Wow, has Christmas come early this year? Hot on the heels of the new, very impressive iMac G5, the iPod that plays video, and the sexy little iPod nano not long before that, today Apple introduces updates to both its Pro lines, and then some.The new PowerBooks sport higher resolution screens and improved battery life, while still retaining the G4 processor. The Power Mac G5 on the other hand got a serious beefing up with the introduction of the dual-core G5, basically 2 CPUs on one chip. The lower end Power Mac G5 Dual uses one of these new dual-core processors, in place of two separate G5 chips. The Power Mac G5 Quad has two of these dual-core processors. This combined with a new PCI Express architecture throughout the line-up would mean a significant boost in performance over the previous generation. So much for the speculation that the G5 was on its last legs and with not much room for improvement until the debut of the Intel-based Macs next year. Apple also released Aperture, a new app aimed at professional photographers. While fundamentally it's a image manipulation application that would appear to compete directly with Adobe Photoshop, from what I've read and seen on their site, it takes quite a different approach with the workflow. What impresses me most is the integration of versioning and non-destructive changes to the image. The master image is never altered in any way, and when you save a version, it keeps the images grouped together so you can see all variants at a glance. This and other features that would appeal to pro digital photographers round up an impressive package which would probably become a serious contender to Photoshop. Out of the limelight of all these new products, the Apple Cinema Displays received a price drop of USD200 and USD500 for the 23" and 30" LCDs respectively. Unfortunately the 20" Cinema Display which I've been eyeing remains at the same price. I've been thinking of getting a new Power Mac for the office and held out for these announcements. Impressive as they are, I'm not even sure my work calls for all that much power. I've been doing my web design work using a PowerBook G4 1Ghz, though lately I've been getting a bit annoyed with the sluggishness especially with Photoshop and Illustrator running. Even a lowly iMac with its G5 would be a vast improvement in speed, perhaps I might be able to net myself a superseded G5 Dual 2.3 for cheap?

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New PowerBooks, Power Macs, Aperture