Originally Posted by ls1z28chris
This discussion always appear to be reduced to the ridiculous.
You make three main points: 1) Value, 2) Customization, 3) Peripherals.
Each of these three are subjective according to the needs of the consumer.
1) A part of this is objective. If you spec out a PC with the same components as a Mac, the difference isn't $1,300. The subjective part is whether a couple hundred dollars extra for a Mac is "value for the dollar." For some people it is, for some people it is not.
2) The HP notebook that I replaced with a MacBook Pro is no more customizable than the MacBook Pro. Now that I think about it, why are you even talking about customization of notebooks?
What notebook has easily replaceable optical drives? The battery was certainly easily replaceable on my HP, it had a habit of falling out and dropping on my feet. And who replaces notebook CPUs? Who even replaces the hard drive on their notebook? I replaced the one in my HP, and the process was a bit advanced for the average computer customer. I had to format, clone, partition, none of which most people know how to do. The only easily replaceable thing was the DDR RAM.
When you talk about value, you talk about appealing to a broad market. And then you start talking about customization, some of which is nonsense and the rest is the exclusive province of people who work with computers professionally.
3) Who the hell uses an Express Card slot in the first place? Seriously. AT&T peddles a 3G network card, and the only other thing I can find on Amazon are devices that are already commonly available on USB or firewire.
Okay, so what you want in a notebook is a cheap price, has the imaginary feature of full customization down to the CPU, and an express card slot that virtually no one uses.
I think your entire argument is a non sequitur. You deride Apple by contriving a litany of standards not met by any notebook manufacturer. Even the ACUS you mention does not meet the standards you lay in this post. Even though it is a close match, it certainly doesn't "kick the shit out of" the MBP by ay standard other than the size of the screen for the price.
Now if we're talking about desktops, then the discussion is entirely different. I'd probably build my own hackintosh.
ASUS has complete expandability on their notebooks. Many of their machines have MXM slots, which allows me to upgrade the video card. The issue is MXM cards are hard to find.
By making the machine easy to service, such as the optical drive and hard disk, I can perform upgrades without a expensive service call to Apple. Most notebooks have several bays on the bottom of the machine to replace components. Replacing my hard disk in my ASUS A8J takes 3 minutes tops. Two screws. SATA drive. Use Ghost, clone, done. I have done this a couple times to take my machine from an 80GB 5,400 RPM drive to the new Seagate 7200.4, which is significantly faster. I don't need to replace the CPU or the GPU. The screen is fine, so I'm spending $130 for a new drive, rather than spend $1200 on a new machine.
I am sure some Powerbook G4 owners might have said the same thing about your 3rd point. "Who the hell needs a PC Card Slot?" in circa 2001 or 2002. Then USB 2.0 came out and thumb drives came out. Many devices, such as scanners, thumb drives at this time had USB 2.0 support. USB 2.0 made these devices significantly faster. If I owned an iBook at the time it would mean scrapping the machine to buy a new one, or a Powerbook, just to get USB 2.0 support. This is stupid that I would have to pay $1400 for a new machine to get USB 2.0. Come to think of it, this is totally one of Apple's major problems with all their machines, except the Mac Pro.
The same thing is happening now. Think eSATA. My ASUS A8J does not come with eSATA. It comes with USB 2.0 and FW400. I am sure as hell glad that I have an expresscard slot. I can now use eSATA for backup and external storage. ESATA, according to Barefeats.com and Tomshardware.com, kills FW400 and USB 2.0 in performance. Why should I have to pay $2000 for a MBP (retail) to get eSATA capability. Hell even Apple got rid of the FW400 port on the regular Macbooks.
Expandability and serviceability is a good thing even for novice consumers. Consumer takes their notebook to local mom and pop shop (and not GeekSquad, they don't know what the hell they are doing). Consumer complains of slow boot times ever since they bought their machine. Tech finds out that the machine has a slow as hell 4,200 RPM drive. Tech advises to get a 7k320 HItachi or a 7200.4 Seagate drive for their Core1Duo machine from 2006 (as an example).
Tech cleans crap off of machine, does a defrag and then clones. Presto. Machine boots up 60% faster. Consumer pays $65 for the drive and maybe $100 for the labor. Due to the ease of replacing the drive the labor is cheaper and the techs job is easier. Consumer doesn't have to blow $1000 on a new machine, which won't come with a 7,200 RPM drive anyway.
Say the consumer broke the optical drive. Consumer or tech goes on newegg.com. Tech removes one or two screws to replace the optical drive. labor may be $50 and the drive is like $60 on newegg.com. Most standard 15, 14 and 17" notebooks are easy to replace the optical drive. My A8J requires removing one screw. Pull the tray out and pull gently. Remove the plastic faceplate and install on the new drive. Slide drive in, replace screw. I did this to add a HD-DVD drive that I got cheap off of eBay (I have allot of HD-DVD titles, thanks inetvideo.com =)
Lets do a Mac comparison. Machine is out of warranty. Apple charges a hell of allot more than $100 in labor. Apple will accept the drive from newegg.com but not recommended it because "it's not an official apple part". Consumer pays well over $200 for the same service. Consumer probably pays even more if the machine is a older ibook, Powerbook G4 12" etc do to the excessive steps (see ifixit.com) required. TO be fair the older Macbook plastic models are very nice, as they are easy to replace the hard disk.
The optical drives on the Macbook Pro is a slim line. It requires replacing many more screws and is far harder to do. labor is much higher and the drive is very hard to find.
I have done numerous services on many Mac laptop models. I cannot tell you how much of a pain in the ass it is to replace optical drives and hard disks on iBooks and Powerbooks. We have upgraded the drives on many machines do to poor performance of the factory 4,200 RPM drives and the older machines didn't have DVD-R/+R/DL burning built in. One machine (a PB 12" G4) was a royal pain in the ass to service. It requires removing something like 50 screws and REMOVING THE MOTHERBOARD to replace the optical drive. Apple wanted $350 to replace the drive with the same crappy CDRW model that broke.
The M70 does kick the crap out of the MBP for the money
. Better video card, same resolution screen etc. It's not thin, it's not "sexy", no aluminum, no mag safe and no backlit keyboard. Big deal. Hardware is hardware.
The chipset is the same, it has the same Core2Duo CPU, same amount of ram, same FSB, same quality screen, same ACPI interface etc. And it can run OSX. It also costs $1300 less.
Apple's premium may be worth a couple hundred dollars to some. I highly doubt most consumers will be able to justify the massive difference in price between a MBP and a standard ASUS/MSI/HP/Whatever machine. Marketshare shows that this is true, as Apple's overall notebook marketshare when compared to everyone else is still pretty small (but allot better than it used to be)