apple product gap

Posted on Oct 4, 2004

After finally giving in and buying a digital camcorder I’ve been playing with iMovie. It doesn’t take long to realise that my 800Mhz Powerbook is struggling a bit. It’s a general trend - running Safari, Emacs, NetNewsWire, iCal, iChat, iTunes, the X11 server, etc. seems to be more than is reasonable with 512MB of memory.

Upgrading the memory, buying a new battery and, perhaps, a bigger disk is a possibility. I wonder, though, would the money not be better spent on buying a new desktop Mac?

Looking at the current Apple range I’m left feeling that there is a gap somewhere in the middle. If I buy a new Mac I’d like to be able to connect two TFT monitors using DVI. That means I have to go for the Power Mac G5, even though I probably don’t need a bunch of PCI slots, dual processors, cutting edge aluminium design or any of that stuff. The iMac G5 looks nice, but the captive display puts me off, especially given that the only alternative video output is for analogue VGA.

Perhaps I’m one of those people who is longing for the return of the cube - a small form factor machine with a single G5 processor and dual-graphics capability. I can live without PCI slots and extra internal hard drives.

Look at the price of the 20inch iMac - £1350. Compare that to the price of the 20inch display at £1000. Now, I don’t expect to get my single processor 1.8Ghz G5 cube for £350, but something around twice that amount would seem like an interesting product.

Sure, in the end, I’d probably rather have a Power Mac G5. Consider the price difference though - single processor 1.8Ghz G5 cube for 700 quid or dual processor 1.6Ghz Power Mac for 1500 quid. I know which I’m more likely to afford…