Salon: It’s time to buy an Apple Mac; Macs cost less to own than PCs

“It’s time to buy an Apple computer. Indeed, it’s been that time for the past five years, at least, but only now, slowly, are people waking up to this fact. Thanks to Apple’s relentless flash — the John Hodgman ads, the iPods, the iPhones — its Macintosh business is now in league with that of the biggest PC companies in the world. Everyone who’s used it agrees that Leopard, the operating system that Apple released late last month, is to its chief rival, Microsoft’s Windows Vista, roughly as Richard Wagner is to Richard Marx. This simple truth is dawning: If we forget about computer-industry network effects and monopolistic business practices, if we forget Apple’s various ancient missteps — if we’re going just by what’s better — the ages-old Mac-vs.-PC debate is over. Long over. Yell it from the rooftops: The Mac has won,” Farhad Manjoo writes for Salon.

“Even though you may pay a slight premium at the cash register for a Mac over a comparable Windows PC (a premium that gets slighter all the time), it will cost you less money — real, honest-to-goodness American dollars — to own that Mac than to own that PC,” Manjoo writes.

Resale Value
“Macs fetch far more on the aftermarket than do PCs — and after years of use, you can offset that cash-register premium by selling your Mac for a better price than you could your PC,” Manjoo writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Compare Macs to PCs with similar specs and you just might be surprised how competitive Apple’s Mac prices are today. Plus, only Apple Macs are OS-unlimited and can run the world’s largest software library.


  1. I tell friends, associates, and relatives alike: Even if you feel you MUST use MS Windows, at least run it on the finest PC made: the Macintosh.

    Slowly–BUT SURELY–everyone is coming around. All I have to do is boot my Santa Rosa MacBook Pro into Vista (4GB memory, 2.4GHz), and their eyes pop out of their heads.

    Fastest machine on the market, most beautiful, most flexible, AND cost-competitive. Only a complete and utter FOOL would buy a Vaio, Dell, HP, Toshiba, or the like after that.

  2. Comparisons to Dell and HP are really irrelevant. Mac’s may cost more or less for equivalent specs, but Macs come with Mac OS X and the others come with Windows Vista. And the comparison grinds to a halt right there. I would gladly pay the premium for a Mac, but since Macs have far better resale value and today’s Macs are priced competitively, the deal is all the more sweeter…

    Since Apple competitors are stuck with Vista for the next 5 years (or more), I don’t know how they are going to compete. Apple becoming the top PC maker is inevitable.

  3. @gwm

    Yes, boot into Vista! Virtualization is certainly fast on the Santa Rosa MacBook Pro (2.4GHz) using Parallels, but not AS FAST when booted natively.

    When one wants to show WinFanBoys that the Mac is the finest PC on the market today, one doesn’t boot into Mac and then switch into Vista. One starts with what THEY already know. It has been my experience lately that we have to win these poor souls’ hearts and minds one step at a time, hence the approach described above.

    First the PC argument. THEN the switch to Mac!

  4. I’m planning to buy a new laptop in next few months. I have compared the prices and specs of Macs and PC’s. I can’t understand how people can say that Macs aren’t more expensive than PC’s.

    In Europe: The specs of 1249€ Macbook are very similar to 700€-900€ PC-laptop. The specs of 2399€ Macbook Pro are very similar to 1200€-1400€ PC-laptop. One thousand euros is a little too much for the Mac OSX and Apple premium. I really do like Macs more than PC’s, but the price difference is just too much.

  5. @ Terry

    With any computer hardware you pay for what you get.

    You can go into any computer store and buy a cheap brand laptop for £300, but within 6 months it will be dead.

    You may think macs are more expensive but you havent considered the other things you get for free with ALL macs:

    – iLife Suite (Best entertainment software suite in the world)
    – Intuitive and innovative OS and gui
    – NO VIRUS’S, malware
    – Simple to use connectivity to ANY computer (and OS) on any network
    – Rock solid build quality
    – Global award winning hardware and software design
    – iTunes in its native envirnoment (how it was intended to be used!)

    Overall the average mac user keeps their mac for many years and even major OS upgrades (like Leopard) run fast on old macs. You try installing Vista on a 7yr old windows pc… (good luck!)

    And this is what you get with a low cost windows pc;

    – Bad compter build quality
    – Every virus or malware you ever wanted!
    – Sub-standard internal components and parts
    – Poorly designed OS (courtesy of Microsoft)
    – Complex network connectivity
    – No IiLife software suite!

    I know which computer I would buy – even IF it was (alleged to be more expensive)

  6. Terry,

    the point is that there are not low-cost assembled Macs.

    If you compare a Mac to a Dell, HP or Sony Vaio with similar specs, you’ll be surprised. That premium in many cases disappears.

    Also, consider the resale value….

    Believe me, the “Macs cost more” era is over…

  7. OZZ,

    My previous PC-laptop prices are from HP, Fujitsu Siemens and Acer. Maybe they aren’t as good as Apple, but not a “low-cost assembled” anyway.

    My point is that the prices of PC-laptops have come down very much in Europe this year (average price about 800€, maybe 90% of laptops are below 1500€ price point). About one year ago Macbook was very comparable to PC-laptops in specs and in price, but it’s a different situation now. PC-laptops have come down in price, while Apple has kept its’ old price points.

  8. Shout this from the rootops: Macs cost too much so Windows is way better. Entry cost is the ONLY factor anyone should consider when making a computer purchase.

    The war is over, folks. Microsoft won, Apple lost.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

    P.S. The Zune is cheaper too. Dorks.

  9. when my dad was thinking of switching, I went on the Dell website to show him how much one with the same spec as the lowest priced iMac would cost.
    It was over £200 more, plus the Dell isn’t an all in one.

    And Dells are fugly

    MDN magic word: already, as in we already knew what this article is saying

  10. I hear horror stories of people and malware and viruses regularly and then i cringe at the price they paid BuyMore to fix it…ouch!
    Spend the extra $ on a mac instead of malware and virus protection and enjoy the computer for what it was meant to be, enjoyable.

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