Originally Posted by AppleInsider
Continuing its advertising campaign which seeks to promote generic PCs running Windows as more attractive than Macs, Microsoft's latest spot plays up specifications over aesthetics as opposed to just suggesting that PCs are simply cheaper as the previous spot did. However, it ends up making the opposite point instead.
Not wuite true, lets dissect:
Following Lauren, the latest ad introduces Giampaolo, who says he's looking for portability, battery life, and power. "I'm technically savvy," he says, "I know what I want. I like a computer that allows me to customize." He's shown shopping at Fry's Electronics, where he picks up a unibody MacBook and says, "This is so sexy!"
Giampaolo then explains why he can't buy it, saying, "Macs to me are all about aesthetics more than they are the computing power. I don't want to pay for the brand, I want to pay for the computer."
Of course, it's really Microsoft that's paying for Giampaolo's computer, and Steve Ballmer is not going to pick up the tab for a MacBook. So instead, Giampaolo uses his $1500 budget to ultimately buy an HP Pavilion HDX 16t, which he says has everything he needs.
there is more to it than that...
On HP's website, that model starts at $1000. At Fry's, the salesman in the ad points out its typical configuration of $1,100, although HP's "recommended configuration" is $1400, still within Giampaolo's budget. However, it's an odd choice for somebody who wants portability, as the 16" widescreen model he lugs out of Fry's weighs over 7.3 pounds naked, almost twice as much as the "sexy" MacBook that's "all about aesthetics."
Portability is a matter of opinion and use...I am tall and strong, and my laptop goes from my desk to my car and into the office, so anything under 10 LBS is portable to me...a small framed executive who travels 5 days a week needs 3 or so LBS to be "portable"
HP certainly isn't "all about aesthetics." The cheap plastic body of the HP Pavilion HDX 16t is 1.7 inches thick, nearly twice as bulky as the MacBook. All that size surrounds a large 16" screen with a miserably low density 1366x768 screen resolution. Giampaolo could upgrade to the 1920x1080 option, but that would have bumped him over his artificial $1500 ad budget, even when applying a $200 instant rebate HP offers.
OK, you need to be comparing this thing to a macbook pro, I will ecplain why...keep reading...
Battery life not so good
"What would have the best battery life, that could still accommodate my needs?" Giampaolo asked while shopping. It sure wasn't what he picked out.
HP rates its built-in battery for less than 3 hours, but reviewers gave it less than two. That's not very good at all for its category. HP also offers a $150 expansion battery that hangs off the back of the already large system to give it twice the battery life. The "sexy" MacBook is rated for 5 hours with a single battery.
Running Vista on an early 2008 macbook, I get 1:45 tops...vista is the problem. I get about 3-4 under OSX 10.5
"It's a pretty strong contender"
In terms of power, Giampaolo's third primary need, the "recommended configuration" of the HP Pavilion HDX 16t that he apparently purchased ships with a 2.13 GHz Core 2 Duo P7450 paired with 4GB of PC2-5300 DDR2 RAM, which is a slower memory architecture than Apple was shipping in early 2006 MacBooks three years ago.
The latest MacBooks that Giampaolo feared were "all about aesthetics" pair a Core 2 Duo P7350 or P8600 with PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM, delivering a peak transfer rate that's twice as fast as the HP machine Giampaolo selected.
So much for Macs being about "aesthetics more than they are the computing power," or Giampaolo being "technically savvy."
Hopefully, Giampaolo is at least technologically savvy enough to upgrade to the 64-bit version of Windows Vista (or downgrade to the 64-bit version of Windows XP) in order to actually take advantage of that 4GB of RAM, as the standard version of Windows can only actually use about 3GB of it, a technical problem he wouldn't face on the MacBook.
Given that only a fraction of the PC installed base runs a 64-bit version of Windows (Microsoft reported that less than 6% of users hitting its software update servers were running 64-bit Vista last June), there's lots of "technically savvy" PC users with loads of installed RAM their computer can't even use.
And while Giampaolo can upgrade to even more RAM, he can't upgrade his new system to use the faster DDR3 RAM specification used in the MacBook. That would make his system faster overall and allow it to take full advantage of the installed CPU's 1066MHz front side bus, which HP chose to cripple by pairing it with a 533MHz memory architecture to save money and deliver a cheap system for people who don't know what they're really buying as they shop at Fry's for good-sounding GB and MHz numbers rather than focusing on finding a computer that does the things they want it to do.
DDR2, older chipset, I give you that but 4GB of slower ram is better than 2gb faster ram, because slow DDR2 is still thousands of times faster than the HDD interface and swapping. Furthermore, this model ships with Vista 64 bit, as does every 4GB+ pc in the last year or so, since SP1
Giampaolo was distracted by marketing
Of course, with the scant money that he's saving (he could have bought the high end MacBook by matching Microsoft's money with his own $100), Giampaolo will now get to go shopping for software, where he can easily spend several hundred dollars just trying to match the features and usability of the free iLife and Mac OS X tools Apple bundles with the MacBook.
Giampaolo will also have to spend hours of his time installing and running antivirus and adware tools, and stay on the lookout for that Conficker computer worm that Microsoft is warning Windows PC users about on the front page of its corporate website.
Movie Maker and Picasa are FREE...The only 2 apps that I dont have a good answer for is iweb and GB, but I use audition and Dream weaver (and mostly text editors) so I dont know about the consumery stuff...
2 years of full protection from eset NOD32 is $90, Symantec for OSX is 49/year
Click the big green shield on Windows on first boot and you get all updates installed in the background Mac cant do that...I have to click apple->check for updates
The strangest point of this ad is that Giampaolo didn't get the portability, battery life, and power he was looking for, he just ended up with a cheap-appearing machine that obscured its real technical limitations under a flashy layer of misleading, specification-oriented marketing, the very thing he thought he was avoiding with HP: buying a brand rather than a computer. And that's exactly what Microsoft wants people to do: buy its brand rather than a computer that does what they want it to do.
The HP has a 512 MB 9600GT GPU, the Macbook has a 9400, thus you need to compare the HP to the $1999 macbook pro for the comparison to be fair.