Apple: 'PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want'

Apple: 'PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want'

Summary: Microsoft's Laptop Hunters advertisements continue to provoke more spilled ink, this blog included. The latest such example is from BusinessWeek, in which writer Arik Hesseldahl outlines why an Apple machine definitely costs more than a PC but all things considered, really doesn't.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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Microsoft's Laptop Hunters advertisements continue to provoke more spilled ink, this blog included. The latest such example is from BusinessWeek, in which writer Arik Hesseldahl outlines why an Apple machine definitely costs more than a PC but all things considered, really doesn't.

You follow?

In the article, Hesseldahl asserts that "Yes, $699 beats the $2,800 you'd pay for a Mac with a 17-in. screen. But when it comes to PCs, there's still a great deal more to buy." He's not talking about putting a price tag on design, either.

He explains this disconnect by outlining unspoken costs that come with PCs. For example, security: With a $699 PC, you need to pay for antivirus protection beyond the trial period, somewhere in the range of $50 per year. That's at least $150 over three years, if not more. A four-digit Mac won't need antivirus, Hesseldahl writes.

Then, service: WIth a $699 PC, a third-party vendor such as Best Buy's Geek Squad will charge you $129 to diagnose an ailing PC. Apple's Genius Bar? Free.

Same goes for software bundles: Apple's iLife multimedia suite is simply more capable than whatever comes preloaded on a PC, he says, and applications such as Photoshop Elements and Garageband are costly to replicate on a PC.

The list goes on, citing Apple battery life, screen resolution, and overall consumer satisfaction. It's a reasonable argument, though I wish there was a bit more detail -- surely it costs a consumer to depend on a single vendor. Competition does drive down price, after all.

Still, the conclusion is clear: with a Mac, you get what you pay for. With a PC, same deal.

When Hesseldahl asked Apple directly, they had this to say: "A PC is no bargain when it doesn't do what you want."

Be careful what you wish for.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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268 comments
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  • Just applefanboi drivel..

    I mean they have to rationalize the high cost of their locked in PC. Claiming to purchase a computer on the basis of not spending money for AV is bogus - AVG is free to home users, so the point is moot - also lacking AV on your computer is, to me irresponsible computing. Yes there is currently no viruses for the Mac, but give it time.

    If your limiting factor is price, go Linux and if its functionality you want, go Windows. Need your handheld and like to be locked into an eco-system that taxes the hell out of you, go Apple.
    JT82
    • Respectfully with some of your comments I disagree...

      what lock in? MS locks one to Windows only. Apple computers one can
      run Windows, Linux and, Apple software all at the same time. To me
      Apple offers more functionality.

      You're correct there isn't at present Mac viruses. Your comment "...but
      give it time..." is meaningless. Give it time our sun will burn up as
      well, give anything time something will happen. With OS X it hasn't yet
      happened however, at present Windows has over 100,000 malware
      issues. Yes MS does work diligently to rectify those issues.

      Reality check: as for handholding, ever since Win3.1 when MS started
      leaving DOS behind MS has been handholding users; that's a very
      good thing and wise decision actually. Do you want to go back to a
      command line only computing be it for Windows or Linux? Not me.

      Apple fan boys, well certainly you sound as though you're a fanboy for
      your chosen OS, absolutely nothing wrong with that. Enjoy what you
      want explain to the world why you like it however, before calling
      someone a fanboy then belittling them look in your mirror; you're one
      yourself.

      As for cost, you could be driving a much less expensive car, living in a
      less expensive house/apartment, list of your overpriced purchases
      goes on. Do you rationalize your overspending on items you want that
      can be found at a lower cost someplace else?

      Anyway, very much enjoy what you want, don't chastise users of
      systems other than what you approve of. As for taxing; Windows has
      it's own tax as well. Much has been written about the Windows tax.

      Myself, I much prefer Mac, seldom use Windows (used to be a
      Windows IT network admin, now retired). I don't condemn others for
      their choice of OS.

      The computer is only a tool. Purchase what best suites you. Criticize
      nobody for their choice.

      BubbaJones_
      • Here Here!!

        Well said.
        xXSpeedzXx
        • It's "Hear, Hear"

          just FYI
          tikigawd
      • Eloquently stated, but I must respectfully disagree with some..

        of your points. First, I apologize if it seemed as I was chastizing a whole group of users. I was not - meerely stating that the drivel was coming from the elistest department, nothing more - nothing less.

        Secondly, the lock in issue. Apple is known to do this with all their prodcuts, take the iPod for example, only works with iTunes. Cant use Media player to manage it, cant use any other third party app. OS X - can only run only licenced apple hardware. That is due to both their EULA and the fact that they have artificial coding inside it that prevents it running w/o the EFI card (or something to that extent). Now, as for my Dell XPS 410 - It too can run Windows and Linux, just not OS X - by way of Vendor lockin.

        Also thanks for the agreement with the overspending :) We both are pretty much on the same page - just two different sides of the same coin. I am not critizing anyone for their choice of OS, simply critizing the rabid, foaming at the mouth, fan base that will take any and every opportunity to bash the other side. Thank you for your time.
        JT82
        • Lock in or different perspective?

          There is no such thing as an "EFI card" in a Mac. EFI is not
          an Apple technology. EFI stands for Extensible Firmware
          Interface and is <i>Intel's</i> replacement for BIOS. Intel
          actively promotes the adoption of EFI, but so far only
          Apple has made that choice. EFI is NOT an installation
          management tool, it is a more modern firmware interface
          end of story. If your OS is built to communicate with EFI
          and your hardware is BIOS based, then you need to either
          add hardware or code to translate from one to the other.

