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Visit Charle Gaba's new System Shootout site for the latest shootouts!

Desktop Shootouts
(U.S. $):
Apple Desktop Lineup
Laptop Shootouts
(coming soon!)
Apple Laptop Lineup

Systems Configured: 5/06/03
directly from Apple & Dells' EDUCATIONAL online stores

Read the AAPLTalk System Shootout FAQ
All images and logos are copyright to the respective companies listed.

Attention Educational Computer Decision-Makers!
Visit Web sites by John Droz and Kern Trembath
for more information.

Apple eMac
Dell Dimension 2350
$699 as configured
$728 as configured
All-in-one; built-in handle
Black/silver minitower + CRT
Ease of set-up:
4 cords/cables
about a dozen cords/cables; color-coded
50 lbs. total
59 lbs. total
Component Access:
quick access to wireless/RAM slots/Serial #
Thumbscrews for easy component accessibility
(open debate on whether school computers should be wide-open for easy upgrades or semi-sealed to prevent student tampering)
Deskspace Used:
270 sq. in. total
383 sq. in. total
Noise Volume:
Virtually silent (Ultraquiet fan)
Standard cooling fan noise
Energy Use:
170 watts continuous (appx. $20/yr)
330 watts continuous (appx. $40/yr)
800 MHz PowerPC G4
1.2 GHz Pentium 4
2.0 GHz Intel Celeron
1.4 GHz Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
L2 Cache:
256k on-chip
128k on-chip
Memory Type:
Frontside Bus:
133 MHz
400 MHz
RAM Included:
128 MB (1 DIMM)
128 MB (1 DIMM)
Max. RAM:
1.0 GB (2 slots)
1.0 GB (2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
30 GB
Hard Drive Type
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
Floppy Drive:
Ext. USB/Firewire Zip/floppy drives avail.
no floppy drive included as configured
(open debate on whether floppy drives are still useful for outdated school media or are a liability since they allow one more way to infect computers with viruses, etc.)
Other Drive:
PCI/AGP Slots:
0 available / 1 total + 1 Wi-Fi slot available
3 PCI available / 3 total
Internal Bays:
0 available / 1 total
0 available / 1 total
External Bays:
1 optical drive bay filled
1 optical drive bay available (2 total)
Mouse Included:
Ambidext. USB optical mouse
PS/2 2-button scroll mouse
(open debate on whether a single-button is better for children since it's easier to learn for lefties, vs. 2-button wheel being better for contextual menus, etc. Slight edge goes to 2-button here)
Keyboard Included:
USB Keyboard
(vol./mute/eject keys+2 USB ports)
standard PS/2 keyboard
USB Ports:
5 USB 1.1 ports (2 on keyboard)
6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on front)
FireWire Ports:
2 on-board ports (400 Mbps)
Other Ports:
1 ser., 1 par., 2 PS/2
Graphics Card:
ATI Radeon 7500
Integrated Intel 3D Graphics
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR-SDRAM (dedicated)
"up to" 32 MB (shared)
VGA Out:
Mirroring via optional adapter
Yes (no mirroring or spanning)
S-Video Out:
optional adapter
optional PCI card
optional adapter
optional PCI card
DVI Out:
Display Included:
integrated 17" (16" viewable) flat-screen CRT
17" (16" viewable) flat-screen CRT
Native Disp. Res.:
Audio In:
Built-in microphone; audio-in; digital-audio
audio-in; digital-audio
Audio Out:
headphone jacks; audio-out; digital audio
headphone jack; audio-out; digital audio
Speakers Inc.:
integrated H-K stereo speakers
none included
10/100 Ethernet:
10/100 Base-T Ethernet (integrated)
10/100 Base-T Ethernet (integrated)
56k Int. Modem:
no modem included
no modem included
802.11b Airport
Internal 802.11g card slot; Integ. antennae;
External USB 802.11b adapter available.
Wireless Network:
Built-in 802.11g access point (req. opt. card)
optional 3rd-party Bluetooth cards available
optional 3rd-party Bluetooth cards available
Hardware Extras:
Included OS:
OS X 10.2; OS 9.2 (dual-boot); BSD Unix;
Apache web server, Rendezvous networking;
System-wide PDF support (any file)
MSFT Windows XP Professional
Windows Supp.:
DOS/Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP via opt. VPC
DOS/Win 95/98/ME/2000/XP native
Linux OS Supp.:
Various flavors supported natively
Various flavors supported natively
Word Processor:
AppleWorks 6.2 (Word Compatible)
AppleWorks 6.2 (Excel compatible)
AppleWorks 6.2
AppleWorks 6.2
AppleWorks 6.2
Address Book; iCal; iSync; OS X Mail; iChat
Outlook Express
World Book Encyclopedia 2003 OS X
Digital Photo:
iPhoto 2
Dell Picture Studio/Image Expert Std.
Digital Video Edit:
iMovie 3
MSFT MovieMaker 2
Music/CD Burn:
iTunes 4; Disc Burner; Sound Studio
MusicMatch / --
DVD Burn/Author:
Disc Burner
Games Included:
Chess; Otto Matic; Deimos Rising (?)
Solitaire, Minesweeper
Other Software:
QuickTime 6; DVD Player; MSFT IE; Safari; Earthlink; AOL; Acrobat Reader
Hardware Test CD;
Other assorted additional software bundled.
Windows Media Player 8; DVD Player; MS IE 6.0; MSN 8;
Other assorted additional software bundled.
1 Month Free Earthlink; 90 Day .Mac Trial
6 months free Earthlink (requires modem)
almost NO known viruses
(60,000+ for Windows)
60,000+ known viruses
Built-in Firewall; not vulnerable to IIS DDoS
built-in firewall
1 yr. Ltd.; 90 d. phone support
3 yr. Ltd.; 3 yr. phone; 3 yr. on-site
3 yr. AppleCare available for $119
Product Quality
& Service:
Exemplary "Good Guys"
Banished to the "Rogues Gallery"
Total Price:
$699 as configured
$728 as configured

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, and has brought them to TMO. Charles is the creative talent behind Brainwrap Web Design.

AAPLTalk System Shootouts Archives

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