Imagine you can walk up to your favourite hardware store and tell the guy: “Give me the biggest, fastest, meanest laptop you have. Money is no issue”.

Let’s see what this would buy you in the (Belgian) Apple store:

Pimped-out MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

2,4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM
S-ATA disk 250 GB (4200 rpm)
17″ Glossy WUXGA (1920×1200)
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT, dual-link DVI, 256 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Bluetooth 2.0
Apple Remote
AppleCare Protection plan: 3 years

Which would cost you around 3400 euro (excl taxes/transport).

Let’s now compare that to a fully expanded Dell Precision portable workstation from the Dell store:

Pimped-out Dell Precision M90

precision_m90

Intel® Core™2 Duo T7600 (2,33 GHz 4 MB L2-cache 667 MHz FSB)
4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Windows® XP Professional, SP2 (NTFS)
3 jaar Business Support
3 jaar CompleteCare Accidental Damage Cover
17″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200) UltraSharp screen
NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 1500M, 256 MB RAM
100 GB harde schijf (7.200 rpm)
8x DVD+/-RW-station
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini-kaart (54 Mbps) Core2 Duo
Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth

Which will set you back … 3280 euro. Or wait, try this:

Pimped-out Dell Inspiron XPS M1710

dell_xps_1710

Intel® Core™2 Duo T7600 Processor (2,33 GHz, 667 MHz, 4 MB L2-cache)
Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Premium XPS-service, 3 y
17″ UltraSharp WUXGA display, 1920 x 1200
4GB 667 MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM
160 GB S-ATA disk (7.200 rpm)
8x DVD+/-RW
512 MB DDR3 nVidia® GeForce™ Go 7950 GTX
Dell™ Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0
Intel® Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g mini-PCI-kaart

At a staggering … 3280 euro, or just the same as the Precision.

I know, to some extent, it’s comparing Apples to oranges, but I’m just saying: for a high-end notebook, a MacBook Pro is not that excessively expensive.