As the time is coming around for students across the country to head back to college, many are still deciding on which laptop they should purchase. Last year we compared the Dell XPS M1530 and Apple Macbook Pro 15, which sparked an intense debate. This year, two popular 13-inch models are Apple’s new MacBook Pro 13 and Dell’s new Studio XPS 13. There’s a lot of similarities in terms of hardware between the two, however a different set of features and the included operating system sets them apart. To help you folks decide which machine is right for you, here are two charts provided below. The first compares the Apple and Dell in terms of features with a total score. For the second chart, we picked the base model of the Apple MacBook Pro 13 and then configured the Dell Studio XPS 13 to match the same specs to see how much the price would differ. Take a look and let us know what you think!
For the prices, the totals were the cost shown after configuring the machine straight off Apple.com and Dell.com before taxes were calculated in. Both companies are offering free shipping which is a plus. Dell is offering the next generation Operating System, Windows 7, for free. Apple will charge just $9.95 for those who purchased a qualifying computer after June 8th, 2009 to upgrade Snow Leopard. Even with those details set aside, the Studio XPS 13 totals in $273 less than the same configuration for the MacBook Pro 13. Plus if you are willing to shell out more cash, there’s a lot more features Dell seems to offer with their model than Apple does. What are your thoughts on this?
Links: Apple MacBook Pro | Dell Studio XPS
Note: This article was co-written by Sahas Katta and Sharath Shroff
Update: Since publication, we have updated a few elements of the chart and article. These changes include: Apple OS X Snow Leopard Price is $10, not $29 for purchases of MacBook Pros since June 8th, 2009. The screen resolution is WXGA for 16:10 aspect ratio, meaning a 1280×800 resolution, not 1366×768. The Studio XPS also has a multi-touch trackpad, similar to the MacBook Pro.
Yes, thanks a lot!
hey guys, i was looking at the 13″ macbook pro, but then i saw this article, and am thinking again. my question is, do i really need all these features dell offers? this would be a leisure/student laptop, nothing hardcore.
I am and will be PC. Screw you, Mac.
Daniel– thanks for adding a “constructive” comment. At least take the time to state a level headed view of why you choose Windows (since you said “PC”, given the marketing world’s perspective would rule out any flavor of open-source OS). Do us all a favor & troll elsewhere.
Ben Dover– from one IT guy to another, your comments are respected & most helpful. Thank you for keeping it on topic & informative.
I would always stick with the macbook. its the best!( no offense dell, microsoft, etc.) apple makes sooooo much good stuff, like the ipod nano 5g, ipod touch, iphone, and theres something new called ipad, wich is pretty cool if you ask me. so remember kids, always stick with mac!
Apple does make a lot of great looking devices, but their pricing is often higher than Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. If you care about getting a good deal or saving money, then go with one of the PC manufacturers. You will get better specs at a cheaper price.
apple macbok pro 13 or dell studio xps16 for persnl/office use..no hardcore gaming etc..wt do u guys prefer…PLzz pas ur valuable comments…
u cant write anything abt dell comp…sss
it’s sprcifications always changes…nobody can be sure
I purchased a Dell XPS 1330 about 2 years ago, and eversince then it’s been thunder and lightning, in the past 2 years i have had to replace the motherboard 3 times due to ever heating and as a result damaging the Nvidia graphics. To be on the safe side i even increased my warranty for another 3 years for the price of 300 euro. I must admit tho that they provide a wonderful Service in Bangalore. Recently for the 4th time my display went bust again due to overheating and guess what…They are replacing it with Dell Studio XPS 13 and trust me this laptop is lethal, fare play to them..
Coming to Apple, Apple have always held a reputation for providing the best design and hardware, however they do overcharge and i feel at times that i’m not even rich enough to afford an “apple”…
I bought a dell studio 16 for $1058 that has an i5 with 4 gigs of ddr3, an ati 4670 1 gig dedicated ram, 500 gig hdd, an esata port that doubles as a usb, two more usb ports, and hdmi and vga ports.
I also have an early 08 macbook pro 2.4 gig core2duo with 4 gigs ddr2 ram and an nvidia 8600m gt 256 mb gddr3 ram. It needs a vga adapter and has no hdmi port and only has two usb ports.
