are treating OS X (and its software) as if it’s another processor or something. It’s not!
Get over the fanboyism! Just because Apple’s computers come with OS X, that doesn’t mean that’s a good justification for the Apple price tag.
Just agree, that you will never accept a non apple product being better than your precious.
2006-05-03 7:08 pmBen2040
“Get over the fanboyism! Just because Apple’s computers come with OS X, that doesn’t mean that’s a good justification for the Apple price tag.”
Doesn’t mean it’s not either…
2006-05-03 7:54 pmBastian
Nor is it objectively equal to other operating systems. For someone who does get a benefit from OS X over other operating systems, it may well be worth the extra cost.
It’s not that I won’t accept a non-apple product as being better than my precious. I agree, Windows is a better platform for some purposes. Me, I have three different computers running four different operating systems at home. However, my Mac is the one that I use the most. This is the case for a multitude of reasons, most of which I consider very practical, not for mere fanboyism. And even though I’m perfectly comfortable on a few other platforms that are a whole lot cheaper, and even though there are plenty of situations where I prefer to work with other platforms, to me being able to run OS X is worth the extra $400.
2006-05-03 11:31 pmprotagonist
“Get over the fanboyism! Just because Apple’s computers come with OS X, that doesn’t mean that’s a good justification for the Apple price tag.”
it is not about being a fanboy. If you take an objective look, (and objective is the key word here), you will find that you will have to spend at least several hundred dollars on software for the XP laptop to get it up to the same level as the included software with the Apple laptop. The iLife suite alone runs circles around anything that comes standard with Windows.
2006-05-04 8:20 amsnowbender
Did you ever check the price of Microsoft Windows Xp Professional? Even an OEM version? That is a lot higher than the 100 dollar (even though I believe it’s more like 125 dollar) for OSX. I don’t like to compare with Windows Xp Home version, since that’s a purposely cut down version of the professional version.
I believe that OSX is “objectively” better than its alternatives, keeping in mind a certain user group of course. Have you ever actually used OSX? Tiger has several features that are not available in Windows Xp (at least not without installing extra third-party applications), even though several are features that Microsoft intends to provide in Vista. But still, look at the time between the release of Tiger and the release of Vista.
I also believe that “objectively” (even though one could argue about this), OSX is much better from a user friendliness point of view. With this, I always keep in mind a not computer savvy person who needs to do something. For example, installing an application: in OSX, drag your application into the “Applications” folder and that’s it. Uninstalling? Drag your application into the trashcan. Now, compare that to Windows. This may seem something stupid, but for some users this is not so evident. And it’s not just installing applications, it’s all of little things. For example, there’s a firewall, but you can also activate an ftp-server or an ssh-server easily and when you activate those, Tiger will make sure that the firewall let’s them go through. Also for example the fact that starting an ftp-server to transfer files is so very easy to do (only check a check box), is something I like about it. Sharing files over windows networks? Just check a check box in a clear control panel.
For example, I also like their printer management. You can store a certain set of printer settings (say, high quality settings for printing photos) in a profile, so that it’s easily accessible when you print certain content. I don’t know whether one can do this in Windows Xp, since I didn’t actually use Xp a whole lot, I’ve used it for a limited time, but later got back to Windows 2000, since I like that one more.
I think you can say that Windows Xp is better than OSX Tiger for one thing, and that’s memory usage. Tiger eats ram, it really needs a lot of memory to run good (it runs with 512mb ram, but not comfortable, it begs for more). I think Windows Xp is happy with a lot less.
I’ve used OSX for several months and I believe it’s a very good operating system for users who are not that handy with computers, but it is definitely also interesting for more advanced users (who can come to like it). Personally, I like linux a lot more than OSX (both because of environments like Gnome and E17, and the “easier” availability of programs like emacs, latex, and probably also because Linux has been my main platform for years and I’m used to it), but I still think it’s a very good operating system and I definitely prefer OSX above Windows. OSX is just more advanced.
You’ll probably shoot me down as another “fanboy”, but I suspect you haven’t even seen OSX in action, let alone spend a considerable amount of time working with it.
Also.. I can’t believe that people _still_ come with their “the Apple price tag”. Check the Apple prices… really go check them. Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service, then come back and tell me how much “the Apple tax” really is.
