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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 DVD, CD-RW, Wi-Fi Card and either:
15.7"+ display or
15" Display w/ 1600x1200 res.

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 $3,300 INCLUDING SHIPPING!
Company
Apple
Dell
HP/Compaq
Gateway
Sony
Toshiba
BOLD
= Best of Field
No Desktop Replacements Available;
16" models discontinued?
17" PowerBook G4
Inspirion 8200
n/a
600XL
GRX600 Series
Satellite 1955-S803
Dimensions:
157 cubic in.
15.4" x 10.2" x 1.0"
246 cubic in.
1.75" x13.0" x12.8"
n/a
285 cubic in.
13.9" x 11.4" x 1.8"
290 cubic in.
1.8" X 14" X 11.5"
386 cubic in.
13.6"x12.9"x2.2"
Weight:
(all bays filled)
6.8 lbs
7.9 lbs
n/a
8.7 lbs
8.4 lbs.
9.6 lbs
Battery Life:
up to 4.5 hrs.
up to 3 hrs.
n/a
up to 2.5 hrs (?)
up to 4.5 hrs.
up to 2.5 hrs.
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.5 GHz P4
1.0 GHz PowerPC G4
2.2 GHz
2.2 GHz M Pent. 4
n/a
2.2 GHz
2.2 GHz M Pent. 4
2.0 GHz
1.9 GHz M Pentium 4
2.5 GHz
2.5 GHz Pent. 4
L1 Cache:
64k
32k
n/a
32k
32k
32k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
n/a
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
512K on-chip
L3 Cache:
1 MB DDR
--
n/a
--
--
--
Memory Type:
DDR PC2700
DDR PC2100
n/a
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
DDR PC2100
Frontside Bus:
167 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
n/a
400 MHz bus
400 MHz
400 MHz
Memory Amount:
512 MB (1 DIMM)
512 MB (1 DIMM)
n/a
512 MB (1 DIMM)
1.0 GB (2 DIMM)
1.0 GB (2 DIMM)
Max RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
n/a
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
60 GB
60 GB
n/a
60 GB
60 GB
60 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100
n/a
Ultra ATA 100 (?)
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 100 (?)
Hard Drive Speed:
4200 rpm
4200 rpm
n/a
4200 rpm (?)
4200 rpm
4200 rpm (?)
CD-Rom:
24x
24x
n/a
24x
24x
24x
CD-RW:
8x4x CD-RW
24x10x CD-RW
n/a
24x10x CD-RW
16x10x CD-RW
8x8x CD-RW (?)
DVD-Rom:
6x
8x
n/a
8x
8x
8x (?)
DVD-/+RW:
2x1x DVD-RW
(can burn w/out being plugged in)
--
n/a
--
4x1x DVD-RW
(must be plugged in to burn)
(not available w/16" models!)
Floppy Drive:
No
No
n/a
Yes
No
Yes
Zip/Other Drive:
--
--
n/a
--
Memory stick
--
PC Card Slots:
1 + 1 802.11g slot
Yes
n/a
Yes
Yes
Yes
Type of Bays:
Fixed
Swappable
n/a
Swappable
Swappable
Swappable
USB Ports:
2 USB 1.1 ports
2 USB 1.1 ports
n/a
2 USB 1.1 ports
3 USB 1.1 ports
3 USB 1.1 ports
Firewire Ports:
1 port x 400 Mbps
1 port x 800 Mbps
1 port x 400 Mbps
n/a
1 port x 400 Mbps
1 port x 400 Mbps
1 port x 400 Mbps
Legacy Ports:
--
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
n/a
1 Par, 1 Ser, 1 PS/2
1 Par.
1 Par.
Graphics Card:
Rating Notes
nVIDIA
GeForce 440 Go
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
n/a
ATI Mobility
Radeon 9000
ATI Mobility
Radeon 7500
nVIDIA
GeForce4 420 Go
Video RAM:
64 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
n/a
64 MB DDR
32 MB DDR
64 MB DDR
Dual-Display Support?
