5 Laptops that Destroy the New MacBook Pros

Yesterday Apple took down its online store and when it came back online, its entire MacBook Pro line was revamped with new specs. All the 15-inch models went from Core 2 Duo processors up to Core i5 and i7's. Available now are Core i5 and i7 options with entirely new Nvidia graphics. Each of the 15-inch MacBook Pros also comes with integrated Intel graphics and the units will automatically kick between the two based on usage.

All great and fancy right?

Not so fast. Here are five Windows laptops that give the MacBook Pros--all of them--a run for their money:

ASUS G Series G51JX-A1

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 LED LCD
Extras: Blu-ray combo drive, EAX Advanced HD audio, illuminated keyboard, ASUS Express Gate, 2-year ASUS 360 global warranty (1 year accidental damage with 30-day Flawless Display Guarantee)
Battery life: 4-hours average

Price: $1,1397.86 - Amazon.com

Alienware M15x

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M with 512MB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1600x900 LED LCD
Extras: Personalized laser-etching
Battery life: 3-hours average

Price: $1,624.00 - Alienware.com

Dell Studio XPS 16

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 with 1GB RAM
Screen: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 LED LCD
Extras: Microsoft Works, 2-year Basic Service Plan warranty, Dell Online Backup 2GB 1-year
Battery life: 5-hours average

Price: $1,549.00 - Dell.com

Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q870

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1066 MHz
HDD: 500GB 7,200 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB RAM
Screen: 18.4-inch 1680x945 LED LCD
Extras: Blu-ray combo drive, illuminated keyboard, multi-memory card reader, HDMI
Battery life: 6-hours average

Price: $1,399.99 - Newegg.com

Sony VAIO VPCF113FX/H

CPU: Intel Core i7-720QM @ 2.8 GHz
RAM: 6GB DDR3 1333 MHz
HDD: 500GB 5,400 RPM Harddrive
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 310M with 512MB RAM
Screen: 16.4-inch 1600x900 LCD
Extra: Blu-ray combo drive
Battery life: Unknown

Price: $1,299.99 - Newegg.com

Even at its priciest option, Apple still only offers 4GB of memory for its top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro. Not only this, you'll have to step up to the $2,199.00 model to get a Core i7 CPU. The other models come with Core i5's and cannot be upgraded. The only tangible advantage that the MacBook Pros have is battery life, which at the moment is an industry leading across Apple's entire line-up. For the most part, we found that Apple's battery-life rating is a bit conservative and can actually last far longer than specced. So we'll give Apple a point for that. Unfortunately, it gets beaten in pretty much every other category.

Design wise, it's a matter of taste. Some users will appreciate the very elegant and refined design of the MacBook Pros, while others will enjoy more the aggressive looks of the Alienware. It's a toss-up in this category. Yes, the build quality of the MacBook Pros are industry leading, which in turn provokes other manufacturers to step up their game, but as far as making a difference in computing? No impact. Again, this category is a matter of personal preference.

Even at its lowest price point, the baseline MacBook Pro 15-inch comes in at $1,799, $175 more than the most expensive laptop in this list, the Alienware M15x. For $175 more, you get a slower CPU, less harddrive capacity, and a lower resolution screen. But, you do get a pretty swank aluminum unibody and other small details. Granted, the cost of making the unibody is significantly higher than plastic chassis, but we'll argue that most people here will want features that translate into performance.

What is even more interesting is that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with entirely lower specs than all the models here, is more expensive than 3 out of the 5 models in this list. The 13-inch MacBook Pros do come with awesome battery life, but fall short in a big way in terms of nearly everything else.

For what it's worth, here are 3 of the newest MacBook Pro configurations:


Top MacBook Pro 13
Baseline MacBook Pro 15
Top MacBook Pro 15
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66 GHz
Intel Core i5 @ 2.4 GHz
Intel Core i7 @ 2.66 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR3
HDD
320GB
320GB
500GB
GPU
NVIDIA GeForce 320M
Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M w. 256MB
Intel HD Graphics + NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M w. 512MB
Screen
13-inch 1280x800 LED
15-inch 1440x900 LED
Extras
Unibody enclosure, Magsafe Connector,
Battery-life
10-hours
8 to 9-hours
Price
$1,499.00
$1,799.00
$2,199.00

Before the comments get out of hand--which I know they will--let's remember to keep discussions intelligent and calm. I'm cool with the bashing, but out-of-hand comments that turn ugly are bad. Let's keep the bashing at a mature level please.

Create a new thread in the UK News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
30 comments
    Your comment
  • Er, how much is the ASUS G Series G51JX-A1 again?
    0
  • Oh, yeah. And sorry......
    0
  • Quote:
    The 13-inch MacBook Pros do come with awesome battery life, but fall short in a big way in terms of nearly everything else.


    It's logical when you think that what they do is bring down the power usage by reducing performance power, use a more modern and efficient battery, then slap an Apple price tag on top and you have what looks like a cleverly produced product, but what you have is a washed out looking underclocked small-notebook with a good battery life (That is, a 13" macbook pro)
    4