Apple's Notebooks Take On the PC Competition



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I am a laptop tech at an Ontario College... we have a number of "laptop mandatory" programs.  We did a study this year to see which systems are more compatible with our network security, printing system, network drives, etc etc. It also asked all of these students if they were happy with the the platform they chose (so in future years we can encourage students to buy Mac for one program, or buy Windows system for a different program)

 63% of our Mac owners in business related classes are now upset they are "proud" owners of Macs (as opposed to 8% of Windows users being upset with their systems).  They were duped by those commercials stating it's so much easier to use a Mac.  It takes us approximately 7 minutes per Mac to set up printing to 1 single lab printer, and approx 4 mins per Windows XP/Vista computer to set up printing in ALL labs in the entire College...




Oh, and use the correct terminology (IE PC = Personal Computer, not merely Windows).


Tell that to Steve Jobs, and get him to stop making PC versus Mac commercials. 



HOLY CRAP! The constant banter is insane! Grow up. Don't resort to pre-teen insults and unfounded accusations on principle. Oh, and why in the world would anyone think that he/she is qualified to make an accurate opinion of something (let alone express it to the world) when he/she has never used it? Or at least not the newest and improved version. And by used it, I don't mean jumped on a friend's, couldn't figure it out, and decided to log on and rant about it. Besides, everything has it's upsides and downsides. If you must speak, please, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF SANITY, make an informed decicision and THEN review. If you don't like something, please give us a logical explanation more than "it sux cuz i cant figure it out and itz expensive." Either way, I'm one who likes both Mac and Windows. Oh, and use the correct terminology (IE PC = Personal Computer, not merely Windows). 







Learning new things, one day at a time.



Will please, give us an explanation, give us faith in our PC and Notebooks machines.  Dell customers needs an explanation about the software bug that your editor mentioned in the article.



Dear Maximum PC People, i have been a loyal fan for six years and never readed an article so unfair like this, comparing under powerful notebook machines with poor optimization for vista againts a Mac Book Pro (really the mac is only a beautiful an expensive machine, is only fashion not power).  Recently i bougth two Dell machines, a XPS M1730 plenty of power with the latest Intel Processor X9000 2.8, 2  hard drives 200 GB in raid 0 7200 rpm, LCD 1900x1200 full HD, 2 8800m in sli, 4gb ram and blu ray writer 2x; and a XPS M1330 with a 9300 intel dual core 2.5, 4 GB, dvd writer, led display 1200x800, graphic card 8400 gs 128mb, HDMI, 9 cell battery, HDD 360 GB and Wireless N.  Both are beautiful, powerful, with an excellent service for Colombia (my country) and a very good price too (M1330 was cheaper than the Mac Book Pro or mac book in any configuration possible) 10/10.  I think that vista (i have vista ultimate for both machines and my opinion is that is a very good operating system that only needs a powerful machine); for me Leopard is for housewifes, fashion people and adolescents).

 Please excuse me about  my rage against your editor but i believe in you, i learn about hardware with your magazine, an i feel that you editor was unfair and parcial with the Mac Book Pro.  Steve Jobs is my hero but not for the PCs or Lantops, is my hero for the iphone and the ipods, for the marketing and the stores, but he needs to improve the hardware, change the prize strategy, open the leopard to PC customers and give us more for more.



In spanish:  Amigos de Maximum pc he sido su fiel admirador y lector por 6 años, he comprado todas sus revistas y en ninguna vi una comparación mas sesgada y falta de criterio como la comparación de un Mac Book Pro (muy bonito y esteticamente agradable eso si), con maquinas de poco poder, que no estan optimizadas para Windows Vista.  Para mi Dell es lo mejor pues te ofrece los ultimos penryn, con 4 gb por defecto en sus configuraciones, discos SDD y hasta blu ray.  Yo recientemente compré un a XPS M1730 con un procesador intel dual core X9000, LCD 1900 x1200 full HD, Bluray writer, 4 gb de ram, dos discos duros en raid 0 de 200GB a 7200RPM, wireless N y 2 8800n GTX en SLI;  y una XPS M1330 con un intel 9300 4GB de ram, disco duro de 360 GB, wireless N y pantalla de LED de 1200 x 800, a unos precios increiblemente buenos y con garantias y servicio excelentes para mi país Colombia.  Por que  no incluyen equipos de verdad en sus analisis¡¡¡¡¡.  Vista es excelente pero merece maquinas poderosas, Leopard es para amas de casa.

