- MacBook: The notebook of course, $1000USD 13inch entry
- Macbook Pro: A notebook with a graphics card that won’t make you want to shoot yourself, $2000 15 inch entry.
- Mac mini: (The 2ghz) No monitor, $800
- Mac Pro: PC-Desktop style, No monitor, $2,500.
Now I know what you are saying, “DUH! The iMac fits right in as the only Macintosh, with a monitor, that’s not a laptop, for $1,200. 20 inch screen, sleek design, all in one unit. You get a Radeon 2400 XT instead of the GMA950 in the Mini.” I admit, this looks like a good deal. Except that it’s not.
The iMac, because of it’s size uses notebook components such as drives, powersupply, and more than likely, logic board (motherboard in non-mac world). It’s not any more upgradeable, or usable.
If you are going to buy a notebook, why not actually get a notebook? For $800 more, you get the mobility of the MacBook Pro, equivalent graphics (which aren’t much to be had), 200 more mhz, and 1GB more memory. The only sacrifice you make is 5 inches diagonal: 20 to 15 inch display (and the res difference is small; comparing 1680×1050 to 1440×900).
So now you are saying you don’t have that extra $800 to spend? It’s not like those graphics are rocking so hard that you will tell a difference while playing WoW. The biggest improvement you’ll see in the iMac’s graphics chip over the Mac mini is that the Radeon 2400 supports DirectX 10. Oh, wait, this is OSX, not Vista, so you won’t even enjoy that advantage. Then, go buy a 20 inch LCD from newegg for just $200-$300. If money is the problem, you really aren’t going to see any more improvement from the 2Ghz mini over the 1.83Ghz, except that you might be sad that it’s not an even number.
$600 mini + $300 monitor = $900. That means you are spending $300 for the iMac at $1,200 just to get a Radeon 2400, which is worth about $75. $300 more to you on a $1,000 investment that won’t last you more than 4 years, either due to failure from notebook parts, or because it’s just not graphically capable from the start.
Don’t buy the new iMac. Cheap parts sold to you as gold because they make it look pretty. The only reason why you wouldn’t go with a MacBook, the Mini, or a different company, is because you think it looks cool.