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MacBooks Best Laptops, Says Consumer Reports

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May 5, 2009 9:10:51 PM

Oh boy i smell a flame war i better hide
May 5, 2009 9:11:19 PM

why don't they compare $2000 PC to $2000 Macs? $2800 vs $750, really?
Related resources
May 5, 2009 9:15:20 PM

Lol yeah that is odd 13 inch and lower makes sence only a small price diff but the best is a $2000 laptop then the next best is at 700 lol that just looks bad.
May 5, 2009 9:16:54 PM

I own both Mac and PC laptops and desktops. Users that rated the products made an overall estimation which includes both hardware and operating system. I think that the satisfaction rate is mainly due to OS X and not hardware oriented. If the later was true then Macbook white would be very low (manufacturing quality and lcd quality are at least subpar) but OS X feels responsive and does not contain preinstalled laptop bloatware.

I would comment this report as misleading in a way.
Apple's jewel is OS X and they are just capitalizing on that ace to boost hardware sales
May 5, 2009 9:21:40 PM

...and yet mac still takes dead last on price vs performance :) 
May 5, 2009 9:24:55 PM

So a small group of 'experts' at CR determine without bias the best with regards to design, usability, etc? I'm sceptical...
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2009 9:27:24 PM

Hey I have a 13 inch. ;) 
May 5, 2009 9:32:56 PM

I love my Macbook Unibody and I absolutely hate all OEM desktops, I always build my systems.

As for PC laptops, the only brand I go with is ASUS since it's a meld between hardware quality and Windows. However, the Macbook Unibody is the icing with the LED backlit screen and the multitouch trackpad, it makes it very worth it since the multitouch trackpad is nowhere to be found on other laptops and makes work so much more efficient.

Apple fixed manufacturing issues with the unibody Macbook. Heck, the only reason why I got the unibody Macbook was because Apple replaced my old white Macbook for free due to constant defects.
May 5, 2009 10:03:26 PM

i really don't see how much better os x is my sister labtop.
it doesn't run faster because you can just get better hardware from a pc.
it doesn't run games.
it cost so much more.
so why is it being rated so much better
May 5, 2009 10:21:24 PM

i like my macbook pro 15 inch about 20x more then my dell xps 15
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2009 10:23:28 PM

Macs are nice but they should have pitted the Mac against a laptop in the same price range....
May 5, 2009 10:25:34 PM

Apple doesn't skimp on their products, which is part of the reason they are so much more expensive.

I was considering a small iFruitBook for my travel machine, since I wasn't expecting to do much with it but surf the net and view photos. Then I decided I needed to run our CAD software on it so I got serious and bought a Dell Latitude instead.

I'm not sure the people at consumer reports are smart enough to know what it means to be objective. What they write sounds good, until you find an article they wrote about products that you really know about and then you discover that maybe they don't know much after all.
May 5, 2009 10:26:41 PM

The consumer report makes these reports based on the 'average consumers', who have been proven time and time again completely illiterate in terms of technology awareness.

This is the idiots guide to the best laptop.
May 5, 2009 10:49:57 PM

OMG!!! I think that while the Consumer Report was being made we all hardware enthusiasts where at home busy reading tom's hardware!!

For me (and people who read and are well informed about hardware) is crystal clear that mac is just a "cool"(yeah right!) and overpriced option...

May 5, 2009 10:56:44 PM


People still read magazines to get information?

There's something called the internet nowadays...
May 5, 2009 10:58:23 PM

Damn.......... people get stupider with each friggin' generation.

I mean how the.... just wow. I think I might go emo now... (not really)
May 5, 2009 10:58:24 PM

deltatuxI love my Macbook Unibody and I absolutely hate all OEM desktops, I always build my systems.As for PC laptops, the only brand I go with is ASUS since it's a meld between hardware quality and Windows. However, the Macbook Unibody is the icing with the LED backlit screen and the multitouch trackpad, it makes it very worth it since the multitouch trackpad is nowhere to be found on other laptops and makes work so much more efficient.Apple fixed manufacturing issues with the unibody Macbook. Heck, the only reason why I got the unibody Macbook was because Apple replaced my old white Macbook for free due to constant defects.


