Return of the Mac

Last week, Apple released yet another version of the iPod and a new version of the iMac G5. After viewing the specifications of these updated Apple favorites, perfection is the word that comes to mind.

With the recent release of the iPod Nano, many consumers were caught off guard by the sudden announcement of the iPod Video. The most unique feature the iPod Video offers is obvious from its name. The new device is thinner than the traditional iPods and can do everything the previous models can as well as play video files. Videos can be purchased and downloaded onto the iPod Video just as simply as can mp3s and include music videos and several commercial-free ABC and Disney television shows. Music videos for the iPod Video are sold for $1.99 each, with an expanding library of more than 2,000 to choose from.

With the Nano impinging on the iPod Mini’s niche, it’s no surprise the iPod Video replaces older versions of the hardware, including the fairly recent iPod Photo. As media players go, the iPod Video is average in the sense that what you get is a little less than you pay for.

The iPod is not the only Apple product receiving updates. The older versions of the iMac G5 were impressive to begin with, but now the deal has gotten even sweeter. The new 20-inch model comes standard with a 250-gigabyte hard drive, 512MB of RAM upgradeable to 2.5 gigs, Apple’s space-saving, slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVDñRW/CD-RW), built-in wireless, Bluetooth and Apple’s PowerPC G5 processor clocked at 2.1GHz. Those are improvements on all levels. The processor is faster, the hard drive is larger — it comes with twice as much RAM — and like most Macs, wireless and Bluetooth are now a standard rather than an option.

New features and hardware include an ATI Radeon X600 XT video card rather than the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra, an integrated Apple remote control and a built-in iSight (Apple’s camera and Web cam). The remote, along with the 1680×1050 pixel cinema display resolution, make the iMac G5 a good choice for those looking to make a media center out of their personal computer. The iMac G5 is available in 17- and 20-inch models and starts at $1,299. Finally, a Mac designed to truly reflect the power of the G5 processor and the intuitive operating system Mac OS X.