I play oblivion and do photo editing on both machines oblivion plays much better on the dell with a fairly consistent 15 fps faster, from what I’ve read the 9600m gt in the new 15″ macbook pro isnt as good as the ati 4670 even if the 9600 had a gig dedicated. The screen on the dell has a more letterbox shape which makes vertically oriented pictures smaller than on the macbook but the color on the dell is wonderful. At present when both machines run windows 7 the battery life is only about 10 minutes less on the dell when both comnputers do about the same amount of work. The dell is thicker and heavier but still feels good (except the track pad).
Overall the dell has better performance for my interests, so why do I feel like I should have waited a little longer and bought a new mac when they release something new? (are they really going to release an i5 macbook pro?)
Lastly comparing a graphics card running osx (few demanding games) to a graphics card running windows anything and saying the better one is the card in the mac is sophistry and wrong…until they make the same games for both operating systems anyway. You can say whatever you want about a graphics card mated with a cpu and os when it never has to perform the same function.
Apple macbook pro 13″ rocks to the core..Just recently bought one…the only disadv as far as i see is the price diff compd to dell..but if price is not a problem for u, then apple has no competitor.And MBP is the sexiest thing u wud ever find..working with snow leopard on it feels so smooth and gives u an outta world experience.. u can even run XP with almost same feel as on PC..proud to be an Apple macbook pro ownder!!
Although this probably isn’t an entirely fair comparison I have purchased the DELL Studio XPS 16(45) with an i7 720QM Intel Processor, 1GB ATI 4670 graphics card, 500GB @7,200 RPM, WLED 1920 x 1080 (1080p)16:9 Aspect Ratio, and 4GB DDR3. All of which would cost a grand total (not including tax) of $1,399.
By comparison a MacBook Pro 15-inch with a 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo, Nvidia 512Mb 9600 GT graphics card, 500GB @7,200 RPM, LED 1440 x 900 (900p) 4:3, and 4GB DDR3. All of which would cost a grand total (not including tax) of $2,349.
Yes. Nearly $1,000 less than a configured MacBook Pro with less powerful parts. (Less resolution, weaker GPU, weaker Processor, and only equal amounts RAM and Harddrive.) The things not mentioned though would be the MBP is somewhat smaller and slimmer, and the battery life is significantly longer, and Mac’s OS is generally more user friendly. But, yeah, I think you can see why I made the choice for SXPS 1645.
We aren’t talking about the same model as this comparison. If you want an equal comparison to your Dell, wait a month for the i7 and i5 MacBook Pros.
Lol. You are probably right. Although from what I understand the MacBook Pro’s Unibody will have to be redesigned to fit the Arrandale chip. (Although I doubt this will be at an expense to its size unless they follow the trend and switch to the 16:9 aspect ratio versus the 4:3.) But still. In performance gains it only sounds like they’ll be offering the Arrandale mobile chips, and not the Clarksfield which is the Quad Cores i7 Processors. Still. I’m doing a comparison of NOW. At the moment the MBP’s are seriously underpowered compared to other product lines now supporting the Arrandale and Clarksfield mobile cpu’s. (OK. Maybe not ‘seriously’ underpowered, but still behind.)
All of the MacBook Pros currently use 16:10 displays, as a matter of fact, Apple was one of the first to offer 16:10 in a notebook. With the release of the new iMacs it’s speculated that the notebook line MAY also be redesigned to 16:9 aspect ratios.
As well, you forget one fact. MacOS X is FAR more efficient with system resources than Windows. Running both systems on the same hardware, MacOS X will perform better as it is lighter and can handle the resources more efficiently. I run Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro and it’s just awful slow, however MacOS X screams and never misses a beat.
*laughs* I feel you. That’s really what makes the MacBook Pro products unique anyway. Otherwise you might as well go with an HP Envy. But even so there are still downsides to the Mac OS (gaming, compatibility with a lot of software, and so-on) which are minimal when you consider you can still get quality software for most things, and you can still run Windows on it if you have to. Still? Do I want to pay, really, the hundreds of dollars extra to wear their logo and use their OS? Which was the deciding factor for me (well really I didn’t have enough cash to pay for a Mac even if I had wanted).
Look Dudes, Just chill out. If youve got some extra money go for a MAC Book, coz man!!! IT ROCKS…
Most of the reasoning given here is just because, Mac is a lil overpriced!! But yeah, MAC book ROCKS… Dell is crap…
While I would agree the MacBook series is an excellent laptop consortium, doesn’t mean everything else is inferior. And the issue isn’t strictly the fact it is over-price, it also what entails. Consider here that at best most technology is outdated within three years. So, while it may be true your MacBook Pro can last a very long time, it won’t outlast the technology. Basically, the money you can save instead of going with a fully equipped MacBook can go towards your replacement when you want something standard. Besides isn’t it fun to upgrade? Of course if you can afford to buy a new Mac every three years and don’t really care about saving money that’s all fine-and-dandy too.
