Microsoft has begun an aggressive "laptop hunters" ad campaign to attempt to convince consumers to buy PCs instead of Macs. In fact, the latest one actually shows one of their "hunters" standing outside of an Apple Store complaining about the high costs of Macs.
PC advocates claim that there is an "Apple tax" – defined as the supposed premium that Apple computers usually cost over comparably equipped PCs. Mac advocates counter with the concept of the "Microsoft discount" – the theory that maybe PCs cost less because Windows is worth less.
For instance, PC World compared comparably equipped machines and found the following:
- MacBook Pro vs. Dell XPS 1330 :: When configured with similar features, the MacBook Pro was only $95 more ($1,399 vs. $1,304). These machines included the following: 13.3" LED backlit screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard disk, Nvidia GE Force 9400M Graphics Card, 802.11n networking, integrated webcam, backlit keyboard, and Bluetooth. The Mac has a 2.26 GHz Intel processor with a 1066 MHz frontside bus, whereas the Dell XPS 1330 comes with 2.4 GHz and 800 MHz, respectively.
- MacBook Air vs. Dell Adamo :: The starting price for the Air is $1,499, whereas the Adamo starts $500 higher at $1,999. In its $1,799 configuration, the MacBook Air matches the 128GB Solid Stage Drive of the Adamo and bests its 1.2 GHz processor with one that clocks in at 2.13 GHz. Both come with 2GB of RAM and no optical drive. The Air weighs one full pound less than the Adamo at 3 lbs. As it turns out, the Air is less expensive than the Dell.
When I give presentations on the benefits of using Macs in a law practice, the "cost" question is one of those that almost always comes up. I have always pointed out that Macs hold their values much better than PCs, as can be easily seen by visiting eBay and looking at the resale prices of each. Now, I can point to the articles below to help show that Macs don’t cost much (if any) more on the front end either.