Constant defects? I though macs were the uber bestest thing evar? LOL.
May 5, 2009 11:00:16 PM

Humans thinkI own both Mac and PC laptops and desktops. Users that rated the products made an overall estimation which includes both hardware and operating system. I think that the satisfaction rate is mainly due to OS X and not hardware oriented. If the later was true then Macbook white would be very low (manufacturing quality and lcd quality are at least subpar) but OS X feels responsive and does not contain preinstalled laptop bloatware. I would comment this report as misleading in a way.Apple's jewel is OS X and they are just capitalizing on that ace to boost hardware sales


Good try. OS X is UNIX. Let me know when Apple makes their own OS...oh wait they tried, it was called OS 9 and it blew goats...thats why they went to UNIX.

But really good try though.
May 5, 2009 11:02:24 PM

I don't think I've ever found a Consumer Reports report actually useful as a consumer. I've checked them a few times and I have yet to find anything that helps me actually make a purpose. (cars, TVs, a few other minor thigns)

As for this particular incident, its clear that price was a very low factor in their rating system. The fact that a supposedly similiar system that is rated only slightly worse but costs half as much I think says a lot too.

Like who would buy a car, even if it got a perfect 100 score, if it was 60-80k compared to the 20-40k of its primary competitors.
May 5, 2009 11:02:27 PM

I have an Apple powerbook laptop as well as a custom-built pc gaming rig. One has an i7, the other, a G4. If I were to buy another laptop it would be a mac, even at the sub £1000 price point i'd still rather have a mac. Desktop - pc wins hands down, far better hardware.

Despite the raging fanboism Apple do make better laptops. If you're after a gaming monster then build yourself a pc, don't buy one. If your using a laptop to 'game' on then your either a few screws loose, or you have way too much cash to throw around.
May 5, 2009 11:06:40 PM

emyyhhI have an Apple powerbook laptop as well as a custom-built pc gaming rig. One has an i7, the other, a G4. If I were to buy another laptop it would be a mac, even at the sub £1000 price point i'd still rather have a mac. Desktop - pc wins hands down, far better hardware. Despite the raging fanboism Apple do make better laptops. If you're after a gaming monster then build yourself a pc, don't buy one. If your using a laptop to 'game' on then your either a few screws loose, or you have way too much cash to throw around.

You qualify for the "dumb" award. So you just admitted you would buy something with less power, for 1000$ more. Just because?

.... epic fail
May 5, 2009 11:07:32 PM

Whatever. Compare premium, pretty laptops, against premium, pretty laptops.

Its fair to compare a SAMSUNG X360 against a Macbook air, but would be ridiculous to pit the Air against a 700 dollar HP.

Look at the comparisions... in the 14-16" models tested, we're comparing a 700 dollar Toshiba against a 2000 dollar macbook. Consumer reports doesn't compare a 40k Infinity against a 20k Hyundai, because if they did this with Cars, people would laugh at them...

But, you know what?

HA HA HA. Fucking morons.
May 5, 2009 11:07:39 PM

Oh and how does apple make better laptops if it has less power?! even more fail.
May 5, 2009 11:10:09 PM

fulleWhatever. Compare premium, pretty laptops, against premium, pretty laptops.Its fair to compare a SAMSUNG X360 against a Macbook air, but would be ridiculous to pit the Air against a 700 dollar HP.Look at the comparisions... in the 14-16" models tested, we're comparing a 700 dollar Toshiba against a 2000 dollar macbook. Consumer reports doesn't compare a 40k Infinity against a 20k Hyundai, because if they did this with Cars, people would laugh at them...But, you know what?HA HA HA. Fucking morons.

Yeah, I know right, it's okay to do a price watch on a car, but if you do it on a computer it fails.

That's what they call ELITISM. It applies to computers as well.