Instead of always calling Apple users “fan boys”, give some real arguments. The price difference might be there, but for some people the price difference is nothing compared to the added value that the whole Apple “package” gives them. I know that is subjective and maybe for you, you see no added value. That does not mean that an Apple user is a fan boy.
2006-05-04 11:53 ammaxmg
I believe that OSX is “objectively” better than its alternatives, keeping in mind a certain user group of course. Have you ever actually used OSX?…
I suspect you haven’t even seen OSX in action, let alone spend a considerable amount of time working with it.
Well, I’m using it right now, so I hope my comments are valid.
OSX is much better from a user friendliness point of view. With this, I always keep in mind a not computer savvy person who needs to do something.
Ok, how about on a UK bought iBook you try to locate the # symbol?* Or what about the much publicised ‘rock solid’ Unix underpinnings? Here’s what you need to do just to get xdvi to work:
Install X from the installation CD from the optional extras, then type “export DISPLAY=:0.0” at a command line. Start X and then start xdvi from the command line of the apple terminal (not the X’s xterm)
and xdvi is something that a ‘non savvy person’ might want to use if they’re used to latex. OS X doesn’t even come set up to open dvi files…. and Safari can occasionally drive you a bit nuts with its way of handling downloads. Not to mentioning you can’t maximize windows in the dock (though doing apple-key L will maximize safari, but that is a cheat). It is just as annoying as XP. To bastardize the Mutt slogan: all operating systems suck, this one just sucks less, perhaps.
Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service,
Its customer service is routinely very frustrating, fixing problems is vey expensive out of warranty, and its build quality is very mixed. Look at the iBook logic board issue and all the bad feeling that generated. Or the iPods with bad screens. Perhaps they just get more bad press about their problems than Dell, but you don’t get many people defending Dell in quite the same way as people do with Apple.
* it’s alt+3 in case you were wondering.
2006-05-04 1:07 pmsnowbender
Ok, how about on a UK bought iBook you try to locate the # symbol?
Hmm.. I have an iBook with an international qwerty keyboard, I assumed that was UK/qwerty since it’s definitely not US/interational qwerty, but since I do have ‘#’ with Shift-3, I guess it’s not UK/qwerty then. I wouldn’t know about your keyboard though, but that’s something you could check/ask before buying.
Or what about the much publicised ‘rock solid’ Unix underpinnings?
The rock solid Unix underpinnings have not much to do with your problem with xdvi IMHO. I know, X11 applications are just what I call “second-class citizens” on OSX. It’s useful you can use them, but in general it’s better to avoid them. I know since I ended up running a whole X11 desktop with fluxbox/xterm/emacs/gv, and then I just installed linux.
But there are applications available for using latex on OSX, for example iTeXMaC and TeXShop. Normally there’s not need for dvi if you go straight to pdf. There is a native dvi viewer on OSX, but it’s shareware MacDviX.
Anyways, I consider my sis a “non computer savvy” person, but she did use latex for her thesis because of the obvious advantages. However, I’m pretty sure she has no idea what “dvi” is.
Look at the iBook logic board issue and all the bad feeling that generated.
Well… I happen to have experienced this first-hand, with a G3 iBook, which I bought in Taiwan. I started having problems when it was already out of warranty. I didn’t buy the extra warranty since I thought chances that it would break down were small, and that it would need to be pretty bad to cost as much as the warranty. Also, the extra warranty for an iBook is a lot compared to its price (back then in Taiwan it was, anyway). In any case, I brought it in in an Apple Center in Belgium and it was covered by their special logic board repair program. In the end, they had to send it to an Apple repair center in the Netherlands, but they sent it and repaired it for free and I could pick it up after two weeks. It’s not fun to miss a laptop for 2 weeks. In fact, I imagine for a lot of people it’s just intolerable. In any case, to make things short, I had to bring it back 3 times more. And then it broke down for the 5th time. That was getting too much, even though it was repaired for free all the time. So, this time I just called straight to Apple Customer service to tell them about the problem and that I really didn’t see the point in having it repaired again because obviously it’s gonna break down again. They transferred me to another person, who reviewed the repairs on my laptop, told me that was indeed not normal and then offered to send me the new G4 iBook instead. And a week later or so, I could drop off my old G3 iBook and pick up a new G4 in an Apple Center.
