Why the upgrade cycle means the "Apple tax" is lower than it seems

I have written about this before, in an article titled Testing the Apple Tax, and Ben Lovejoy comes to the same conclusion I did in his piece over at 9to5 Mac: in reality, the proposed “Apple tax” is, frankly, nearly nonexistent. Taking into account overall build quality, form factor, fit and finish, power, and power consumption, Mac computers compete quite competitively with their PC “counterparts"; adding in other factors such as resale value, maintenance, and support, I have a hard time believing anyone could make the reasonable case than any manufacturer offers greater value than Apple. The only part of Ben’s article that I took issue with was his belief that a five-year-old Windows machine would have any resale value whatsoever: late last year I tried to attain some return on investment for four DELL laptops roughly that old, and as far as anyone was concerned, they were worthless.