For all the talk of Apple’s misplaced priorities with the new MacBook Pro, and Microsoft’s resurgence thanks to a Surface Book notebook and the gargantuan 28-inch Surface Studio PC, someone has designed the MacBook you really want.
If you’re into hardware and specifications then you’ll drool over this MacBook wannabe from… insert drum roll here… Dell. Yes. That Dell. If I could figure out a way to get macOS Sierra chugging along on this machine I’d be willing to fork over some money.
Dude, Forget It’s A Dell
Color me as one Apple watcher and technology guru wannabe who thinks touchscreen PCs are a bit over the top and not exactly destined to save the PC industry which has been in the doldrums for a few years, thanks mostly to the mobile revolution.
A notebook. With a touchscreen. And Windows 10? Puhleeze. I’ll take an anemic MacBook any day because a Mac runs anything; macOS Sierra, Windows 10, and the various and sundry flavors of Linux and Unix (all at the same time, if you want). Besides, who needs the constant tendinitis-infusing arm and shoulder movements just to touch a screen running Windows? Amirite? Yet, these so-called 2-in-1 PCs are all the rage these days.
The latest is the Dell XPS 2-in-1 notebook tablet hybrid.
Admit it. That’s a bit drool worthy, no? Wait. There’s more!
The XPS 13 2-in-1 (seriously, Dell, come up with some memorable names for a change) comes with a 360-degree hinge which delivers four flexible positions called tablet, tent, laptop, and stand mode. There’s no cooling fan so the case is thin at 8-to-13.7mm but slightly thicker than a new MacBook. Just remember this is both a notebook and a tablet with a keyboard (the screen does not detach, which would make it a killer gadget).
The screen is a 13-inch Quad-HD display with 3200×1800 pixels, substantially more than a MacBook, and the choice of CPUs ranges from Intel Core i5 and i7 vs. the slower m3/m5 found in the Mac, and it’s about half a pound heavier than the Mac but with about 10 hours of battery life (watching Netflix). All the standard PC features are included; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, stereo speakers, widescreen HD camera. Storage options go up to 1TB SSD flash and it comes with dual USB-C connectors, but one even handles Thunderbolt 3.
Take that, Apple.
What bothers me here is that Dell is able to make a thin and light notebook with some decent power, a higher resolution screen, and better battery life than a new MacBook Pro with a remarkable price tag.
The most comparable version is the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 with the 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe SSD flash storage for a penny less than $1,200. Compare that to a comparably equipped MacBook for $1,299 but without the higher resolution touchscreen.
The most expensive MacBook weighs in at $1,599 with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe SSD storage. In fact, this Dell hybrid plays more like a MacBook Pro. The 2-in-1 can go to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for $1,799 while the comparable 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,199.
Of course, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is still made by Dell, and it’s still running Windows 10, but as these hybrids get lighter and thinner, and many already have detachable touchscreens, a compelling case can be made for a PC hybrid rather than a Mac notebook, which tends to be more expensive, part for part.
What I really want to see is a more competitive stature from Apple, and a public display of the product risks that Steve Jobs often took. For example, could Apple build a Mac with it’s own custom A-Series, ARM-based CPU that runs only macOS Sierra and no Intel Inside? Yes. Could Apple have a line of external displays– Apple branded, of course– with USB-C and Mac recharging capability built-in? Yes. Could Apple add a function to iPhone and iPad which would allow them to connect to external HD displays? Yes.
Even that list is playing catch up with what’s already on the market and made by Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is an example of a product that fits squarely between the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, but comes with competitive features and a competitive price tag.
Dude, forget it’s a Dell. If it ran macOS Sierra, would you buy it?