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5 Laptops that Destroy the New MacBook Pros

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 206 comments

The 5 Windows laptops vs. 3 MacBook Pros showdown!

Yesterday Apple took down its online store and when it came back online, its entire MacBook Pro line was revamped with new specs. All the 15-inch models went from Core 2 Duo processors up to Core i5 and i7's. Available now are Core i5 and i7 options with entirely new Nvidia graphics. Each of the 15-inch MacBook Pros also comes with integrated Intel graphics and the units will automatically kick between the two based on usage.

All great and fancy right?

Not so fast. Here are five Windows laptops that give the MacBook Pros--all of them--a run for their money:

ASUS G Series G51JX-A1

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 LED LCD
Extras: Blu-ray combo drive, EAX Advanced HD audio, illuminated keyboard, ASUS Express Gate, 2-year ASUS 360 global warranty (1 year accidental damage with 30-day Flawless Display Guarantee)
Battery life: 4-hours average
Weight: 7.6lbs

Price: $1,397.86 - Amazon.com

Alienware M15x

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M with 512MB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1600x900 LED LCD
Extras: Personalized laser-etching
Battery life: 3-hours average
Weight: 9.0lbs

Price: $1,624.00 - Alienware.com

Dell Studio XPS 16

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 with 1GB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 LED LCD
Extras: Microsoft Works, 2-year Basic Service Plan warranty, Dell Online Backup 2GB 1-year
Battery life: 5-hours average
Weight: 6.5lbs

Price: $1,549.00 - Dell.com

Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q870

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB RAM
Screen: 18.4-inch 1680x945 LED LCD
Extras: Blu-ray combo drive, illuminated keyboard, multi-memory card reader, HDMI
Battery life: 6-hours average
Weight: 9.7lbs

Price: $1,399.99 - Newegg.com

Sony VAIO VPCF113FX/H

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1333 MHz
HDD: 500GB 5,400 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 310M with 512MB RAM
Screen: 16.4-inch 1600x900 LCD
Extra: Blu-ray combo drive
Battery life: Unknown
Weight: 6.9lbs

Price: $1,299.99 - Newegg.com

Even at its priciest option, Apple still only offers 4GB of memory for its top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro. Not only this, you'll have to step up to the $2,199.00 model to get a Core i7 CPU. The other models come with Core i5's and cannot be upgraded. The only tangible advantage that the MacBook Pros have is battery life, which at the moment is an industry leading across Apple's entire line-up. For the most part, we found that Apple's battery-life rating is a bit conservative and can actually last far longer than specced. So we'll give Apple a point for that. Another point Apple can get a good point or two for is in weight. The above laptops are significantly heavier, and for being in the class of laptops, is a bad thing. Unfortunately, Apple gets beaten in pretty much every other category as far as specifications go.

Design wise, it's a matter of taste. Some users will appreciate the very elegant and refined design of the MacBook Pros, while others will enjoy more the aggressive looks of the Alienware. It's a toss-up in this category. Yes, the build quality of the MacBook Pros are industry leading, which in turn provokes other manufacturers to step up their game, but as far as making a difference in computing? No impact. Again, this category is a matter of personal preference.

Even at its lowest price point, the baseline MacBook Pro 15-inch comes in at $1,799, $175 more than the most expensive laptop in this list, the Alienware M15x. For $175 more, you get a slower CPU, less harddrive capacity, and a lower resolution screen. But, you do get a pretty swank aluminum unibody and other small details. Granted, the cost of making the unibody is significantly higher than plastic chassis, but we'll argue that most people here will want features that translate into performance.

What is even more interesting is that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with entirely lower specs than all the models here, is more expensive than 3 out of the 5 models in this list. The 13-inch MacBook Pros do come with awesome battery life and weight, but fall short in a big way in terms of nearly everything else.

Bottom line: Do you want awesome battery life + weight savings, or higher specs? And yes, you can use your savings to buy some extra batteries but that adds even more to the weight. As far as actual performance goes, the Core i7 MacBook Pro should do quite well, since it can run at 3.33 GHz (Core i7 Turbo mode) while the above notebooks max out at 2.8 GHz.

For what it's worth, here are 3 of the newest MacBook Pro configurations:


Top MacBook Pro 13
Baseline MacBook Pro 15
Top MacBook Pro 15
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66 GHz
Intel Core i5 @ 2.4 GHz
Intel Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz (3.33GHz Turbo)
RAM
4GB DDR3
HDD
320GB
320GB
500GB
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce 320M
Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M w. 256MB
Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M w. 512MB
Screen
13-inch 1280x800 LED
15-inch 1440x900 LED
Extras
Unibody enclosure, Magsafe Connector,
Weight
4.5lb
5.6lb
Battery-life
10-hours
8 to 9-hours
Price
$1,499.00
$1,799.00
$2,199.00

Before the comments get out of hand--which I know they will--let's remember to keep discussions intelligent and calm. I'm cool with the bashing, but out-of-hand comments that turn ugly are bad. Let's keep the bashing at a mature level please.

