QuarkXPress 6.0 ($1,045), from Quark (www .quark.com): The enhancements in this OS X–native version of QuarkXPress are worthwhile for any XPress-based production shop, and the upgrade pricing is
Acrobat Standard 6.0 ($299), from Adobe Systems (www.adobe.com): With its amazing workflow enhancements, Acrobat 6.0 Standard may finally make the paperless office a reality. If you’re even slightly inclined to upgrade, do it without hesitation (September 2003).
Final Cut Pro 4 ($999), from Apple Computer (www .apple.com): Final Cut Pro 4 has hundreds of improvements, and the new bundled applications are amazing, even taken on their own. The interface is very customizable, and the real-time effects features are great (September 2003).
Third-generation iPods ($299 to $499) and iTunes 4 (free), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): The combination of these two products makes us want to sing. Buy music with iTunes 4 and play it on the go on a new iPod? Sounds good to us (July 2003).
Stylus Photo 900 ($199), from Epson (www.epson.com/northamerica.html): The first ink-jet that prints directly onto CDs and DVDs for easy labeling, the Stylus Photo 900 is also an excellent photo printer. For the price, you won’t find a better printer with these capabilities (August 2003).
Minifinder: More Hot Products Recently Reviewe
1GHz eMac ($1,299), from Apple Computer (www .apple.com): The eMac retains its position as the best Mac desktop for education environments, and its squat, heavy, kid-resistant exterior and low, low price make it a great choice (August 2003).
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 reasonable price. It provides support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, too (May 2003).
2.52TB Xserve RAID ($10,999), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): For data-intensive work, the Xserve RAID truly delivers on performance, at an unheard-of price. It has awesome data-transfer rates, redundancy in most elements, and multiplatform support (September 2003).
900MHz iBook ($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).
Accordance 5.5c ($139), from OakTree Software (www.oaksoft.com): Anyone who’s interested in studying the Bible would do well to invest in Accordance. It offers tools for serious scholars, but it’s simple and flexible enough for a novice student to use (September 2003).
Acrobat 6.0 Professional ($449), from Adobe Systems (www.adobe.com): Prepress professionals should upgrade to this version of Acrobat; it offers the control they’ve been waiting for. For other folks, the Standard version should be enough (September 2003).
Apple Cinema Display ($1,299), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): This 20-inch flat-panel monitor manages to maintain consistent color no matter what your vantage point. If your Mac has an Apple Display Connector, you’ll be happy with this display (August 2003).
EOS 10D ($1,499), from Canon (www.canon.com): The EOS 10D is simply a great digital SLR camera. Its well-balanced mix of features, comfort, good image quality, and a reasonable price should appease even the most finicky film-camera stalwart (September 2003).
EvoCam 3.1 ($20), from Evological (www.evological .com): EvoCam is a powerful but easy-to-use program that turns any QuickTime-compatible FireWire video camera into a Webcam. You have access to QuickTime effects, so you can present yourself any way you like (September 2003).
ExtendAir Direct ($150), from Dr. Bott (www.drbott .com): If you need better AirPort Extreme range in one direction, this external antenna may be the perfect solution. The Direct is a good choice if you live in a narrow home with a long central hallway (September 2003).
ExtendAir Omni ($100), from Dr. Bott (www.drbott .com): If you need better AirPort Extreme range in all directions, this external antenna may be the perfect solution. The Omni is the best choice for most homes (September 2003).
Final Cut Express 1.0 ($300), from Apple Computer (www.apple.com): At a third of Final Cut Pro’s price, this DV-only video-editing package brings professional features to users looking to move up from iMovie (May 2003).
FontDoctor 5.5 ($70), from Morrison SoftDesign (www.morrisonsoftdesign.com): If you have a large collection of fonts that sometimes causes trouble, FontDoctor can cure what ails you. It’s an industry standard for a reason: it knows how to diagnose and treat font problems (September 2003).
FTP Client 4.0.1 ($35), from Vicomsoft (www.vicom soft.com): FTP Client has a well-designed user interface and performs exceptionally well. It also gives you the invaluable ability to create fast-access droplets (September 2003).
ImageModeler 3.5 ($750), from Realviz (www.realviz .com): This easy, fun tool for making 3-D models from photographs may be pricey for hobbyists. But for architects, product designers, and animators, ImageModeler 3.5 is a great buy (September 2003).
Marine Aquarium 2.0 ($20), from Prolific Publishing (distributed by Encore Software, www.encoresoftware.com): This seemingly frivolous screensaver can turn your Mac into a sleek and stylish aquarium complete with fish, coral formations, and even algae (September 2003).
Mask Pro 3 ($200), from Extensis (www.extensis.com): This latest upgrade to Extensis’s excellent masking plug-in for Photoshop offers a number of new selection tools and masking utilities, as well as OS X support, making it essential for the avid Photoshop user. We recommend it to anyone who needs to make quick, accurate masks (August 2003).
Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800 ($519), from Other World Computing (www.macsales.com): We recommend this 250GB FireWire 800 drive above all others; it has the lowest price of the drives we reviewed and includes a variety of ports that make it compatible with a wide range of machines (September 2003).
OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional ($120), from The Omni Group (www.omnigroup.com): With design tools that rival those of many illustration programs — and some one-of-a-kind chart-making tools — this app is marching boldly into the future of diagramming in OS X (September 2003).
Painter 8 ($299), from Corel (www.procreate.com): This newest version of the venerable natural-media painting software, with many new brushes and tools, is well worth purchasing. The sweeping interface improvements make Painter so intuitive, you’ll be glad you switched (August 2003).
Portfolio 6.1 ($200), from Extensis (www.extensis.com): Taking advantage of OS X’s interface and structure, this version gives you the power to quickly decide whether a file is a digital asset or digital detritus (July 2003).
PowerShot A70 ($399), from Canon (www.canon .com): A full suite of manual controls, a nice movie mode, and support for both conversion lenses and an underwater case put this 3.2-megapixel digital camera way ahead of the competition (July 2003).
PowerShot S400 Digital Elph ($599), from Canon (www.canon.com): This great 4-megapixel digital camera features a stunning all-metal body with a special scratch-resistant coating; quite good photo quality; and no red-eye problems (July 2003).
Pro Tools LE 6 ($75), from Digidesign (www.digidesign .com): Pro Tools LE 6 doesn’t hold any surprises, but it does provide a comfortable transition to OS X. Its new file-management tools and MIDI capabilities are excellent additions (June 2003).
RealBasic 5.0 ($100), from Real Software (www.real software.com): With a rebuilt compiler and debugger, and the incorporation of OS X’s interface features, RealBasic remains the most enjoyable way to develop modern and muscular Mac applications (July 2003).
Second-generation Xserve ($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).
TextWrangler 1.0 ($49), from Bare Bones Software (www.barebones.com): This is a moderately powerful tool for sorting, processing, and editing text files. If you spend a lot of time looking at config files or database exports, TextWrangler is a good option (July 2003).