 Treason, put your editor in flames, directo to burn at the stake



If you are a registered owner of Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator, Adobe will let you do a cross platform upgrade if you upgrade to the latest version.  If you are already at the latest version, you just have to fill out a form promising to destroy your Windows version of the software, and they will send you the full Mac version of that software.  I almost recently switched to an iMac, because I love the operating system so much.  Then I saw the glossy screen and had to give up.  I don't want to have to buy a MBP just to get a matte LCD screen.



after having gone through a "Mac Phase" I've concluded they suck.

1. Upgade-ability try changing a hard drive on a Powerbook or MacBook Pro, hope you have a few hours. Takes 5 minutes on my Thinpad.

2. They don't hold up I had more problems with the 3 Macs I had than with all other PCs I've owned combined.

3. Gaming, nuff said.

4. Mac users are just like that snarky little prick in the comercials.

5. Steve Jobs



Steve jobs really makes a difference in why macs suck?

and there are alot of games for the mac.


And i'm a prick? Because of the computer i choose? Lame.


PC users who hate mac: ignore mac. use your pc.

Mac users who hate PC: ignore pc. use your mac.

PC and Mac users who are happy using both platforms: you are the ones who think that they both rock in their own way, and suck in their own way. That's all. 



PC means 'PERSONAL COMPUTER' not a Windows/Linux computer. Mac is a personal computer.



no long for justin long? (did you not see galaxy quest?)

-- Norm



That review would fit in nicely at PC Magazine.


one Infinite loop

Look at all the PC guys crying. I absolutely love it.

Macs rule, but when you are faced with the facts you call Mac users gay. How mature, and typical of a PC user. I also love the ones that complain of price, which usually means you need a better job. Maybe if you came out of your mothers basement and get an education you could afford better products and user experiences. Keep defending a dying OS if you feel you must. But the writing is on the wall, PC's are a losing market share to Apple at an alarming rate. And don't even get me started on MSFT's stock price compared to AAPL's. Thankfully, I bought 1000 shares of AAPL in 1999.


Enjoy your pathetic Windbloze lives while it lasts, boys. :o)



You mac guys can't take a joke.  'Nuff said 'bout that.


My point was for the editors - to whit - I buy MAXIMUM PC (not Maximum Mac).  I've bought it for ten years because it was always the baddest, most cutting edge pc mag around.  I don't care about macs, I don't need info on them, and I DON'T WANT TO READ ABOUT THEM. 


Now you go back to your little MacWorld and enjoy how easy (you think) your life is.   May God bless you, and teach you not to be so bitter.



Thought you oughta know... (*faints*)



I'm pretty sure you read the article and seen that Apple only won one out of three, and that was aginst an XPS which is no big deal. As far as the operating system gose I beleive Apple was found in a simular situation in 1999 with OS9 and the early OSX. Oh, and the comments you made about us PC users only helps prove all the Apple users stereotypes true.



The Dell XPS notebooks are far from the best PCs have to offer in the $2000 price range. So why put it aginst Apples #1 performance laptop?



Because people will make anything into a religion....



I don't spend my money on Macs, and I see no reason to continue spending it on you guys if you're turning mac on me.  I have no need read about them, and if I did, I'm sure I could find a mag that would keep me enthralled.

Mac people can keep their little attitudes, I don't care.  They need things easy, and that's okay for them.  I prefer versatility over ease.  And as for you people claiming "you can run Windows" on a mac,so what?  I could run osx on a pc if I was "allowed" to.  And I'll bet I could run it really fast, too, if I could tinker with it (and we all know when that'll be).  Plus, now you have to add a couple hundred bucks to the cost of the mac to run Windows on it.  Not to mention it doesn't run very fast within osx (I don't care what you claim, it doesn't).  Run me a few benchmarks and prove me wrong.