On another note: Dell isn’t crap. What makes it so bad anyway? People who hand out horror stories about their machine going to pieces are usually the 1%-2% out of millions of PC’s shipped by that very same company. If Mac was selling that many computers, to that many people you would have all the issues of any PC. It is the fact Mac is the minority and provides only to the private sector that its quality is maintained, under attack from viruses abstained, and decent software that makes it the way it is.
I too was trying to decide which to get and after long investigation and considering both mac and dell made the mistake of going with the mac. I love my (4 yr) old dell and regret getting this new mac. The hardware, for me anyway, works much better on the dell, I mean the keys and the (laptop) mouse pad. Now for the software, how you are supposed to know what symbols mean is beyond me. For example mac has arrows that mean xxxx you see, you don’t know what they mean! After 45 minutes of trying to eject a disc and stumbled on the arrow the disc finally came out. (The mac’s help told me to go to the F12 key to eject the disc, and anyone who has a mac can tell you that symbol is not the one to eject a disc… but it is another picture/symbol for humm volume maybe! Organizing files, well mac’s files go all over the place instead of in one place! You want your music, you have to go to I tunes, you want documents that is in another place- or should I say another picture, documents are in the happy face picture! filing is a cumbersome mess on the mac. On the dell all your files are together, and much easier to find. The mac skips steps and bases everything on pictures instead of the english language. Sure the color screen is a little brighter but if you like your dell and you like windows may I suggest sticking with the dell. I have had no problems with my 4 year old dell. I needed an upgrade in the graphic card to run adobe cs4 and regret getting the apple right from the get go. When I am on the internet using both my dell and my mac at the same time with the same internet connection the dell loads webpages quicker than the mac, in addition, while on the internet many times the mac will have me reload the internet password and tell me I am not connected to the internet while the dell stays connected at the same time off the same internet connection just fine … I go to the mac store and they tell me it is working just fine, oh but maybe the airport card has something wrong but you will have to leave your mac for the day in the store. DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. GET THE DELL NOT THE MAC.
@ abx I have to agree Dells are straight garbage if someone tried to give me one i wouldnt take it.
Yikes. I just came home – this is June 29th, 2010 – with a new Macbook Pro 13 inch. Did I screw up? I’m confused!!!!!
hi, CAN U TELL ME WHERE U BOUGHT your MACBOOKPRO 13INCH n the price of it.
I m planning to get one in delhi very soon, but wondering where to!
hi iserena, CAN U TELL ME WHERE U BOUGHT your MACBOOKPRO 13INCH n the price of it.
I m planning to get one in delhi very soon, but wondering where to!
Thinking about buying an apple because my Dells are getting about one virus per week. REally bad Trojan things that Macafee is useless against and that I have to bring in to my local techy to fix.
But now I’m worried after reading Leslie’s comment. I don’t want a big learning curve.
@iserna: You have done the right thing… The only problem for you would be that you can’t play games designed for PC. Thats the only drawback. But now with the Mac’s you can download games for the Mac as well. Also, the processors are overclocked and may generate a lil bit of heat, but trust me, i Didnt shutdown my Mac since past 4 months, No issues at all. I just hibernate it (Previously i had dell and it used to shutdown due to overheating)… So you have done the right thing.
@susan: Just wipe out your Hard drive and re-install a fresh copy of windows. Don’t visit any websites that you are not familiar with. Install a free copy of Avira/Avast anti-virus and update it frequently.
@Leslie: Human’s can’t accept changes quickly. Just because you can’t use a machine built on Unix Operating System, Please dont blame the whole brand. Educate yourself on using the applications and I am sure you will not regret it. Learn to use it, you can find the basics of using a MAC on youtube.com or google.com.
I agree with abx re software. Had to learn how to use a mac at first, but now I find it more intuitive than Windows-based applications. Another thing ppl don’t mention is the cost of the software. On a mac I’m running Aperture 3 and photoshop elements, which cost me c. £200 all in all and it works fine for what I need at the moment. The two programs supplement each other. Compare that to £550 for photoshop cs5, which I would have needed without aperture as elements alone is not quite enough. Mcafee prices are extortionist (don’t need it with a mac). Also, some of the features aren’t available for Dell at all … I had configured a Dell I wanted online and a month later decided to buy it only because it came out £400 something cheaper than the mbp13, plus a discrete video card came as standard, called up dell, please take my money and give me a computer, mate … oh, but that one is no longer available, you see the promos change every fortnight on Tuesdays and now if you want the same configuration it’s +£200 or so and you can’t have the discrete video card at all (the bloke in Dell sales nearly drove me to despair … “yes, I agree, but I suggest you wait for another month and maybe a similar deal with come up, no I can’t guarantee that” … kidding, right? sadly, he was not). In the end spent £300 more to get a mbp13 with 8mb ram, works alright and it looks good (yes, I’m vain like that). Just sayin’.
