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Visit Charle Gaba's new System Shootout site for the latest shootouts!


Desktop Shootouts
New!
(U.S. $):
Apple Desktop Lineup
Laptop Shootouts
(coming soon!)
$800
Laptops
$1,100
Laptops
$1,600
"Mini-Me's"
$2,000
Laptops
$2,600
Laptops
$3,000
"LapZillas"
Apple Laptop Lineup

DATES CONFIGURED: 5/06/03

Must include: 17"+ flatscreen CRT display + DVD-/+RW & CD-RW

Note: Read the AAPLTalk System Shootout FAQ before proceeding!!!
All images and logos are copyright to the respective companies listed.

Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Best of Field
eMac SuperDrive
Dimension 4550
Presario 8000
500X
VAIO RZ Series
Design/Styling:
White
Black Minitower
Black Minitower
Platinum Tower
VAIO Styling
Mobility:
All-in-one design
50 lbs. total
(all systems listed range from appx. 40-60 lbs. including tower + flat-panel display + speakers)
Component
Access?
Quick access to memory & wireless cards
(all PC systems listed have thumb-screw or other relatively easy access for panel removal & component access)
Cords/Cables:
4 cables/cords
appx. 10 cables/cords (Tower, Display, Web, Speakers, Keyboard, Mouse, Microphone)
Desk Space Used:
270 sq. inches
(All PC systems listed take up appx. 330 - 400 square inches
including tower, CRT & speakers)
Noise Volume:
Nearly silent
(ultraquiet fan)
Loud (full-size cooling fans)
Energy Use:
170 Watts total
appx. $30 / year
(All PC systems listed use between appx. 300 - 400 watts total
including tower + CRT + speakers; appx. $50-$70/year)
Processor:
Notes
1.0 GHz G4
1.5 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K
512K
512K
512K
512K
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
--
RAM Type:
SDRAM PC133
DDR PC2700
DDR PC2700
DDR PC2700
DDR PC2700
Front Side Bus:
133 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
RAM Amount:
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
Max. RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive
Capacity:
80 GB
60 GB
80 GB
80 GB
60 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
7200 RPM
CD-ROM:
32x CD
40x CD
40x CD
32x CD
32x CD
CD-RW:
16x8x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
16x8x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
8x DVD
12x DVD
16x DVD
8x DVD
16x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
4x2x DVD-RW
4x2.4x DVD+RW
4x2.4x DVD+RW
4x2x DVD-RW
4x2.4x DVD+/-RW
Floppy Drive:
--
Yes
Yes
--
Yes
Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
2 / 5
3 / 6
2 / 4
2 / 4
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
2 / 4
0 / 3
2 / 3
0 / 3
Mouse:
USB Optical
USB Optical
2-button scroll
PS/2 Optical
2-button scroll
USB Optical
2-button scroll
PS/2
2-button scroll
USB Ports:
3 on CPU side
+ 2 on keybd = 5 total
3 USB 1.1 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
6 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 USB 2.0 available
4 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 6 total
6 USB 2.0 available
FireWire Ports:
2 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
Unknown (?)
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
Video Card:
ATI Radeon 7500
GeForce4 MX 420
ATI Radeon 9000
Intel Integrated
SIS651 Integrated
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
"up to" 64 MB (shared)
"up to" 32 MB (shared)
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
--
--
--
RCA-Out:
optional adapter
--
--
--
--
S-Video Out:
optional adapter
Yes
Yes
--
--
Dual Display
Support?
Mirroring
--
--
--
--
Display:
integrated 16" view.
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
16" viewable
flat-screen CRT
Max. Resolution:
1280x960
1600x1200
1600x1200
1280x1024 (?)
1280x1024
Audio In:
Built-in microphone
Line-in
Line-in
Audio Out:
Headphone jack, Line-out jack
Speakers:
Harman Kardon
(Integrated)
Harman Kardon
HK-206
Platinum 2.0
GCS300
"Stereo speakers"
Ethernet:
10/100
10/100
10/100
10/100
10/100
56k Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
optional 802.11g
(54 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
