MacWEEK has announced the winners of its Macworld Best of Show Awards recognizing the hottest products introduced at Macworld Expo San Francisco. As before, eligible products had to receive their first extensive public showing at Macworld Expo. The products need not be shipping, but vendors had to make the products available to MacWEEK editors for evaluation.
The awards recognize hardware and software that are especially innovative or appear to answer important needs of Mac users. However, the products were not subjected to the rigorous testing they would receive in a formal hardware or software review, and it’s always a good idea to wait until those reviews appear before making any final purchase decisions, especially with big-ticket or mission-critical items. You can expect to see reviews of these products in the near future on our sister site,
Among the highlights of this year’s awards are Apple’s new hardware and software and a trio of applications in 3-D graphics, which looks to be a new strategic area for Apple.
Apple PowerBook G4.
PowerBook G4s, combine style–with a sleek titanium enclosure–and performance, thanks to a low-power version of the G4 chip. And the new 15.2-inch screen isn’t just for watching movies–the wide format makes it easier for pros to work in a single-monitor setup (see ”
Inside the new G4 PowerBooks
Apple Power Mac G4.
With its new line of
desktop systems, Apple closes much of the megahertz gap, while adding a fourth PCI slot and built-in CD-recording capabilities across the board. The high-end version includes the new SuperDrive, combining DVD and CD recording capabilities (see ”
Inside the G4 desktops
Expo attendees were buzzing about Apple’s new
MP3 encoding, playback and jukebox software, which also records CDs and generates visual representations of the music being played.
This flatbed scanner from
offers a great combination of price and performance, with 1,600 x 3,200-dpi hardware resolution, 48-bit color depth and 3.6Dmax, in configurations starting at $799 (eee “Scanner offers high-end features at mid-range price”).
At $7,500, this 3-D animation package from
isn’t for everyone, but it signals that the Mac has become a serious platform for professional 3-D work.
The 3-D sculpting software from Electric Image has evolved from a novelty to a robust production tool with new timeline-animation and Flash-export capabilities (see ”
Amorphium grows up
This program from
Maxon, creator of Cinema 4DXL, offers sophisticated 3-D painting and texture-generation functions for 3-D graphics professionals, especially those using the companion product.
NetLINE Wireless Broadband Gateway.
This $399 gateway from
Proxim/Farallon, aimed at schools and SOHO users, combines wireless and wired networking functions, allowing AirPort and Ethernet users to share a single Internet connection (see ”
Proxim pushes wireless networking
This innovative product from
mounts on any whiteboard, turning it into an electronic medium by translating what’s written onto your computer screen. A new software update lets users produce QuickTime movies from Mimio output–a great tool for educators.
This new modular hard drive technology from
uses compact, removable 5GB, 10GB and 20GB disks that plug into an equally compact base station. You can add interface modules for FireWire and USB. The system, not including disks, will sell for $249 when released mid-year; disks will sell for $129, $159 and $199 respectively.