Product comparisons often compare Apple to oranges. Microsoft did it frequently by comparing a Surface PC-like features against an iPad. Then did it again by comparing Surface tablet-like features against a Mac notebook. See a problem? Here’s another one.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a notebook; business, college, high school, personal, or whatever. You want a new notebook. What you look for often depends on what you have now or have used before, right? Would you compare a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a MacBook Air? Maybe, but probably not. The former is a high end notebook with massive capability, while the latter is as entry-level as a Mac notebook can be.
How about comparing a MacBook Pro with a Microsoft Surface Pro? Wrong. But Apple to oranges comparisons are popular. So, let’s do it right and compare a MacBook Pro with a Microsoft Surface Book Pro.
MacBook Pro – To keep the apples compared appropriately, I’ll match features. The Mac comes with 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage, USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, 4GB of GPU RAM, 15-inch 2880×1800 Retina display, 8th generation Core i7 Intel Inside, Touch Bar, Touch ID.
How does that compare to the baseline competition from Microsoft?
Surface Book Pro – The PC comes with 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage, 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C port, 6GB GPU RAM, a 15-inch 3000×2000 Retina display, 7th generation Core i7 Intel Inside, touchscreen, SDXC card reader, and dual cameras.
Other differences? The Mac runs macOS, Windows 10, and various flavors of Linux; and all at the same time, if needed. The Surface Pro runs Windows 10, and various flavors of Linux. Surface Pro is slightly heavier and has a nice touchscreen.
That’s mostly how PCs are compared these days because comparing operating systems, total cost of ownership, reliability, and resale value is just too subjective, I guess.
Just for grins, let’s add one more to the shootout.
Dell XPS 15 – Both the Mac and Microsoft’s notebooks do not compare favorably to a Dell XPS 15 with comparable specifications but with a price tag just under $2,600. Of course, it’s a Dell, so somewhat akin to comparing Macy’s to Walmart, but you get the idea.
These are not the kinds of comparisons I like to make and don’t find them valuable elsewhere because it’s just hardware; nothing is mentioned about the aforementioned usability differences, total cost of ownership, or even resale value. My experience tells me a used Mac is worth more than a comparable used PC which helps to reduce the price differential.
Performance is difficult to compare, too, because software runs on each platform differently; even usability of the same applications is different. So, that’s it. Shootouts are dead and worthless. Product comparisons just don’t have enough detail to make much of a decision on anything other than brand and price.
What I would like to know is how Dell can make a device with better hardware specifications than Apple or Microsoft and sell it for much less money.