updated 07:10 pm EDT, Tue October 3, 2006
Sony, MSI challenge iMac
Computer manufacturers are taking aim at Apple's newest line of iMac desktops with a series of similar looking desktops--some call knockoffs--offering more advanced options such as Blu-Ray support or more features. Today at CEATEC, Sony Japan introduced an iMac-styled updated VAIO L series of desktops that challenges Apple's newest Core 2 Duo iMac models, according to Electronista: The new L is the first all-in-one PC to receive an optional Blu-Ray drive, giving it the ability to author and play next-generation movies as an alternative to watching TV using the included built-in tuner. Sony also upped the ante by offering build-to-order options--right now available in Japan only--for a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo mobile processor and either GeForce Go 7400 or 7600 GPU, costing nearly $3060 (fully-equipped).
Meanwhile, the newly-unveiled Crystal 945 by MSI is yet another computer manufacturer all-in-one computer to directly implement the iMac's balancing computer design: an integrated 17-inch screen and internal components pivot on the tip of an angled metal stand which includes a slot for cable management and shares the iMac's use of a minimalist silver and white enclosure. Electronista notes that MSI has had to make multiple sacrifices to achieve a similar style, offering the older dual-core Pentium 4 and a thicker enclosure with extensive vent grilles on the back. However, it also features a PC Card slot, 7-in-1 card reader and a removable 2.5-inch hard drive. MSI's desktop is now shipping and pricing is expected to be near $1000, although details were not provided.