MacExpo has moved to Olympia from the Islington Design Centre and that’s probably the most exciting bit of the show.
Though the new Apple Powerbooks and G5’s were there, a lot of stands were just selling Mac and iPod add-ons, MacExpo is turning into a computer fair. Being generous, it could be the economic conditions that are forcing it in that direction.
The new G5’s are nice, based on the PCI Express architecture with the ability to put some very high-end NVidia graphics to real work. They now support two CPU’s each with dual cores (i.e. 4 cores) though each core only operates up to 2.5GHz rather than the older two CPU systems that operate up to 2.7GHz (but then, in theory, you’re getting 10GHz compared to a max previously of 3.4GHz – real world tests show more like a 67% speed increase). The new NVidia graphics cards are all capable of driving dual displays – so that’s two 30″ Cinema displays … but you’ll need a new desk.
The new 15″ and 17″ Powerbooks have updated displays and all have better batteries offering longer life.
The new iMacs were there too and they are still the sexiest systems on the market.
Slim Devices (makers of the Squeezebox) showed off their 3rd generation systems, rather than long and thin they’re now more squat (i.e. not so wide but taller) with big bright displays which can now display pseudo VU meters, they’ll cost £179 ($320, E265) for the wired version and £229 ($406, E338) for the wireless one. The SLIM Server software is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux/UN*X. They also use a digital output as well as analogue connections for connecting to your HiFi system
Postworx were showing off their balls (and selling them). They are designed for laptop users and attach to the base to increase airflow, keeping the it cool. They also raise the back, and to our initial surprise make it much more comfortable to type. They come in several versions and colours to match your mood or laptop. They either attach by a small velcro-like disk which you stick to the base, or a slightly larger plastic mount onto which the half-ball twists on to and attaches.
Read the second part of the review.