Here’s some head-to-head research on the new Mac I’d love to buy myself. (I have a dream, and it’s a simple one: One Machine To Rule Them All. One machine, two monitors, two operating systems. No multiple machines on my desktop, with 3X the cabling, power supplies, keyboards, etc. etc. In this dream, I’m able to run all the apps in Windows on one screen, and all my Mac apps on the other. In full, 1280dpi or larger glory.) Here’s my wishlist:

  • Support for two monitors (non mirroring), with one at least at 1280x 1024
  • DVI output
  • Dual-bootable OSX/Microsoft
  • Portability
  • 2Gb of RAM (preferably cheap)
  • At least 100 GB of hard drive space
  • iSight camera built-in
  • Firewire and USB ports (preferably FW800 and USB 2.0)
  MacBook IMac 20” Mac Mini IMac 17”
Speed 2 Ghz 2 Ghz 1.66 Ghz 1.83 Ghz
Price (at max config) $2049 $1999 $1224 $1674
Base Monitor Size 1280 x 800 1680×1050 None 1440×900
Dual Monitors Yes Yes No Yes
Portability Yes No Yes No
2GB of RAM $500 (apple) $300 (apple) $300 (apple) $300 (apple)
Hard Drive space $200 120GB 250 GB $125 120GB 250 ($75 apple)
Dual-booting Yes Yes Yes Yes
iSight Built-in Built-in No Built-in
Firewire ports 1 FW400 2 FW400 1 FW 400 1 FW 400
USB 2.0 2 USB 2.0 3 USB 2.0 4 USB 2.0 3 USB 2.0
  5 8 5 5

I had no idea until today that the new iMacs support dual monitors. That alone is worth the price of admission. Plus, twice the hard drive for almost half the money, two FireWire ports, built-in iSight, and cheaper RAM sell me on the deal. Portability? Well, I’ll just fall back on the iBook. And with the impending change in my hosting plans, I’ll merge over to IMAP mail service, which means threaded mail on multiple machines so I don’t need to worry about synchronizing.

The winner: the 20″ iMac by three lengths.

Date posted: August 24, 2006 | Filed under art/design | Comments Off on Do The Numbers.

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