“Apple is making applesauce out of the old canard that Macs are a lot more expensive than Windows computers,” Peter Lewis reports for Fortune.

“Now that Macintoshes use the same Intel processors found in higher-end Windows machines, and can even run Windows XP and Windows applications, the old ‘you can’t compare apples and oranges’ argument shrivels. In August, when it unveiled its new Mac Pro computers, Apple boasted that the high-end desktop machine actually cost nearly a thousand dollars less than a comparably equipped Dell Precision workstation,” Lewis reports. “One can quibble with the fairness of the comparison, but no matter how you sliced it, the Dell machine was hundreds of bucks more expensive than the Mac Pro.”

“Will the same hold true for Dell’s consumer computers? It certainly looks that way, with a new $999 price point for a 17-inch iMac. Sure, you can get a PC and monitor for less money, but not with anything close to the power and multimedia features and software and ease of use of the iMac,” Lewis reports.

“At the high end, the new Intel Core 2 Duo 24-inch iMac introduced last week is theoretically a consumer machine, although I suspect it will catch the attention of many graphic designers and other digital media mavens,” Lewis reports. “So let’s put ‘apples and oranges’ to the test, and compare the new 24-inch iMac to a Dell XPS 410 media PC.”

Lewis configured the two machines as closely as he could and found that the iMac is $70 more expensive than the XPS 410. “Is the Mac arguably $70 more valuable? It depends on how much value you place on the iMac’s appealing space-saving, one-piece design, on the more advanced and more secure operating system, and on the broad collection of Apple software that comes with the machine,” Lewis reports. “In my view, the extra $70 represents one of the best bargains in the PC world… There have always been lots of reasons to buy a Macintosh computer, but now there is no longer a reason not to buy one.”

Full article here.

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