Anyone with ANY sort of common sense would never buy an apple laptop/computer. Why you ask? A similar or better built PC desktop/laptop will be few $$hundreds$$ of dollars cheaper if not “$$thousands$$”
If you really want OS X, get it for free. Running OS 10.6.4 here on my PC with Adobe CS5 Premium, iLife, iWork, etc, etc for a total cost of $$ZERO$$ dollars :)
Suck on that Apple
John– rationalize your setup however you want; to everyone else, you’re simply trolling about software you STOLE. Karma has a funny way of paying back criminals…
Dudes Grow up… Now a days, the have stopped making Dell 13″ laptops.. You get only 16″ laptops as Studio XPS.. Moreover, just walk to an apple store nearby and get the feel of Mac book pro 13″. The trackpad is amazing… When you plug in a USB/ any other device to your Mac book pro, you will feel that its pure Metal and hard core laptop built to sustain… I have not turned off my Mac book since the day I got it and Still boots up (when i put it to sleep/Hibernate) within 3 seconds… RUnning multiple applications with VMware servers on it without any complaints… Grow up guys.. Step into the New World of Mac Book. The money you pay is worth it and you will realize it only when you own one…
@John – You can get pirated software from anywhere, SO why did you get into this forum????? THis is a discussion about which computer is better, not about how you stole a Software…
Oh please, stop pretending to ignore the “free software” reality out there. In a free software world, it all comes down to who has got the cheaper hardware….hmmm…let me think: a $2349 Apple laptop or a $1300 Dell with better hardware…wow..that’s a tough decision, eh?
“Hail free software world”
Here is a hardware comparison of a Dell and an Apple laptop with similar hardware as of August 17, 2010:
CPU-> Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz
RAM-> 4GB RAM DDR3 1333 MHz
HDD-> 500GB HDD 7200 RPM
Video-> Radeon HD 5730
Display-> 15.6″ WLED LCD 1600×900 W2.0 MP camera
Apple Mac Book Pro: (Apple.com)
CPU-> Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz
RAM-> 4 GB RAM DDR 1066 MHz RAM
HDD-> 500GB HDD 7200 RPM
Video-> Nvidia GeForce GT 330M
Display-> 15″ LED LCD 1680×1050
Both laptops have wifi, bluetooth, firewire, backlit keyboard, student discounts, etc. Dell also comes with an HDMI port (very handy).
Overall, the Dell laptop has a better CPU, RAM, and especially the video card where the dell graphics are 150% better (PassMark Benchmark)
Dell: $1250 before taxes
Apple: $2350 before taxes
Where I live they charge 15% tax:
Dell: $1438 if I were to buy it
Apple: $2703 if I were to buy it
Dell is $1265 cheaper with far better hardware….
….with that kind of money I can get a PS3 + XBox 360S + Wii + PSP on top of the Dell laptop and still not pay as much as I would for an inferior specs Apple MBP
….or..with that kind of money I can get TWO laptops with better hardware than a SINGLE Apple MBP
$1250 to $2350…almost makes me laugh.
I still haven’t gotten a new computer. I have a daughter who’s going back to college in a week and a half. We can get an apple with her student discount and get a free ipod touch (which we don’t really need). I already have 2 dells. The reason I’m thinking about getting the Apple is because we’ve been plagued with viruses. I’ve heard that this isn’t a problem with Apple. I am worried about the learning curve with the Apple and I didn’t think it would be nearly as much as $2350.
@Susan: Just get Microsoft Security Essentials for the Dells. It’s the best free antivirus out there and doesn’t slow down your computer at all.
In AV-Test.org test: It detected and caught 98.44 percent of 545,034 computer viruses, computer worms and software Trojan horses as well as 90.95 percent of 14,222 spyware and adware samples. It also detected and eliminate all 25 tested rootkits. It generated no false-positive at all
On 7 January 2010, Microsoft Security Essentials won the PC Advisor’s Best Free Software award