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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

CONFIGURED THE WEEK OF 6/8/03

Must include 15"+ Display, DVD, CD-RW, Wi-Fi Card

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

Total must be within $25 of $2,600 INCLUDING SHIPPING!
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Toshiba
Best of Field
PowerBook G4
Inspirion 8500
Presario 2500
450XL
VAIO GRT Series
Tecra S1 Series
Dimensions:
127 cubic in.
1" x 13.4" x 9.5"
235 cubic in.
1.52" x 14.2" x 10.9"
248 cubic in.
1.8 x 13.0 x 10.7
182 cubic in.
13.2” x 10.6” x 1.3”
319 cubic in.
1.9" X 14.1" X 11.9"
185 cubic in. (?)
12.7" x 11.2" x 1.3" (?)
(15" model size unknown)
Weight:
all bays filled
5.4 lbs.
7.9 lbs.
7.5 lbs.
6.2 lbs.
8.6 lbs.
7 lbs. (?) (15" model weight unknown)
Battery Life:
up to 5 hrs.
up to 3 hrs.
up to 2.5 hrs. (?)
up to 5 hrs.
up to 2.5 hrs. (?)
up to 5 hrs.
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.0 GHz G4
1.5 GHz Pent. 4
2.2 GHz Pentium 4-M
1.8 GHz Pent. 4
2.8 GHz Pent. 4-M
2.2 GHz Pent. 4
1.7 GHz Pentium M
1.9 GHz Pent. 4
2.5 GHz Pentium 4-M
2.0 GHz Pent. 4
1.4 GHz Pentium M
1.5 GHz Pent. 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
32k
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K
512K
512K
1 MB
512K
512K
L3 Cache:
1 MB DDR
--
--
--
--
--
RAM Type:
SDRAM PC133
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
Front Side Bus:
133 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz
400 MHz
RAM Amount:
512 GB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
1.0 GB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (1 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMMs)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
Max. RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
2.0 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:
60 GB
60 GB
80 GB
60 GB
60 GB
40 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100 (?)
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
4200 RPM
4200 RPM
4200 RPM
4200 RPM
4200 RPM
5400 RPM
CD-ROM:
24x
24x
24x
24x
24x
24x
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
16x8x CD-RW
8x8x CD-RW (?)
8x4x CD-RW (?)
16x8x CD-RW
8x4x CD-RW (?)
DVD-ROM:
6x DVD
8x DVD
8x DVD (?)
6x DVD (?)
5x DVD
6x DVD (?)
DVD-/+RW:
1x1x DVD-RW
2x2x DVD-RW
2x2x DVD+RW (?)
1x1x DVD-RW (?)
2x2x DVD+/-RW
1x1x DVD-RW (?)
Floppy Drive:
No
No
No
No
No
No
Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
--
PCMCIA Slot:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bay Type:
Fixed
Swappable
Fixed
Swappable
Swappable
Swappable
USB Ports:
2 USB 1.1 ports
2 USB 1.1 ports
3 USB 2.0 ports
2 USB 2.0 ports
3 USB 2.0 ports
3 USB 2.0 ports
FireWire Ports:
1 port @ 400 Mbps
1 port @ 400 Mbps
1 port @ 400 Mbps
1 port @ 400 Mbps
1 port @ 400 Mbps
--
Legacy Ports:
Legacy-free
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
1 Par., 1 PS/2
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
1 Par, 1 Ser., 1 PS/2
Video Card:
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
NVIDIA
GeForce4 4200 Go
ATI Mobility Radeon
ATI Mobility
Radeon 7500
NVIDIA GeForce4
FX Go 5600
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
"up to" 64 MB (shared)
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
32 MB DDR
Dual-Disp. Supp:
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI Out:
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
S-Video Out:
Yes
Yes
Yes
--
--
--
RCA Out:
Yes
Yes
--
--
Yes
Yes
Display:
15.2" TFT WXGA
15.4" WSXGA
15" TFT SXGA+
15" TFT SXGA+
16.1" TFT SXGA
15" TFT UXGA
Native Res:
1280x854
1680x1050
1400x1020
1400x1050
1280x1024
1600x1200
Audio In:
Line-in port
Built-in microphone
Line-in port
Microphone port
