Psystar Back in Business; Systems Now Shipping

Miami (FL) – So, is it a hoax or not? Mac clone builder Psystar has experienced in just one week all the good and bad today’s Internet has to offer: The possible availability of a cheap Mac clone spread like wildfire through the Internet last week, confusion about its address and payment processor attracted the wrath of the Internet and most of us concluded that, yes, some things are too good to be true and Psystar may have been just a hoax. But, as of today, we know that the company is back online and may have sorted things out: It even claims that orders are being shipped. After all the criticism and speculation that hit the company last week, it appears that Psystar is back on track and in fact shipping its first Mac clones.

A post on its website reads:

It is our pleasure to inform you that our store is up and running thanks to our new high volume payment processor. To all, we challenge you, let’s see if we can max this one out. Regarding shipping, orders placed the week of April 7th are currently being shipped. We will be shipping units out of our new facility starting Monday, April 21st, including those orders placed the week of April 14th. Orders are being shipped in the order that they were received, don’t worry, you’ll get yours soon. Upon shipment an email notification including tracking information will be sent to you automatically.

If Psystar in fact is shipping the system, we do have to give them props. In the end, the company may not have been prepared for the sudden demand and certainly not for the enormous feedback all over the Internet – good and bad. But then, we don’t have a confirmation that the computers are actually shipping. So we are patiently waiting for readers top let us know whether they have received their systems and reports that are confirming Psystar’s claims. Stay tuned.

In case you are interested in Psystar’s $399.99 Mac clone you may already know that it’s not really a $399.99 Mac. Mac OS X 10.5 is available only as a $155 option, which brings the price to at least $555 for the PC box without LCD, without keyboard and without mouse. Upgrade the system with a faster CPU (Core 2 Duo E6750, a 400 GB hard drive, a GeForce 8800 GT graphics card, Firewire ports and you are spending $990 (without shipping; the order form was not able to accept all “available” upgrades at the time of this writing). $1000 can also buy a basic quad-core (Windows) PC: Gateway currently sells a Phenom 9600 quad-core PC with 4 GB memory, 640 GB hard disk space and an ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics card (256 MB shared) for $750 (with keyboard and mouse but without monitor) through Best Buy.

At almost $1000 for the decked out Mac clone, you may be tempted to start looking for a real Mac. The iMac starts at $1200 and comes with a slower but more power efficient processor (Core 2 Duo T7300), half the memory (1 GB instead of 2 GB), a smaller hard drive (250 GB) an inferior graphics card (128 MB ATI Radeon 2400 XT), but the system has a 20” LCD, a keyboard and a mouse. Adding options, of course, is where Macs get expensive: Fully equipped, an iMac can cost more than $3000.