Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fearsome Crisps

Back from Mac

I recently had one of the two fans in my old 15″ Apple MacBook Pro die, and rather than repair it (the third mechanical failure I’ve had on the MacBook in 4-5 years), I decided it was time to replace it… and I replaced it with a Windows machine. Why?


I like Mac OS X. I really do. It’s very simply, easy to use, and of course is based on BSD which meant I could often put my Linux knowledge to use on day to day tasks. I loved the build of my old MacBook, with it’s solid aluminium case meaning that the motherboard isn’t subjected to stress anytime it’s picked up and should last a lifetime with care.

Unfortunately, the cost of doing business with Apple is extremely high, and I just can’t afford that anymore. The spec of the new machine versus what I’d be able to afford from Apple is as follows:

Toshiba A660-11M Apple MacBook
Cost £799 £849
CPU 1.6/2.8Ghz Core i7-720QM 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory 4GB 2GB
Hard-disk 500GB 5400RPM 250GB 5400RPM
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB
Display 16″ Toshiba TruBrite® LED-backlit widescreen 13.3″ LED-backlit glossy
Audio Built-in Harman Kardon® stereo speakers and microphone Stereo speakers and omnidirectional microphone
Keyboard & Mouse 102 key “chicklet style” keyboard with full numeric pad and 2-button trackpad 79 key “chicklet style” keyboard and 1-button trackpad

I think the difference is pretty clear. The Toshiba might have a cheap plastic case, but it is both cheaper and better kitted, actually featuring technology from the last 6 months as opposed to tired old kit from 2 years ago (seriously, Core 2 Duo’s when everyone else is offering Core i3/5/7? And a 256MB graphics card? I haven’t seen a graphics card with less than 512MB, even in laptops, in about 18 months).

Sorry Apple, but as much as I like your hardware, your prices have gone far beyond my budget. It’s just no contest.