I was in the market to buy a new laptop earlier this year and I came down to comparing to machines: the Dell XPS M1530 and the Apple MacBook Pro. I compared both of them to every aspect I could possibly come up with. Anyways both machines recently have received some upgrades so I thought I should update both comparison lists for those of you who might be looking for a new 15-inch notebook.
Update 4/20/08: Dell is now offering a 1440×900 LED and 1920×1080 Full HD displays.
I gave Apple a point for the Screen since they offer a non-glossy option which I truly prefer due to glare. Dell was expected to push out a LED screen over a month ago, however it hasn’t happened yet. The body of the MacBook Pro is cleaner, simpler, and lighter compared to the XPS 1530. In terms of Operating Systems, if you want OS X Leopard, chances are you won’t be able to get it working on a XPS; however it should a breeze to install Vista/XP on a MacBook Pro with Boot Camp. Leopard can use 4GB of RAM; however you’ll need 64-bit editions of Vista or XP to utilize all of it. Dell offers many more options for HDDs including a 64GB SSD which would be unusual for a 15-inch laptop. Dell also lets you turn your XPS into a Blu-ray player with an optional Blu-ray read/write drive which is great for watching high definition movies. I was irritated to find out that the XPS didn’t have gigabit Ethernet, which is great for transferring large files on a local network, especially when most new laptops have it. Apple won the keyboard war with its beautiful backlit keyboard with an ambient light sensor. However the XPS makes up with a Finger Print Sensor, which is great for bypassing typing passwords when people are around, and a better Web Camera. The XPS comes with a media remote control which tucks away into the express card slot while Apple now charges an additional $20 for their Front Row remote. The XPS M1530 can also be configured with a Sprint or Verizon mobile broadband card which will utilize the laptop’s antennas for better signal gain. I choose the 6-cell battery for the XPS since it was the best one which didn’t stick out. It offered only 2.5 hours of work time while the MacBook Pro gets about 3 hours.
If you didn’t already notice, there’s one major factor I left out on the chart: price. This part is what made me make my final decision which was to go with the Dell M1530. Dell offered a pretty good student discount in addition to their constant promotions. Apple also offers such discounts, but are incomparable to what Dell offers. With both configured to the highest similar specifications, the MacBook Pro was getting very close to $3000 while the Dell XPS was about $500 cheaper costing about $2500. In addition for those of you on a strict budget like I was, there’s more flexibility to remove unneeded components with the Dell to bring the price down. Anyways, that’s my two cents so please feel free to make comments.
Links: Apple MacBook Pro | Dell XPS M1530
Oh okay, I wondered why my message is not appearing, anyway since the MBP will cost me a fortune thats why Im waiting for the next generation of Intel processors to appear and get the previous generation MBP which is as cheap as a black MacBook. Now thats money well spent :D.
Vista is so bad that I cant imagine how many stuffs in my home wont work with it, stupid MSoft, release a product that is incompatible with everything unless you bought it after Vista is released. DAMN YOU!!!.
hah yeah I won’t be “true gaming” on my laptop, but as an incoming freshman in college I thought a laptop would be perfect for games/portability in my dorm. Plus, i get all the benefits of macs and software like final cut in the tech labs. So I guess in my situation it really made sense to get the gateway. I’m not completely anti-apple :)
I’m currently looking at both machines. I like that I basically get more disk space & ram for less money w/ XPS than MBP. However, I work on a PC for my day job which runs Windows XP and have had to load it up w/ all more than one anti-virus tool. And it seems each week I have several security fixes to download & install from Microsoft. I’m thinking by the time you factor in all the time & money spent simply trying to keep your machine operating safely you might as well have coughed up the cash for MBP. I have several Mac-loving friends who tell me they’ve never once installed any anti-virus software and have never had any security issues. I suppose my question is which one really gives you more bang for your buck when you factor in security? And if it matters… whichever I buy, XPS or MBP, will be used for more creative work, managing home & small biz finance stuff, and watching movies & tv… i’m not a gamer so I don’t need a gaming-specific system.
since you make it that way, the MBP is a better choice for you, you can still install Win XP using boot camp (natively) or by virtualization software (VMWare Fusion, Parallels) or through WINE (the free version requires computer skills or you can just pay for CrossOver Mac).
