Macworld’s Top 5
867MHz PowerBook G4, 12-inch ($1,799), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): Speedier than the iBook but smaller than the Titanium PowerBook, this portable will answer the prayers of mobile professionals who need a small, light laptop that doesn’t sacrifice too much power (April 2003).
SliMP3 ($249), from Slim Devices (www.slimdevices .com): This nifty device lives in your stereo cabinet, letting you stream MP3s seamlessly over your home network from any Mac running OS X. Featuring a remarkably easy setup and a friendly interface, it’s the ideal bridge between the home electronics world and your Mac (April 2003).
Final Cut Express 1.0 ($300), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): Apple’s DV-only version of Final Cut Pro brings professional video-editing features to users looking to move up from iMovie (May 2003).
Color LaserJet 2500L ($1,000), from Hewlett-Packard (www.hp.com): This color laser printer’s crisp, clean laser output and truly reasonable price mean that small workgroups with big printing needs can benefit from color laser technology without putting too large a dent in their budgets (March 2003).
Inspiration 7 ($69), from Inspiration Software (www.inspiration.com): If you’ve ever lost a great idea in a brainstorming session’s tsunami, this easy-to-use chart-drawing program will blow you away (March 2003).
Minifinder: More Hot Products Recently Reviewed
1GHz iMac G4, 17-inch ($1,799), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): The speed and power of this new iMac are remarkable, especially given its big LCD monitor and price. It provides support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, too (May 2003).
1GHz Power Mac G4 ($1,499), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): This Power Mac supports new Apple technologies, namely FireWire 800 and AirPort Extreme. It provides good performance at an attractive price, and it’s reasonably quiet (May 2003).
ArchiCAD 8 ($3,950), from Graphisoft (www.graphi soft.com): It’s got a high price, but ArchiCAD is the most sophisticated top-of-the-line CAD program available for the Mac. Professionals who need it won’t be disappointed (April 2003).
BBEdit 7.0 ($179), from Bare Bones Software (www .barebones.com): This text editor continues to be remarkably powerful for a wide range of uses. Most loyal BBEdit users will want this upgrade for its improved text-handling and Web-design capabilities. Those who have never used it and need serious text-manipulation power should give it a try (March 2003).
ChronoSync 1.1 ($20), from Econ Technologies (www.econtechnologies.com): ChronoSync is one of the most flexible backup programs; it offers numerous options to give you complete control over your backups (May 2003).
Clie PEG-NX70V ($599), from Sony (www.sonystyle .com): The Clie is no simple PDA; it’s a PDA, an MP3 player, and a digital camera. It has a large screen but is a little heavy and expensive (May 2003).
d2 FireWire DVD-Rewritable Drive ($379), from LaCie (www.lacie.com): This fast, solidly built DVD-R drive has a slim, stackable case design and includes Mac-compatible DVD-authoring software (May 2003).
Devideon ($399), from Formac (www.formac.com): Formac’s Devideon FireWire DVD-R drive includes Mac authoring software but no blank media (May 2003).
Dual-1.25GHz Power Mac G4 (FW 800) ($1,999), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): The dual-1.25GHz Power Mac G4 supports new Apple technologies, namely FireWire 800 and AirPort Extreme. It’s an excellent value and performs very well. Also, it’s reasonably quiet (May 2003).
ExecutiveSync 1.2 ($20), from Jason Weber (www .executivesync.com): ExecutiveSync uses Time And State synchronization to detect any changes in a file, so it provides you with the most accurate backup. But be warned: ExecutiveSync is slow, and it doesn’t have a scheduling feature (May 2003).
FontAgent Pro ($100), from Insider Software (www .insidersoftware.com): This font-management software’s new activation and preview features put it squarely in competition with the established font heavyweights (March 2003).
Formac Studio DV/TV ($399), from Formac (www .formac.com): Formac’s Studio DV/TV is unique in offering both analog-to-DV conversion and TV viewing and scheduled recording in DV format. If you want to watch TV in large format or record it for DVD, this device is a good choice (April 2003).
The Graph Club 2.0 ($80), from Tom Snyder Productions (www.tomsnyder.com): Designed for teachers, The Graph Club makes learning about and using graphs interesting. For ages 5 through 10 (May 2003).
iDVD 3 ($49), from Apple Computer (www.apple .com): iDVD 3 is a marvel — it lets you create stylish, professional-looking DVDs easily and quickly, and it’s well worth its price (April 2003).