Grow brains people.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2009 11:15:07 PM

hmmm... i'm a dev, work with devs, and most of my friends are devs (most of us with well over 10 yrs experience). I read about hardware (and am a pretty devout elctronics DIY-er, so I *make* hw too, though not computers...), they read about hardware. We all make our livings coding (or architecting, spec-ing, etc). We almost universally use macs (and most of us have multiples). So the argument that only simpletons, idiots, or the uninformed prefer macs just doesn't fly. (of course, we're all out of short pants and use our machines to support our families instead of play shootemups... so I doubt most here could relate).
May 5, 2009 11:20:10 PM

baaldSo the argument that only simpletons, idiots, or the uninformed prefer macs just doesn't fly. (of course, we're all out of short pants and use our machines to support our families instead of play shootemups... so I doubt most here could relate).


Support your families by buying a computer that costs $1000 dollars less and does the EXACT SAME THING.

And then with the $1000 buy your family food. Or go on vacation. Or put it into the college fund.

If we were given 1000 dollars then I bet we would get every penny out of it, why should it be different with computers?!
May 5, 2009 11:20:59 PM

the_one111You qualify for the "dumb" award. So you just admitted you would buy something with less power, for 1000$ more. Just because?.... epic fail


I dont think power is a term that can be attributed to any laptop, windows or osx based. If 'power' is all you shop for when buying a pc, then go grab yourself an i7, because they rock.

Now in my opinion a laptop isn't better purely because of processing power. There are many other factors to include: weight, looks, battery life, os and build quality to name a few. This is where Apple comes out on top. Sure they may not be as powerful as Alienware's latest £2500 laptop, but then Alienware's £2500 laptop isn't as powerful as a £1000 pc. Everything is reletive. I dont think there is any point in buying a powerful laptop because for the same price you could have a desktop as well as a half-decent laptop, much like i do. I have both Apple and Windows products and see the flaws and merits of both.

May 5, 2009 11:25:20 PM

So let me get this right - Consumer Reports is comparing $2000+ macs with PC hardware half that price, and telling us that the macs are better? A pimped-out dv3t at $1400 will smoke any 13" mac for features and performance.

These "experts" may be wooed by slim and light, but it is apparent they represent the ignorant class for whom cerebral matter has been compensated by thick wallets. Gotta love the opinion of the rich and stupid!
May 5, 2009 11:26:55 PM

baaldhmmm... i'm a dev, work with devs, and most of my friends are devs (most of us with well over 10 yrs experience). I read about hardware (and am a pretty devout elctronics DIY-er, so I *make* hw too, though not computers...), they read about hardware. We all make our livings coding (or architecting, spec-ing, etc). We almost universally use macs (and most of us have multiples). So the argument that only simpletons, idiots, or the uninformed prefer macs just doesn't fly. (of course, we're all out of short pants and use our machines to support our families instead of play shootemups... so I doubt most here could relate).


lol you want to compare how many developers worldwide use PC's to how many developers use macs? and so you think we don't support our families because we use pc's and play games? well sure then,use you hard earned money to buy a 3000 dollars mac that comes with 1000 dollar hardware and see how such investment benefits your family....you are a moron.
May 5, 2009 11:35:10 PM

kamkalGood try. OS X is UNIX. Let me know when Apple makes their own OS...oh wait they tried, it was called OS 9 and it blew goats...thats why they went to UNIX. But really good try though.


I am not a fanboy of Apple, I know that BSD and UNIX works under the hood, and this is a pro for me. I even use some generic Unix commands in the console (terminal if you prefer) from time to time.

I guess you never used a Mac before, and you sound just like me 2 years ago (except the fact that even back then I was aware of my ignorance of OS X user experience, I hope they didn't have OS 9 back then). They didn't design a OS from scratch they just built a customized version of a successful and efficient core, it is like a non-free corporate distro.

It is very efficient for work like it should be, it has strict application developing guidelines and has brought some professional commercial applications (Adobe, Office, Endnote and many others) to a stable environment. I have also built an efix computer and 9/10 boot times I choose OS X over Windows, it is simply a satisfying experience.