So thats why Apple says is gaining, you can own the best of both worlds. :D
Personally I see both sides of the argument. It really just depends on what you’re going to use your computer for. I’ve been pretty impressed with what i’ve been hearing about MBP’s with their performance and graphics capabilities. I’m gonna be a college freshmen in the fall and I was seriously considering a MAC…until i saw the starting price of the MBP’s, and the macbooks have a 13 inch screen thats too small (for me personally). So I chose a XPS 1530 (ordered it monday). Upgraded to 200gigs @ 7200rpm hard drive, 4gigs ram, 8600 vid card, 1440×900 hd screen, and 4 year warranty w/ accident and theft coverage. So hardware is more than I could have imagined and I can always upgrade it to include Blue ray when the price drops a little. It has enough power for anything I probably will ever use at school and its got a good enough video card to allow me to run occaisional games with some pretty good performance. AND it looks awesome. Plus it would have cost $2400 but with dell’s sale and student discount i got it shipped @ $1597 after taxes. So all-in-all i’d say i’m gonna be pretty happy with my dell :)
~as for vista?…well…i’ll see about it after my computer comes. and if it sucks I’LL JUST INSTALL XP!(not that hard)
Well, just a tip for you, if you decide to downgrade to XP, do tell where you will find the drivers for your DVD drive, Media keys, CardReader, and all other additional stuffs bundled with the M1530 cause as far as I know, downgrading a PC is okay cause they aint much additional stuffs, downgrading a laptop? Thats a whole different category.
Anyway you can get the previous generation MBP if you want, its as cheap as a black MB. Thats what I am going to do when Montevina comes out.
One of the best forums I have found for help regarding the XPS M1530 is NotebookReview. ( http://www.notebookreview.com ) There’s a whole thread over there dedicated to installing XP on the M1530 which includes all the info about what drivers to use. (go to discussion – > dell section)
@ All M1530 Owners with Vista
I ran into a blue screen on my M1530 almost every other day, but it all changed when I upgraded to Service Pack 1. Since then my computer has not experienced a crash or a blue screen even once! The required drivers for the XPS M1530’s hardware was fully compatible with Vista SP1, so upgrade!
Ah I see, well good for you that the 1530 is Vista SP1 compatible cause my cousin HP wireless laptop card stop working when he upgrade to SP1. Congrats MSoft! You are seriously causing people getting pissed of at you guys.
Well, I was able to get a 2.4 Ghz MBP: for only $1611: New too!!! With my student discount! Apple rocks! When apple teams up with Harvard!
Wow, Harvard, interesting.
Well my PC (I got no personal as in my own notebook yet) is dying, dont know if my parents will ever consider into getting a MBP earlier.
Wow John! serious mac boy. You’re exactly the reason why people hate mac fans. I’ve got an intel core2 duo macbook (I share it with my bro) and a vista 64 ultimate (SP1) pc with just an athlon 64×2 processor.
I love using the macbook for web surfing and stuff because it boots up quick and is nice and clean looking but after using both leopard and vista regularly for about 6 months i have to say i just prefer using vista. (Plus leopard comes with no games. not even solitaire!)
Leopard is great but Vista really is much more “Powerful” You can do literally anything you want with vista if you know what you’re doing. You can get much deeper into the vista operating system than with leopard where it feels like you’re always kept on the service. I know a lot of people complain about vista being buggy but i haven’t had a single bug with sp1 and have never had a virus using vista period and I definately prefer the far wider range of software and hardware.
I think both opperating systems are good at what they’re designed to do but they are designed to do different things. Leopard is an unobtrusive surface for all your apps. Applications sit on the surface and play a greater role than the operating system. Thats why its so quick and slick because its not built to be changed. It is what it is and apple want to keep it that way.
Its nice and quick and doesn’t get in your way.
Vista is designed to let you taylor and customise <-(english spelling) it to your needs and plays a much bigger role in your PC experience than leopard and it has a kick-arse media centre, especialy if you have an xbox360 or any other media centre extender. Yes leopard has a good one too but not as good and you cant customise it with 3rd party apps.
Sorry if i’ve repeated myself a few times in here.
Well, you got your points, I admit that but here is some stuffs to take note, if your Printers or whatever came after Vista or you buy them after Vista is released, good for you cause its compatible, but Im not planning to replace my 3 years old All In One printer just to use Vista, besides, Vista runs game 10fps slower.
Oh yeah, I belive Vista will be great, once technology (hardwares) catches up with this demanding OS. Maybe next year Vista will finally see the light.
I got bored of kept maintaining my XP and are willing to try something for a change.
Am I a Mac fanboy? Yes. Am I an Apple devotee? No. Do I prefer good products? Yes.
Honestly, after considering, I will take a MBP (on discount) over a Dell 1530 anyday because I recently went to Dell Outlet and tested out the 1530 and 1330 and realize its media button sensitivity is different, 1530 is totally unresponsive, I had to tap a few times to get it to mute and tap a few times to unmute it, tap a few times to change the volume.
