My friend just bought a Dell XPS M1330. As follower’s of this blog know, this computer was one of my top choices to replace my old ABS. I ended up buying a Macbook Pro. I am glad that I did.
Why did I like the M1330? The computer was small and light but powerful. It had a discrete graphics card, which was a must. Also, at the time I was looking, it was slightly cheaper than a Macbook Pro. Now, it is much cheaper and a MBP. I think my friend paid around $1,200 for a system with all the trimmings. That compares to about $1,800 for a MBP with a student discount included.
If you compare the two computers based solely on hardware/price, the Dell wins. Aesthetically, it is a draw. So why am I so happy that I bought a MBP instead of the M1330? The answer is simple — my friend’s M1330 is loud, hot and it vibrates (when only running Vista and IE). My MBP is essentially silent and never shakes even when running multiple programs.
I have a pet peeve with noisy computers. There is no reason why a computer’s fan should run unless intense programs are running. The average program is not intense. HD accessing should be limited. The heat, noise, and vibration of the M1330 is probably due to both the construction/engineering inside the M1330 and the software it is running, namely Windows Vista (although note, Vista on my Mac runs with only moderate heat/HD accessing issues).
The Macbook Pro wins this battle, at least for me. Had I bought an M1330 and it ran as hot, loud, with as many vibrations as my friends’, then I would have returned it immediately.