Apparently Psystar isn’t content to sit back and rest on their laurels (which consist primarily of being really good at making loud fan noise). Despite the ongoing legal battle between themselves and Apple, they just released yet another addition to their line of Mac clones. The new machine, called the Open(3), is obviously meant to compete directly with Apple’s recently released Mac mini refresh.
And compete it does, when it comes to hardware specifications. The Open(3)’s base configuration includes a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo E7400 processor, 2GB DDR2 800 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM SATA HD, and a GeForce 8400GS 256MB graphics card. All of which nicely one-ups the Mac mini’s specifications at the same price point of $599. Of course, you don’t get the same small form factor that you do with the mini, but you do get the ability to upgrade to a 1TB HD, add in an extra HD, and choose from a bevy of other options.
It seems like quite the package, considering the price, but if you take a closer look at what isn’t there, it starts to look a little fishy. No FireWire, no Bluetooth, and no networking (Ethernet or wireless) are included at all at the $599 price point, and all are fairly costly add-ons. Plus, integrated Bluetooth isn’t available, and instead you get a USB dongle for your extra 40 bucks.
Psystar seems to be keeping the general price tag low by nickel and diming you on basic extras that should be included to begin with. Even if you still end up getting more muscle for your money in the end, I’m not tempted in the least by this offering. How future-proof is a Psystar machine, after all, even leaving aside the issue of their legal battle with Apple? Who’s to say that Snow Leopard, when it comes out, will be completely and permanently incompatible with Psystar hardware? You get what you pay for, and I think this is especially the case with these clone machines. That said, if anyone actually takes the plunge and decides to buy one of these, I’d love to hear about your experiences.