This seems to be a pretty popular sport in some nooks and crannies of the world — viz. Mezzoblue or OSNews, so I decided to put up a feature-by-feature comparison table of the laptop I wanted to buy, and the laptop I actually bought.
Keep in mind that I would seldom use the OS X that would come with the Powerbook, and never use the OS that comes with the Dell. I much prefer KDE to OS X. Also keep in mind that these are the configurations I choose; the standard Powerbook has a DVD-writer and a bigger hard disk, and costs €2,973.81.
|Apple Powerbook 15″ 1.25 Ghz||Dell Inspiron 5150|
|Keyboard gripes||No delete||Tilde in a silly location|
|Other gripes||Dunno, never seen one in real life||Makes a whistling noise.|
|Suspend & Resume||Perfect||Suspend, but no resume…|
|CPU||G4 1.25 Ghz||Pentium 4M 3,06 Ghz|
|Battery life||Reported to be about 2 hours||4 hours (with brightness turned down to half, but compiling a lot of stuff on the road)|
|HD||60 GB||40 GB|
|RAM||512 MB||512 MB|
|Graphics card||ATI Radeon 64 MB||NVidia 32 MB|
|Screen quality||Never seen one live, but reported to be good||Completely perfect|
|Resolution||1280 x 854||1600 x 1200|
|Ports||2 x USB2, 2 x Firewire, TV-out, audio in, audio out, 1000 Mbit ethernet, pcmcia, modem||2 x USB2, Firewire, TV-out, audio in, audio out, 100 Mbit ethernet, pcmcia, modem|
|Weight||2.5 Kg||3.13 Kg|
|Size (HxWxL)||2.8 x 34.8 x 24.3||44.5 x 32.9 x 27.5|
|Price (inc. VAT and transport, in Euros)||2,664.41||1,306.- (now reduced to 987.- + 97.- transport)|
So, then it boils down to: is it worth paying €1,359.- for the privilege of giving up a bally perfect screen and a CPU that’s twice as fast where it counts (compiling Java and C++) and a platform that’s best supported by Linux to get better looks, more HD space, a conceivably tougher system and perfect suspend and resume. If the difference hadn’t been more than the price of the Dell itself, I might have hesitated.