Price ComparisonsBy Peter Naulls. Published: 26th May 2003, 21:17:46 | Permalink | Printable
How much are you willing to pay for that new RISC OS machine?One of our readers pointed out the price difference between an Iyonix and an Omega of roughly equivalent specification. We thought we'd investigate further, and here's what we came up with.
Looking at Castle's website, there's 3 levels of Iyonix machine. We've chosen the standard option. This includes:
128MB RAM, 80GB HD, 1Gb network, CD-RW
Yours for 1299.00 UKP including VAT. No real surprises so far.
Get your calculator out - to get a roughly equivalent machine from the prices on MicroDigital's website, you'll have to add together all the items and then add VAT. Not too challenging, but perhaps it'd be nice if that was provided at-a-glance for prospective customers. Here is what we get:
Standard base machine (1149.00), 128MB RAM (14.00),
75GB HD (90.00), CD-RW (124.00), XScale (179.00),
100MBit Network (45.00)
Which gives us a total of 1881.18 UKP once we add in VAT.
Just to be comprehensive, we gave CJE a ring (thanks guys) to see what they'd sell us a RiscPC for. Here's the machine we asked for:
StrongARM RiscPC, 32MB RAM, 2MB VRAM,
RISC OS 4, 10Mbit Network, 1GB HD
Yours for 490 UKP.
Hold The Phone
Is this comparison fair? Well, not especially, but we presented it initially without any justification, because this is what a prospective buyer without too much background information might first see.
Let's try and explain the nearly 600 UKP price differential. For starters, we realise many of the components added into the Omega to bring it up to comparable spec. are standard PC parts, and could be bought cheaper elsewhere. As always, you run the risk of it not being 100% compatible, and not having support, but the choice is there.
And yes, you can certainly get a RiscPC of that spec. or greater much cheaper on the 2nd hand market, but we're talking about getting a machine from a dealer.
You Missed Something
Yes, we did. Depending on what software you need 32-bit versions of, your Iyonix purchase might need a few upgrades from items you already run on your existing machine. CJE helpfullly tell us the following:
PhotoDesk (42.00), Artworks 2 (50.00), Ovation Pro (Free),
Aemulor (50.00), Impact 3 (25.00)
Naturally, this list isn't without justification, and there are items that can be added and removed depending upon your individual needs. We figure that it's going to cost you no more than 200 UKP to upgrade your software, and probably a lot less. For this comparison, we'll say 100 UKP.
Of course, the Iyonix comes with a range of bundled software - in theory everything you need for a basic system, including CDBurn Lite, Oregano 2, Messenger Lite, etc. We'd expect an Omega to come with all the RISC OS 4 bundled software of course, but the situation is less clear about things like a browser or CD writing software (but maybe you can use your existing software).
We'll note the Omega's XScale upgrade won't be available for some time. Also that if you change the base computer you start with, the numbers can go up or down. We also think it's a bit odd that such an important feature of the computer - ethernet access - is an optional extra on Omega, and we've left out its slightly confusing extra 11 UKP delivery charge, as well as the delivery charges on the machines themselves.
So there we have it: Iyonix 1400 UKP, Omega 1880 UKP. I'm sure we don't have to prompt for comments on this matter.
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