My friend just ordered his new Powerbook. It's brand-new, from Apple's newly announced line of Powerbooks, which were announced just yesterday! It's 15", 1.67GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 100GB 7200RPM HD, new high-res and brighter display, slot-loading super drive 8x DVD and CD burner/reader. He also bought an iSight camera and a mighty mouse with it. The total was something like $2350.00 including tax. Shipping is free.
That's a whopping price tag and I don't know how good that price/performance ratio is. The computer itself without the additional toys was 2069. What I found odd was that the whole "customization" page for the Powerbook was only ONE PAGE, and with only about 7 options, two of which are software related. If you've ever bought a DELL online, you'll know why I was disturbed here... at DELL, you have several pages of customization to do if you like, with tons of options. With the Powerbook, we didn't even get to choose the videocard. It's kind of weird.. and let me just say that I didn't simply "allow" him to get this. His mother loves Apple products and didn't mind the fat price tag, and hell, if my mother thought that way I probably would have done just the same! I mean, the Powerbook really is a beautiful device, OS X looks and probably acts beautiful, (count on me bringing you updates as I gain experience with maintaining and using OS X when my friend gets his Powerbook), and the Mighty Mouse is too cool. It's a one button mouse.. well, there is no button really, the entire mouse is the button as its always been with the newer apple mice.. but they included sensors under the plastic surface in the mighty mouse, which allows it to detect whether you're clicking the entire mouse with a left or a right click, effectively making a two button mouse of it. The little scroller ball in the middle is awesome too as it allows you to scroll vertically as well as horizontally and well, in all possible directions really. It's so simple, and yet it makes so much sense. I mean, that little ball beats the hell out of the latest non-Apple mice, like my Logitech MX 1000 (and I love Logitech!), which use a wheel which can tilt sideways to allow for sideways scrolling.. so with that, you get sideways and up and down, but what about the rest of the 365° spectrum? The tiny little ball on the might mouse provides both vertical and horizontal scrolling and then the rest of the whole 360° spectrum so effectively and easily that it's ridiculous.
I'm not bashing anything, nor am I trying to raise Apple to new heights with raves. I'm just putting down my observations and opinions, and well, as it is Apple really impresses me not only with design, but with how functionality seems to be behind every single design choice they make. That's why they impress me so. It's not just that they build pretty technology, the make the pretty facade so useful that in pretty much all cases, it easily matches its counterparts, but in some cases surpasses them with ease--and style.
@mouser, your points are well taken. While I agree with you that Apple seems to be out for profit, I disagree with the notion that that's their prime motivation. They really seem to strive to innovate and make beauty extremely useful. That's why I really respect them. They may be overpriced, and that sucks, but what you get really stands out from the crowd in more than one way.