Apple can still produce the innovative technology for which it is rightly lauded. The combination of a new operating system (OS 8) and a computer which, in the first 60 days alone has sold more than any other model in the Mac's history, has restored a buoyancy to the company.
The G3 Power Mac range, launched just before Christmas, is described by Apple as its "newest, baddest desktops". They're fast, very fast. But the good news is that they're also affordable. In fact, this entry-level model is scarcely more expensive than its PC equivalent.
Xemplar, which supplies Apple products to education, positions the G3233 as a mid-range, high performance desktop offering very fast processing - well suited for modern multimedia - and it's excellent value for money.
With digital photography and RAM-hungry software, older computers struggle with the large files they are required to handle. For schools fortunate enough to be using state-of-the-art software such as Microsoft Office 98, Adobe Photoshop, and PageMaker, the G3233 handles their files with ease and is the obvious upgrade option.
Xemplar offers a choice of monitors with this model. The Viewsonic 15in AV is perfectly good for most tasks, but anyone considering using this Mac for extensive graphics work might consider paying the extra for the AppleVision 720 17in display.
The G3 range is a stunning return to form by Apple and goes some way towards answering fundamental questions about the company's long-term viability as a serious alternative to Windows. It's also a big fillip to those who have stuck with the Mac, believing it to be the most intuitive and transparent operating environment, and one ideally suited to the needs of education.
Apple Power Macintosh G3233 comes with 32Mb RAM (expandable to 192Mb), a 4Gb hard drive and 24xCD-Rom drive, three PCI expansion card slots, built-in Ethernet, stereo input and output and one year's on-site warranty. Keyboard, mouse and mat included. Price: pound;1,089 plus VAT.
Xemplar 01223 724724 Website www.xemplar.co.uk