Getting a fair deal?

Michael L Torrie torriem at
Wed Aug 30 15:45:53 MDT 2006

On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 15:09 -0600, Grant Robinson wrote:
> * You can't get a comparable graphics card in the Toshiba.  The best  
> they offer is an Nvidia GForce 7600
> * No backlit keyboard option
> * No sudden motion senser option
> * No built-in iSight video camera option
> * No Firewire 800 option
> * No MagSafe power option
> * Can't make the Toshiba match the MacBook Pro dimensions (MacBook  
> Pro is 15.4x10.4x1.0 and weighs 6.8 pounds)

This is the kicker I think.  Comparing the Macbook Pro 17" to this
toshiba is hardly a fair comparison because the Toshiba isn't really a
notebook at this size; it's a portable desktop computer.  One of the
reasons that 17" laptops (non-apple) are so cheap is that they don't
have to have as many miniaturized components.  The mainboards are huge
and many 17" models even have 3.5" hard drives.  They have large heavy
batteries too (who will notice an extra pound when you're almost at 10
pounds).  Whereas the Apple 17" is a *notebook* computer.  light-weight
but still has amazing features.  From what has been discussed here I'd
say it's a much much better machine than the Toshiba.  

The whole problem with cheap laptops, as I see it, is:
- they are heavy (heavier than the $2000 laptops)
- they have poor hardware (video, slow disks)
- fairly poor battery life because of the cheaper, hungrier components
- They tend to use cheaper processors that aren't necessarily mobile
chips (IE the old HP 17" with the AMD processor!)

So in my mind there are two classes of laptops.  One is about $1000 and
the other is $2000-2500.  And in each class Apple comes out on top in
terms of price vs feature set.

I'd sooner may $1000 for the MacBook than a low-end crappy Dell or HP
that's under $700.

> The Toshiba had a few things the mac did not:
> * 4 USB ports (MacBook Pro has 3)
> * Extra buttons for controlling CD/DVD with lid closed
> * Built-in 5-in-1 card reader
These are nice but add bulk.



> * Fingerprint reader
> Personally, I would still buy the Apple, as there is also a whole  
> host of other things that the MacBook Pro offers for me like battery  
> life, OS (no legal OS X for a Toshiba), iLife, etc, etc.

> If you are happy with your Toshiba, then that is really all that  
> matters.  My point was just that if you are going head to head  
> without a bunch of special offers (which aren't always available),  
> Apple competes very well with Dell and IBM (Lenovo).
> --
> The "real" Grant
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