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Top Comments
  • 41 Hide
    dwave , April 14, 2010 7:59 PM
    Got to love the Apple Tax....
  • 31 Hide
    tuannguyen , April 14, 2010 8:07 PM
    hoyt81Will they play Crysis?

    Banned for signing up just to troll.
  • 29 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2010 8:03 PM
    Get a spare battery with the extra money and macbooks get pawned 100% :D 
Other Comments
  • 41 Hide
    dwave , April 14, 2010 7:59 PM
    Got to love the Apple Tax....
  • 14 Hide
    mauller07 , April 14, 2010 8:01 PM
    in terms of general daily use, most mainstream laptops destroy mac books

    not much need with all that extra power for the price
  • -5 Hide
    Humans think , April 14, 2010 8:03 PM
    I would get the dell for its excellent screen (the best available from what I hear) and Dell's known support
  • 29 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2010 8:03 PM
    Get a spare battery with the extra money and macbooks get pawned 100% :D 
  • 22 Hide
    nforce4max , April 14, 2010 8:04 PM
    dwaveGot to love the Apple Tax....


    Its Teaparty time in the Boston harbor again.

    Along with an MacBook I'll toss in the recently passed and unfinished health care bill.
  • -9 Hide
    tenor77 , April 14, 2010 8:05 PM
    hoyt81Will they play Crysis?


    Who likes being banned?

    Anyway, why should the comments get out of hand?
    It's not like no one is arguing that Macs have a premium price tag for the Apple "experience"
  • 7 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , April 14, 2010 8:05 PM
    "ASUS G Series G51JX-A1"

    "Price: $1,1397.86 - Amazon.com" ??
  • 23 Hide
    c_schwab , April 14, 2010 8:06 PM
    No quad core + no Blu-Ray = Fail
  • 31 Hide
    tuannguyen , April 14, 2010 8:07 PM
    hoyt81Will they play Crysis?

    Banned for signing up just to troll.
  • 4 Hide
    anamaniac , April 14, 2010 8:08 PM
    Nice to see the prices actually went down while offer a better product.
    One of my coworkers is about to buy a mac, maybe he can afford a 15" instead of a 13" now. =D
    The 17" MBP went down by $300 over the week.

    It also only costs $400 to go from 4GB to 8GB on the 7" MBP, just a week ago it was $600 on the site!

    It'd still rather a highend Sager or Clevo though (for raw mobile computing power).
  • 14 Hide
    tuannguyen , April 14, 2010 8:08 PM
    dragonsqrrl"ASUS G Series G51JX-A1""Price: $1,1397.86 - Amazon.com" ??

    Sorry, I fixed it now, should see the update soon. I accidentally put an extra 1 in there.
  • -3 Hide
    coldeath , April 14, 2010 8:09 PM
    Asus G73 V 17inch please
  • 26 Hide
    ca87 , April 14, 2010 8:12 PM
    some people juy buy brands and not looking at the specs and these group of people are apple fans.
  • 5 Hide
    littlec , April 14, 2010 8:14 PM
    Like I've always said, the only keeping me from getting a mac is their poor price/performance ratios. That and I'd like to play games (although steam is coming to mac) and the Mac platform just isn't PC game friendly. You could argue OS and Form factor all day long but honestly those aren't big enough issues for most people seeing as most of that is personal taste and the huge security gaps in the mac OS have already been an issue.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 14, 2010 8:16 PM
    I see Apple recognizing the value of i7 620M, why can't more PC manufacturers? (integrated graphics for long battery life)
  • -5 Hide
    mianmian , April 14, 2010 8:18 PM
    Mackbook pro 15" : 5.6lb
    ASUS G Series G51JX-A1 7.26lb
    Alienware M15x: Starts at 9 pounds
    Dell Studio XPS 16: 6.5lb
    Sony VAIO VPCF113FX/H: 6.9 lbs
    Everyone knows the lightweight of notebook comes at price.
    Only comparing spec is stupid pointless for notebooks.
  • 23 Hide
    tuannguyen , April 14, 2010 8:18 PM
    It is indeed true that Apple focuses more on two things: battery life, which they are very good at, and design. They pick their specs to augment the battery, still, one can't help but cringe.
  • 27 Hide
    HalJordan , April 14, 2010 8:19 PM
    I never understood why people would pay so much extra for a little Apple logo, until I was having a couple beers in Skagway, AK at a little tourist bar. I hate to say it, but I was eavesdropping on a conversation a few tables down. A lady was bragging about her recent purchase of a Mac Book. I listened as she rambled through every slogan, catch phrase, and Apple branded jargon in existence, finally she ended with, "It just works." It was then that I understood the power of the Apple advertising (brainwashing) campaigns. It is scary stuff.
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