“Apple has a penchant for building attractive, functional, and relatively easy to use systems. So when the ineffably cute Mac Mini made the scene last week, the tech press gushed over it… The Mac Mini is certainly cheap – for a Macintosh. But for your $499, you get a system with a 40GB hard drive, 256MB of DDR333 memory and an ATI Radeon 9200 with an execrable 32MB of video memory,” Loyd Case writes for Extremetech. “The only reason you even get a 9200 is that Apple’s chipsets lack integrated video. Some would say that’s a good thing for gamers, but the minimalist 32MB of frame buffer belies that. Did I mention there’s no keyboard, mouse, or display?”
Case writes, “So I feel compelled to point out that for $399, you can get a Dell 2400 with a 2.4GHz Celeron, 256MB of RAM, 40GB hard drive, 17-inch CRT and a keyboard and mouse? And that does include Windows XP Home Edition. Gateway has something similar, except it comes with an 80GB hard drive and speakers – although that $399 is a post-$100 rebate price.”
“Now, there are lots of reasons to like Apple. MacOS 10.3 is a great operating system. Apple’s designs are certainly far easier on the eye than Dell’s mini-towers. And the G5 is a great processor… but, oops, the Mac Mini ships with a G4. So let’s not get too carried away about the ‘cheap’ Macintosh. It’s cheap relative to past Apple systems, but you can still get a complete Wintel system for considerably less,” Case writes. “Personally, I think the Mac Mini is cool, and I hope Apple sells a boatload of them on its own merits. It’s sleek, slick, and ships with MacOS 10.3. But don’t buy one as a cheap alternative for grandma. Buy one for yourself, because it’s a nifty computer. I just wish Apple would sell the system on its own merits, rather than play some kind of artificial shell game with prices.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The G4 is also a great processor and certainly compares well to the processors found in the Dell and Gateway boxes that Case mentions. Case complains about Apple playing “an artificial shell game,” but is Apple’s idea that Windows switchers already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse anywhere near the shell game that Dell and Gateway are playing with the very systems Case highlights? And how much is the piece of mind running a Mac OS X machine that’s connected to the Internet worth to users compared with the Windows virus, worm, and malware epidemics that users would face if they chose the Dell or Gateway machines?