Of course it is far from perfect and I despise the lack of hardware support and the closed architecture but it is my current thoughtful choice for the things I do daily.
a b D Laptop
May 5, 2009 11:35:23 PM

rooseveltdonlol you want to compare how many developers worldwide use PC's to how many developers use macs?


Yeah..PC's are the standard for every form of engineering, software development, even hardware development. I don't know what planet that guy comes from, but his dev friends must like playing in sandboxes.
May 5, 2009 11:36:05 PM

Dell studio 15 15.6" screen.

Cost: $2,477

My Components:
Spring Green
Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition, 64-bit SP1
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9550 (2.66GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
Microsoft Works
3Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
15.6” Full High Definition (1080p) High Brightness LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
6GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
Size: 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
8X Slot Load Super Multi (DL DVD+/-R Drive + RAM support)
Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11agn Half Mini-Card
85 WHr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
High Definition Audio 2.0
Back-lit Keyboard
My Accessories
McAfee Security Center with VirusScan, Firewall, Spyware Removal, 15-Months
My Software & Accessories
Spider-Man Trilogy
Family Guy: Peter Griffin Six Pack
Bust A Gut Comedy Collection
Batman Begins & Dark Knight w/ Bonus Content
Godfather Trilogy movie bundle
Romantic Comedy bundle 2
The Fast & Furious 3-movie collection
Iron Man movie with bonus content
The Matrix Trilogy and Animatrix
Nickelodeon Collection
The Will Smith A-List Collection
The Best of Monty Python
My Service
Dell Remote Access, free basic service
Dell Online Backup 50GB for 1 year

Now, your mac would cost $2,499.00

for:
# 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
# 320GB Serial ATA @ 5400
# 4GB Memory
# NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB
# Illuminated keyboard

Notice the ENTIRE MOVIE COLLECTION I BOUGHT WITH WHAT I SAVED.
May 5, 2009 11:41:49 PM

the_one111Edit: I forgot to add the mac is a Macbookpro 15 inch screen which can be found here: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/h [...] acbook_proIt doesn't specify it's battery life or screen or anything else, only its processor, harddrive and ram. How predictable.

screw me, I am sorry for a triple post, but it DOES say it's screen and battery at the bottom.

Again sorry.
May 5, 2009 11:47:50 PM

the_one111Dell studio 15 15.6" screen.Cost: $2,477
your mac would cost $2,499.00for:# 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo # 320GB Serial ATA @ 5400 # 4GB Memory# NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB# Illuminated keyboardNotice the ENTIRE MOVIE COLLECTION I BOUGHT WITH WHAT I SAVED.


You make a very valid point, but I would never spend $2500 on a laptop. Especially one as low powered as the Dell you mention - or the mac for that matter. As I said earlier, I would much rather spend $1000 - $1500 on a resonable laptop and the rest on a desktop. The laptop being Apple, and the desktop being a PC.
May 5, 2009 11:50:05 PM

No one who posts on this site gives Intel any crap for charging over $1000.00 for a processor that is only a few percentage points faster than the one they sell for $200.00. Why can Intel get away with this, but Apple cannot? When you make the very best you get to charge the very most, it's simple business 101.

Consumer Reports is very non-biased, and this is a huge win for Apple, sweeping all three categories. I know all you armchair PC engineers (using the term loosely) can put together a system that is faster, for less money, and has funky blue lights on the inside. But you can't, now or ever, build a notebook computer as good as Apple. Sorry, that's the way it is, that's life! Process it and move on.
May 5, 2009 11:56:57 PM

Inspirion 13

Cost: $1,313

My Components
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T8100 (2.1GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1
Pacific Blue
Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 - Word, Excel + PowerPoint
3Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
Glossy, widescreen 13.3" LCD (1280x800) w/ 2.0M pixel Camera
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 (2 Dimms)
Size: 320GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
8X Slot Load CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive)
85Whr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
Dell Wireless 1395 802.11g Mini-Card
Built-in Bluetooth capability (2.0 EDR)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
My Accessories
McAfee Security Center with VirusScan, Firewall, Spyware Removal, 15-months
My Software & Accessories
WildTangent Games
My Service
Dell Remote Access, free basic service
Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Earthlink Internet Access
Also Includes
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
Intel Core 2 Duo Label
Windows Vista™ Premium

