Best Mac Ever?

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We’re busy finishing our annual Eddy Awards, honoring the best Mac products of the year, which you’ll be seeing on in the very near future, as well as in the February issue of Macworld. (Subscribers, you’ll see that issue in your mailbox later this month. The disparity between real months and magazine months has something to do with the space-time continuum. I’ll explain later. )

In writing my magazine column for that same February issue — and yes, it is a bit late for me to be writing it, thanks for asking — I came up with a throwaway line: If we handed out awards for the best products of all-time, rather than just the current year, wouldn't the same products win every single year?

But I couldn’t come up with a good example. Microsoft Word 5.1 ? The original Mac? The Talking Moose ?

So I tried an experiment: I asked the assorted mass of people who are following me on Twitter could find some vague consensus about the best Mac model ever.

A vague consensus? Maybe, maybe not. But I sure got a lot of fascinating answers. Among them:

Matt Deatherage of MacJournals said “they all sucked in their own ways.” (To be fair, Matt's opinions are far more nuanced than this quote would lead you to believe. Sorry, Matt.)

Roman Loyola of MacLife and Mac author and JavaScript genius Dori Smith voted for the PowerBook 100.

Geoff Duncan of TidBITS: “SE/30. Duh. IIci is a close runner-up.” Adam Engst of TidBITS concurs with the SE/30.

Cliff Colby of Peachpit Press, Glenn Fleishman of TidBITS, Macworld, and many other places, and Dan Crane of MacVeritas voted for the IIci. Macworld Editor at Large Rick LePage also voted for the IIci, along with the original Titanium PowerBook G4 for this millennium.

Mac author and Macworld contributor Tom Negrino voted for the SE/30.

Macworld contributor John C. Welch voted for the Power Mac 8600.

Laurel Krahn of voted for the clamshell iBook.

Our own Dan Moren voted for the Pismo edition of the PowerBook G3.

Scott McNulty of TUAW and Fork You voted for the G4 Cube.

John Moltz of CARS voted for the Performa 6400.

Beloved technology columnist Andy Ihnatko went with the second-generation iMac, with its floating screen.

I also got some nice votes for the original Mac and the 12-inch PowerBook G4.

The responses are still in -- and thanks to everyone who responded. But why leave it just to my Twitterfriends? What do you think? What’s the best Mac of all time? Leave your comments in the thread attached to this story.

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