What’s the ultimate new Mac? A MacBook or Pro, a MacPro with 30-inch display, an iMac or a Mac mini? Here’s the new Mac360 Value King.
Since value is in the eye of the beholder, our standard YMMV* applies. What’s the best value in a new Intel Mac?
Value carries a healthy list of definitions and a longer list of application in day-to-day use.
The dictionary defines value variably as, “the material or monetary worth of something”. It also stretches that to include, “the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for.”
The definition list provides another which fits the Value King of Macs scenario: “the usefulness of something considered in respect of a particular purpose.”
Add it all up and the new Mac Value King would have to be affordable, but powerful. Attractive yet efficient in design.
This Mac should also be able to leap tall buildings in single bound, change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel… well, you get the idea.
When doing a little Apple Store research, it was easy to jump on the new MacPro models.
Even Dell can’t beat the MacPro, feature for feature. So, low price means better value, right?
Tricking out a MacPro also means the price tag goes through the roof.
How about the other end of the scale? Can we trick out a Mac mini and call that the Value King?
Even a low end Mac mini, at $599, is a powerful little beast with Intel’s new Core Duo chips. Pure value? I think not.
For instance, you still need a keyboard and mouse and a display. Let’s further define value as that sweet spot between price, power, capability, et al.
Adding the extra items from Apple puts the low end Mac mini at a higher price point than the low end iMac; arguably a much better value at a lower price.
If it’s not the high end Mac Pro models which are cheaper than comparable Dell’s, and it’s not the low end Mac mini, what’s left?
The process of elimination brings us to the notebook and desktop line. MacBook and MacBook Pro vs. the iMacs.
If portability is a requirement, then any of Apple’s notebooks (remember, we can’t call them laptops anymore) win the day.
They’re fast, capable, powerful, durable, attractive, but not the cheapest laptops, uh, notebooks you can find.
Therefore, the Mac360 Value King is the new Core 2 Duo iMacs; specifically, we’re dubbing the 24-inch iMac as the cat’s pajamas.
Why? Why not the low end iMac. It’s a great value with 20-inch screen, Core 2 Duo CPU, keyboard, mouse, graphics, SATA hard drive, CD/DVD, Airport Extreme.
What’s it missing? The low end iMac misses the future, doesn’t have the extra ooomph of the higher end iMacs, and the power needed for, well, the future.
In contrast, an extra few hundred dollars gets you the absolute high end of the iMac line.
That’s a huge 24-inch display, built-in iSight camera, double the RAM, double the hard drive, double the L2 cache, the Apple Remote, Bluetooth, and better graphics.
That 1920×1200 pixel resolution widescreen LCD is to die for.
If all you’re doing is Safari and Mail, a little iPhoto and iTunes, and some basic Microsoft Office, you’ll be happy with the low end iMac.
Value also requires a statement, and the 20-inch iMac doesn’t state much—other than cheap, uh, well, maybe less expensive.
The 24-inch iMac makes a statement and does it at an affordable and competitive price point. There’s also upgrade capability that does not exist with the low end model.
Faster CPU, more RAM, blah, blah, blah. Cheaper isn’t always the best value.
The low end iMac is arguably a much better value than the low end Mac mini, what with the Core 2 Duo CPU, 17-inch display, larger hard drive, and so on.
The 24-inch iMac is the value statement. It’s tough to find a better, more attractive, more powerful, more capable, more elegant statement, than the high end iMac.
The $1,799 price tag may not seem like bargain basement, but value doesn’t always attach itself to the lowest price. Ask any Dell user.
The new iMac is a value bargain in the order of the MacPro, but everything you need comes in a single package, with a single, very competitive price tag.
Peter Lewis of CNN Money compares the iMac with a Dell, and says “you’ll get more for your money with Apple.”
What really pushed the iMac to the level of Value King was performance. Macworld compares the iMac to the MacPro.
Unless you’re a hog for that last couple of percent of increased horsepower, the 24-inch iMac is the darling machine of 2006. It’s the Value King.
*YMMV – Your mileage may vary.