Minifinders: CAD to Computers

CAD

  formZ 4.0 ($1,495), from autodessys (www.formz.com): This completely reengineered version of the venerable solids and surface modeler and renderer was worth the wait. Architects will appreciate the new network-based renderer and the NURBS tools, although the latter still need work ( August 2003 ).

  SketchUp 3.0 ($495), from @Last Software (see "Editors' Choice 2003: Best 3-D–Drawing Software").

  VectorWorks 10.5 ($895), from Nemetschek (www.nemetschek.net): This upgrade to the CAD software for engineers and architects isn't earth-shattering, but it does add some very useful capabilities. If you're using an older version, it's time to switch ( March 2004 ).

Computers -- Desktop

  iMac G4/1.25GHz, 17-inch ($1,799), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  iMac G4/1.25GHz, 20-inch ($2,199), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  eMac 1GHz ($1,299), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  Power Mac G4/dual-1.42GHz ($2,699), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): This Power Mac G4 is not astonishingly faster than the dual-1.25GHz -- but for $700 more, you get nice extras that make it a good value ( June 2003 ).

  Power Mac G5/1.6GHz ($1,799), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  Power Mac G5/1.8GHz ($2,399), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): Nearly silent and ultra sleek, this 1.8GHz giant is significantly faster than its G4 ancestors. With a standard DVD-burning SuperDrive and three PCI-X slots, this 64-bit star reaches new levels of coolness and is an excellent choice for Photoshoppers who need more power than their G4 can deliver ( November 2003 ).

  Power Mac G5/dual-1.8GHz ($2,499), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  Power Mac G5/dual-2GHz ($2,999), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

Computers -- Laptop

  PowerBook G4/1.25GHz, 15-inch ($2,599), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  PowerBook G4/1.33GHz, 17-inch ($2,999), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  iBook G4/800MHz, 12-inch ($1,099), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  iBook G4/1GHz, 14-inch ($1,499), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  iBook G4/933MHz, 14-inch ($1,299), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  PowerBook G4/1GHz, 12-inch ($1,799), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  PowerBook G4/1GHz, 15-inch ($1,999), from Apple Computer (see "The Latest Macs").

  iBook G3/900MHz, 12-inch ($1,299), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): Weighing just less than 5 pounds, this laptop is great if you want to use the Web, an e-mail program, a word processor, or even some of Apple's iLife apps, but be aware that the keyboard may cramp your style and the G3 processor might slow you down ( August 2003 ).

  PowerBook G4/1GHz, 17-inch ($3,299), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): It pushes the limits of portability, but the 17-inch model has the best combination of features and performance of any PowerBook. It's an excellent workstation for video pros and designers ( June 2003 ).

Computers -- Server

  Xserve (second-generation) ($2,799), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): The Xserve isn't yet perfect, but with the latest tweaks, including a faster CPU and improvements to the cooling and ventilation systems, it just got closer. It's still the easiest server to manage ( September 2003 ).

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