Once again, Katie and I have begun to look into some new computers. Likely a pair of laptops, but not necessarily at the same time. I need one I can use for work and she needs one she can use for school.
As you all probably know, we're both Mac whores, no question about our status in this regard whatsoever. However, for a little bit, I actually considered jumping ship and buying a Windows laptop for myself and a Mac for Katie. Why? Well, price primarily. Macs are not cheap.
Guess what else I discovered? Neither are PCs. Once you get them to a proper performance level anyway.
The thing about Macs is that they are built pretty standard. With one company doing all the design and construction of them, they wind up pretty much the same. Sure, you can tweak with higher RAM and HD space and the like, but it's not at all like when you visit, say, Dell.com and start to build there. I thought for sure I'd be able to save some dimes by building myself a custom laptop. So I tried it out.
Well, I had some things I needed to do with my computer. I needed a working copy of Windows XP. And there isn't a single purveyor of Windows laptops (recognized purveyor anyway) that loads their computers with XP as an operating system. You can pay them to wind it back, as it were, to XP from the dreaded Vista and the quote I got from Best Buy for that was $300 for a copy of XP and $130 to install it. That alone took just about all their laptops up over the $1K mark even before tacking on a service plan. Even the low-end systems. On Web sites where you custom build your laptop, I couldn't even find the option to purchase XP anywhere.
Speaking of low-end systems, if I were to stick with Vista instead, I would need to make sure that my RAM was at least 2 MB and my processor was greater than 2GHz. Anything less with Vista is just pathetic. Sure, I can go out and buy myself a little Toshiba laptop for $599 just about anywhere. But have you tried really taking Vista through the curves using the default system that comes on a computer that costs that little? It may work for less memory intensive apps, but the hogs I use like Adobe Creative Suite 3 ain't gonna play nice here. Vista, by itself, is a system hog and taxes everything you've got beyond belief. So, once I mark higher processor speeds and RAM quantity as needs, I'm up over $1.5K as well. Unacceptable.
The Macs that I'm pricing right now come in well under this mark.
I guess I know what this means... I'm back to the good side of computing. The Apple side. And we're going to buy two Macs. It's just a matter of when now. And it should be soon. The need is really here.
You may as well mark the roof of our house with a giant white Apple.