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Newsletter #348 Preview: The Mac Hardware Report: What About a Cheap Minitower?

On the surface, Apple has a fairly complete line of products. If you want a relatively inexpensive note-book, for example, you spring for the MacBook, although some might not consider it so cheap. The MacBook Pro covers the rest of the line, but there are some who might crave for the really thin and light note-books that come, say, with the Sony label on them.

When it comes to a professional desktop, right now the choice is to spend a lot of money, or compromise. And, yes, today, two thousand dollars is a hefty figure to ask of a customer to pay when they see all those ads about cheap PC boxes from Dell for just $399.

Of course, there are all those comparisons that demonstrate that the Mac and the PC are similarly priced when you assemble all the appropriate options on the latter to match the former. And there’s certainly evidence that Dell wants to move you quickly up the line so its profit margins will increase. Things aren’t so go at Dell these days.

But the real issue here is what the customer actually wants and needs. The Power Mac can be overkill for many, but it has its good points, such as the fairly easy expandability. Unless Apple pulls a real surprise, the successor, which will probably be dubbed Mac Pro, will be little different in terms of the basic form factor and pricing.

But what about something that lies between the Mac mini and today’s top-of-the-line desktop? Is Apple missing a golden opportunity here?

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.