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The Debate Rages

See Mac v. PC.

Our advocate for Apple and protector of PCs continued their debate of who’s box is best in a flurry of e-mails. Here is what they wrote:

Ben Stevens: In looking over Rick’s paper, there are a few items that I think need to be reworded or clarified.

Hardware. Rick states that you can only buy Apple products in the Apple store. While that is true for the computers, it is not true for printers and other peripherals, as they sell those for many different brands. More importantly, his statement about having to buy new hard drives from Apple is just plain wrong. As long as you get the right size, you can buy third-party hard drives (and RAM) and easily insert them into Macs if you want/need to do so.

Word Processing. WordPerfect is no longer available for the Mac and won’t run under OS X, which is a PC advantage to some/many. However, NeoOffice will open .wpd documents and can save its documents in .wpd format.

The best. I think that Rick’s statement that PCs that compare to the MBAir are available for under $1,000 is wrong. I have a post going up next week on my blog that discusses an article at AppleInsider that compares the MacBook air to offerings from Sony, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Panasonic and Asus, and there is a chart that lists these feature-by-feature and cost-by-cost—you can view the chart here.

Rick Georges: In fact, the MacBook Air’s battery and hard drive can’t be replaced, except by Apple. See this article.

I have no objection to editing to make clear that only Apple computers can be bought at Apple stores. Actually, peripherals, and even some Apple computers, can be bought at many stores. However, the choice of models is limited to Apple manufacture. The MacBook Air also doesn’t have a network port. It’s USB port won’t take a USB EvDO modem, etc.

As for being too expensive, check out this link for a discussion of MacBook Air prices. The comparison chart is loaded with false comparison. One computer has 2 Gigs of memory, another 1 Gig. Price comparisons depend on many factors.

Georges: Oh, yes. And my comment says comparable “features.” The comparison chart only lists “ultra-lights.” The specs are less than I have on my 3-pound Dell D430, which I bought for $1,000. If you use Ben’s chart, make clear that comparable features are available in many notebook computers that may not be as thin or pretty or light.

Stevens: On the battery, this article shows that it can be replaced by users and how easy it is.

I agree that price comparisons are tricky to make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples, which we’re not here since it’s Macs vs. PCs. However, the chart that I referenced in my blog article compares ultra-light notebooks, which is what the MBAir is. I only wanted to be sure that you’re comparing ultra-lights to ultra-lights and to a “normal” notebook … maybe simply using some language, such as “somewhat comparable” would be fine to make clear that they are not identical.

On the network port issue, that is an issue for some but not for others. My MacBook and its predecessor (PowerBook) both have network ports that have never ever been used by me. I connect to my network wirelessly at home and work.

Rick, thanks for your hard work on this project. I thought that your article looked great and that you made some good points (considering that you’re advocating an inferior product, LOL).

Georges: It was fun. However, keep in mind that 95 percent of the readers will be using PCs. So, I suggest that the ads on my website will get a lot more traffic. LOL.

Georges: BTW, keep in mind that the battery replacement solution you advocate will void the Apple warranty. That is one of my primary objections to Apple, anyway. They are always trying to keep you in-house so they can make more money. That is offensive to me.

Stevens: I’m not advocating doing the battery change yourself, but merely pointing out that it is possible. Again, the MBAir has only been announced for a week or so and it is only now being shipped, so let’s not be too harsh that some of those policies are still in flux.

Also, my actual experience w/Apple’s support is contrary to that. The AppleCare plans are very reasonably priced, and when you have a problem, they pay shipping both ways, and the longest we’ve had a computer gone (door to door) is 48 hours. Most repairs can be made in the Apple Stores, but I’m not very close to one. Point being, they don’t make more money by handling their repairs that way. …

Georges: Please. Apple is about profit. As soon as the video you refer to went up, Apple was screaming, and it was redacted. Harsh? It is impossible to be too harsh with this arrogant, greedy company. LOL.

Stevens: Surely you’re not trying to say that Microsoft is any better? Don’t get me started. … Let’s just agree to disagree :o)

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