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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 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 $2,800
INCLUDING SHIPPING!
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Toshiba
BOLD
= Best of Field
PowerBook G4
Inspirion 8200
Evo N1000c
600XL
VAIO GRX600 Series
Satellite Pro 6100 Series
Dimensions:
127 cubic in.
1" x 13.4" x 9.5"
246 cubic in.
1.75" x13.0" x12.8"
203 cubic in.
1.5 x 12.9 x 10.5
285 cubic in.
13.9" x 11.4" x 1.8"
290 cubic in.
1.8" X 14" X 11.5"
204 cubic in.
(12.9" x 11.3" x 1.4")
Weight:
(all bays filled)
5.4 lbs
7.9 lbs
7.1 lbs
8.7 lbs
8.4 lbs
6.8 lbs
Battery Life:
up to 5 hrs.
up to 3 hrs.
up to 3 hrs.
up to 2.5 hrs. (?)
up to 4.5 hrs.
up to 1.6 hrs.
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.5 GHz P4
1.0 GHz PowerPC G4
2.0 GHz
2.0 GHz M Pentium 4
1.8 GHz
1.8 GHz M Pent. 4
2.2 GHz
2.2 GHz M Pent. 4
2.0 GHz
2.0 GHz M Pentium 4
2.2 GHz
2.5 GHz Pent. 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
32k
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
1 MB DDR
--
--
--
--
--
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC133
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
133 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
400 MHz
400 MHz
Memory Amount:
512 GB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
768 MB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMM)
512 MB (2 DIMMs)
512 MB (1 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)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
60 GB
60 GB
40 GB
60 GB
60 GB
60 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
4200 RPM (?)
CD-ROM:
24x
24x
24x
24x
24x
24x
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
8x8x (?) CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW (?)
DVD-ROM:
6x
8x
8x
8x
8x
8x (?)
DVD-/+RW:
1x1x DVD-RW
(can burn w/out being plugged into AC outlet)
--
--
--
4x1x DVD-RW
(must be plugged in for burning)
4x1x DVD-RW (?)
(must be plugged in for burning)
Floppy Drive:
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
--
--
Memory stick
--
PC Card Slots:
1 + 1 802.11b slot
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Type of Bays:
Fixed
Swappable
Fixed
Swappable
Swappable
Swappable
USB Ports:
2
2
2
2
3
2
FireWire Ports:
1
1
1
1
1
--
Legacy Ports:
--
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
1 Par., 1 PS/2
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
1 Serial, 1 PS/2
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
ATI Mobility
Radeon 7500
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
ATI Mobility
Radeon 7500
NVIDIA
GeForce4 420 Go
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
32 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
--
--
--
Composite Out:
Yes
Yes
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
Display:
15.2" TFT XGA
15" TFT UltraSharp
15" TFT XGA
15.7" TFT SXGA
16.1" TFT UXGA
15" TFT UXGA
Max. display resolution:
1280x854
1600x1200
1024x768
1400x1050
1600x1200
1600x1200
Microphone:
Line-in port
Built-in microphone
Line-in port
Digital audio-ready
Line-in port
Built-in microphone
Line-in port
Digital audio-ready
Line-in port
Digital audio-ready
Line-in port
Digital audio-ready
Headphone/
Line Out:
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Stereo speakers:
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet?
Yes
--
--
--
--
--
56k Modem?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card?
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11b)
Yes (802.11a & b)
Bluetooth Card?
optional
optional
optional
optional
optional
optional
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
Spare battery
Travel mouse
--
Epson Stylus C42UX printer
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
OS 9.2 (Classic);
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Home Edition
Windows XP
Professional
Windows XP Professional
Windows/DOS 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 only (via emulation)
Linux OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Unix OS Support:
Various flavors (Native)
Java 2 Support:
Native
(must be downloaded)
Rendezvous Zero-Config Networking:
Yes
--
Word Processor Included:
Word X Trial
Word XP
--
Word XP
Word XP
Word XP
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
Excel X Trial
Excel XP
--
Excel XP
--
Excel XP
Presentation Software Included:
PowerPoint X Trial
--
--
--
--
PowerPoint XP
Database Software Included:
FileMaker Pro 6 Trial
--
--
--
--
Access XP
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
Art Directors Toolkit
Graphic Converter
OmniGraffle
--
--
--
--
--
Handwriting Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
iCal, iSync
OS X Address Book
Entourage X Trial
Outlook XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
Planning/Project Software Included:
OmniOutliner
Publisher XP
--
Publisher XP
--
Publisher XP
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Internet Explorer 6
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 XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
Outlook Express 6
Outlook XP
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
New Users
Money 2002
--
Quicken
New Users
Quicken New Users
Quicken 2001
Reference
Software Included:
--
--
--
--
--
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
Graphic Converter
Image Expert
--
--
Photoshop Elements 2
SmartCapture
Sony PictureGear
--
Digital Video
Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
--
MovieMaker 2
Sony MovieShaker
Sony DVgate
Premiere LE
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
Adaptec EasyCD
unknown (?)
Adaptec EasyCD
SonicStage
Screenblast Acid
Sound Forge
Unknown (?)
DVD Burning/
Authoring Software:
iDVD 3
Disc Burner
--
--
--
Click To DVD
Unknown (?)
Games
Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, 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 ISP/
Other Services
1 month EarthLink
6 months Earthlink
--
1 year AOL
--
3 months AOL
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
50,000+ viruses
Norton AntiVirus
Built-in Firewall?
Yes
Warranty:
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
3 yr. ltd./at-home
3 yr. phone
3 yrs ltd./mail-in
3 yrs. phone
3 yrs. ltd./mail-in
3 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 Allowed?
Some
Full
Some
Some
Little
None
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$2,799
$2,793
$2,790
$2,747
$2,780
$2,799
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
No Charge (ltd. time)
$20
$50
No Charge
$10
Total Price
as configured:
$2,799
tax not included
$2,793
tax not included
$2,810
tax not included
$2,797
tax not included
$2,780
tax not included
$2,809
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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