Oh yeah and Im a PS3 fan not a XBox 360 fan so I dont care about Vista Media Centre. Its just me, no offence
I took had the same debate in my head about whether to get a MBP or XPS 1530. For me too the difference came down largely to price. I eventually ordered a the Dell because I got something like $880 in discounts as a Stanford student – MBP would have had around $200 off. The Dell’s hardware is actually superior to the MBP – it has a bigger HD than Apple offers and has better support (3 year warranty included, theft protection, accidental damage protection). The only thing that I really don’t like is Vista – I plan to install XP Pro on it and possibly a variation of Linux – I’m a semi-techie guy. I’ll mostly be using it for college work and limited gaming. As far as security/antivirus goes, I’ll have access to free software for the Windows side as a student, and I’m planning to possibly set up a parallel/virtual machine to run Windows in Linux.
I don’t have anything against Macs, I just feel that they’re a bit overpriced. And I don’t feel that Mac OS X is worth the cost differential, especially considering the fact that it can be purchased separately (for Mac users at least) for much less than the cost differential both with and without discounts.
Mac vs PC is kind of a crappy debate these days. You’re paying for the operating system. If you don’t like OSX, don’t buy a Mac. It’s that simple. Yeah there are some things OSX does better and there some things Windows does better, but they are pretty equal across the board.
tomtom, you got that right. It really depends on if u like Mac OS simplicity or not cause some people found its simplicity restrictive. Im loving my MBP, it has XP on it just in case some of my old apps doesnt have a Mac version.
Well here is why you pay premium for a Mac:
1. It makes the price of the next OS X the same as Leopard currently offered.
2. The profit is used for R&D of the next OSX.
3. The profit is used for R&D of their product design (MBP, MB, iMac, MacPro, Mini)
4. To provide one of the best customer service in the industry
5. To be able to hire quality programmers and designers
Well that’s all I can think of, maybe I forgot some but I guesss 4 points is enough to justify the reason to pay for a Mac.
Macs suck. all of them suck. period. that will never change. always go with the dell.
Macs suck, you are ignorant. And Dell used to be great but now they suck in quality.
Well, I got the MBP for the less weight and smaller footprint. This is important as I am a 13 years old(no bragging but ppl mistake me for a 18 year old online)that needs to bring his laptop to school everyday. I also got the MBP because of the larger VRAM option. 512 beats 256 no question :)
I have no use for an expresscard, fingerprint reader(I only need security from theft. Not that paranoid), blue ray(lolwut?) or solid state(limited writes). Although I would like an SD card reader in MBP for readyboost(I dont like a USB sticking out, I want a low profile =D)
Another big factor in me choosing the MBP is the cool software I can get. Examples are the apps that use motion sensors(LiquidMac, Neverball, Tunnel) in this catagory, there is also a cool app called iAlertU. iAlertU plays a big part is keeping your MB or MBP from being stolen. I have yet to see a windoze PC have these apps despite them having motion sensors on they’re HDs.
The following bit you might say I’m contradicting myself as a apple fan but I see little to no flaws in vista. All XP graphic drivers are available in vista and vista IS the same price as when XP came out. I remember when I was a kid(smaller kid…), that nobody would really touch XP and it was really buggy, people stayed with 2000 until SP1 was out. Vista is the old XP and will be the current XP at around SP2 or fiji. Vista has no major compatability issues that I know of, apple fanboys(no flamey pl0x) are judging vista on its status when it was in RC1, beta and initial release. But I still feel that MS didn’t do the best they could in vista, but you can’t blame them, You can’t have an extremely major and radical change in a windows OS without nuking backwards compatibility in the kernel.
I personally think Apple made a bad choice in the 13″ and desktop(talking about the mac pro, imac is a different story)area. You can get a cheaper deal for a 13″ with dedicated Go graphix compared to the macbooks crappy integrated. With mac pro, it might be cheaper(I know, wierd?) than similiar max performance desktops(alienware etc) but simple doesnt support many choices. With the alienware desktop you have a choice of up to 2 9800s in SLI when the best option in a mac pro is to get a 8800(the quadro is more expensive but doesn’t go with the gaming department).
@ John, I really appreciate your love for apple just like me, but I feel that half your statements are given without solid proof. 10 FPS difference in games? Now? Games run with a max of 5 FPS lowered in DX10, you can get normal performance like XP if you run a game in DX9 mode by right clicking and selecting “run as DX9”
@macs suck, GTFO my internet.
Woo…that was long…please take the time to read it =D I believe it should clear some stuff up. And excuse my grammar and vocab mistakes, I’m only 13.
OK nvm, I got some facts mixed up about the DX10 bit. DX10 is known to drop up to 15 FPS in some games.
Still, DX10 is not vista. Vista is able to run DX9. You are able to regain valuable FPS from DX10 by using DX9 no doubt. But you still lose 1-2 FPS(not a difference in most games) via extra resource consumption in vista(bitlocker, UAC, defender. All things you can disable.)
Here is proof of this:
!!NOTE!! In some cases you even gain more FPS than XP in vista. Read the entire page.