The logic board problem was very annoying for those who were affected by it. Definitely doesn’t give a good impression for someone like me who gets this problem with the first Apple computer he bought. On the other hand, I can understand this kind of manufacturing problem can happen and in the end I’m happy in the way it was resolved. I doubt I’d get the same kind of service with a lot of other brands.
At least, I know a friend who has a (pretty high-end) Compaq laptop, which has been giving him problems from the beginning. The reason is probably that the laptop gets too hot and then locks up. It’s rumored to get too hot by bad design (it contains one of the first AMD laptop cpus). He brought it in several times, but then gets it back with them saying that they can’t find a problem with the laptop and that it doesn’t lock up when they test it. In the end, my problem has been resolved, but this friend still can’t do much with his laptop.
2006-05-04 2:35 pmmaxmg
I have an iBook with an international qwerty keyboard, I assumed that was UK/qwerty since it’s definitely not US/interational qwerty, but since I do have ‘#’ with Shift-3, I guess it’s not UK/qwerty then. I wouldn’t know about your keyboard though, but that’s something you could check/ask before buying.
I bought it from the Apple’s on-line UK store. I think we ought to be able to trust them to ship a keyboard to the UK that has a # (US pound) symbol marked on it somewhere. Shift-3 is the £ (UK pound) symbol. The problem is that in the UK they haven’t marked the # symbol on at all. That’s pretty poor for a company that ships high quality goods, supposedly.
Edited 2006-05-04 14:36
2006-05-04 12:55 pmBryanFeeney
Just to note:
“Objective” is something that can be unambiguously asserted based on known and accepted facts
“Subjective” is something that is asserted based on personal experience and opinion.
Technically a lot of what you said in your comment was subjective. Personally I’m on the fence. I got enthused by Mac OS X when Panther and then Tiger came out, but I’m not so certain now. The whole Rev A syndrome is a bit off-putting, but on the other hand, the industrial design is top-notch.
2006-05-04 2:02 pmsnowbender
Technically a lot of what you said in your comment was subjective.
I know the meaning of the words objective and subjective, so in a sense I have to agree. That’s why I wrote the word in quotes. I tried to be as objective as possible. The question is whether one can say something really objective about userfriendliness.
2006-05-04 2:00 pmWintermute
Bla bla bla, I’ve never seen OS X in action. Wait, I though Apple was the company that made records…
Let’s start with the basics. What made you think I consider XP better? Did I even talk about XP, did I even mention another OS? You make so many assumptions about my views…
Where did I say that OS X is worse than Vista? (I don’t agree or disagree with that statement, IMHO they both suck). The point I was trying to make is that you cannot treat OS X as an extra processor or an extra GB of RAM. You cannot say that OS X is worth $400 because valuing OS X is a completely subjective thing. You might love some features of OS X, while I would dislike them. I dislike iTunes, I dislike Quicktime, I dislike Apple’s package management system.
So don’t treat Apple’s OS as a $400 dollar feature. It’s a feature for some and a pain for others.
“Also.. I can’t believe that people _still_ come with their “the Apple price tag”. Check the Apple prices… really go check them. Then compare them with the prices of similar hardware from another high-quality brand which gives you similar quality of customer service, then come back and tell me how much “the Apple tax” really is. ”
See you still keep on with your customer service and bla bla bla. Did you consider the fact that I don’t need customer support and that for me it’s a waste of money? Granted for laptops, it’s a different issue (not much choice with laptops), but there is still the issue what’s so special about their customer service?
The point I am trying to make is that no matter how good you think OS X is, you cannot use it as an arguement to show that a certain laptop is worse than another. How you value OS X is subjective. You just don’t get it that for some people OS X isn’t worth the extra price. That’s why poeple consider it a tax.
Why am I supposed to justify why OS X suck? You guys are the ones that are stating that OS X justifies the price. When someone makes a statement like that, he has to take the burden of the arguement.
But just to point prove you wrong, I will tell you why OS X sucks for me:
-No 3rd party support for MKV editing (thats crucial for me, so why the f–k should I pay extra money for an OS that doesn’t support MKV editing, do you now see how your ‘fair price’ arguement is going down the toilet.
