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October 20th 2009 4:58 pm

999$ for a macbook or 999$ for a Dell Studio XPS 13

What do you think...

Which one has the best build quality ?

More feature ?

Cool factor ?

Forget about the OS part since I plan to use Windows 7 anyway

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23 replies

As someone who's been burned by first gen Mac hardware before, I'd sit this one out.
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This isn't first gen to be honest.
I have no idea how many generations old it is, but it must be a few.
I think the new MacBook is a great deal for anyone that isn't upper class.
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It's a first gen device. The fact that they haven't changed the name doesn't change that it's a completely new build.
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Just because the case construction is different doesn't make it a completely new build... not by a long shot. The internals are vastly unchanged other than the battery which has been proven to be oaky in the pro models.
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Apparently you guys haven't been burned by the first gen Mac bug before.

Hey, it's your money. If you want to put your faith in something like this, be my guest. I, on the other hand, have been burned by a first gen Mac more than once, and won't be jumping on one again.

I stand by my original post. I wouldn't consider one of these Macbooks until next year. However, now is as good a time as any to pick up a previous gen Macbook. Those refurb deals are looking pretty hot.
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I'm 1000% with Nate on this one. There's bound to be something. Generally speaking the only problem-free Mac is a fourth generation.

Oh wait, they replace at the third... :p
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Totally agreed. It's pretty much the same hardware as the last generation or two of 13" MacBook / MacBook Pro's.
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Like I said. It's not my money. If you want to take a chance on one of these things, be my guest. Just don't be surprised if you end up dealing with a crappy LCD, a case that cracks and a broken trackpad.
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Im in the same boat, I'm unsure if to get one or not...
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I'd go with the Macbook. I've had the white macbook for over a year now, and no problems! Still runs as fast as it did when I bought it. Of course, it gets dirty easily because it's white, but that's not a big issue as long as you keep your hands clean.

XPS is okay, but it's a lot heavier and bulkier. It might have a little more features though.
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Height: 2.74 cm (1.08 inches)
Width: 33.03 cm (13.00 inches)
Depth: 23.17 cm (9.12 inches)
Weight: 2.13 kg (4.7 pounds)

Dell Studio XPS 13
Width: 12.56" (319mm)
Height: 0.88" (22.55mm) front / 1.35" (34.34mm) back
Depth: 9.3" (236.12mm)
Weight: 4.85 lbs

So about the same
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i guess the real question is do you like ports or not? If you configure the Dell to the same specs as the macbook it's surprisingly $150 more expensive than the mac. I'm looking at making the same decision between the dell and the macbook for my wife. I think I'm leaning Dell right now, the SD card reader is worth it for me. Also it's really nice having a built in vga port. Let's face it, 90% of all projectors one encounters is still vga. It's nice not having to remember a dongle. Not sure why Jobs hates ports so much.
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OK, I'll just say it. Even if you "plan to use Windows 7 anyway", only with the MacBook will you have the option to dual-boot both operating systems. You never know what you might miss from OS X.
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"Forget about the OS part since I plan to use Windows 7 anyway "

Pretty ridiculous statement if you ask me. That would most definitely be a factor whether you are using Win7 or not. The MacBook *can* run both - naively and as much as I like Win7, OS X is still a far more secure OS. With the Dell, the best option you have is Win7 (unless you really feel like torturing yourself with an install of Linux).
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I had a mac for years, and the snow leopard did give me so many problem... It's was enough

I already order a Studio XPS 16

And I want to compare the machine of the build and spec not on the OS issue !!!
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I don't understand the debate. Is Dell just the overpriced partner in this debate? I recently got a 16" HP with 2.2 Intel, discrete graphics, 3G memory, 320G hard drive. I think most of major components are compatible or better for $600 instead of $1000 for the Mac. I definitely understand there are features of the MacBook that are better, but almost half-price is almost half-price no matter how you cut it.

Oh yeah, and a SD card slot :)
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Well the more I think about it here are my conclusion

+ Little better CPU speed
+ MacOS if you want it
+ Battery
- Touchpad (I hate these new touchpad)

Studio XPS 13
+ Design
+ Ports!!!
+ Backlit Keyboard
- No MacOS
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at the $999 price point:

Pluses for the Dell:
7200RPM hard drive standard.
Equipped with 3GB of RAM (where the MacBook comes standard with 2GB)

Minuses for the Dell:
LED Backlit screen is a $125 upgrade (this is huge & standard on the Mac)
Bluetooth is a $20 upgrade (standard on the Mac)
Standard 6 cell battery is anemic. the 9 cell is a $180 upgrade.

The display and battery alone = $300+ of additional cost over the MacBook. The LED lit screen alone would be the selling point for me. RAM and HDDs are easy enough to swap out.

If you buy it from MacMall you can get a $50 Mail in rebate and save the tax if you dont live in California. Tax and the MIR would pay for a 4GB RAM upgrade done by MacMall.
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Buy the Dell from Best Buy for $929. Has better specs than Dell.com and I think is a heck of a deal over the MacBook as far as specs go. OSX is a great operating system, but so is Windows 7.
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The one from Best Buy still has the rubbish CFL lit screen. No thanks.
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I have an early 2009 white macbook and I love it except for the screen. The screen's contrast is too damn low and it isn't very bright either. Every time I use it I keep thinking how cheap it's LCD screen must be. Regardless of that it pretty much covers all my laptop needs.
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Just so you know... Windows sucks power. Don't expect to get the "7 hour" battery life in Windows. (Even though Windows 7 has improved battery performance significantly.) And speaking of Windows 7, why on earth would you not want to use OS X? I have Windows 7 on my Macbook Pro just to mess around with it. I would never use it day to day, once a program crashes and your doing something important... you kinda realize you don't have to deal with that. LOL. For the coolness factor, you know the mac wins. No one will even ask you about the Dell. Everyone would notice that it's the NEW MacBook. Just sayin...
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I disagree with your comment entirely. I've seen plenty of kernel panics on OSX before on Mac hardware. Ive haven't had a crash yet with an application on Windows 7 (Ive been running windows 7 rtm for a few months now). Only issue I've seen with Windows 7 wasn't even MS fault, the Nvidia video drivers caused a blue screen of death, yes I said a BSOD.
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