One more thing (just an observation) - if there are about one-tenth as many mac people out there (as there are pc users), and ten percent of the population is gay, is that a coincidence?  I'm just saying......... 



One of my freinds from high school runs OSX on his 1.6 GHz E-Machine, and I wouldn't have beleived him if he hadn't shown me. (how or why he did it I still don't know)



I just wanted to throw my two cents in as far as the fps on the MBP 2.5ghz penryn machine. I benchmarked it with 'Call of Juarez' and found that I was able to double the fps when I used modded latest nvidia drivers in Vista. The only problem is that the usual hooks for the keyboard on-screen functions will not work. I don't use this machine for gaming anyhow but just found it interesting. Imagine if the next nvidia release double fps on an 8800gtx.... wishful thinking....




@ lpenguin, just a correction. I think you meant to say that Apples are the pink, convertible VW Beetle - with a flower in the dashboard vase and Village People blaring on the stereo - of laptops. Wanted to make sure you get the demographic right.



At the risk of doing exactly what this sensationalist BS piece
was designed to do...No notebooks as fast as Macs??? Guffaw…chuckle…snort… I
nearly fell out of my chair when I read it.


Dell, Sony, and Asus are hardly what I’d call “best of breed”
PC laptops (…you’d think a magazine called “Maximum PC” would know that ;)…). Guess
nobody told you about Sager, Voodoo, Alienware, Hypersonic, or any of the other
high-end systems out there. As the owner of several of these (past &
present), I can tell you for an absolute FACT that they’ll smoke the benchmarks
on any of the cookie-cutter laptops that Apple can muster up. I’m a software
engineer / UX developer by profession, as well as an avid gamer, and only
invest in systems that I know can handle the demands I put on them. And in case you hadn't guessed, Apple is not among these.


And before the Mac zealots jump all over this post, FYI: I
was an Apple-only user for 15+ years (from the days of Apple II+ through Mac). Even
learned to program on them, and used to be as much of a Kool-Aide drinking
Apple fanboy as any around. But I got wise using Sun-based UNIX systems in
college, then PCs (both Windows and Linux), and found out what I was missing. I’ve
tried more recent iterations of the Mac multiple times over the years, but
would still NEVER consider going back to the overpriced, proprietary cr@p that
typifies their products (hardware & software alike).


Maximum PC, better get your facts straight before you print stuff like this...You're starting
to look a tad silly…



I have Linux and Windows...I am happy as a clam. :D



Uhm...Macs have the same  parts as any old PC these days. A pretty case, yes, but the guts are the same. My laptop may not look like a "Mercedes", but it's got the same engine, transmission, tires, brakes, and suspension. I can do without the brushed aluminum case and the Apple logo.

Wake me up when OS X is freed from its proprietary hardware chains. Until then - Windows (properly maintained) works just fine as a gaming OS, and Linux satisfies all my business and productivity needs.






Guys. This is a Mercedes of notebooks and guess what, your Chevy (or even Corvette) parts don't fit on a Mercedes. The down side is you are stuck servicing only at the Mecedez dealers and the accessories and replacement parts are big bucks. Cost of ownership is the biggest hurdle for the Mac/Mercedes. Just because you bought it doesn't mean you can keep it. The key thing to consider is HOW MUCH are you willing to pay for a better product or more features? You'll probably pay 1000 more for about the 250 what it cost the OEM and contract manufacturer to build. Retailers call this The 'Value equation'.

My story is I gave in and bought a used macbook and have been using it for 3 months and what a revelation of how much productivity I've gained since using it. I'm seeing about 80% fewer random stupid errors and crashes using the Macbook. Multitasking also seems more transparent in that programs and disk operations do not lock up the CPU as obviously as when trying to type and performing a virus scan simultaneously on a Wintel PC. I've been installing everything from Windows 95 to Vista 64 for 10 years at various OEMS and am frankly tired of fixing stupid registry and driver problems.  Shame on us for accepting Windows only because it's cheaper or holding on for backwards compatibility. Do you think auto manufacturers also care about backwards compatibilty? Apple didn't either. NO comments about how much better Linux is guys...I've been using that too for 11 years.



