Why is it that Apple’s competition all have new killer products? Every year brings about a new iPhone killer, a new iPad killer, and, of course, the old standby meme that never dies, a new MacBook killer.
The latest comes from Microsoft which is doubling down on its troubling Surface PC line. Troubling? Surface gets decent reviews from members of the technorati elite politburo but customers must know something they’re not being told by Microsoft or reviewers. There’s a reason Surface sales have never taken off, yet that didn’t stop Microsoft from launching yet another Windows notebook.
Kill, Or Be Killed
We certified Apple Watchers and carry carrying members of the iDevice clan are under no obligation to love everything Apple does. We calls ’em like we sees ’em and Apple could do better. Mac mini? Mac Pro? In fact, every Mac could use some love and attention but it seems Apple’s hardware engineers are too busy patting their backs over iPhone X envy among competitors.
Mac sales are at all time record levels. Again. That’s despite killer after killer trying their best to unseat what Steve Jobs hath wrought. The latest is the Surface Book 2 from Microsoft, a new generation of notebook that may not unseat Apple’s Mac from customers but tells us the Windows maker isn’t done trying to kill the Mac with everything except kindness.
Enter Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 with 15″ PixelSense display. Here’s what you get for an entry-level $2,499. 256GB SSD storage, 16GB RAM, 8th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, a package Microsoft says is twice as powerful as a MacBook Pro, with 70-percent more battery life and a higher resolution touchscreen. Oh, and yet another version of Windows.
For $100 less, Apple gives Mac users a 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, the same 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage, Radeon Pro 555 GPU with 2GB RAM, four Thunderbolt-USB-C ports, Touch Bar and Touch ID, and a non-touch Retina display. Yes, there is an entry-level MacBook Pro sans a few Thunderbolt ports, lesser graphics, and no Touch Bar or Touch ID, but I wanted to compare Apple to apples.
Microsoft has upped its hardware game.
Fully tricked out with a 1TB SSD option comes in at $2,999, the exact same price as a comparable MacBook Pro with 1TB SSD, but the Mac has even more options. For example, the SSD can go to 2TB, the Radeon 560 GPU with 4GB RAM and faster Intel Core i7 CPU comes in just under $4,200. But Apple uses last year’s Intel chips in the Mac, and of course, there is no touchscreen on the Mac.
Surface Book 2 comes with the latest hardware specifications and does one thing you can’t find at all with a Mac in the Apple Store.
How cool is that?
So, why hasn’t the Surface line put a dent in Mac or iPad sales recently? Math. Yes, math. Well, marketing math. To unseat a market leader, a competitor needs to, 1) build a much better product and sell it at the same price as the market leader, which makes a compelling reason for a customer to switch brands, or, 2) make exactly the same product as the market leader, but sell it for less, which creates a compelling reason for a customer to switch.
Surface is same old same old. Similar hardware specifications at the same price as a comparable MacBook Pro, but it runs Windows while a Mac can run Windows and Linux at the same time as macOS High Sierra.
This ain’t no MacBook Pro killer.