Mirror & Span
Mirror & Span
n/a
Mirror & Span
Mirror & Span
Mirror & Span
VGA Out:
Yes
Yes
n/a
Yes
Yes
Yes
DVI Out:
Yes
--
n/a
--
--
--
S-Video Out:
Yes
Yes
n/a
--
--
--
Composite Out:
Yes
Yes
--
Yes
Yes
Yes
Display:
17" TFT XGA
15" TFT UltraSharp
n/a
15.7" TFT SXGA
16.1" TFT UXGA
16" TFT SXGA
Native display resolution:
1440 x 900
1600x1200
n/a
1400x1050
1600x1200
1280x1024
Microphone:
Line-in port
Built-in microphone
Line-in port
Digital audio-ready
n/a
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
n/a
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Yes
Digital audio-ready
Stereo speakers:
Yes
Yes
n/a
Yes
Yes
Yes
10/100 Ethernet?
Yes
Yes
n/a
Yes
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet?
Yes
--
n/a
--
--
--
56k Internal Modem?
Yes
Yes
n/a
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wi-Fi Card Included?
Yes
802.11g / 54 Mbps
Yes
802.11b / 11 Mbps
n/a
Yes
802.11b / 11 Mbps
Yes
802.11b / 11 Mbps
Yes
802.11b / 11 Mbps
Bluetooth Card?
Yes (integrated)
--
n/a
--
--
Yes (add-on)
Hardware Extras Included:
--
--
n/a
--
Epson Stylus C42UX printer
wireless/detachable
keyboard & mouse
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2
(via Classic);
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Home Edition
n/a
Windows XP
Professional
Windows XP
Home Edition
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
n/a
Word XP
Word XP
Word XP
Save-as PDF:
Native (any file)
(requires 3rd-party app.)
Spreadsheet Software Included:
Excel X Trial
Excel XP
n/a
Excel XP
Excel XP
Excel XP
Presentation Software Included:
PowerPoint X Trial
--
n/a
PowerPoint XP
--
PowerPoint XP
Database Software Included:
FileMaker Pro 6 Trial
--
n/a
Access XP
--
Access XP
Drawing/Painting Software Included:
Art Directors Toolkit
Graphic Converter
PixelNhance
OmniGraffle
--
n/a
--
--
--
Handwriting Recognition:
Inkwell
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
iCal, iSync
Address Book
Entourage X Trial
Outlook XP
n/a
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
Planning/Project Software Included:
OmniOutliner
Publisher XP
n/a
Publisher XP
Publisher XP
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Internet Explorer 6
n/a
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail
OS X Address Book
Entourage X Trial
Outlook XP
n/a
Outlook XP
Outlook XP
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 5
New Users
Money 2002
n/a
Quicken New Users
Quicken New Users
Quicken 2001
Reference
Software Included:
--
--
n/a
--
--
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 2
Graphic Converter
Image Expert Premium
PaintShop Pro
n/a
--
Photoshop Elements 2
SmartCapture
Sony PictureGear
--
Digital Video
Editing:
iMovie 3
Roxio Movie Creator
n/a
MovieMaker 2
Sony MovieShaker
Sony DVgate
Premiere LE
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
Roxio EasyCD
n/a
Roxio EasyCD
SonicStage
Screenblast Acid
Sound Forge
--
DVD Burning/
Authoring Software:
iDVD 3
Disc Burner
--
n/a
--
Click To DVD
--
Games
Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
n/a
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional
Software
Included
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
n/a
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Asstd. system software
Free ISP/
Other Services
1 month EarthLink
6 months Earthlink
n/a
1 year AOL
--
3 months AOL
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
50,000+ viruses
1-yr. McAfee VirusScan
50,000+ viruses
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
n/a
2 yrs. total./on-site
lifetime tech. supp.
1 yr. ltd./mail-in
90 days phone
3 yr. ltd./mail-in
3 yrs. phone
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
n/a
Navigation?
Easy
Easy
n/a
Easy
Fair
Poor
Customization Allowed?
Some
Full
n/a
Some
Little
None
Subotal:
(includes rebates, add-ons, etc.)
$3,299
$3,311
n/a
$3,246
$3,290
$3,301
+ Ground Shipping:
No Charge
n/c (ltd. time)
n/a
$50
No Charge (ltd. time)
$10
Total Price
as configured:
$3,299
tax not included
$3,311
tax not included
n/a
$3,296
tax not included
$3,290
tax not included
$3,311
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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