Macbook

Cost: $1,299.00

* Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0ghz
* 2GB DDR3 Memory
* 160GB hard drive1
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
* Standard keyboard
* Aluminum unibody


Wow the dell costs $13 more for DOUBLE THE RAM. Granted it doesn't have a great graphics card, but neither does the mac. OH WHATS THIS IT HAS DOUBLE THE HARD DRIVE MEMORY ALSO!!!!!
May 6, 2009 12:06:03 AM

Quote:
lol you want to compare how many developers worldwide use PC's to how many developers use macs? and so you think we don't support our families because we use pc's and play games? well sure then,use you hard earned money to buy a 3000 dollars mac that comes with 1000 dollar hardware and see how such investment benefits your family....you are a moron.


This is 100% true!! I am a computer programmer as well and I have never seen someone working with mac to develop anything. What company could afford to buy computers/servers at such high and stupid prices?

For the industry is simply wrong to use macs. Apple does not offer advantages for programmers!

If we used mac servers, only trying to ping the machine would make us pay!! XD
May 6, 2009 12:10:37 AM

Humans thinkI am not a fanboy of Apple, I know that BSD and UNIX works under the hood, and this is a pro for me. I even use some generic Unix commands in the console (terminal if you prefer) from time to time. I guess you never used a Mac before, and you sound just like me 2 years ago (except the fact that even back then I was aware of my ignorance of OS X user experience, I hope they didn't have OS 9 back then). They didn't design a OS from scratch they just built a customized version of a successful and efficient core, it is like a non-free corporate distro. It is very efficient for work like it should be, it has strict application developing guidelines and has brought some professional commercial applications (Adobe, Office, Endnote and many others) to a stable environment. I have also built an efix computer and 9/10 boot times I choose OS X over Windows, it is simply a satisfying experience.Of course it is far from perfect and I despise the lack of hardware support and the closed architecture but it is my current thoughtful choice for the things I do daily.


Office? More functional on Windows side. (missing vbscript comes to mind and a crap load of other programs)

Adobe? Photoshop is 64bit on Windows side (ouch that one must STING!)
This one makes me laugh cuz it connects directly to the PowerPC argument. "Oh photoshop runs better cuz of my leet G5 cpu" Yea then why did stevie switch to Intel? lol.

Stable environment? My Windows Vista64 install never crashes. I can run 49508053480 programs at once and it keeps going.

Yes they didn't design their OS cuz they dont know how aka OS 9. That was the original intent of my response to the first person, who was calling OSX a shining gem. The irony being that OSX can only compete becuz it is unix, which was not made by apple at all.

And for the record I have used Macs extensively.
May 6, 2009 12:28:13 AM

... excuse me while I catch my breath from ROFLMAO. I've always wondered what a comparison chart would look like when you throw price out the window - and now I know. I agree with the_one111: save that $1000 on buying your family food, clothes, a vacation or even another computer. Apple does not make computers for the majority of the population who factor in cost as an important component during a computer purchase... and they don't need to. Apple only needs to get a fraction of the population to pay the Apple tax to be profitable. They are comfortable in this position and that's why I don't don't believe they care to lower their prices anytime soon.
May 6, 2009 1:15:08 AM

I love Apples (im on one right now), but comparing a 3 grand MBP to a $700 Dell is kinda retarded.
Everyone knows Macs are built better. If you dispute this you probably havent used one. You also pay heavily for the privilege.

Next on Consumer Reports: We pit the Enzo Ferrari against a Toyota Corolla. Read on to see which car is better.
Retards.
May 6, 2009 1:18:05 AM

Yeah...the moment it became...

"Well for models with 17" screens we happen to like the $2800 one more than the $750 one"

/facepalm



Yet dispite the hillarity of their setup the $2300 air was a scant 5 points ahead of $850 hp pavillion.

