The state of the personal computer industry is just as it has always been. A mess. There may be fewer manufacturers today, but each one has a long list of desktop and notebook PCs that make comparisons a pain.
That includes Microsoft’s Surface line of touchscreen PCs, mostly notebooks, and Apple’s highly acclaimed and seemingly expensive Mac line; notebook and desktop. Where it all gets messy is the so-called feature migration employed by both makers.
Apple’s PC line is simple. Mac. Mac mini, Mac Pro, and iMac for the desktop (each aimed at different user groups with differing price tags), and the Mac notebooks– MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
On the other side of the border is Microsoft’s Surface line of PCs; desktop and notebook. There’s the Surface Go which starts at $399, sans keyboard. The Surface Laptop 2 at $999, last year’s Surface laptop at $999, then Surface Pro 6 at $899, Surface Pro 5 at $749, Surface Book 2 at $1,499, and the Surface Studio 2 desktop at $3,499 (or, last year’s model at $2,999.
Microsoft’s low end models have no clear Mac counterpart, but the Surface Book 2 does. The MacBook Pro.
Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 with a 13-inc display, 16GB RAM, Intel Core i7 Inside, and 1TB SSD storage weighs in at $2,999. Interestingly, the 15-inch model is the same price.
Comparably, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with similar configuration is $2,699. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is aimed at true professionals with up to 32GB RAM, 4GB GPU, an 8 Core i9 Intel Inside, and with 4TB SSD hits $5,149.
Which line is the pro line?
Even the entry level lines are a mess.
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 with 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7 Inside, and 256GB SSD storage is $,1299 while the MacBook Air is the same price for a newer processor but no touchscreen.
Apple, of course, has no Mac to counter Microsoft’s entry level model Surface Go with an anemic Intel Inside, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD storage and no keyboard for $399.
Seldom mentioned in head-to-head comparisons are a few other facts. The Surface touchscreen seldom gets used as a tablet, and pales in comparison to an iPad in capabilities. The Mac has resale value which shames all PC brands. And, comparable hardware has a similar price tag.
Oh, and there’s the fact that a Mac can run not only macOS, but also Windows 10, and most flavors of Linux, too. All at the same time.
Comparing Apple to apples is difficult.