          As for the iPod only working with iTunes, that's a choice
          which is in line with Apple's philosophy of providing a
          "whole package" solution. If you don't like the whole
          package, then don't buy the product. Incidentally there
          are plenty of was to make the iPod work with other
          software if that's what you want. An example is http://www.mgtek.com/dopisp/ (note: this is not an
          endorsement as I have not tried it - it's just the first I
          found). Google it and you'll see. yes, you have to tinker,
          but if I want a non-factory stereo in my car I need to
          "tinker" with the dashboard aperture to make it fit, too.
          VW won't support my non-VW stereo just as Apple would
          not support your WMP file management, but they shouldn't
          do so either.

          EULAs are another story. The courts will ultimately tell
          Apple whether or not that is enforceable. On my Mac I go
          with the "whole widget" design. But then again, the Vista
          that I run on it is also basically as Microsoft built it, too.
          use_what_works_4_U
          • That was a bad example

            "yes, you have to tinker,
            but if I want a non-factory stereo in my car I need to
            "tinker" with the dashboard aperture to make it fit, too.
            VW won't support my non-VW stereo just as Apple would
            not support your WMP file management, but they shouldn't
            do so either."

            Oops, bad example. Since, oh, sometime in the 70's or so, stereo manufacturers have conformed to a set of standards. For example, I went to Crutchfield (www.crutchfield.com), and told them I was looking for a stereo for a 2008 VW Bug - got back 119 results from a dozen different manufacturers. Since it looks like VW does support non-VW stereos, why can't Apple support some sort of open file management structure?
            dmcox1
          • Personal experience

            Try that on a 95 Nissan Sentra. I couldn't find a replacement to fit. Really don't miss that car either.
            Erroneous
          • too easy

            Crutchfield returns 162 hits for a 95 Nissan Sentra - Alpine, Blaupunkt, JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, etc. - although I did look through the list and a few of those are GPS systems with no radio or CD (some did have an MP3 jack though)
            dmcox1
          • Not a bad example at all

            They support the standard connections but the majority of the generic
            stereos on the market require a kit to <i>fit the aperture (opening) in
            the dash</i> as I said without leaving a gaping hole.
            use_what_works_4_U
          • Whole package philosophy...

            Seems it is OK for Apple to offer the 'whole package' and have 100% control over everything -- but when Microsoft is so outrageous as to actually dare to include a browser with an operating system -- the fanboyz revolt as though some heinous crime has been committed.

            Can't have it both ways...
            Marty R. Milette
          • Bad Example!

            With OS X you can easily remove the packaged internet browser. Take
            Safari and drag it to the trash and you will never see it again. The only
            complaint anyone or the courts have had about MS including Internet
            Explorer with Windows is that it can not be uninstalled.
            danielwsmithee
          • Wrong on one point...

            The courts won't say anything, because apple has the money to stonewall any case brought against it by anyone who isn't a government. Not a very rational analysis on your part.
            Spiritusindomit
        • Hello pot, meet the kettle...

          [i]"That is due to both their EULA and the fact
          that they have artificial coding inside it that
          prevents it running w/o the EFI card (or
          something to that extent)."[/i]

          Huh? I just have to wonder... why do people
          feel obligated to preach about things they know
          nothing about?

          [i]"I am not critizing anyone for their choice
          of OS, simply critizing the rabid, foaming at
          the mouth, fan base that will take any and
          every opportunity to bash the other side. "[/i]

          Again, huh? You were the first to post on this
          thread with your "rabid, foaming at the mouth"
          nonsense. Hello pot, meet the kettle.
          techconc
          • Hello pot, meet the kettle...

            I just have to wonder why people feel obligated to dismiss things they know nothing about? You sure don't seem to know anything. If you do, you should say something instead of nothing.
            Mac elitists are indeed rabid.
            Joeman57
          • Care to back that up?

            [i]"I just have to wonder why people feel
            obligated to dismiss things they know nothing
            about? You sure don't seem to know
            anything."[/i]

            Really, was there a question that was asked of
            me that I missed? Clearly in the example I
            replied to, the previous poster spoke of an
            "EFI Card" and used it in a context which made
            it clear he/she didn't understand how it was
            used. If you believe my assessment was
            incorrect, please explain rather than
            essentially "saying nothing" as you accuse me
            of.

            [i]"Mac elitists are indeed rabid."[/i]

            Windows zealots are ignorant.
            techconc
          • Sure

            How about you tell it like it really is? Like what was actually wrong with what he said? Is that beyond you? I rather think it is.
            Ooooh, windows zealots are ignorant! Did you think of that all by yourself? Probably not.
            Keep foaming buddy!
            Joeman57
          • And there aren't rabid Windows snobs?

            Tip...look up Ed Bott's column
            devlin_X
          • Sure there are

            Just as there are linux elitists too. Every side has foamers. Some people try to deny it, but they need to open their eyes.
            Joeman57
          • Justifiably Rabid

            I can't speak for all Mac elitists, but I can speak on behalf of the new
            converts...The only reason we're so rabid is that we're fed up with supporting,
            securing, and patching Windows environments. I'm sure Mac OSX will
            eventually have it's own significant share of malware, but it for now, it's a
            refreshing change. :-D
            masterguide97