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What is the Best Apple Desktop Computer To Buy in 2011?

Best Price on Apple Mac Mini

The Cheapest Apple Desktop Computer Might be the Best Desktop from Apple in 2011

It’s October 2011 as I write this, and this will probably change over time as new computer models could be released before the year’s end and  in time to take advantage of Christmas 2011 sales on computers, there’s a good chance that the computers for sale in 2011 have already been released.

The Best Apple Desktop Computer for 2011. 

Earlier this year, when I made this list I would have said that an Apple MacBook Pro or even the Apple iMac would  have been perfect choices for Apple Computers. We haven’t seen a new Mac Pro Model this year at all from Apple so  we can scratch that off the list as it’s my opinion that the 2010 Mac Pros should be discontinued or at least have received a refresh to the lineup  this year.

Before the Apple event yesterday announcing the iPhone 4s, I had hoped  that Apple would bump up  the Mac Pro lineup with new models, but now that the cat’s out of the bag we know that Apple is concentrating on phones and and iPods in time for the holiday season. A smart move, professionally, but personally I would have liked to see to see a new Mac Pro under my tree this year.

The cheapest Apple Mac might be your best bet for an Apple Desktop computer to buy in 2011, with the 2nd place going to the Apple iMac. A Mac Mini and external monitor may not be as elegant as the Apple iMac with it’s all in one design but it’s possible  you can buy a 21 inch desktop computer cheaper than if you were to opt for the  all in one  Apple iMac Design

Let’s Compare Apple Desktops

The cheapest Apple iMac you can get into is the Apple iMac 21.5 inch model at $1125.00 or so from Amazon. The cheapo iMac features a 2.5 GHz Intel i5 Processor, 500GB of hard drive space and 4GB of RAM.

The cheapest Apple computer you can buy, period is the Apple Mac Mini at about $568 from Amazon at time of writing. That’s close to half price of the iMac. The specs for the Apple Mac Mini are 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

You can’t bump the processor speed on the Mac Mini, so based purely on processor speed the Apple iMac wins. But we’re talking .2GHz of speed differences between the two and at double the price of the Mac Mini (without the needed accessories like monitor and keyboard) you have to ask yourself is the Apple iMac worth it?

Yes, the iMac features a LCD display the Mac Mini does not have, and a keyboard and mouse are included in the box as well but all of these items can be bought as well as the display.  The ram is a little lighter on the stock Mac Mini too,  so that needs to be rectified, but 8GB of RAM is so cheap today you should  upgrade the ram regardless of what mac you decide to buy.

Total for a Mac Mini with accessories:

Apple Mac Mini: $568.00

Apple Keyboard: $69.00

Apple Magic Mouse: $69.00

21.5 inch Acer Display: $109.00

This gives us a bluetooth mouse and keyboard that are wireless and I chose the best selling 21.5 inch display for this example that’s pretty cheap too, at just over $100. The display may be the deciding factor here. Unless you do a side by side comparison of the two monitors there’s no way to tell which LCD display is preferable, so I went with the cheapest 21.5 inch monitor I could find.

The Total Cost for a Mac Mini and Accessories based on my calculations above comes to $815.00.

Compared to the cheapest iMac Price of $1125, you save a touch over $300 if you buy the Mac Mini over the iMac.

The Pros of the Apple iMac include more ram and a cable free all in one footprint. No monitor cables. The Cons of the Apple iMac is the price. If you’re looking to buy the cheapest Apple computer desktop package then the example above gets you into a current 2011 Apple desktop for under $1000. Well under, in fact.

I’m in the market for a new Desktop Mac and I’m leaning towards the Mac Mini as my next Mac as the speed of the computer matters less and less to me as the computer is waiting for me most of the time now and with the extra savings I could get into a bigger LCD display giving me more screen space, and for the computing I tend to do that’s a bigger deal than having the fastest Apple Computer in 2011.

There’s also the fact that the Mac Mini setup is considerably cheaper than an iMac. $300 buys me a new iPod or gets me close to an iPad or tablet device than if I had bought the Mac Mini. I can live with a cable or two on my desktop for a $300 savings overall.

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