Apples vs. Oranges – Thick, Heavy Oranges

Brian Fagioli, writing for BetaNews on Ubuntu PC-maker System76 seeing a surge of traffic after last week’s MacBook Pro announcements:

Alternatively, I headed to System76 and configured its 15-inch Oryx Pro (you can do so here). I closely matched the MacBook Pro specs, with a Quad-core Sklyake i7 and NVMe 256GB SSD. Instead of 16 GB of RAM as found on the Apple, I configured with 32 GB (you can go up to 64 GB if needed). By default, it comes with a 6 GB Nvidia GTX 1060. The price? Less than $2,000! In other words, the System76 machine with much better specs is less expensive than Apple’s.

Obviously we aren’t comparing apples to apples (pun intended). If you absolutely need macOS for certain software or licenses, an Ubuntu machine will not meet your needs. Also, the System76 machine does not have Apple’s revolutionary Touch Bar.

Still, the Oryx Pro can be configured with specs far beyond the MacBook Pro, and at a very competitive price — it is not hard to see why System76 saw a huge jump in traffic following the Apple Keynote. It is worth noting that both the Oryx Pro and MacBook Pro can run Windows too.

There is a catch. The 15-inch Oryx Pro is 1-inch thick and weighs 5.5 pounds. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is 0.6 inches thick and weighs 4 pounds. I’m not slamming the Oryx here — there are plenty of performance-hungry Mac users who wish that Apple made a MacBook this thick and heavy if it meant they could install up to 64 GB of RAM and had all the ports they wanted built-in. (I will add that the Oryx is ugly as sin, and doesn’t have a retina-resolution display. Here I am slamming it.)

But the price you pay for the MacBook Pro isn’t about the sum of the components. It’s about getting them into that sleek, lightweight form factor, too. In a word, Apple is optimizing the MacBook lineup for niceness. That’s frustrating — in some cases, downright angering — for people who want a notebook optimized for performance.

Monday, 31 October 2016