Tag Archives | Dell

Can Dell Be Dell Without Factories?

This is startling: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dell is trying to sell at least some of its factories to contract manufacturers–and maybe all of ’em. For any other computer company, the news would not be all that striking; these days, such a high percentage of electronics manufacturing is done by third parties that it’s more noteworthy when a computer manufacturer is actually…well, a computer manufacturer.

But this is Dell we’re talking about–the company that’s been, at its high points, the biggest computer on the planet based on the excellence of its factories and the efficiency of its direct-to-customer model. For more than twenty years, it’s obsessively refined its manufacturing and logistics processes to build PCs as efficiently and cheaply as possible. It is, in other words, a control freak of a company; it’s hard to imagine it letting go of the very process of making Dell PCs.

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Dell Joins the Mini-Laptop Movement

Remember when laptops were big, heavy, and cost two or three thousand dollars? Most of the action at the moment involves undersized cheapie models like the eee PC, HP Mini-Note…and Dell’s new Inspiron.
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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Four: The Skinny on the Mini

Pity the poor Mac Mini. After being unveiled with plenty of hoopla in January 2005 as “the most affordable Mac ever,” it departed the limelight with surprising swifness. The glossy white micro-Mac has received only minor updates such as CPU upgrades and actually got less affordable when the base model went from $499 to $599. Last year, there were even premature reports of the Mini’s imminent death, and most Mac enthusiasts didn’t seem too griefstricken at the prospect of its demise.

But the Mini lives–and even though $599 is no longer anywhere near a dirt-cheap price for a computer, it remains the cheapest Mac. It also comes in a super-small package that’s still fun and distinctive. So it’s the subject of my fourth excessively in-depth Mac-vs.-PC price comparison. My goal, as always, is to gauge whether you pay a “Mac Tax” when you buy a Mini instead of a roughly comparable Windows PC.

Before we get started, here are links to earlier comparisons in this series, just in case you missed ’em:

Round one: A mid-range MacBook vs. custom-configured Windows laptops.
Round two: The cheapest MacBook vs. cheap Windows laptops.
Round three: The iMac vs. Windows all-in-ones

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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Three: An All-in-One Free-For-All

So help me, I’m addicted to comparing the prices of Macs and Windows PCs. That’s okay, though–judging from site traffic, a startling quantity of Technologizer readers seem to be addicted to reading and discussing my comparisons. On Thursday, I contrasted a mid-range MacBook with custom-configured Windows laptops. On Saturday, I followed up by comparing the cheapest MacBook to cheap Windows laptops from Best Buy. And today? Well, today I’m in the mood to look at desktops aimed at consumers.

Apple, of course, makes no typical desktop PCs for consumers; we’re now in the second decade of the all-in-one iMac. The unified-monitor-and-CPU form factor never conquered the Windows world, but several major manufacturers offer units that combine that design’s space-saving virtues with a splash of Apple-like flair. What say we compare the current 20-inch iMac to some Windows-based iMacalikes?

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Are Macs More Expensive? Let’s Do the Math Once and For All

[UPDATE: This is one of the most popular stories we’ve ever published, but with the arrival of the new MacBook on October 14th, it’s also obsolete. Read it if you like–but this new article compares the new MacBook to comparable Windows computers.]

It’s of those eternal questions of the computing world that never seems to get answered definitively: Does the “Mac Tax” really exist? Some folks are positive that Macs are overpriced compared to Windows computers; others deny it steadfastly. Almost nobody, however, bothers to do the math in any serious detail.

So that’s what I’m going to do. And since Apple manufactures multiple models, I’m going to do it one computer at a time, starting with the MacBook, the company’s consumer notebook.

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