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CNET reviews Psystar's Snow Leopard-based Open(Q)

Psystar's Open(Q) desktop uses Apple's new Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system

Update: So it's clear, neither this post nor the video constitute the official CNET review. Click here for the full write-up with specs, charts, pricing and detailed analysis.

It's been almost exactly a year since we last reviewed a Psystar desktop. During that 12 month gap, Apple's suit against Psystar has steadily advanced through the court system, Psystar entered into and emerged from bankruptcy, and Apple released a brand-new operating system by way of Mac OS X 10.6.1, aka Snow Leopard. Somehow, none of those events has stopped Psystar from selling its own computers using Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

Now playing: Watch this: Psystar Open(Q)

The Open(Q) largely comes from the same mold as other Psystar computers we've reviewed. It offers better core specs, and thus better performance, than a comparable Apple desktop for the same price. Psystar has also successfully transitioned to Snow Leopard in its non-Apple certified systems, with no apparent missing features or glitches.

Even more than in the past, this Psystar PC feels cheap. Part of Psystar's business model is that it keeps prices lower than Apple's, so we understand cutting a few corners. But both the case and the motherboard feel more out of date and low-end than previous Psystar desktops. And, because of the legal proceedings especially, the usual concerns about Psystar's capability to support its computers persist.

You can read our full review for the details of the Psystar Open(Q). With the recent news that Psystar is licensing its strategy for installing Mac OS X onto non-Apple PCs, perhaps some other brave vendor will find a way to challenge Apple on value and Psystar on craftsmanship. Until then, we're sure Psystar still has plenty of potential customers out there who are curious, looking for a deal, or who simply want to circumvent the Apple machine.

Read our review of the Psystar Open(Q).