Apple (s aapl) must feel besieged by an attack of the clones these days, with Mac OS knockoff makers popping up in the U.S. (Psystar and OpenTech), Germany (PearC), Argentina (OpeniMac) the U.K. (FreedomPC). Now a Russian startup calling itself RussianMac is offering a comprehensive line of desktop and laptop computers.
The list of clones covers pretty much all the bases, and includes the RuMac Multimedia/Home Of Theater model, a middle-of-the-road desktop tower the Standart, a PRO tower, a Mini desktop, a standard-sized laptop family called the Book and a netbook called the MiniBook.
Multimedia/”Home Of Theater”
The RuMac Multimedia/Home Of Theater (machine translation) model is, says RussianMac, aimed at those who want to have a multimedia or domestic cinema computer with the facility to connect to a wide-format LCD-television set and use as a DVD player along with the usual computer functions. This machine is touted as specially configured for outstanding video.
Technical specs include an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8 Ghz “Wolfdale” processor (or an optional quad-core running at 2.4 Ghz), four DDR2 RAM slots supporting up to 4GB, two PCI slots, two Express slots, support for connection of up to four 4 SATA-devices, a 500GB/7200 RPM HD, NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT graphics with 512Mb of GDDR3 VRAM and two DVI ports, a 20x DVD±RW drive, a Blu-Ray drive, 10/100/1000Mbit Ethernet, one FireWire port, 4x USB 2.0 ports, 1x RJ-45 LAN, audio in/out ports. The Multimedia/Home Theater RuMac sells for roughly $700 in base configuration. Keyboard, mouse and monitor are sold separately.
The RuMac Standart tower desktop is fitted with a 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, a 500 GB 7,200 RPM HDD, ATI HD2600 with two DDR2 RAM slots supporting up to 4GB of memory, two PCI slots, two Express slots, support for up to four SATA devices, a 20x DVD±RW burner, 10/100Mbit Ethernet four USB 2.0 ports, a RJ-45 LAN port, VGA, audio in/out, and a 400 Watt power supply. A wide selection of housings is offered. Base price for the Standart is approximately $490. Keyboard, mouse and monitor are sold separately.
The PRO tower desktop RuMac is intended for professional tasks like working with music, high-end graphics and video, and has a lot of headroom for upgrade and expansion with support for up to five hard drives and 16 GB of RAM.
It’s available with either Duo or Quad Core Intel processors of up to Core 2 Duo 3.16 GHz, with the most potent being the 3.00 GHz Quad. Also available are a 2.8 GHz Duo, 2.4 GHz Quad, 2.5 GHz Quad, and 2.8 GHz Quad.
There are four RAM slots supporting a maximum of 16GB, two PCI slots, three PCI-Express slots, support for connection of up to six SATA devices, five-drive RAID support (standard is a 500GB 7200 RPM HDD with a VelociRaptor of 10,000 RPM option), NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT graphics with 512Mb of GDDR3 VRAM and two DVI ports, a 20x DVD±RW burner, a Blu-Ray drive,10/100/1000Mbit Ethernet, two FireWire ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, two RJ-45 LAN ports, audio in/out, and a 450 Watt power supply. The base RuMac PRO starts at about $740. Keyboard, mouse and monitor are sold separately.
The 3 kg RuMac Mini measures a tiny 26 x 7 x 27 cm, and boasts low energy consumption. According to the site’s translated description, RussianMac seems to be selling this as the perfect iPhone development machine. The Mini’s processor is an Intel atom 230 running at 1.6 Ghz, with 2GB of RAM, Intel GMA950 integrated graphics, a 320GB SATA-II 7200 rpm HDD (500GB upgrade optional), an 8x DVD±RW slot loading burner, 10/100Mbit Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and audio in/out, and sells for approximately $365. Keyboard, mouse and monitor are sold separately.
The 15.4″ 2.4 Kg. RuMac Book laptop had a 1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1 GB of standard RAM memory and sold for roughly $785 when it was available, but it’s already been discontinued to be replaced by a RuMac Book with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz with 2GB RAM and a 250 GB HDD. FireWire (hooray!), WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet are all included. The new Book is available for pre-order.
Meanwhile, the RuMac miniBook (which looks exactly like the Eee PC (s 2357) 1000HE, suspiciously enough), is, to the best of my knowledge, the first over-the-counter Mac OS netbook. It’s available with either an 8.9- or 10-inch 1024 x 600 matte finish display, Intel GMA950 graphics, uses the ubiquitous 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor, and also comes with 1 GB of RAM, a 60GB, 5400 RPM hard drive, plus WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.0, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, three USB 2.0 ports, VGA, audio in/out and a MMC/SD slot. It sells for approximately $500 or $700, depending on screen size.
RussianMac says its computers are “adapted” to support Mac OS X Leopard, without going into detail, and claims that “software designed for Leopard works flawlessly” on RuMac computers. As for OS 10.6 support in the future, RussianMac says discussion of that is “premature.”
The prices are certainly attractive. Quality and service before, during, and after purchase are another story. If you’re not in Russia, it’s a moot point as the company says that thus far international delivery is impossible due to “complex” customs issues. If do you happen to be in Russia, and can get your hands on one of these, let us know what they’re like below.
RussianMac claims it does not violate the Mac OS X end-user license agreement — at least in Russia. The computers are not bundled with a copy of OS X, which must be purchased separately It’ll be interesting to see how Apple addresses this latest clone challenge. Their legal battle with Psystar is ongoing, but it looks like they won’t have any shortage of other parties to go after once they’re through with them if this keeps up.