As a "PC diehard", as stated in your "PC Notebooks vs. MacBooks" article in the August '08 issue, I take offense to the suggestion that "it's time those folks finally admit the MacBookPro to the power-PC family".  You clearly state that the only thing lacking is the benchmark scores from the XPS being "unexplainably low" vs. the MacBook Pro.  You also state that this is probably caused by either an unoptimixed WMC player or a 3rd party app.  With that in mind, maybe you should have stated that "it's time those folks finally admit the MacBookPro to the newbie-PC family".  A power-PC user would have shaved the crapware installed on the Dell, updated the Vista drivers and cleaned up WMC's player.  In addition, by being a die hard Maximum PC reader, I would have also updated my chipset drivers, vidoecard drivers and dumped WMC's player and installed a new one altogether....but hey....that's just me.


What color depth did you test with? The only way I can get anything resembling 'banding' on my MBPro screen is to reduce the colors from millions down to thousands ie reduce from 32bit to 16bit



Thinkpad + dual boot XP & Linux.

I would want a Mac why?




You said that Dell's Screen is better, but you also said that the MBP's Screen Resolution was 1440x900, I assume you din not tried the 1920x1200 (Full 1080HD) screen that is also ofered. I have my 2006 MBP with a 1680x1050 screen, well not the LED illuminated screen as the new ones that clearly have better color and brightnes, but it's still better than the 1440x900 than the Dell's one.



"Windows on a Mac is a Little Weird

Installing Windows on a MacBook is easier than installing it on many
enthusiast PCs. You start the installer from inside OS X; when the
Windows install completes, you run a single app that installs all
necessary drivers. Unfortunately, some commonly used notebook
functions, such as tap to click on the touchpad, don’t work."


If you choose the right option in system preferences clicking via a tap on the pad works fine. Further, touching with two fingers (on the news ones at least) gives you a right click, no external mouse or modifier keys needed.

Also, VMWare Fusion works about 20 times better than Parallels at least on the 3 MacBooks and 2 Macbook Pros on which I have tried them both.





I'm looking at my employer provided Leveno Thinkpad T61 and my wife's X300 with their much lauded keyboards and wouldn't you know it but what do I see in the lower left hand corner, UNDER the shift key and to the LEFT of the control key??? Why wouldn't that be the Fn key??? Well I'll be!

 I guess the Asus engineers aren't the only ones that think that's the right place for the Function Key...



So I just bought a F8Sn (writing this note on it now) and I could not disagree more with your rating of it....

First off on ZIPZOOMFLY and several other vendors $1099 gets you:

"ASUS F8sn-B1 T8100 2.10GHz 14.1in 250GB HDD 3GB PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) 802.11a/b/g/n DL DVD +- R/RW Windows Vista Home Premium Notebook Black Retail"

Which more then resolves the performance issues you claimed for non-gaming apps while still giving you a baby game machine.

By the way that price includes a 2 years warrenty with free shipping both ways and a 1 year accidental damage much extra is that on the MAC and ACER?

I, on the other hand, spent $1336 shipped and got the F8Sn-C1 which has the same warrenty but incudes:

"ASUS F8Sn-C1 T9300 2.50GHz 14.1in 320GB HDD 3GB PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) 802.11a/b/g/n DL DVD +- R/RW Windows Vista Home Premium Notebook Black Retail "

In this case the screen resolution is 1440x900 and looks great...

and build quality is excellent....

The C1 is at least as fast as the Dell and Mac Pro for $1000 less....And while its true that the battery only seems to get me around 2h:30m....I would rather have the Graphics and CPU power....

Besides, for the difference in price between this laptop and the others I can afford to buy an extra battery.... :-)







Keith E. Whisman

This is all out Heresy. Mac Book. Yuck. I know your just reporting on the news but what I'm sure many of us PC lovers want to hear is the demise of the Mac and not how great it is. This hatred between PC and Mac started over 1000 years ago when Mac armies invaded europe. Uh I guess that was the ottomans. Well the Mac is just as evil.

