IT Corral Shootout: Apple versus Microsoft

Just as Apple’s Snow Leopard hits the streets I just saw the Microsoft attack ad material – Apple 13.3″ MacBook 2Ghz procesor, 160GB Drive for $1200. $1200 when Walmart is offering on its website for $348 an Acer Aspire 11.6″ Netbook :

  • Operating System: Genuine Windows XP Home Edition
  • Processor: Intel Atom Processor Z520 [much less power than Apple]
  • Memory: 1GB DDR2 667 SDRAM [half the RAM of Apple]
  • Storage: 160GB hard drive
  • Display: 11.6″ WXGA (1366 x 768) [nearly Apple’s 13.3] LED backlight, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500 [again well short of Apples’ GPU]
  • Audio: Two integrated stereo speakers; Integrated digital microphone
  • Interface Ports: DC-in; RJ-45 LAN; VGA; Headphones/speakers/line-out; Microphone; Three USB 2.0
  • Card Slot: Multi-in-one card reader
  • Communications: Acer InviLink 802.11b/g wireless LAN, Acer SignalUp technology for enhanced antenna efficiency, WI-FI CERTIFIED; 10/100 LAN
  • Webcam: Acer Video Conference featuring integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam supporting enhanced Acer PrimaLite technology
  • User Interface: 84-key full-size Acer FineTip keyboard, inverted T cursor layout, embedded numeric keypad, hotkey controls, international language support; Multi-gesture touchpad with two buttons supporting circular-motion scrolling, pinch-action zoom, page flip
  • Dimensions & Weight: 11.2″ W x 7.8″ D x 1.0″ H; 3.0 lb. with six-cell battery, Color: Ruby Red
  • Power: 30-watt AC adapter; Six-cell – up to 7.0 hours life depending on configuration and usage

So where does the netbook PC win besides on price? Well four other crucial areas – 1)battery life is 6-8 hours versus 3-4 for the Apple; 2)weight is 3.0 pounds versus 4.6 for the Apple; 3) more compact in size; and  4)Windows XP gives access to a much wider array of programs and peripheral devices than Mac OS [the Apple comes with Leopard preloaded not the new Snow Leopard ]. Is lighter, longer battery life, more compact and less than 1/3 of the Apple  price going to connect with back-to-school goers? I suspect that Microsoft will be having attack ads making that connection.