Is the latest macbook pro 15" (cheapest one with discrete graphics processor) currently a better buy than a dell studio xps 16"?
I need to have windows installed and to have microsoft office running natively on both Windows and mac OS X if running in bootcamp/parallels on the mac (for problem free following of student guidelines to use windows only, academic statistics software that exports to Excel) but also need graphics power for editing photos and video and possibly for animation. Lightweight and long battery life are both desirable, as are included webcam, good sound and speakers and best output to HD TV screen. Bluray would be nice but perhaps is not essential. How do the experts out there think these two models compare for my needs? Advice would be appreciated.
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In either case, it looks like you'll be doing some virtualization. What sort of video editing would you be doing? If you'll be spending a lot of time on such matters, I'd probably go with the MAC, but as you know, it will cost you more. However, if you won't be spending a majority of the time doing such things, I'd look into the dell xps 16, but maybe spend a bit on beefing up the hardware (it'll still be cheaper than a mac).
I think your only answer is the PC. It's got more horsepower than the Mac, if you get an i-series CPU. It will also carry HDMI and Bluray, which the Mac doesn't even offer. Any application you can run on OS X will, for the most part, have an equal on Windows or Linux, if not a superior application.
And you'll get beefier hardware at a lower price. The current Macs are very outdated machines.
Depending on your budget, we may be able to find you something better than the Dell.
WAIT FOR THE MACBOOK PRO UPDATES!!! The ergonomics and streamlined use of the Macbook Pro is comparable to no PC. Macbooks also have much better battery life and lightweight form factors than the Dell XPS.
The best Macbook Alernative in my point of view would be an Asus n61JQ. The Dell XPS is a bad laptop as I have experienced.
I personally dislike the dell company. But you're better off buying the dell studio xps 16". Why?
You get microsoft office and excel to run without the problems of finding mac friendly versions of them.
You can always update the power (memory ram ect..) inside the dell for your graphic power needs and animation
Lightweight and long battery life are the best in the mac. But to get what you want you need to give a little.
The web cam can always be selected in the dell.
I don't know how the sound of the speakers compares to the mac, but if they are horribly bad you can always buy a cheap portable ones that will plug into the dell.
No idea about the best output to HD TV screen. Maybe someone else would know in the following responses?
Bluray is only going to be found in the dell. As Mac's don't even carry them.
I hope this helped. Best Wishes on your computer buying experience either way.
Thanks for the input.
Who knows how long Apple may wait before releasing a macbook pro upgrade (limited supply of i7 processors and planned release only after iPad?) while the Dell XPS 16 is currently not available with Blu-ray due to 'supply constraints' so the Asus N61JQ looks interesting too....
but I am no closer to a decision. Which way now?
I'd hunt around a bit more. If you don't mind a flashy case and probably a shorter battery life, the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) G51Jx-X3 notebook might be a good fit. The HP Envy 15-1150NR looks promising and there may an some other Asus or Vaio models. Look around or patiently wait for the new release of the next gen MBP.
The only reason I didn't recommend the HP Envy 15 is because it's a PAIN to use for the price range. Had you the 2000 dollars you need to buy a good Macbook Pro 15 inch, a HP Envy is not a good alternative. Hope I helped and feel free to ask more questions .
Thanks for the advice. In the end I finally bought a Precision M4500 mobile workstation instead, and so far it's better than all the other options and upgradeable as well. Will worry about how to pay for it over its much longer lifetime too.
Thanks for the advice.
In the end I finally bought a Precision M4500 mobile workstation instead, and so far it's better than all the other options and upgradeable as well.
Will have to worry about how to pay for it over its much longer lifetime though.