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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: 1/8/03 - 1/16/03
Must Include: 12.1" Display, DVD, CD-RW; must weigh under 5 lbs.

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

Total must be within $25 of $1,800
INCLUDING SHIPPING!
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Toshiba
BOLD
= Best of Field
NO ULTRAPORTS
AVAILABLE
(smallest are 13.3" / 6.5 lbs)
NO ULTRAPORTS
AVAILABLE FOR
UNDER $1,970
W/SHIPPING
12" PowerBook G4
Lattitude X200
(variance allowed)
(variances too great)
(variances too great)
R505 SuperSlim Pro
(variance allowed)
Portege 4010
(variances allowed)
Dimensions:
112 cubic in.
10.9" x 8.6" x 1.2"
76 (152*) cubic in.
10.7" x 8.9" x 0.8"
*with external drive
n/a
n/a
138 cubic In
11.0" x 9.4" x 1.33*
(*w/dock station)
125 cubic in.
1.2" x 10.6" x 9.8"
Weight:
(all bays filled; full system)
4.6 lbs
4.5 lbs.* (?)
*with external drive
n/a
n/a
6.7 lbs*
(w/ dock station;
variance allowed)
4.2 lbs
Battery Life:
up to 5 hrs.
up to 3 hrs. (?)
n/a
n/a
up to 4.5 hrs.
up to 3.9 hrs.
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.3 GHz P4
867 MHz PPC G4
900 MHz P4
800 MHz Pentium III-M
n/a
n/a
1.3 GHz P4
1.2 GHz Pentium III-M
933 MHz P4
933 MHz Pentium III-M
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
n/a
n/a
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
n/a
n/a
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Memory Type:
DDR PC2100
SDRAM PC133
n/a
n/a
SDRAM PC133
SDRAM PC133
Frontside Bus:
133 MHz bus
133 MHz bus
n/a
n/a
133 MHz bus
133 MHz bus
Memory Included:
256 MB (2 DIMM)
128 MB (1 DIMM)
n/a
n/a
512 MB (2 x 256)
128 MB (1 x 128) (?)
Max RAM:
640 MB (1+1 open)
640 MB (1+1 open)
n/a
n/a
512 MB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
30 GB
n/a
n/a
40 GB
20 GB (?)
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
n/a
n/a
Ultra ATA 100 (?)
Ultra ATA 100 (?)
Hard Drive Speed:
4200 RPM
4200 RPM
n/a
n/a
4200 RPM (?)
4200 RPM
CD-ROM:
24x CD
24x CD (external)
n/a
n/a
24x CD (dock)
24x CD
CD-RW:
24x10x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW (ext.)
n/a
n/a
16x10x CD-RW (dock)
-- (allowed)
DVD-ROM:
8x DVD
8x DVD (external)
n/a
n/a
8x DVD (dock)
8x DVD
DVD-RW:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Floppy Drive:
No
No
n/a
n/a
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
n/a
n/a
Memory stick
--
PC Card Slot?
802.11g Card Slot
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
Type of Bays:
Fixed
(n/a due to ext. drive)
n/a
n/a
Fixed
Swappable
USB Ports:
2 USB 1.1 ports
2 USB 1.1 ports
n/a
n/a
2 USB 1.1 ports
2 USB 1.1 ports
FireWire Ports:
1 400 Mbps port
1 400 Mbps port
n/a
n/a
1 400 Mbps port
1 400 Mbps port
Legacy Ports:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
NVIDIA
GeForce4 420 Go
Intel Integrated Graphics
n/a
n/a
ATI Mobility
Radeon 7500
Trident
CyberAlladin-T
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
up to 48 MB (shared)
n/a
n/a
up to 48 MB (shared)
16 MB
Dual-Display?
Mirror or Span
Mirror or Span (?)
n/a
n/a
Mirror or Span (?)
Mirror or Span
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
S-Video Out:
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
--
--
Composite Out:
Yes
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
DVI Out:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Display:
12.1" TFT XGA
12.1" TFT XGA
n/a
n/a
12.1" TFT XGA
12.1" TFT XGA
Native display resolution:
1024x768
1024x768
n/a
n/a
1024x768
1024x768
Microphone/
Line In:
Built-in microphone
Digital audio-ready
Line in port
Digital audio-ready
n/a
n/a
Line in port
Digital audio-ready
Line in port
Digital audio-ready
Headphone/
Audio Out:
Yes
Digital Audio-ready
Yes
Digital Audio-ready
n/a
n/a
Yes
Digital Audio-ready
Yes
Digital Audio-ready
Stereo Speakers:
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
10/100 Ethernet:
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
56k Internal Modem:
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
optional (802.11g)
optional (802.11b)
n/a
n/a
Yes (802.11b)
optional (802.11b)
Bluetooth Card?
Yes
optional
n/a
n/a
optional
optional
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
n/a
n/a
Epson C42UX
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2
(via Classic)
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
n/a
n/a
Windows XP
Professional
Windows XP
Professional
DOS/Windows Support:
DOS/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 (via emulation)
Linux OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
UNIX OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(Must be downloaded)
Zero-Config
Networking:
Rendezvous
--
Word Processor Included:
Word X trial
--
n/a
n/a
Word XP
--
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
Excel X trial
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Presentation Software Included:
PowerPoint X trial
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Database Software Included:
FileMaker Pro 6 trial
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
Art Directors' Toolkit
GraphicConverter
OmniGraffle
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Handwriting Recognition
Inkwell
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
Address Book/
iCal / iSync;
Entourage X trial
Outlook Express 6
n/a
n/a
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
Planning/Project Software Included:
OmniOutliner
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Internet Explorer 6
n/a
n/a
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail;
OS X Address Book
Entourage X trial
Outlook Express 6
n/a
n/a
Outlook Express 6
Outlook Express 6
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.
Financial Software Included:
QuickBooks Pro 5
New Users
--
n/a
n/a
Quicken New Users
--
Reference Software Included:
--
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
GraphicConverter
--
n/a
n/a
Photoshop Elements 2
Smart Capture
PictureGear
--
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 3
MovieMaker 2
n/a
n/a
Sony DVGate
Sony MovieShaker
Pico Player
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
Adaptec EasyCD
n/a
n/a
Sony SonicStage
ScreenBlast ACID
SoundForge
--
Games Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
n/a
n/a
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
n/a
n/a
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/
Other Services
1 month EarthLink
--
n/a
n/a
--
--
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
n/a
n/a
50,000+ known viruses
Norton AntiVirus
50,000+ known viruses
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Yes
n/a
n/a
Yes
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
3 yr. ltd./at-home
3 yr. phone
n/a
n/a
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
3 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
n/a
n/a
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
n/a
n/a
Fair
Poor
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
n/a
n/a
Some
None
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$1,799
$1,848
(lowest possible configurable price)
n/a
n/a
$1,799
$1,889
(lowest possible configurable price)
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
No Charge (ltd. time)
n/a
n/a
No Charge (ltd. time)
$10
Total Price
as configured:
$1,799
tax not included
$1,848
tax not included
n/a
n/a
$1,799
tax not included
$1,899
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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