-I don’t like the idea of static libs (read one of my posts for explanations). Sure windows has this problem as well, but I never said that windows is better.
-I dislike iTunes and quicktime. In general I don’
t like Apple’s attitude to alternative formats (thats right, I use ogg/Xvid/MKV and I am not paying extra to be told what formats to use.
-I don’t like Apple’s dock. Windows taskbar is very limited and it sux but it’s still better if you like minimalism.
Are you starting why not everyone considers OS X to be ‘added value’? So don’t treat OS X as objective advantage for Apple.
2006-05-04 3:36 pmsnowbender
The original post was about “The value in an Apple computer is not in the hardware, it’s in OSX and the extra software that is included.” Apple as a company gives its customers a complete product that consists of hardware, operating system and certain software. That’s Apple’s right and Apple’s choice. In part, this explains part of the price difference.
You said “An Apple fan might believe OS X to be worth $100, but that doesn’t apply to everyone else.” I compared with Windows XP because for the ‘average’ user, only Windows or OSX are viable options. From that point of view, OSX is not that expensive and is in my opinion the better choice. Sorry about getting carried away about OSX, I wanted to point out that for certain people OSX is functionally better than Windows and it is not about being an Apple fan boy.
You gave me the impression in your initial post (Get over the fanboyism!) that you (just like many others, it seems) consider every Apple user a fan boy, who can’t objectively decide what machine suits him best and what laptop gives him the best deal. I’m starting to get really annoyed with every time again hearing the same arguments about the price tag. Some years back, I bought an iBook because it was the cheapest 12″ laptop I could find with similar features. (I also knew that it was 100% supported, also power management, wireless, suspend-to-ram and the like on linux, which is important for me)
If for someone OSX and iLife is worth the 400$, then so be it. If someone is really fond of Apple hardware from an aesthetically point of view, then so be it. No need to call them Apple fan boys.
The point I am trying to make is that no matter how good you think OS X is, you cannot use it as an argument to show that a certain laptop is worse than another. How you value OS X is subjective. You just don’t get it that for some people OS X isn’t worth the extra price. That’s why people consider it a tax.
I completely agree with your point about it being subjective. I do get that for some people OSX isn’t worth the extra price. I do get that some people don’t care about customer service and don’t want it. I also get that some people don’t care about the weight of their laptop. I also get that a lot of people don’t care about the amount of noise their laptop makes. I get that different people have different requirements regarding laptops. I still feel that it’s not right to call it a tax, or to call Apple hardware over-priced.
Also note what I said at the end of my previous post.
The price difference might be there, but for some people the price difference is nothing compared to the added value that the whole Apple “package” gives them. I know that is subjective and maybe for you, you see no added value. That does not mean that an Apple user is a fan boy.
What’s so special about Apple customer service? I am not saying that other companies don’t have customer service that is as good. Apple warranty is valid internationally, and I know I can drop off my laptop in any Apple center. For example, I wouldn’t know where I could hand in the Acer in here if there’s a problem with it. Unless I bought it here and could bring it back to the shop. Subjective argument? Probably.
My point is that you need to consider the whole thing to explain the price. Maybe that doesn’t make it worth it for you, but it’s still part of the price and an explanation why it’s more expensive. And it is what gives the Apple computers added value for some people. (I know, “some”)
About why OSX sucks for you.
MKV editing… mkvtoolnix from http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/downloads.html#macosx? I don’t know whether that’s what you mean, but I used that before on linux and it’s available for OSX.
I also don’t like iTunes and Quicktime, but you can get access to ogg/xvid/mkv with vlc (videolan media player), even though it’s not perfect as a music player.
2006-05-05 4:42 amPlatformAgnostic
I work in a helpdesk environment and we see our fair (unfair?) share of mac laptops down there. They’re not very serviceable computers (almost all PCs except for Sony Laptops have their disk drives accessible by removing one or two screws).
