Review by Dude Love Fan

"Practically perfect in every way... Except for gaming"

How does one review a computer? I believe the best things to review a computer on are stability, the operating system, library of software available, and the overall quality of the system. I intend to break down the Macintosh system based on these criteria. For references purposes, the mac that I own is a MacMini with a 1.25 Ghz G4 Processor, with 512 MB of RAM , 32 MB VRAM, and a 40 GB Hard Drive. Basically this is the "bottom of the barrel" in current computing terms, so know that any new mac you purchase will best these specs.

Stability: 9/10
Get this, OS X(the current version of the Macinstosh Operating System) works. If you have used windows for any given amount of time, you will probably be familiar with there being several lockups of software during the course of any given day. This isn't the case with OSX, I have been using the system for over a month and can count on my fingers how many times programs locked up. And when they do it isn't a struggle to fight your way into the task manager and then hope you pick the right process to end. When an application hangs on a mac it tells you it encountered a problem, and you can normally say OK, and then relaunch the program. Another thing some of you are probably familiar with is one crashing application bringing the whole system down. I know that in Windows I have had times where an application would crash and I would have to reboot the system; so far with my mini this has happened a whopping 0 times. I won't give a perfect score here as I have had problems lock up, and IMO that keeps the mac from perfection. When a system just works, there isn't much more that needs to be said about it, and that is the case with the Macintosh.

Operating System: 9/10
I could go on for quite a while about how much I like OSX (10.4 is the version I am using), and with good reason. In my opinion, one of the best features of the system has to be spotlight. Spotlight is a tool that is built right into the menu bar of OSX that allows you to search your computer for certain terms, be they in the name of the document or in the body of the document itself, and to boot it refines the search as you type and brings up the results just a fraction of a second after you stop typing. Another feature that I am in awe over is simply plug and play. Everything I have plugged into the system hgas worked, Digital Camera? iPhoto picked it right up, Printer? I was printing immediately after plugging the thing in, Headset? I was talking to my friend in no time. When a system will just take what you throw at it without asking for drivers or announcing aloud YOU HAVE HARDWARE, it gets a high score in my book.

Software Library: 7/10
This is one of the only weak points in the Macintosh armor. While for home use, browsing, and business use the mac has most everything you need. However, when it comes to gaming, the pickins are slim. Most of the bigger name games get ported, such as Halo, KOTOR, Call of Duty, etc... However, there are some games that have yet to be ported, and probably will not be, the biggest one in question being Half Life. So if you can deal with having a dodgy game collection on your computer, this is mostly a non issue. A good complement to the Mac would be a console.

Overall: 9/10
Overall the Mac system is one of the best bets in all of computing, with a solid operating system, high stability and a decent library of software, you can't seem to go wrong. As is to be expected, all apps don't have Mac ports, so if you are heavily reliant on Windows only apps, Mac may not be for you. However if you have the ability to change then the Mac is quite possibly the best computing decision you can make in this reviewers opinion.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/05/06

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