Line-in port
Built-in microphone
Line-in port
Microphone port
Line-in port
Microphone port
Line-in port
Microphone port
Audio Out:
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speaker/HP Jack
Line out
Speakers:
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Stereo
Ethernet?
10/100/1000
10/100
10/100
10/100
10/100
10/100
Internal Modem?
56k V.92
56k V.92
56k V.92
56k V.92
56k V.92
56k V.92
Wi-Fi Card?
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b/g)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Bluetooth
Card?
optional
Internal Card
optional
optional
optional
Internal Card
Hardware Extras
Canon i450 Color Bubble Jet Printer
--
USB travel mouse
USB keyboard
--
Epson Stylus C42UX
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
OS 9.2 (Classic);
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Professional
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Professional
Windows Support:
DOS/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)
Zero-Config Networking:
Rendezvous
--
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Handwriting Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Word Processor
--
MS Word XP
MS Word XP
MS Word XP
MSFT Works 7
--
Spreadsheet:
--
MS Excel XP
MS Excel XP
MSFT Works 7
MSFT Works 7
--
Presentation:
--
MS PowerPoint XP
--
--
--
--
Database:
--
MS Access XP
--
MSFT Works 7
MSFT Works 7
--
Drawing/ Painting:
Art Directors Toolkit
Graphic Converter
OmniGraffle
--
--
--
--
--
Calendar/PIM:
MS Outlook XP
MS Outlook XP
MSFT Works 7
MSFT Works 7
--
Planning/Project:
OmniOutliner
MS Publisher XP
--
--
--
--
Web Browser:
IE 5.2
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
IE 6
E-Mail/PIM:
OS X Mail
iCal, iSync
Address Book
MS Outlook XP
MS Outlook XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Media Player:
*free download
QuickTime 6
DVD Player
WMP 7*, RealOne*
Media Player 8, DVD Player
QuickTime 6*; RealOne*
Financial:
QuickBooks Pro 5
MS Money
MS Money
Quicken New Users
Money 2003
Money 2003
--
Reference:
--
--
MS Encarta
MS Encarta
Streets & Trips
Encarta 2003
--
Digital
Photography:
iPhoto 2
Graphic Converter
Image Expert
--
Picture It!
Photoshop Elements 2
SmartCapture
Sony PictureGear
--
Digital Video
Editing:
iMovie 3
MS MovieMaker 2
--
MovieMaker 2
Sony MovieShaker
Sony DVgate
Premiere LE
MovieMaker 2
Music:/
CD Burning:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch
EasyCD Creator
EasyCD Creator
EasyCD Creator
SonicStage
Screenblast Acid
Unknown (?)
DVD Burning/
Authoring:
iDVD 3
Disc Burner
unknown (?)
--
EasyCD Creator
Click To DVD
Unknown (?)
Games
Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Age of Empires,
Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional
Software
Included
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free Services:
1 month Earthlink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 year AOL
--
--
Viruses/
Security:
Firewall:
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
1 yr. phone
3 yrs ltd./at-home
3 yrs. phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
1 yrs. phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
Quality of
Products/Service:
Consumer Affairs
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
Fair
Easy
Fair
Poor
Customization?
Some
Full
Some
Some
Little
None
Subotal:
$2,698
$2,913
$2,665
$2,604
$2,629
$2,595
- Rebate if any:
- $99 printer rebate
- $300 system rebate
- $100 system rebate
--
-$49 printer rebate
--
+ Ground
Shipping:
n/c
n/c (ltd. time)
$50
n/c
$8
$10
Total Price
as configured:
(tax not included)
$2,599
$2,613
$2,615
$2,604
$2,588
$2,605

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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