Apple service is not particularly good either. Dell never gives us any problems when it comes to sending us replacement parts. We do not often replace Apple parts ourselves because they are pretty delicate internally. If the computer needs serious service, we usually get it sent in to Apple, but sometimes they are returned without repair due to minor bumps or scratches (basically if they are not pristine).
the article author either missed these or did not care, but he states that the Acer has s/pdif (doesnt clarify if it is In or Out), yet no mention of the MacBook.
the MacBook has s/pdif In and Out via optical.
not a huge thing, but if you are going to state product a has item a, then you should also state if product b has item a.
MacBook Pro can dual boot Windows and OS X.
MacBook Pro wins.
Then Apple wins. Because you could run XP and OS X on MacBook Pro. Use Acer, you have no access to OS X and its applications…
2006-05-03 6:33 pmLu-Tze
That is assuming all end users need access to OS X. Most end users stick to one OS. Also, I don’t see this explicitly mentioned (maybe I missed it) but it does not seem like they include the cost of the XP licence for dual booting. That might increase the price difference even more. Of course, if you NEED both OSes, then you don’t need to read this comparison, you just need to head to the Apple store. Because, then it doesn’t matter how bad or expensive a Mac is, you still need to buy it. This comparison is only meant for people who need a single OS (not including Linux).
2006-05-03 6:57 pmWintermute
Let’s not get carried away. OS X applications aren’t the saviour of the computing world. I am sure OS X has some very good applications, but its share of crap. I wouldn’t really say iTunes is much better than WMP and have you tried getting anything but AOL working on iChat.
I am simply horrified by the reaction for the Apple fanboy club, you guys are never going to face reality. As much as I support open source, I am not going to drop down this low and make excuses to justify that OSS applications/systems are the best. In same cases, for some people, they can be the best, the same can be said about Apple products. For instance, for me it’s was pointless to have a multimedia player that doesn’t support ogg (this was before I found out about Rockbox), so obviously an Ipod would be useless. But no , everyone on the net (and many of my friends) seem to insist that Apple is the best.
2006-05-03 7:20 pmgodawful
the ol’ “i’m the only sane person in a town of crazies!” argument.
sooner or later you have to look back at your reasoning..
2006-05-03 8:09 pmJacobMunoz
I agree about OSX’s lack of ogg support being a major downside – I too, despise the iPods. iTunes has so few features, sure it’s easy to use – but I’m not stupid so I don’t need ‘easy’ (who thinks Winamp is ‘hard’?). Apple has dropped support for OS9 and earlier ‘Classic’ systems, so legacy software (which will always have it’s usefulness somewhere) is no good anymore.
On a true (PC BIOS, not EFI MacIntel) X86 you can have BSD(like thirty versions of it), Linux(about a hundred version of it), Windows(8 versions or so), SkyOS, Syllable, BeOS/Zeta, Bluebottle, OS/2, DOS(ten or so variants), Darwin, JNode, Plan9, and the unending list of hobby OSes.
On Macs, you’re stuck with Yellowdog Linux, OSX, BeOS 3/4.something, PPC-BSD, and maybe three or four other obscure ones…
Anyone who says that Macs have a software advantage hasn’t seriously looked past their own personal bias. They have been dedicated to those who prefer ‘defaults’ to ‘choices’. Sorry, I’ve seen both sides – and Macs just don’t stack up.
2006-05-03 11:37 pmgodawful
doesn’t virtualization on macs really negate all of that aside from games?
you can now run a windows VM, a linux vm with gnome or kde or whatever, and all sorts of others.. at the same time.. at native speeds..
so you can run just about whatever you want, including os x apps, which you may only run on a mac (for better or worse)
2006-05-03 11:53 pmprotagonist
“Anyone who says that Macs have a software advantage hasn’t seriously looked past their own personal bias. They have been dedicated to those who prefer ‘defaults’ to ‘choices’. Sorry, I’ve seen both sides – and Macs just don’t stack up.”
I say Macs have a software advantage and it has nothing to do with personal bias. I would attribute your statement to your own personal bias so how are you any different? I switched to a Mac several years ago after an endless struggle trying to get decent software to work with audio/video on a Windows machine. I spent a lot of money on software for that end and it never seemed to work very well.
When I bought my Mac I found that I could do everything I needed to do with either the included or free software. I eventually did purchase some extra software for some added functionality I wanted, but it was nowhere near what I had spent on the Windows side.
