28. The MacBook
Apple's latest ultraportable laptop (shown in Figure 7) is the MacBook. At 13 inches wide and 1 inch thick, it weighs a little over five pounds. Feature-wise, though, it's a heavyweight champion, with an Intel Core Duo processor, a glossy wide-screen display, and a built-in iSight camera. Even the MagSafe power supply is remarkable, with a connector that attaches snugly to the side of the MacBook by means of a magnetic sealbut that also detaches easily, so your Mac doesn't get yanked off the desk when some buffoon trips over the cord.
Figure 7. The MacBook offers considerable power in a stylish, portable, and affordable package. (Image courtesy of Apple.)
Like all the other new Macs, it also does Windows. Starting at $1099, it's a highly portable, affordable machine that doesn't skimp on power and functionality. If you value performance and portability, the MacBook is worth switching for.
29. The MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro (shown in Figure 8) retains or surpasses all the great features of the MacBook, wrapping them in a sleek, futuristic metal body that's still just one inch thick.
Figure 8. The MacBook Pro, with its Dual Core processor and cinematic HD display, is also the "fastest Windows XP dual core notebook." (Image courtesy of Apple.)
It comes in two sizes: a 15-inch for folks on the go, and 17-inch for those looking for a powerful, portable desktop replacement. Words can't do justice to the brilliant HD screens.
If you're used to bargain PC laptops, the craftsmanship will delight you: no cheap hinges, no protruding plastic port covers waiting to be ripped away, no stickers gumming up the body. And the MacBook Pro doesn't just do Windowsit's the "fastest Windows XP dual core notebook" (March 2006, www.reghardware.co.uk).
Want a cinematic powerhouse that can follow you anywhere? Switch to the MacBook Pro.
It's hard to believe any desktop computer could be sexier than Apple's laptops, but the iMac (shown in Figure 9) may be.
Figure 9. The iMac fuses sculptural simplicity with high technology, concealing the entire computer in what many people mistake for a monitor. (Image courtesy of Apple.)
The entire computer is concealed in what looks like a sleek flat-panel monitor. Pair it with a wireless Mighty Mouse and a wireless keyboard, and your workspace can look like one of those delicious, uncluttered, cable-free offices you always see in glossy magazine ads.
The affordable 17-inch model starts at $999.00. The 20-inch model provides acres of crisp screen real estate. And the 24-inch model is the perfect fusion of sculpture and high technology. It's the first desktop computer attractive enough to deserve a place at the center of your home entertainment center and powerful enough to satisfy hard-core gamers.
31. Mac mini
When my father-in-law's friends walk into his home office, they see his old monitor, his old keyboard, his old mousebut no computer. "Where's the big, roaring, whirring box that hogged all the legroom under your desk?"
No one can believe Joe's Mac minia computer the size of hearty sandwich, as you can see in Figure 10can wield so much power. His Mac mini runs Mac OS X and Windows. It organizes his photos, plays MP3s, surfs the Internet, and burns DVDs. Unlike his old PC, it doesn't freeze up or need resetting every other day.
Figure 10. The Mac mini, smaller than a hearty sandwich, outperforms clunky PC towers several times its size. (Image courtesy of Apple.)
The old PC sits in the closet, gathering dust. Joe shrugs. "Why would anyone want something that big, when you can get something that does more, is just as affordable, and takes up so much less space?"