Round eight: price
The contenders hit where it hurts: your wallet.
Judging products strictly on price is a sticky proposition. Sure, the lowest price is a compelling selling point, but value (aka bang for the buck) is just as important. Due to the sheer volume of their market, PCs are nearly always less expensive than similarly configured Macs. While Apple's bundled iLife suite usually goes a long way to helping it in the value stakes, Dell's aggressive software bundle negates this advantage.
The Studio XPS 13 only just undercuts the price tag of our similarly configured MacBook Pro, at AU$1845.39 versus AU$1999 — although this goes up to AU$2219 if you upgrade the Apple's hard drive to 500GB to match. Warranty is where it hurts, with Apple charging AU$419 for three years, and Dell only AU$140.80.
Surprisingly, while Apple tends to overcharge on upgrades, here it provides price competitive options compared to Dell on extras such as RAM and solid state hard drives — at the time of writing, Dell charges AU$981.20 for 8GB RAM, AU$402.60 for a 128GB SSD and AU$1107.70 for a 256GB SSD, while Apple charges AU$840, AU$490 and AU$1120 respectively.
Winner: on price tag and extended warranty costs, the Dell Studio XPS 13 takes the crown — but Apple is making ground on offering reasonably priced upgrades.
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