2006-05-04 9:56 amsnowbender
“I agree about OSX’s lack of ogg support being a major downside”
It indeed is a downside that it’s not included by default. But I believe you can add this afterwards. If we look at Windows, does Windows Media Player play oggs by default?
The remark about legacy software and backwards compatibility. Yeah, it has advantages that you can run your applications from x years ago on a current operating system and current hardware. I do see this advantage. But on the other hand, I also realise that hardware (x86 for example) and operating systems drag a lot of extra complexity with them just to provide this backwards compatibility. In a way, I sometimes wish that they could use the knowledge acquired during all those years to build something from scratch, that is not limited by the need for backwards compatibility. That should result in a nice and clean platform (both hardware and os), I think. It would however be a nightmare for users and developers, I also realise that. But in principle I don’t find breaking backwards compatibility necessarily a bad thing.
“On Macs, you’re stuck with Yellowdog Linux, …”
I assume you’re referring to PowerPC based macs then? In any case, there’s a lot more linux versions that support the PowerPC architecture. I happen to run Debian Linux, but also the Ubuntu, Gentoo, Mandrake, Suse, Mandriva Linux distro’s run on powerpc hardware. You can also run NetBSD, OpenBSD and Darwin for sure as far as BSDs go. I wouldn’t call those “obscure ones”.
Just mentioning this for the people who might be misled by your post.
The argument that you can’t run certain OSes natively on powerpc hardware is a bit weak in my opinion. You can’t go out to an Apple shop and buy Mac OSX Tiger for your no-brand x86 hardware. I think that is relevant for a lot more people than it is relevant for people that they can run DOS natively. Btw, I’m pretty sure that older versions of Windows do not run anymore on recent hardware. At least I couldn’t install Windows95 on my pentium4 1.7Ghz because it was basically too fast. (Windows95 uses a timing loop, which on fast hardware results in a division by zero; Microsoft had a fix for this, but to install the patch to make windows run, you needed windows running so you could install the patch)
“Anyone who says that Macs have a software advantage hasn’t seriously looked past their own personal bias.”
You need to add “in their opinion” in your mind when someone says that. I don’t think I need to take into account someone elses personal bias when I’m chosing what I’m gonna buy. But, still, most people don’t care about running SkyOS, OS/2, ten variants of DOS, Plan9 and an unending list of hobby OSes, that’s in fact irrelevant for the majority of computer users. I think for the majority of computer users there’s only 2 OSes or maybe 3: Windows and OSX, and maybe Linux. Whether OSX offers a software advantage is of course subjective and depends on the software you need and on what you like. I think that looking at the amount of software, then you have an advantage with Windows, if you look at the average quality of software, I believe you have an advantage with OSX.
2006-05-04 2:55 pmJacobMunoz
Thank you for the respectful response, a true sign of professionalism.
I agree that man Linux distros have concurrent versions on different hardware platforms, but many of the powerful apps are hardware dependent – so while the OS may support PPC, your favorite app may not. Plus, the Apple harddisk partitioning scheme does not happily coexist with standard PC partition schemes – so this can sometimes throw a monkeywrench into your plans.
And I have to admit that you were correct in saying that I should have added ‘in my opinion’ to my statements – an oversight on my part. But when I consider what software I want (or need) to run – my first concern is ‘choice’. There are many applications for OSX, and yes they are quite good – however, the choices are limited in their selection and quite often the features of these programs are often limited to basic functionality. Apple’s ‘Finder’ is ugly and (to me) child-like, with so little customization (can’t even explore an app directory?), and as it is the main (if ONLY) shell other than a bash terminal – I see it as a major failure.
It is true that most people don’t care about hobby OSes, but this is a characteristic trait that will end up locking you into one platform (for many, XP). People need to be reminded that there are more than just Microsoft and Apple products, and that these two are not inherently ‘superior’ to anything else. I may not NEED choices, but without them – I feel like the computer is telling ME what to do, versus the other way around.
So when comparing these two laptops, I’ve completely ignored the OS mainly because I know I’d blow away whatever was installed. And after the OS is gone you are left with just the hardware which (to me) must be as compatible and standard as possible.
Thanks for the nice reply…
No? Then it LOSES!
