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Score a Mac Mini for $459 shipped

The latest Mac Minis start at $599, so you can save a good chunk of change by opting for last year's model. It's still plenty powerful, with a full one-year Apple warranty.

Had it with Windows? Ready to chuck your spyware-infested desktop and buy a Mac? Here's your chance to do it on the cheap: J&R has the Mac Mini MB138LL/A for $459 shipped. No rebates, no refurbs--these are new units.

Well, kind of. This is actually last year's model, meaning it has a slightly slower processor and smaller hard drive than the current entry-level Mini.

Even so, the specs are solid: a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a slot-loading DVD/CD-RW combo drive. Plus all the other Mac Mini goodies, like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and iLife '08.

As with all Mac Minis, this one is BYODKM: bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse. Luckily, you should be able to use whatever gear you have lying around.

CNET's review of this Mini is mostly positive, with props given to its ultracompact size, great looks, and robust software bundle. This model sold for $799 when the review was written, so you're saving nearly 50 percent.

Of course, even with that kind of reduction in the "Apple tax," there are cheaper desktops to be had. CompUSA, for example, has a refurbished dual-core Hewlett-Packard desktop for $359.99. It has a 2.4GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, a DVD burner--and a mouse and keyboard. That's a pretty amazing deal.

Yeah, I went there--but let's not revisit the tired old Mac-versus-Windows debate, shall we? Instead, riddle me this: does anyone even buy desktops anymore? I mean, I bought one a couple months ago, but I'm fairly certain it'll be my last.