9 Reasons the XPS 15z Trumps the MacBook Pro

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tgandy

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I went with Apple's own specs and claims and spoke with friends who own MacBooks. As for the software, I made it clear that was a reference to the out-of-the-box experience.
 

sgolden

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I'm no Apple fanboy, but this "comparison" was a completely biased joke.

My first criticism...why are we comparing the 15" XPS 15z to the higher end, more expensive 17" MBP? Let’s compare the $1499 Dell to the $1799 15” MBP. The MBP is still $300 more, but it's nowhere near the insane $1000+ chasm the author intended to create. Here are my thoughts, point by point.

1. "Specs" - Dell wins the RAM config (8GB vs 4GB), HDD speed (7200rpm vs 5400rpm), and screen resolution (1920x1080 vs 1440x900), though some users might prefer the 16x10 aspect ratio of the MBP, despite the lower resolution.

Apple has a significantly better CPU (2.0Ghz QUAD core vs 2.7Ghz DUAL core), though the author played it off as though the MBP had an inferior processor (lightly threaded apps might favor the Dell, but multitasking and/or multithreaded tasks will be much snappier on the MBP). A bit odd and misleading, since ALL 15” and 17” MBPs have quad core processors. The Dell can’t even be configured with a quad core.

Both have weak GPU’s, (Apple uses the weak 256MB AMD 6490M, and Dell uses a low-end and overly-RAM-endowed 2GB Nvidia GT525M).

2. "It's as beautiful as any Macbook" - Aesthetics are subjective. I personally find the MBP better looking, though the Dell is nice as well. No “objective” winner or loser here.

3. “Adamo done right” in no way makes the XPS superior to the MBP. It only establishes that Dell was finally able to attain a result it should have achieved much sooner – it created a notebook with comparable hardware to the MBP in a similar form factor. It is not a "reason the Dell XPS 15z trumps the MBP."

4. "Thinner, Lighter, Faster" - Compared to the (somewhat comparably priced) 15" MBP, the XPS 15z is NOT thinner, is within 0.1 pounds in weight, and is NOT faster (except in scenarios heavily reliant upon disk transfer speeds or in poorly threaded apps).

5. "Better Battery Performance" - Battery life was never tested. The reviewer noted the XPS 15z had excellent battery life, then proceeded to ASSUME the MBP could at best meet its performance, and would likely fall short. No testing was done on MBP battery life. I’m not saying he’s wrong – but he is just GUESSING. Apple doesn't tend to inflate its battery performance numbers nearly as much as many other manufacturers, so it's quite possible they're comparable. Certainly not a sure "win" for the XPS 15z like the author claims.

6. "Excellent LED Screen" - Screen comparisons were not done either. The author simply liked the Dell screen and automatically listed it as one of “9 Reasons the XPS 15z Trumps the MacBook Pro” without any formal comparison. I'm sure both machines have excellent displays. The Dell may very well be better, but you can't just make assumptions in a comparison article like this and act as though they're facts.

7. “More out of the box” - You have to be kidding. More bloatware, perhaps. I guess now a few software trials and a bunch of crapware is considered a great “software bundle.” I’m not a big iLife fan, but I can see more people using Apple’s bundled software than what Dell packs in.

8. USB 3.0 is a good plus for the Dell, and something Apple should have. Thunderbolt has potential, but it’s pretty much useless at the moment. We’ll have to see if it comes into its own or dies a quiet death. USB 3.0 is undoubtedly useful at present.

9. Optimus vs Apple’s CPU/GPU switching is difficult to compare, as not much is known about Apple’s solution. At least the author didn’t go off the deep end in this comparison…

Overall, both the XPS 15z and the 15” MBP are excellent machines. They’re stylish and fast, and I would be tempted by both if I were in the market for a high performance laptop. The comparison made simply made no sense. 15" Dell vs 17" MBP. Incorrectly labeling the MBP's processor. It would be nice to read a comparison that at the very least got the facts straight and labeled conjecture as such. I personally hope both Apple and Dell have success selling these sexy-yet-powerful laptops. Competition is a good thing for us customers!

 

flybri

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I'll give you 1 reason that trumps all 9 reasons why the MacBook Pro is better...because it's not a Dell. I'm not a huge Apple fan at all, I'm mostly anti-Apple. However, based on my experience with Dell, I would never purchase anything from them again, and in my opinion, they are one of the worst companies around.
 

