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MacBook Pro Alternatives

Why NOT To Buy A MacBook Pro

A few weeks back, we published an article describing Bill Lake’s purchase of a $3,000 MacBook Pro and his justification for such a pricey endeavor. While many of his points are valid, the fact remains that many people simply cannot justify spending so much on a laptop, especially with today’s tough economy. For a consumer to buy even a more basic MacBook Pro, he or she must commit to spending at least $2,000, which is still too much money for many of us for a laptop.

Most people interested in a MacBook Pro consider it because of its own unique combination of features. But with a retail price of $2,000-$2,500 for this laptop, this unique combination of capabilities comes at a steep price. Other notebooks have many (if not all) of the features you would find in the MacBook Pro, and if you can prioritize those features that you truly want, you can recreate  most of the Mac experience and save a good chunk of cash. While it is possible to install OSX on some PC systems, it is a very complex and unreliable process, so you will miss out on the OSX experience. However, keep in mind that most Mac applications do have PC-compatible counterparts, and for the few that don’t, there is still the option of VMware. If you can go without OSX, the savings are substantial.

When thinking about the features to which most people are attracted, I came up with several main categories: performance, battery life, aesthetics, and build quality. Now, there are plenty of laptop manufacturers that could stand up to these requirements, but limiting my search to Dell, Sony, Asus, and MSI gave me a wide spread of features and prices. On the following pages, you’ll see my picks for MacBook Pro alternatives. But first, here are the MacBook Pro's specifications:

Processor
Core 2 Duo (6 MB cache, 2.53 GHz)
Memory
4 GB DDR3-1066
Hard Drive
320 GB 5,400 RPM
Video Card
Nvidia 9400M and 9600M GT 512 MB
Display
15.4" LED 1440x900
Relevant I/O Ports
2x USB, Mini Display Port, IEEE 1394b, 34 mm Express Slot
Dimensions
14.35 x 9.82 x .95"
Weight
5.5 lbs.