Dreaming of a white Christmas

It's slick, it's good looking, but is there room for a Mac in your office?

Ten minutes after the box arrived, I had (all by myself) unpacked and set up the computer, got it going, taken a photo of myself and emailed that photo to my geek partner, saying: “Look, I’ve got an iMac G5 to test.” And I’m only a mere journalist.

The Mac is beautiful — shiny, white, minimalist. It is flat (about an inch deep) with a slightly convex back to fit in the whole computer behind the screen. Fancy.

My old PC next to it looks a bit ashamed of its grey, bulky, lack-of-design appearance. It is humming away, disappointedly. When I turn the old beast off silence falls upon my desk, because the Mac is quiet, very quiet.

After a while I realise that the little dot next to the camera in the middle of the top panel is not a spec of dirt but a microphone. And the speakers are built in underneath the Mac.

There is also a tiny remote control that works with the integrated infrared receiver and the very flash Front Row interface. The remote is used to open Front Row and play music, watch films and photo slides and such from across the room. A possible drawback is that you can’t use this multimedia interface to record television programmes.

The smallness of the remote is a little bit worrying at first; it could easily disappear among the piles of magazines, printouts, pens, books and coffee cups that decorate my desk. But then I discovered that there is a place to stow it (of course): on the right side of the Mac there is a remote rest with a magnet. That’s very Apple.

And for those of you who are about to say, “yeah, yeah, I’m sure Macs are good, but that one-button mouse will never win me over” I have some news — this mouse is touch-sensitive. It can be set up as a one-button or a multi-button mouse with left and right buttons, force-sensing side buttons and a 360-degree clickable scroll ball. Take that.

I just have one more thing to say: please, don’t make me part with this wonderful machine.

Apple iMac G5

Apple, www.apple.co.nz

0800-50 50 70

Cost: from $2349

Tech specs:

  • 1.9GHz G5 processor
  • 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM; supports up to 2.5GB
  • 160GB SATA hard drive
  • 17-inch LCD monitor
  • ATI Radeon X600 pro graphics processor with 128MB of DDR video memory

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