The Mac book is fairly appealing but like you noted in your article you will have to repurchase all your software. You will have to relearn how to use your computer and the software. You will have to learn how to use the mouse with only one mouse button because Macintosh doesn't know how to utilize a second mouse button. The programs you use alot have a good chance of not being available on the mac. Your favorite games may one day become available on your mac. Also after youve been playing with your mac for a few years the hardware will show it's age and the only way to get a speed increase will be to purchase a new Mac. With a PC you can upgrade. Perhaps Laptops can be compared a little easier because they are not easily upgraded but no the desktop. And damn who doesn't want to kick that Mac hippie in the gut on the Mac PC commercials?




"The Mac book is fairly appealing but like you noted in your article you will have to repurchase all your software." 

 Incorrect. If you want to use Windows software, then run it on Windows. If you didn't know you can run Windows on an Intel-based Mac, you've been out of the picture for years now. Further, you can run Windows software from within Mac OS X using emulation software; two high quality and popular emulators are Parallels and VMWare Fusion.


"You will have to relearn how to use your computer and the software."

Some people have actually used Mac OS X before in their life unlike you apparently. If you've never used it, perhaps it would do you well to try it out if only so you can correct all your misconceptions.

 "You will have to learn how to use the mouse with only one mouse button because Macintosh doesn't know how to utilize a second mouse button"

 Once again, incorrect. OS X has always supported multi-button functionality and any mice you use on Windows should work fine on a Mac (including the right mouse button). Even Apple's mouse, the Mighty Mouse, has left- and right-click functionality, although it doesn't have two physical buttons. I don't like the Mighty Mouse, so I don't use it. It doesn't take a genius to figure this out.

"The programs you use alot have a good chance of not being available on the mac. "

 This is a nonissue. If you need a Windows program, run it on Windows or through an emulator. That said, you may be surprised at how much software is available on OS X. 

"Your favorite games may one day become available on your mac."

 Once again, this is a nonissue on Intel-based Macs (i.e., every Mac available for purchase from Apple). Refer to previous answers for an explanation.

"Also after youve been playing with your mac for a few years the hardware will show it's age and the only way to get a speed increase will be to purchase a new Mac."

Irrelevant. This is a comparison of laptops, and all laptops have this characteristic.

"With a PC you can upgrade."

 If you want a self-serviceable computer, then you are not in Apple's target audience. Apple doesn't make computers for you. People wanting to upgrade their computer do not fall under the category of "casual"; you are approaching "geeky" (no offense meant by that--I'm the same way!) Not to mention, this sentence is irrelevant to the article being discussed for the same reason the previous quote was irrelevant.

"And damn who doesn't want to kick that Mac hippie in the gut on the Mac PC commercials?"

Making a purchase by blindly believing false marketing claims is as naive as refusing to purchase a product because you don't like the actor in the commercials.

 In short, every sentence in your entire post was either irrationally negative, bluntly incorrect, or irrelevant. Have a nice day! 



I've read your comments on other articles too. You are quite
ignorant, and well, you come across as just plain dumb. Using the mac
platform is great. I've used both for years, mostly mac now, but when I
find myself on a PC it reminds me how lucky I am to own macs. No two
button mouse?? mighty mouse has left,right,360 scroll wheel,scroll
wheel button, and side squeeze button. The laptops now include a
multiouch track pad.

I've upgraded the ram, and hard drive on my
macbook pro, added drives and ram to the old G5 tower, and of courrse
lots of peripherals to both. Not too many people upgrade thier mobo and
cpu, which often leads to ram, video card etc as well, most people buy
a new computer at that point anyway.. And, macs retain a rediculous
amount of value. Gaming on Mac Pro/Macbook Pro works great with
bootcamp, ea even makes thier newer release compatible on osx.

One more thing, apple's support is excellent. If you have a problem,
bring it to apple store and they will fix it either in front of you, or
within 48 hours. They aren't even picky about your warranty.

are you so bitter? More importantly, stop spreading your mac hating
propaganda to readers. Makes you look very immature anyway.