Yagame

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The comparison of more bang out of the box should be void. Trial versions of third party software are bullshit to say the least. To say more, its annoying with pop-ups and warnings, its inconvenient, creates clutter and slows down your computer over-time. Your better off not installing the trial versions of crap when there are tons of legit free options (MS essentials for example). I'm a pc guy who works on macs from time to time. The software it comes with out of the box (or installed) is yours and for the most part don't incluce third party trials of anything.
 

flybri

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[citation][nom]ww2buff[/nom]If you look at the pictures and read the article, the author doesn't have a MacBook Pro to compare with. Better LED Display and Battery Life? Really? This author loves PC's and Dell and it shows, because when there is something that Apple is better at, he compares the new dell to his old Inspiron Laptop. He has no understanding of Thunderbolt, hence his complaint about Apple not putting in an HDMI port (Not needed!). Apples are more expensive because they last longer, so when you factor in the life span, the price is actually cheaper! Like the person commented, his Apple laptop is over 2 years old and there is no loss in battery life. As to the "Extra" software bundled with the Dell, who really wants that stuff anyway? The stuff you use is available free off their websites. Mac OSX has so much more usability than Winblows 7 and now Apple is coming out with Lion this month. Not to mention the fact that Apple has only 1 version of it's OS and not 7 like Microsoft....This article is all about the author trying to sell Dell Products. How can you start the article off with comparing a 15" Dell to a 17" Apple MacBook Pro? Not to mention the Apple has a Quad Core Processor and Radeon 6750M.[/citation]

As I said in an earlier post, I think Dell as a company sucks, and I'm always suspect as to how good the build quality is on a Dell. That aside though, you're saying that OS X has more usability than Windows 7? In what way? If you mean ease of use, than yes, OS X is easier to use. But for me, in terms of being able to be used by me, OS X is annoying as hell, because I'm a power user. OS X is great because it's simple, and that appeals to many people. For me though, it's too simple, and doesn't do what I want when I want it. I, unlike a lot of people, like right-clicking and having a ton of options to choose from. But to call it "Winblows 7" sounds pretty fanboy-ish and ridiculous. Windows 7 is a great OS...extremely stable (haven't had any crashes or blue screens), efficient, scaleable, and customizeable, and way more secure than OS X. Don't get me wrong, OS X has it's place, but to say that it's better than Windows 7 is just ignorant...
 

emina215

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recently, i was just having a nightmare deciding which laptop i was going to buy, dell xps 17 with 3d vision and MBP15. i use both mac and pc, and i like them both! i bought xps17 at the end. it doesnt mean xps better. i wont play games on laptop, i got a desktop and few consoles for games, my laptop is pure for work. i works in china, my work require me to use autocad a lot, even mac got autocad now, but in china, they got a chinese-only plugin for autocad, if someone give you a cad that is made by this plugin, you MUST install this plugin in order to read.... more then 90% chinese in this field using this plugin. this is the main reason why i choose xps. i can duel boot in mac to solve this problem, but the xps come with 3d vision for free, this is a big bonus for me, cos i dont have a 3dtv yet.
mac and pc both good, good at different field, but apple's design do look better then most pc. but if u really want to compare mac and pc, never compare games, mac isnt for games! if u compare them with games, pc ftw, even ps3/xbox win if compare to mac.
 
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PC user, though cross trained in college. Found this article to be weak. Using pure logic, the writer admits to his own failings of actual Mac expereince. An editor would have told the writer to go back and make up his mind what he wanted to feature. The article jumps around quite a bit instead of driving one theme logically to it's conclusion.

I am in the market for a mobile video editing laptop and will most likely not buy a Mac because of my current interfaces and personal unwillingness to change. But this article did nothing but create more confusion and questions. I'll not be FOLLOWING Tom's Guides.
 

mchuf

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[citation][nom]Doom3klr[/nom]Macs can run windows but pc cant run windows and mac all in one pc. Thats where there a big advantage with Macs.[/citation]

This is Apple's fault and not the fault of any pc manufacturer. MS doesn't care what you install Windows on. As long as you buy their software, they couldn't care less. Apple wants to sell you the hardware and makes it hard for most people to get OSX working on non-Apple hardware.

I've always felt that this little fact was a big factor that helped make OSX run better than Windows. Shrinking the hardware options helps the programmers to optimize the os.
 

sundragon

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So, let me get this straight - you are giving Kudos to a product that brings literally no new design, no innovation, AND copies the 2009 designed Macbook Pro (save Thunderbird/USB 3.0)? Wow, innovative??? WTF? There is nothing innovative, just copying - Dell has the resources and IT know how to build a better computer and make Apple work harder, but they don't...