I used to wonder that if the MacBook Pro were a Windows machine, would it be priced under $2000, or even under $1500. Now, I can see that would not be the case. The Acer Travelmate, a very similar machine, lists for over $2000 at discount warehouse outlets like TigerDirect. So, the MacBook Pro might not be the ripoff that I thought it was.
2006-05-03 7:46 pmBastian
I’m wondering, does Acer bundle third-party apps the way Dell does? If that’s the case, then this Acer laptop might be even closer to the MacBook Pro if all that bribeware were removed.
People always say that Macs are a better value because of the included software, well what if I don’t want the software? I wish laptop companies would sell their computers without ANY software other than maybe drivers. Why do I have to keep paying for software I have already bought? On the Windows side, I could just install my own version of windows, Apple side I have OSX disks and iLife disks, why can’t they market the hardware seperate? Then we could REALLY see what you get for the money.
2006-05-03 8:32 pmGrapeGraphics
You have OS X Intel disks? Hmmm, they’re only available when you buy a new Intal Mac… iLife as well.
In any case, if you paid for a licence and you’re going to be using it on two computers, why complain about being legal, To save $130.00?
Oh, and what about front row? don’t want it? oh well…
Macs are a better value with the software… just the iLife suite alone is worth every penny when buying it retail… and to get it with your Mac, well… that ain’t bad.
After using Windows and the MAC OS for over 20 years, I’ll gladly pay for the MAC OS but hesitate purchasing Windows. It’s just my opinion, but it is a fact.
almost has worse as OSS fundies.
Just grow up guys. Geez… I’ve been a MacOS X user. And MacOS X, once the novelty gets old, isn’t that hot.
A point they barely mentioned in the review (at least as far as I saw) was the size of the TravelMate versus the MacBook Pro. For some people this actually means something. The Acer machine is 20% heavier, 50% thicker, and displaces a whopping 70% larger volume. That difference in size will obviously increase the price quite a bit. I don’t think there’s a lot of question of which computer I personally would have chosen of the two.
When OS X 10.5 Leopard is released it will be thoroughly tested and supported on the Mac Book Pro along with newer versions of iLife and most Apple services and products. Unless Apple seriously deviates from its historical practices.
When Windows Vista is released, Acer will have forgotten about this model Travel-mate and trying to sell you its successor. If Vista so happens to work on the old model, consider yourself lucky. Unless Acer seriously deviates from its historical practices.
2006-05-04 12:47 pmg__t
“When Windows Vista is released, Acer will have forgotten about this model Travel-mate and trying to sell you its successor. If Vista so happens to work on the old model, consider yourself lucky. Unless Acer seriously deviates from its historical practices.”
Come on, XP works fine on old hardware (I’m talking about pre 2000 machines) and 9x works fine on up to mid 90s machines, and since there is no MS fanboy, we have Linux or BSD that can even scale to older hardware, even Apple’s one.
I read in The Register that Apple is now suing Something Awful for lining to a site which displays…the MacBook Pro service manual!
This is a most illuminating case history in
1) Apple hardware quality and quality control
2) Apple approaches to freedom of information
3) Mac users’ reactions to Apple quality problems.
Do you all still think the stuff is better built? And runs Photoshop faster?
I really don’t see how any PC laptop can beat an Apple one, I’m sorry. Now, I use XP on my desktop when I have to, and I run Linux, and of course I have OS X on my laptop. By *far* I am the happiest and most productive when I am running OS X. XP is just horrible, horrible, horrible. How anybody can think otherwise just boggles my mind.
I was in the Sony Building in Ginza, Tokyo, recently and I saw the cool Vaio stuff available to people in Japan. Like the Type T Vaio laptop. This stuff is very nice and very sleek. But then I look at the screen and see XP, and I’m sorry, but the OS just does not match how nice that hardware is. I remember thinking “boy, I’d so love to have this laptop… if it ran OS X.”. OS X is a deal clincher for me, I just can’t see myself buying another computer without it.
Call me a fanboy if you want, but I’ve come to this point of view after using a whole variety of operating systems and owning a number of computers. I just can not make myself like XP is any way.
The value in an Apple computer is not in the hardware, it’s in OSX and the extra software that is included.
CNET’s review fails on this because the OS is not just “another” component and therefore cannot be valued in the same way, IMHO.