Shocking as this news may be, not everybody uses a Mac (*raises hand*). For those of us not drinking the Cupertino Kool-Aid, here are five solid alternatives to the new products from today's Apple announcement.
The Series 9 is like the MBA, just slightly bigger. Unfortunately that includes the price as well. For $2499, you get a 1kg 11.6-inch laptop with 2GB of memory and only a 64GB SSD. The other smaller thing about Series 9? Its processing speed: 1.33GHz vs the MBA's 1.6GHz. $2499 in Australia.
In terms of performance for price, the R830 series gives you more value. It has a minimum 2.3GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to triple the available standard HD in the last iteration of the MacBook (before, you know, Apple killed it and all). $1782
Sure the Mini isn't technically designed as an HTPC but some of its best work is done as a home theater-serving hockey puck. The Dell Zino does essentially the same job, albeit as two stacked hockey pucks. It's got the same basic stats as the Mini, 2.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, but the Zino is double the height in order to make room for the tray-loading CD/DVD/Blu-ray combo drive. On the other hand, at $599, the Zino is a hundred bucks cheaper than the Mac Mini. $599.
Thunderbolt has a data transfer speed of 10Gb/s. USB 3.0 has a maximum data transfer speed of 5Gb/s. It's half, but available on things that don't start with Mac. What more do you want? (Image courtesy of Maximum PC) Price depends on what it's attached to.
The Thunderbolt display's 27-inch viewing area with 2560x1440 LED-backlit resolution and ability to daisy-chain peripherals is just brilliant. But if you don't really give a shit about stringing your hard drives to your monitors (or you only have one of each and are already connected through your computer) then you'll want to check out the Dell UltraSharp U2711. It has a 2560x1440 resolution 27-inch display with 80,000-to-1 contrast ratio. And it's $300 less. $799.
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