I've been a PC user for years and I've been through several Windows OSs to include ME (remember ME). I've built countless of systems and fixed countless more. The joy of building your own system from the ground up will never be known by the "Mac Only" crowd. I also think XP is one of the best operating systems i've used.

 That all being said, I was not very happy when I was force fed Vista. It was a drain on resources and I could not believe the time it took to copy and paste a file. When it came time to replace my wifes studio computer I decided on Mac, a Mac Pro to be exact. Ever since, I haven't thought twice about it. I was able to learn the basics of OS X in very little time and the OS is very aluring and easy to learn. To learn all the ins and outs of it will take much longer but heck, I had years to learn XP.

 Macs have thier place just as PCs have thier place. I don't think I could ever trade the gaming performance of a PC with that of a Mac just as I think the Macs excell at design and photography applications. I didn't say they are faster, just excell.

 In my future I see a PC and a Mac. I know I can run Windows on a Mac but I won't get to build it.

I think it is time for the "PC Only" crowd to understand that Macs are not going away and if you look around, they are gaining momentum.



>The Mac book is fairly appealing but like you noted in your article you will have to repurchase all your software.


* you can use Parallels to solve that problem. I can use my my Mac to check out client websites on all the Mac Browsers, Windows Firefox, IE 6 and IE 7. Plus, I could also install Windows 98 to play some old games that won't run in Emulation mode in XP. The increased billable hours I have (no more wiping my hard drive and reinstalling everything because the machine got sluggish) more than pays for any cost of new software.  


>You will have to relearn how to use your computer and the software. 


The learning curve isn't any greater than going from XP to Vista. There was one that confused me when I first got my Mac - installing programs. It was so easy, I thought I was doing it wrong. Dragging the app file to the applications folder, surely there must be something else to do. For most apps, nope. 


>You will have to learn how to use the mouse with only one mouse button because Macintosh doesn't know how to utilize a second mouse button 


That "button" is actually a scroll bar. The left and right click are on either side of the ball. Check out And if you have PC mouses, they work just fine.



Having used PC and Macs since the beginning of both I have heard lots of disparaging comments about both. Most are the result of not knowing how to use the operating system or a particular piece of software. One system is not inherently better at doing a particular task than another. Given similar hardware, much depends on how the software is written and tuned. With PCs you have a bit more freedom to tinker with the operation of you OS and computer, if you know what you are doing. But the vast majority of users don't need or want this ability. If you want a hotrod to tinker with then a PC is your machine. If you just want to get from here to there with the greatest ease, comfort, and speed then, like a BMW, a modern Mac is your vehicle.

 Comments about the one button on the Mac are simply the result of ignorance. Macs have supported and made use of two button mice since OS 8 in the mid 90! Most people were just not aware that you could use one because for ergonomic reasons Apple did not include one. Macs do not become obsolete as quickly as PC because nearly any add-on can be attached through firewire or USB ports and the operating system is upgraded much more often than Windows. If you want to play high-end games then a Windows PC is the machine to get. Dragster vs Lexus 450, the dragster will still win.

The current Intel Mac offer versatility not found in any PC. You can run both Windows XP or Vista and OS 10.5 natively on the machines or with virtualization using Parallels or VM Ware Fusion with little performance hit. OS 10.5 is UNIX based and will run many UNIX application and even provides a command line interface. Fusion or Parallels will also allow installation of X86 based Linux systems.

Don't knock it until you have tried it!  



Keith E. Whisman

To be serious I enjoy PC's. This is Maximum PC after all. It's in the name. PC PC PC. There. If you like your mac have at it. I learned some basic programming when I was young on an Apple IIe or was that c? Anyhow when I make a remark it is ussually an opening I have discovered to say something entertaining at least to myself. My comments generally are clean and usually get a few replies.

If I ever offend anyone please tell me. I do not wish to ever offend anyone. Just please don't take many of my posts seriously unless it is a technical issue. I have 28years of experience toying around with computers and have experienced almost everything good and bad that comes out of this hobby. Such as the frustration of smoke.  


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