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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: 2/04/03 - 2/08/03

Must include: 17"+ flatscreen CRT display + DVD-RW or DVD+RW

READ THESE IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS & EXPLANATIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING!!!
All images and logos are copyright of the respective companies listed.

Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
eMac SuperDrive
Dimension 4550
Presario 8000
700S
VAIO RS-100
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 - 380 watts total
including tower + CRT + speakers; appx. $50-$70/year)
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.2 GHz P4
800 MHz G4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
2.53 GHz P4
2.53 GHz Pentium 4
2.4 GHz P4
2.4 GHz Pentium 4
2.0 GHz P4
2.0 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2700
RDRAM PC800
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
533 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (2 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 DIMM)
256 MB (1 x 256)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 GB (4 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
60 GB
60 GB
60 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:
24x CD
40x CD
40x CD
24x CD (?)
40x CD
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
12x10x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW (?)
8x4x CD-RW
DVD-ROM:
6x DVD
16x DVD
8x DVD
8x DVD (?)
4x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
2x1x DVD-RW
4x2.4x DVD+RW
2.4x2.4x DVD+RW
2x1x DVD-RW (?)
2x1x DVD-RW
Floppy Drive:
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
2 / 5
2 / 6
3 / 4
2 / 4
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2 (?)
1 / 2
1 / 2
External Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 4
1 / 3
3 / 4
0 / 3
Mouse Included:
USB Optical
(2-button wheel mice available)
USB Optical 2-button scroll wheel
PS/2 Optical
2-button scroll wheel
USB Optical
2-button scroll wheel
PS/2 2-button
scroll wheel mouse
USB Ports:
available = after keyboard & mouse
3 on CPU side
+ 2 on keyboard = 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 back (2 are USB2)
+ 2 on front = 6 total
5 available
(1 USB 1.1; 4 USB 2.0)
2 on CPU back
+ 2 on front = 4 total
4 USB 2.0 available
FireWire Ports:
2 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
1 @ 400 Mbps
2 @ 400 Mbps
Available Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
Unknown (?)
1 Ser, 1 Par, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
Graphics Card:
nVIDIA
GeForce2 MX 440
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 420
ATI Radeon 9000
nVIDIA
GeForce4 MX 440
Intel Integrated Graphics
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
128 MB DDR
64 MB (shared)
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI/ADC Out:
--
--
--
DVI
--
TV Out:
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
--
S-Video Out:
--
--
--
--
--
Dual Display Support?
(Mirroring)
--
--
--
--
Display:
integrated 16" view.
flat-panel CRT
16" viewable
flat-panel CRT
16" viewable CRT
16" viewable CRT
18.0" viewable
flat-panel CRT
*(see below)
Max. display resolution:
1280x960
1600x1200
1280x1024
1280x1024
1800x1440
*(see below)
*Note: system configured with larger CRT instead of extra RAM/larger hard drive/etc.
due to lack of customizable options on SonyStyle Web site.
Microphone/
Line in:
Built-in microphone
Line-in jack
Line-in jack
Headphone/
Line out:
Headphone jack, Line-out jack, Digital-audio ready
Speakers:
integrated H-K
stereo speakers
Harmon-Kardon
HK-206 speakers
Platinum 2.0 Speakers
GCS300 speakers
Stereo speakers
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet:
--
--
--
--
--
56k Modem:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
optional 802.11b
(11 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
Free Hardware Extras Included:
HP DeskJet 3820 printer
w/promotion
--
--
--
Epson Stylus
C40UX Printer
128 MB Memory Stick
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/DOS Support:
DOS/95/98/ME/
2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
DOS/95/98/ME/2000/NT/XP (Native)
Mac OS Support:
Mac OS 8,9,X
(Native)
Mac OS 8 only (via emulation)
Linux OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Save-as PDF Support:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Word Processor Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
WordPerfect 10
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Word XP
Corel WordPerfect 10
(Word compatible)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
Quattro Pro 10
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 7.0
Quattro Pro 10
(Excel compatible)
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
Corel Presentations
(PwrPt. compatible)
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 7.0
--
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
iCal, iSync
CorelCENTRAL 9
MSFT Works 6.0
MSFT Works 7.0
CorelCentral 10
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail, OS X Address Book
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
CorelCentral 10
Media Player Included:
QuickTime 6
DVD Player
Media Player 7 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8; DVD Player
QuickTime 6 avail.; RealOne Player avail.
QuickTime 6
Media Player 8
DVD Player
RealOne Player
Financial Software Included:
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
Quicken New User
TaxCut Deluxe
Money 2002
Quicken New Users
Money 2003
TurboTax Deluxe
Quicken 2003
Reference Software Included:
World Book OS X
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encarta Online
Encarta 2003
Streets & Trips
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
Image Expert Std.
ArcSoft MyPhotoCenter
Picture it!
Picture Gear
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
MovieMaker 2
MovieMaker 2
DVgate
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
EasyCD 5.0
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
SonicStage
Veritas RecordNow
DVD Burning Software:
iDVD 3, Disk Burner
Roxio Movie Creator
Sonic MyDVD
Veritas RecordNow
EasyCD Creator
Click to DVD
Games Included:
Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
The Sims!
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
FaxSTF
Palm Desktop
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/
Other Services
1 month Earthlink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 yr. AOL
--
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
2 yr. ltd./at-home
2 yr. phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
90 days phone
1 yr. ltd./at-home
1 yr. phone/NO labor
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Fair
Easy
Fair
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
Full
Full
None
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$1,299
$1,208
$1,253
$1,219
$1,320
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
$105
$50
$99
Free (ltd. time)
Total Price
as configured:
$1,299
tax not included
$1313
tax not included
$1,303
tax not included
$1,318
tax not included
$1,320
tax not included

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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