Surfing around some PC reviews, a couple of items caught my eye: a bit of hyperbole over Dell's new all-in-one XPS One desktop and then Apple's latest banner ad attack on PC all-in-ones.
Dell is crowing over a recent upbeat PC magazine review of its XPS One model.
Just when you thought that nothing could top the Apple iMac, the Dell XPS One has you thinking twice.
Dell names the XPS One SKUs for market segments: the Essential One (meaning cheap), the Music One, the Performance One and the Entertainment One. They span $1,499 to $2,399 and all come with a 20-inch display.
Come on! There's no comparison between the industrial design of the new iMac lines and the XPS One. Just look at the two of them. The Dell machine is a monitor with speakers stuck on the side and with a goofy pedestal base.
By my account, all of the recently announced PC all-in-ones have the same trouble when compared with the Apple alternative.
The Gateway One has a bold, spare appearance from its Flash promotion. Still, the screen is only 19 inches and provides 1400-by-900-pixel resolution. And the model remains in preorder status (I thought it was coming out last month).
Hewlett-Packard's TouchSmart IQ770 is so retro, it's amazing (and not in a good way). I thought I was looking at a portable from the late 1980s. At least it doesn't have a "one" in its name.
In the specs department, the 20-inch iMacs and the Dell XPS Ones look comparable. However, the 24-inch iMacs are faster, have more resolution, and then there's that way-bigger screen.
Increasingly, I catch a sight of iMacs in business environments and not just in the style-conscious settings you would expect them, such as the San Francisco art galleries I toured last month. When I took one of my cats to the veterinarian a couple of weeks ago, the office sported a network of new iMacs.
As a longtime Mac user, I find the inclusion of a Mac in a PC review interesting. While the Mac can run Window applications natively and is now compared with PCs, the comparison is all about the specs of a hardware platform. It's as if the Mac was a PC. This couldn't be done easily when Macs used PowerPC chips.
However, in those days there weren't all the Windows switchers that we see today.
But the big differentiator is that the iMac is a Macintosh and it can run the Mac OS X. That's the big bonus, whatever the hardware specs. It's not a PC. Okay, it can run Windows, if you want it to. This multi-OS capability doesn't seem to be a standard component of PC reviews and doubt that it ever will be. For the most part, the PC community doesn't want to bring up the subject of switching.
Apple on the other hand is all about switching.
At the top of the review was the funny new Apple banner ad about Vista. It said: "Don't Give Up On Vista!" Then text becomes animated, like an outdoor sign with light bulbs, and the words "Give Up" are highlighted. It's an extension of one of Apple's new television ads.
I notice that this video campaign or the new banner ad is now placed against content relating to PC all-in-ones on many sites. Apple is confronting PC customers with its switcher pitch whether or not the content on the page mentions the iMac.
This could Apple's most aggressive push into the PC market in a while and it's helped by the lackluster industrial stylings of the PC all-in-ones.