InterMapper X 4.0 ($495), from Dartware (www .dartware.com): No matter what the size of your network, this mature and scalable network-management suite will give you quick visual cues to network issues (April 2003).
iPhoto 2 (free), from Apple Computer (www.apple .com): If you’re already an iPhoto user, you’ll appreciate iPhoto 2’s new editing features and enhanced integration, which make this update a shoo-in (April 2003).
Keyboard Maestro 1.2 ($20), from Michael F. Kamprath (www.keyboardmaestro.com): Keyboard Maestro provides a great keyboard-based application switcher and gives you the ability to automate, via keystrokes, almost anything you can do on your computer (May 2003).
Labels X 1.1 ($10), from Unsanity (www.unsanity .com): Labels X brings back about 95 percent of OS 9’s labeling functionality. Labels X will show (and sort by) the label values in column-view Finder windows, giving you the ability to sort your Projects folder by priority, for example (May 2003).
PGP Personal 8.0 ($50), from PGP Corporation (www.pgp.com): PGP Personal 8.0 is an excellent and inexpensive solution for those who need to send and receive secure documents (April 2003).
Reunion 8 ($99), from Leister Productions (www .leisterpro.com): Even if you’re a novice, you’ll be able to learn this genealogy program in a matter of minutes. For current users, OS X compatibility and first-class charting features make it a compelling upgrade (March 2003).
Six Degrees 1.5 ($99), from Creo (www.creo.com): Six Degrees lets you pinpoint e-mail messages, contact information, and files anywhere on your Mac — even if you don’t remember where you put them, who sent them to you, or their file names. This version takes care of our previous concerns regarding speed and makes some nifty interface improvements. However, it’s compatible with just one e-mail client (Entourage X), and that keeps it from greatness (March 2003).
SpamSieve 1.2.2 ($20), from Michael Tsai (http://c-command.com/spamsieve): SpamSieve works as an add-on to Entourage, MailSmith, PowerMail, and Eudora to cut down on unwanted e-mail, and does it accurately (April 2003).
Super Collapse II ($25), from GameHouse (www .gamehouse.com): Super Collapse II is a great diversion — think Tetris — especially if you’re looking for something to keep you occupied at lunch or between flights. But it’s a little expensive for a puzzle game (May 2003).
Ten for X 1.0.2 ($50), from Aladdin Systems (www .aladdinsys.com): While you probably won’t use all 12 of the utilities for OS X in this set, you’ll find at least three or four must-haves if you use OS X for more than an hour a day. Some of the programs provide features that disappeared in OS X (WindowShade X, for example), others make it easier to work under OS X’s hood (April 2003).
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon ($50), from Aspyr Media (www.aspyr.com): If you enjoy 3-D-action games such as Quake III but find that the nonstop action leaves you wanting more, then Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon — a squad-based tactical action and strategy game that puts you in control of a team of elite reconnaissance specialists — is an excellent choice (March 2003).
Tungsten T ($399), from Palm Computing (www .palm.com): The Tungsten T is designed for people who want entertainment, expandability, and flexibility in a PDA. If you want a PDA that can easily speak with the other peripherals in your digital hub, you’ll find that the Tungsten T can reach out in many ways (May 2003).
Virtual PC 6 ($219), from Microsoft (www.microsoft .com): This release doesn’t make Windows emulation on the Mac much faster, just a little better. Integration with the OS X Dock and desktop mounting of disk images are nice additions (April 2003).
World Book 2003 Jaguar Edition ($68), from World Book (www.worldbook.com): This new version of World Book’s stellar multimedia reference software takes advantage of OS X 10.2 and capitalizes on the Mac’s graphics prowess (May 2003).
XPert Tools Pro ($180), from A Lowly Apprentice Production (www.alap.com): This collection of 11 QuarkXPress XTensions is a must-have upgrade for users of XPress 5. XPress 4 users will appreciate five new XTensions, and all users will find this product an excellent way to increase productivity and avoid tedious formatting (March 2003).
You can also check our main
page for a list of more than 400 Macworld product ratings from the past year, complete with mouse ratings and capsule reviews.