What a tragically stupid "report".
May 6, 2009 1:32:06 AM

TEAMSWITCHERNo one who posts on this site gives Intel any crap for charging over $1000.00 for a processor that is only a few percentage points faster than the one they sell for $200.00. Why can Intel get away with this, but Apple cannot?


Because Intel also makes price competative models too, many of their core2 are right in line with AMD on cost and performance. And most of us here think that people who buy the bleeding edge processors are insecure morons and laugh as we figure out which ones have massive and safe overclocking headroom.

TEAMS, even the people who review the over priced processors often note them exactly as that, be they AMD or Intel. Here at toms and elsewhere. (granted AMD isn't AS likely to overcharge but it doesn't mean they haven't and don't).

As you would say "sorry, that's the way life is"?
May 6, 2009 1:39:21 AM

kamkalOffice? More functional on Windows side. (missing vbscript comes to mind and a crap load of other programs)Adobe? Photoshop is 64bit on Windows side (ouch that one must STING!)This one makes me laugh cuz it connects directly to the PowerPC argument. "Oh photoshop runs better cuz of my leet G5 cpu" Yea then why did stevie switch to Intel? lol.Stable environment? My Windows Vista64 install never crashes. I can run 49508053480 programs at once and it keeps going.Yes they didn't design their OS cuz they dont know how aka OS 9. That was the original intent of my response to the first person, who was calling OSX a shining gem. The irony being that OSX can only compete becuz it is unix, which was not made by apple at all.And for the record I have used Macs extensively.


And for record, Mac OS X is not UNIX. It is merely UNIX compatible. Windows NT had a similar POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for Unix) environment, and like Mac OS X, had a networking (TCP/IP) stack derived from BSD UNIX. I guess Microsoft did what it needed to compete also.




May 6, 2009 1:39:53 AM

TEAMSWITCHERNo one who posts on this site gives Intel any crap for charging over $1000.00 for a processor that is only a few percentage points faster than the one they sell for $200.00. Why can Intel get away with this, but Apple cannot? When you make the very best you get to charge the very most, it's simple business 101.Consumer Reports is very non-biased, and this is a huge win for Apple, sweeping all three categories. I know all you armchair PC engineers (using the term loosely) can put together a system that is faster, for less money, and has funky blue lights on the inside. But you can't, now or ever, build a notebook computer as good as Apple. Sorry, that's the way it is, that's life! Process it and move on.
It's build a computer as well as Apple. I am pleased to hear that we are letting Nimwits leave high school with diplomas so they can reproduce even less intelligent children and then purchase Macs while suckling at Steve Jobs power tit. Macs are not built any better than any other OEM. I've had an Inspirion 1520 fall out of my Jeep onto the ground, granted in a case but still. You know what still works, no dents, data loss, or other damage. I'd like to see your "trendy" aluminum case not suffer damage. I also beg to differ that all of the "armchair PC engineers" have lights on their cases. I have a P180 with no lights, and you know what thanks to picking my components, I have a PC that runs at fairly close to 20 dba at most workloads. Oh, it runs OSX as well as Vista/Win7. I am still looking for a lightly used G4 powerbook though. Always wanted a Mac when they really were different.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 6, 2009 3:22:57 AM

Yes and Consumer Reports is completely unbiased (laughs). Macbooks are overpriced your paying for the looks not the product. It's just like Alienware PCs sexy as hell but X3 times more than making the same PC yourself.
May 6, 2009 3:39:42 AM

Just to throw some gas to the fire: I actually play games with my mac (iMac c2d 2,4ghz). COD4, COD2, Doom3, Spore, Prey, all without Bootcamp and they all run smoothly. And with Bootcamp, I play Neverwinter Nights (even though there is a mac version), Medal of Honor Airbourne, GTA, The Sims 2.
So to say you cannot game with mac is bs. Yes, you can!
May 6, 2009 3:58:02 AM

Can someone please explain to me how the hell a macbook air is a good computer (the second best computer in its category)? Are we talking about the same optical-drive-less, shitty-screened, tiny-storage piece of crap or am I just dreaming?
!