To the Author: "3. It's as Beautiful as any MacBook"- The image is not a Macbook Pro sitting next to your XPS, it's another PC... Please don't lie to us - I'm starting to wonder about the integrity of this Blog...
 

spookyman

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[citation][nom]260511[/nom]the battery can be replaced on a MBP, I just replaced the battery on my MBP 13" and didn't break a sweat, all you had to do was to remove 10 screws on the back tray, then the lid pops off and you can access the battery, unscrew 3 more screws and you pop the battery off, its easy as that.[/citation]

At least with the Dell Laptop I can pull a lever and the battery will slide out. A lot easier don't you think?
 

cknobman

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This piece is the biggest joke I have ever read here on Toms. Major respect loss for this site posting biased misleading crap like this. I have more disrespect for the editor that reviewed and approved this than I do the author that wrote it.

I dont like or own any Apple products either, in fact I am a Microsoft C# developer so there is not an ounce of pro Apple bias in me.
 

george_clooney

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Wait, what?
Why compare 15.4" and 17" screens? Why compare a cheaper, last gen dual core processor vs a more modern quad core? And I agree with bartvh (humorously grayed out) on page 8 - the software.

The bundled software on a new Mac (iLife) is far superior than the 'trials" (bloatware) of standard Windows. And I also find the comparison of Windows 7 Home Premium to Mac OSX laughable - when upgrading to ultimate would be more fair.

The specs for the price do not compare, as the $1,800 macbook pro easily outperforms last gen's core 2620M. The screen size comparison (just for sake of making the Mac looking more expensive) is lame, warranty is not taken into proper consideration, your software analyses does not near objectivity, and Dell's XPS line (even the new ones) are not nearly as pleasing to the eye as a MBP. Plastic vs. solid aluminum? Really?

I could be wrong, but since when is Tom's an emotionally opinionated blog? That's what comments are for, not front page articles. ;)
 

Vladislaus

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[citation][nom]george_clooney[/nom]Wait, what?Why compare 15.4" and 17" screens? Why compare a cheaper, last gen dual core processor vs a more modern quad core? And I agree with bartvh (humorously grayed out) on page 8 - the software. The bundled software on a new Mac (iLife) is far superior than the 'trials" (bloatware) of standard Windows. And I also find the comparison of Windows 7 Home Premium to Mac OSX laughable - when upgrading to ultimate would be more fair.The specs for the price do not compare, as the $1,800 macbook pro easily outperforms last gen's core 2620M. The screen size comparison (just for sake of making the Mac looking more expensive) is lame, warranty is not taken into proper consideration, your software analyses does not near objectivity, and Dell's XPS line (even the new ones) are not nearly as pleasing to the eye as a MBP. Plastic vs. solid aluminum? Really? I could be wrong, but since when is Tom's an emotionally opinionated blog? That's what comments are for, not front page articles.[/citation]
The Dell doesn't have a last gen dual core. It uses a current gen dual core sandy bridge i7. Of course that doesn't negate the fact it has an inferior CPU.
 

george_clooney

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[citation][nom]Vladislaus[/nom]The Dell doesn't have a last gen dual core. It uses a current gen dual core sandy bridge i7. Of course that doesn't negate the fact it has an inferior CPU.[/citation]

You are absolutely right - I misread. And I agree with you. Thanks for the catch!
 

george_clooney

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[citation][nom]george_clooney[/nom]Wait, what?Why compare 15.4" and 17" screens? Why compare a cheaper, last gen dual core processor vs a more modern quad core? And I agree with bartvh (humorously grayed out) on page 8 - the software. The bundled software on a new Mac (iLife) is far superior than the 'trials" (bloatware) of standard Windows. And I also find the comparison of Windows 7 Home Premium to Mac OSX laughable - when upgrading to ultimate would be more fair.The specs for the price do not compare, as the $1,800 macbook pro easily outperforms last gen's core 2620M. The screen size comparison (just for sake of making the Mac looking more expensive) is lame, warranty is not taken into proper consideration, your software analyses does not near objectivity, and Dell's XPS line (even the new ones) are not nearly as pleasing to the eye as a MBP. Plastic vs. solid aluminum? Really? I could be wrong, but since when is Tom's an emotionally opinionated blog? That's what comments are for, not front page articles.[/citation]

Edit: Same gen CPU, still uneven comparison.
Also, it looks like the $1,500 model Dell comes with integrated graphics, while even the base model MBP ($1,800) comes with a discrete card (256MB dedicated) and a 2.0 quad i7. Opinions of the article's lack of credibility, even though my facts were initially incorrect, remains. Thanks Vladislaus!
 
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Is this a joke? The dell is hideous! The bundled software part was the best though, adware version of excel vs iLife? Windows vs OSX? Hilarious.
 
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