Monday, October 30, 2006

MacBook Pro better value than Dell or HP

I have been given the task to get a couple of the highest powered laptops I can for some researchers I work with. Fortunately I can get education pricing from all the major manufacturers and my University has negotiated special pricing on top of that. I approached each of the companies that we deal with and asked for 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo laptops with 2Gig of RAM and 17" screen. The following is a list of the laptops and prices that I received. The Toshiba dealer I approached said that Toshiba Australia don't sell Core 2 Duo laptops at this stage.

Surprisingly Apple comes out as the best value. There are some differences between the systems that may or may not worry you, such as hard drive speed, size, graphics speed (if you are a gamer), screen resolution etc.

CPU Speed2.33GHz2.33GHz2.33GHz2.33GHz
HDD120G (5400)100G (7200)100G (7200)160G (5400)
Display Size17" wide17" wide17" wide17" wide
Display Res1920x12001440x9001920x12001680x1050
Weight (kg)43.363.43.1
Grf MakeNVidiaATINVidiaATI
Grf Model7900GSX1600FX 1500MX1600
Grf RAM256M256M512M256M

What does worry me is the lack of Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys. I do a lot of code editing and frequently use these keys. Before investing in the system I am going to have to be sure that I can comfortably and quickly navigate around a document. I should also mention that the 7200rpm hard drives are very interesting - and I would like to benchmark the difference with some of our statistical analysis software. Dell and Apple mentioned that they could install the 7200rpm drives. Do 7200rpm drives have heat or reliability issues?

Just confirming that all prices are in Australian dollars and have the educational discounts offered by the respective companies (usually available to institutions, staff and students).