MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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60 MacDirectory FEATURE IWARDS 2009 > UPDATE -- WINTER 2010 Just as the last issue (Fall/Winter 2009) went to press, Apple announced some phenomenal new computers which we weren't able to consider for awards. The year 2009 had been a disappointing year for Apple products (though it was great financially for the company), and we had thought it would take at least a year for a new wave of great technology to shake through. Our prediction was completely wrong. Apple's late-October hardware can hardly be praised too highly. It's almost as if Apple had said to the monitor makers "Hey, we can produce an LCD that's better and cheaper than yours." And then added, "Oh, and one more thing — we can build a Mac into it for free." This is about what happened in late October. The standout product is the 27- inch iMac. Its LED-backlit screen has 2560x1440 resolution — almost identical to Apple's once-pathbreaking 30-inch Cinema display (2560x1600) — by far the highest in any all-in-one. But the 30-inch Cinema Display is $1799. Here, for $100 less, you get a very powerful computer thrown in as well. This is the best value Apple has ever offered. It's powerful enough and has enough screen resolution that most power users, including graphic artists, won't need anything else for a few years. At the same time, it's an ideal home entertainment center. This truly is a no-compromise dream machine, the first iMac that no user need ever apologize for. Because of its irresistible combination of great features and low price, I have no hesitation in calling this the best computer Apple has ever built. By far. And yes, the iMac's video card supports full resolution for two screens. And yes, there's no skimping on memory: You can add up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM. Apple truly did everything right with this machine. Except one: There's not yet an anti-glare matte screen option (see below). That brings us to: Apple has too many monitor connectors! In the past dozen years you could easily be using VGA, mini-VGA, ADC; DVI; Dual- Link DVI; MiniDVI; MicroDVI; DisplayPort; Mini DisplayPort and the baffling old DA- 15. But wait: there are the adapters for the adapters as well! Here's a selection from the Apple Store today: Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter Apple Mini DVI to VGA Adapter Apple Mini-DVI to DVI Adapter Apple Micro DVI TO VGA Adapter Apple DVI to VGA Adapter Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI Adapter and the list goes on and on. And on. Stop the madness! Approach Snow Leopards with caution We remain concerned by the thousands of pages of user complaints we've seen about Snow Leopard. Two dot releases have by no means stemmed the flood. Our advice is to wait another six months, if you can, for all the bugs to shake out. BTO Options galore Apple really has been listening to user concerns. A decent range of build-to- order options is the result. If you've ever shopped at the online Dell store, you'll see where they got the idea. Save your eyes with matte screens Forty percent of Mac users are estimated not to like high gloss glass LCDs. Fortunately, the 15 and 17-inch Macbook Pros offer anti-glare matte screens as a $50 option. We won't cavil about the cost. However, we're concerned that matte isn't offered as an option on the iMacs. See for a petition. It is generally recognized that while glass screens give more oomph, the oomph is more apparent than real, and the price is glare — lots of glare. Matte screens substantially reduce eyestrain. If you work primarily in a dark environment with no direct light, you may be okay with glossy glass. But very few of WORDS BY BILL TROOP

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