First, let me begin with a basic caveat. I’m not advocating that Mac users switch to a Dell or any other Windows 10 PC that has better hardware for less. Hardware makes up a major portion of the computers we use, and I do not prefer Windows 10 over macOS Sierra.
Second, let me state the obvious and work from there. Apple has fallen very much behind the times on hardware, to the point of embarrassment, and there just isn’t an excuse for that because so many Windows 10 PCs have managed to raise the bar where Apple merely sleeps. That’s something of a roll reversal for Apple and Microsoft, which dozed for a decade with Windows XP and spawn.
Rich, Not Better
Just weeks after Apple launched the much criticized new MacBook Pro line Dell’s new XPS 13 is looking pretty good as an alternative since it comes with what a Mac does not. Intel’s latest, the 7th generation of Inside, a Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U CPU for about the price of an entry level MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar.
Color this a Dell day because the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 can be ratcheted up to MacBook Pro levels for less money but it comes with a touchscreen that folds around like a standup tablet. And it has better battery life in a similarly sized package.
Of course, Apple doesn’t make junk, and Dell seems to have a large supply of plastic which it uses in its Mac competitors. Take the Dell Lattitude 5285, more of a mid-range business class Windows 10 machine with a touchscreen. It’s a small and light PC with a 12.3-inch display, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB SSD storage but with a screen that won’t shake your faith in Apple’s Mac line.
Take a look at this? Is this not the antithesis of a MacBook Pro?
I wouldn’t consider the Acer Predator 21X a MacBook Pro replacement or alternative, but it points out just how far people will go to get what they want. I checked out the 15-inch MacBook Pro and loaded it up with everything Apple gives; faster CPU, 2TB SSD storage, the Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB of GPU RAM and it hit a whopping $4,299. The Acer Predator has a faster Intel CPU, takes up to 64GB of RAM and can hold four SSDs, plus it has a 17-inch 4K UHD display (which means battery life isn’t so good). The new MacBook weighs a measly 3-pounds compared to the Predators 19-pounds. All that extra weight has a hefty price tag, too. $8,999 fully tricked out.
The MacBook Pro circa 2016 is looking pretty good, huh?
HP’s new Spectre X360 is a 13-inch competitor to the MacBook but weighs in at about the same price tag, comparably equipped. Microsoft’s Surface Book model fits somewhere between the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 15-inch model but is similarly priced at the high end.
What’s interesting here is that all these Windows 10 PC notebook makers are able to do what Apple does not seem able to do any more. Frequent product updates and upgrades. Intel’s fastest and newest CPUs do not show up in Macs at all. The Mac Pro hasn’t received an upgrade since it was introduced nearly four years ago. The new MacBook Pro models do not use Intel’s newest CPUs. Mac’s don’t come with a touchscreen at all, yet that’s become the de facto standard of decent Windows 10 PCs.
Mac users don’t expect a Mac to magically become an iPad, but touchscreens are becoming the norm, and Apple seems smug and secure in its decision to keep Mac users away from the latest hardware advancements that PC users have had for years. That attitude may explain why Mac sales have fallen over the past year and Windows 10 notebooks with touchscreens are the big seller; outselling Macs, helping to stem the Windows PC sales drought.
Why can’t Apple keep Mac hardware up to date? Windows 10 PC manufacturers do it.