Sorry when I mis-spoke, I wasn’t thinking too much and didn’t do my research.
Also for you ignorant people that do not believe in macs gaming:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dcXCdrnbbI — Crysis on macbook pro. DX9
Good writeup lolwut, but everyone says that you get an average of 10FPS faster on XP compared to Vista in gaming performance and this words came from gamers, not me!. Unless you tweak Vista but most users wont bother to tweak it.
Well I agree with you that the lower end macs are ridiculous, they give u integrated GPU where competitors are offering 8400M which is called crappy by gamers?. I wont comment on the MacPro cause its not meant for gamers, its meant for people who use it for professional stuffs (not games).
What I do believe is the MBP is priced and feature with the right stuffs cause most of its competitors who has 8600M GPU and has about the same quality as MBP is just slightly cheaper then the MBP (Dell not included).
I understand that some of my point that I made about where your money goes to is unsupported but honestly, how can Apple offer all the features in Leopard at the price of Vista HomeBasic?. So its kinda obvious that some of the money from those overpriced macs ended up in the R&D.
Exactly. I totally agree with you except for the gaming bits. Vista has little to no performance impact compared to XP. Sure, there was 6 months ago, but everything was fixed with SP1 and Nvidia’s release of vista’s drivers.
an 8400M can handle crysis on low-med with 1280×780(i think so) res.
Look at the links with the benchmarks. Vista using DX9 is no different than DX9 on XP. Sometimes vista is even better. If you can find solid proof that vista has over 10FPS decrease when it still comes down to DX9, be my guest. Give me a benchmark, or SOMETHING to justify your facts. When i scroll through the page, I see only myself giving solid proof to back myself up.
I myself run vista ultimate on my MBP. It runs flawlessly. I ran a test myself with my cousin’s MBP with XP. His has the same specs as mine, 2.5Ghz C2D, 8600GT 512mb, 4GB DDR2 RAM. Here are the results with crysis. Take note we are both using 174.74 Nvidia forceware. We used the crysis demo under DX9 mode.
CRYSIS DEMO-Shaders med, volumetrics low, shadows low, rest high. 1280×780 res.
XP: Max FPS 37, Min FPS 17. Avg FPS is 25/26.
Vista: Max FPS 35/36(counter moved to fast to tell), Min FPS 18. Avg FPS 24/25.
Vista has but 1 FPS in the average drop and a higher minimum FPS. Vista had a more stable FPS range overall. 1-2 FPS is nothing and extremely un-noticable. If I played them both without FRAPS on, I couldn’t tell a difference.
A mac pro not for gaming? It’s the highest end gaming machine offered by apple. Offering a 8800GT. The mac pro is extremely versatile, with choices from professional business(quadro) and gaming(8800). However, this is hardly the “best of both worlds” when alienware offers 2 9800GX’s OC’d AND in SLI.
Vista isn’t bad. It’s just not as good as it could’ve been. A year from now, I see the world using vista =D
So, to conclude, you are wrong about vista’s performance in games unless you can find solid proof to back it up(which I doubt). Please note, even if you DO attempt to find proof, please make sure the 2 comparisons have the same drivers, same specs and are running a game or benchmark at the same settings.
Also, gaming on OSX is PATHETIC. I’m a mac fan but OpenGL just doesn’t work the way Direct3D does. When I’m gaming, I reboot and use boot camp for vista.
Please don’t make me prove the above…there are too many examples of crappy mac gaming. It would only make people cry if I was to present proof. Plus, the message only allows 3 links per post.
On a side note, I will be camping this board until the ignorant ones realize macs are better in almost every way, and until John and other mac fanboys figure out vista isn’t bad either.
Vista>XP. Find proof to kill that and I’m nuked.
Well I believe that Vista will be great once everyone upgrades their PC or there are proper drivers for it. Maybe SP1 fix it or maybe Nvidia drivers finally up to standard for Vista but really, go to forums and people will tell you gamin on XP is faster then on Vista. But hey, maybe that has changed with better Nvidia drivers or SP1.
I personally will play games using XP then finding a Mac version cause I just dont know why, each time the game manufacturers make a game for Mac, the AI tend to be less intelligent then the PC Version (oh yeah, I read this from some game website long ago, forgot which).
Vista is better then XP once there are proper hardwares for it, the people whom are complaining bout Vista sucks (like me) is cause I must replace my all in one printer which I rarely use and found it a waste of money just to get one because of Vista. Thats just me, some people dont like Vista cause they must spend quite a sum of their money to upgrade their softwares to be Vista capable.
I never recall Apple offering the MacPro as a gaming machine? I know Alienware made their PC for gaming but I never recall Apple putting a statement in their website about its a gaming rig (except for the benchmark).