optional 802.11b
(11 Mbps)
Bluetooth Card?
optional
optional
optional
optional
optional
Hardware Extras:
Canon i450 printer
(free after rebate)
--
--
--
Epson Stylus Printer
(free after rebate)
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2;
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows Support:
DOS/95/98/ME/
2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP (Native)
Mac Support:
Mac OS 8,9,X
(Native)
Mac OS 8 only (via emulation)
Linux Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Handwriting
Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Word Processor:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
MS Word XP
MS Works 6.0
MS Word XP
MSFT Works 7.0
Spreadsheet:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
MS Works 7.0
MS Works 6.0
MSFT Works 7.0
MSFT Works 7.0
Presentation:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Database:
AppleWorks 6.2
MS Works 7.0
MS Works 6.0
MSFT Works 7.0
MSFT Works 7.0
Drawing/Painting:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Projects/Planning:
--
--
--
--
--
Web Browser
Safari 1.0
IE 5.2
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
E-Mail/PIM/
Address Book:
OS X Mail/
Address Book
iCal, iSync
Outlook Express
Works 7.0
Outlook Express
Works 6.0
Outlook Express
Works 7.0
Outlook Express
Works 7.0
Media Players:
*free download
QuickTime 6
Media Player 7*
RealOne*
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne
DVD Player
QuickTime 6*
Media Player 8
RealOne*
DVD Player
QuickTime 6
Media Player 8
RealOne
DVD Player
Financial:
Quicken 2003 Deluxe
Money 2003
Money 2003
Quicken 2003
Money 2003
Quicken 2003
MS Money 2003
Reference:
World Book OS X
Encarta 2003
Streets & Trips
Encarta Online
Encarta 2003
Streets & Trips
Encarta 2003
Digital
Photography:
iPhoto 2
Image Expert Premium
PaintShop Pro
Unknown (?)
Picture it!
Picture Gear
Photoshop Elements
Digital Video
Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
Arcsoft Showbiz
MovieMaker 2
DVgate
MovieShaker
Adobe Premiere LE
CD Burning/
Music:
iTunes 4
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD Creator
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
SonicStage
Veritas RecordNow
DVD Burning/
Authoring:
iDVD 3, Disk Burner
Roxio Movie Creator
Sonic MyDVD
EasyCD Creator
ClickTo DVD
Games
Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Age of Empires
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software:
Asstd. system software
Free Services:
1 month Earthlink
6 months Earthlink
--
6 months AOL
--
Viruses/
Security:
Firewall:
Built-in
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2 yr. phone
3 yr. ltd./at-home
3 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
Quality of
Products/Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Fair
Easy
Fair
Customization?
Some
Full
Full
Full
Some
Subotal:
$1,398
$1,303
$1,358
$1,314
$1,354
- Rebates if any:
- $99
--
- $50
--
- $49
+ Ground Shipping:
n/c
n/a
n/c
n/c
n/c
Total Price
as configured:
(tax not included)
$1,299
$1,303
$1,308
$1,314
$1,305

The information above is as accurate as I could make it based on a reasonable time studying the respective companies' Web sites. There is no guarantee that these configurations, prices, and features are the best that one could come up with; assorted bundles, free internet access, free extra memory, and so on can most likely be found for any of the above systems. The point of this chart is to demonstrate that Apple's lineup holds its own against any brand-name computer, even in areas in which it has traditionally had resistance. In short, do not base your purchasing decisions solely on this chart or information. Neither I, nor The Mac Observer will be held responsible or liable for any purchase decisions you make based on this presentation.

Charles Gaba started the AAPLTalk System Shootouts at AAPLTalk.com, and has brought them to TMO. Charles is the creative talent behind Brainwrap Web Design.

AAPLTalk System Shootouts Archives

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