I don’t own a current Mac, however, having owned an older one, and using the newer ones, I certainly am tired of the really silly comparisons that most people give. Sure, it is very easy to buy parts and put together a cheap PC, but that does not tell the whole story. If you do the math, of course Apple is overpriced.

But do you see articles in car magazines every month that talk about how overpriced a Ferrari or a Rolls Royce is? Of course not. Car owners know that the entire package must be taken into consideration, and that just because there is the same amount of iron and steel in a Corvette and a Cadillac does not mean that they accomplish the same things, in the same ways. Besides, there are not many that could assemble a Ferrari or Rolls, though given all the parts from a dealership.

I have nothing against PCs. I build them for people all the time. I have nothing against Macs, for I believe that for the person that wants trouble-free use of a computer appliance there is no substitute. Macs have fewer problems. You can say what you will about the reasons, and we can argue about them, but the point is, Apple computers have fewer problems over their lifespan. I also believe that the Apple users are a happier bunch, as they are not constantly being besieged with news that the part (hard drive, video card, memory, optical drive) that was great when the unit was assembled is now crap, simply because there is something newer.

Obviously, Dell believes that its fortunes are made berating Apple merchandise, and driving the price of a computer ever lower. I, for one, believe that idea is garbage. While I am glad that PCs don’t routinely cost $2500, as they once did, I do think that certain things, like keyboards (especially), cases, and sometimes, mice, are worse for enduring the race to minimum cost.

Others must agree, otherwise there would be no market for the likes of the Das Keyboard, the Logitech G15, the entire line of cases from Chieftec, and the mice (most) from Microsoft and Logitech.

The Maximum PC article speaks of Dell and its cost accounting –

Everyone knows Apple charges a bit of a “price premium” for its hardware, but just how much do you ask? Well if you consult Dell’s handy new Apples to Apples comparison chart Mac customers are paying over $1,249 more when buying a high end laptop. The chart doesn’t really point out anything we didn’t know already, but it does a pretty good job of summarizing why Apple stock has sent investors into a buying frenzy over the last few years and why Dell is in a free fall.

Have you ever checked the difference between the fit and finish of a Dell (not an Alienware model) laptop, and that of a Mac laptop? You would have to be legally blind to think that the Dell came close in build quality. This is only one reason for the price difference.

Nobody will argue that Apple doesn’t deserve to cash in on the niche they carved out for themselves on the high end through superior marketing, but those with an ounce of tech savvy have always known the PC is an all-around better value. The comparison case between the Mac and a PC is stronger now than ever before with widespread consumer acceptance of Windows Live Essentials as a replacement for Apple’s iLife. Tools like Windows Movie Maker and Live Photo Gallery arguably do a better job than iMovie or iPhoto, while apps such as Live Writer for blogging have no equal in the Apple realm.

As someone who has used Apple software and Windows software, I take great exception to this. I love helping people work with Windows software, but if Windows software was half as intuitive as Mac software, I’d be out of a job. Also, as much as I like Live Essentials, only a buffoon would say that it compares to iLife.  It’s apples and oranges. Also, I am using Live Writer right now, and I like it, but let’s remember that it is not without its problems, many of which have not been addressed since Wave 2 of the software, and that there is no real help for it – just as almost all software from Microsoft is these days. No proper help file, incorrect or incomplete online help – but that’s another article entirely.

You often hear people claim they are moving to the Mac because of higher quality hardware / software, and while that argument is pretty flimsy in the Windows 7 era, we would remind them they could probably keep 2-3 spare PC’s on the shelf just in case they run into problems for less than the price of a single Mac.

Yes, but those other PCs would most likely have as crappy a keyboard, power supply, and case as the first one. Apple cases are built like $100 cases for PCs, and Apple PSUs don’t fail (I must admit I haven’t closely looked at any new PSUs on Apples, but I’ve seen more than my share of cheap PCs with incredibly bad PSUs – ones that were one their last leg from day one, and looking as though they were assembled by blind people who had used spare parts from older units to complete the job).

I am not as happy with the pricing of a Mac as you might think, though; I would say that the price differential is more like 20-25%, which makes no one happy, unless they value their time and effort above a few bucks.

As I spoke of earlier, most students and many professionals are seeing that the price differential is worth it, and that is exactly why Dell is no longer the number one supplier of PCs.

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