Which one do you buy?


13″ laptop. Same performance. Same battery life. Quiet fan.


No Windows compatibility.


x64 Dell

Slightly bulkier.


Comments (20)

20 responses to “Which one do you buy?”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    Why are those the only two choices? :)

    • longhorn

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      I think this could become a real world scenario. It's easy to be impressed by Apple, but when you actually have to pay with your own money and Windows is no longer available on Apple hardware, then it takes real commitment to buy from Apple.

      We all know that there will never be a cheap ARM Mac. Macs are "workstations" now. It's silly, but Apple can charge a premium for their products and get away with it. OK, less than 10 % market share isn't that impressive, but Apple prefers high margins to market share.

      • lvthunder

        In reply to longhorn:

        Let me know when it becomes a real world scenario. There are too many unknowns right now for me to even speculate.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to longhorn:

        There's no reason to think that ARM-based MacBook Airs and Mac Minis won't be offered at the same or lower price points than the Intel versions today.

      • john_m

        In reply to longhorn:

        We don't know the prices of ARM Macs yet. It's a good guess that they won't be cheap but it's only a guess at this point. Apple has learned that lowering iPad prices can increase their overall profits so perhaps they'll try the same for Apple Silicon Macs.

        You're also assuming that a 3rd party (i.e. Parallels) won't make an Intel emulator for ARM Macs. If they do then the choice would be a bit more complicated if you work mostly in MacOS and only do non-CPU intensive work in Windows/Linux.

        • proftheory

          In reply to john_m:

          "Right tool for the job..." Now where have I heard that?

          I have a Lenovo Yoga 15" $1,600.

          If the Apple silly*cone doesn't use an X86 instruction set will that give it some virus protection?

    • crp0908

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      At the $1900 range, I'd rather have an HP Elite Dragonfly.

    • darkgrayknight

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      For sure, there are many other choices:

      the HP you reviewed not long ago,

      many Lenovo options,

      and of course the Surface devices.

      Whether Arm versions of Macs will be any cheaper is yet to be seen.

      I don't think Arm processors will be powerful enough for most of what I do.

  2. bill_strong

    Currently? The Dell. If you need macOS on it, just turn it into a Hackintosh, or run a VM.

    Two years from now? Lets see how well Apple handles the transition. For one, even Apple has problems on first Gen products.

  3. crp0908

    x64 Dell is not enough info. Is this a high-end Inspiron or a Latitude or an XPS or even a Precision? Does the Dell have an i5 or i7 (Y or a U or an H processor)?

  4. rob_segal

    This is not a fair scenario. The performance of a released Apple Silicon Mac is unknown, as well as the benefits of tailoring MacOS to Apple's own chips instead of Intel's. The price is also an unknown. A MacBook Air starts at $999 and that goes on sale sometimes. If someone wants the latest XPS 13, Spectre x360, ThinkPad X1, Surface Laptop, that would be in the same price range as a comparable MacBook Pro. It's a premium laptop.

    If we're going to speculate this degree, let's say Apple is able to get Ice Lake level or better performance and good to great battery life in a form factor like the MacBook Air. They can keep the price where it is or drop it a little bit. That would be a better deal than most, if not all of the premium Windows PC's on the market.

    A MacBook Air with Apple Silicon at the same starting price as it is now would be a very tempting option. I would buy that and not think twice about it. I'm patiently waiting to see what Apple is going to release.

  5. codymesh

    hahaha you're implying that majority of people spend over a thousand us dollars on their laptops, that's cute

  6. BigM72

    I think your option set is overly contrived.

    You have denied any of the supposed ARM Mac benefits by saying same performance, same battery life and active cooling.

    You have forced a 72% price differential between the two.

    Using the pricing of existing Intel Macs today would have made more sense. We know what price the Macbook Air starts at.

    We know what price a comparable Dell XPS 13 or Surface Laptop 3 would be.

    The ARM Mac should move the needle on at least one out of: performance, battery life and passive cooling.

    No Windows but access to the broad iOS app ecosystem.

    I want Windows for work still because of familiarity, but for personal life I want to start figuring out the Mac or the iPad Pro.

    • longhorn

      In reply to BigM72:

      Fair points.

      I should have made the PC weaker. The first ARM Mac is rumored to be the 13" MacBook Pro. Focus is said to be on performance, not battery life (or passive cooling I suppose).

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to longhorn:

        They already have the power and performance edge. If they focus on more performance, the machine will likely have the same battery life as the current Intel systems and whip their ass because they won’t throttle because animating a menu opening pushed the CPU past its thermal threshold.

      • illuminated

        In reply to longhorn:

        Surface with an Intel i5 CPU has passive cooling. I cannot imagine why ARM Mac would need a fan. I would be shocked to see a fan in an ARM Mac.

  7. jimchamplin

    Used Lenovo Thinkpad.

    Removable battery, optical drive, upgradable RAM and storage.

    15" screen.


  8. innitrichie

    Some people are going to be very surprised when Apple announces the price of new ARM Macs later in the year. I personally believe they will be quite aggressive, if nothing else just to help jumpstart the transition away from Intel. They should have plenty of margin to play with having cut Intel out of the process.

    Whether performance will matchup what some are speculating on Twitter based will be possible, based mainly around how solid the dev machines reportedly are, well that's another question entirely. The bottom line is though - I trust they will have a product that will run cooler, longer, and comfortably meet the needs of many, many computer users from day one.

    I wish PC OEMs the very best of luck competing with Intel as their partner in the medium to longer term.