I’ve seen a few technology bloggers immediately start bashing the Microsoft “Laptop Hunter / it’s a PC ” commercial. They say that it’s like comparing apples or orange (pun intended). In the commercial, the “actor” goes into an Apple store, and cannot find a computer with the features she wants near their budget ($1000 or less).
Apple fan boys whine and cry about this (but when do they not whine and cry about something?) because they say that the commercials are doing an unfair comparison. Many popular Mac computers have better hardware than the $500 Best Buy special.
… and this is the point of the commercial.
The average person who isn’t that technology-savvy just wants to be able to write a document, get online, post to a blog, and do their schoolwork. Why do they need a $1500-2500 computer to do all of that when a $500 laptop does everything they need it to do? This is a powerful question in a time when everyone is pinching their pennies.
If you look at Mac hardware, and compare it with the SAME hardware on a PC, you will see that they are pretty much the same price. From that perspective, the Mac is a good value and a good choice. But, most people don’t need that much power, unless they’re a graphics professional, hardware geek, or gamer… I’m not going to get into the “gaming choices” of the Mac (all 5 of them), but needless to say that most people aren’t buying Macs to play games.
So what if your Macbook can fit into a manilla envelope? I propose that they make larger envelopes so regular laptops can fit into one. You can also saw off the bottom of your office door if you want to slip a laptop under it.
The minimum hardware specs for Macs are not targeted for the “budget” market. The cheapest one I could find online was $849, but the screen is horribly, horribly small. Look here for PC laptop prices… some are even less than $300.
I bought my wife a laptop with a 19″ screen, full-size keyboard, and all the things she needs for $500. It’s not anywhere near gaming worthy, but is more than capable of getting online and playing videos. That’s all she needs. That’s all that the “average” person needs, as well.
Like in my “build a Linux firewall” series, I point out that everyone could benefit from a firewall, but most people don’t need to spend $3000 on one. Most people need more protection than a $50 Linksys router, but cannot afford the professional hardware… This is the same argument when considering a Mac… will you really use all of the features that you’re paying a lot of money for?
That’s the point of the commercial. It’s not being unfair to Macs. It’s pointing out that Apple does not have a budget product. Get over it.