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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The iMac Gets a Brain Transplant

Walter Mossberg and his former apprentice Katie take on the new Intel-based iMac in WSJ (paid subscription required):
For days, we ran a wide variety of software on the two iMacs, and performed all of the common tasks mainstream consumers do -- surfing the Web, emailing, instant messaging, word processing, using spreadsheets, editing photos, playing music, managing personal finances, playing simple games.

Our verdict: The brain transplant was a success. The [iMac G5 and Intel-based iMac] behaved almost identically in our tests. Compatibility is excellent. The new model easily handled all the major consumer software we threw at it. We never noticed the translator software, called Rosetta, and any slowdowns it imposed were so slight as to be indiscernible.

The new model was actually a little faster at a few of the tasks we tried, but nothing like the two to three times as fast that Apple claims. A mainstream user who didn't know what was under the hood couldn't tell the difference between them, even after using them for hours. It appears that the faster chip roughly balances out the translation effect.

We tested Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, the Firefox Web browser, Skype, Google Earth, Quicken, the Eudora email program, Doom 3, Kodak EasyShare and others -- none of which had been rewritten. All launched quickly and ran smoothly and well.

This is a terrific computer. It's still the best consumer desktop on the market. It still runs crisply, still is free of viruses and spyware, still has the best operating system and the best built-in software of any desktop we've tested. Given how smoothly the new machine works, and how likely it is to get even better, we would prefer it today over the iMac G5, which Apple is still selling for the same price until inventories are gone. The G5 is still a fine machine, but the Intel model has a brighter future.
[ Posted at 10:06 PM | Permalink ]


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