Yep. Dell has a new notebook for sale: the Inspiron E1705. And I don't think it's an accident that it looks like Apple's aluminum-colored iBooks and PowerBooks. It's a Core Duo machine with a 17" screen that looks like it's designed to go head-to-head with the Apple MacBook Pro. Some quick comparisons:
- The screen of the E1705 is 17", while the MacBook Pro is 15.4". Advantage: Dell.
- The MacBook Pro's Core Duo processor tops out at 1.83 GHz. The E1705 starts there and tops out at 2.16 GHz. With the Core Duo, those seemingly small jumps in clock speed actually do matter. Advantage: Dell.
- The high-end E1705 comes with an nVidea GeForce Go 7800 video card with 256MB of video memory. The MacBook comes with an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of video memory. Advantage: Dell.
- The hard drive on the MacBook tops out at 120MB while the hard drive on the E1705 tops out at 100MB. However, the Dell drive tops out at 7200RPM while the Apple drive only spins up to 5400RPM. Advantage: even.
- The E1705 comes with six USB 2.0 ports and an IEEE 1394 port. The MacBook comes with just two USB 2.0 ports and an IEEE 1394 port. Advantage: Dell.
- Both laptops support up to 2GB of dual-channel memory. Advantage: even.
- The MacBook ships with Mac OS X. The E1705 ships with Windows XP Home, Windows XP Media, or Windows XP Pro. Advantage: depends on your techno-religious affiliation.
- Depending on how you set it up, the Dell can match the MacBook on functionality at a lower price, or you can beef up the processor and other features for the same money you'd spend on the lesser MacBook. Advantage: Dell.