For many folks, the question is a new Windows 7 machine (I haven’t reviewed any of these yet) or get a Mac. Here are current recommendations. First, discounts are hard to come by, but Apple Insider offers 3% or so off. Also, there are sites that help with sales tax as well, but here are recommendations:
- iMacs. The new ones are nice, but ideally, if you can wait for the 27″ iMac with the new i5 or i7 quad core and then if you can stand it wait for the Blu-Ray option which was just pulled but should be there at some point. The only thing that is really missing is a Blu-Ray drives. The i5 is the 2.66GHz Quad Core while for $200 more you get the 2.8GHz i7 (probably not worth it, but good to know if you care, benchmarks show the i5 to be plenty fast) and for an additional $600, you get 2x4GB memory (probably third party is cheaper). The Blu Ray was pulled at the last minute so should return. If you are buying a really nice workstation class machine, why wouldn’t you future proof with that. Also, the quad core are real desktop chips which can be 2x faster than the mobile ones Apple has been using.
- MacBook Pro. There is a refresh coming again with the i5 and i7. It is coming 1Q2010 apparently or even this quarter maybe, but that is the screamer notebook. I’d vote for the amazing 15″ screen if you have good enough shoulders, otherwise get the 13″ as portable.
- MacBook. The best buy as a value leader is the $1000 MacBook, but if you can, wait for the new MacBook Pros which are waiting for the Intel tick-tock refresh, that is a major refresh of chipsets planned for 1Q 2010.
- Mac Mini. Most interesting unit here is the dual 500GB hard drive Mac Mini which makes a darn nice server.
A trio of sponsors have teamed up this month to offer AppleInsider readers savings of between $100 and $280 on Apple’s most popular Mac product offerings, including the brand new 21- and 27-inch iMacs, as well the newly redesigned white polycarbonate 13-inch MacBook.
The 27-inch iMac has all of the horsepower that I will need for the foreseeable future. The high-end Quad Core i7 Intel configuration with 16GB of RAM and ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics processor on that gorgeous 27-inch screen is as solid a computer as I can imagine. It also has most of the pixel screen area of a 30-inch display (2560×1440 for iMac vs. 2560×1600 for 30-inch SXGA) yet is smaller than a 30-inch display. Oh, and you get a freakishly fast computer in there as well. In fact, the base model 27-inch iMac is $100 less than an Apple 30-inch cinema display.