by Liz Levy
Apple G4 Cube
These days, most work hours are spent sitting at a computer, so having a powerful workstation that’s also aesthetically pleasing makes perfect sense. Apple’s Power Mac G4 Cube offers a refreshing design with diligent performance. Put this baby on employees desks and they’re guaranteed to love it.
Setting up the Cube is a pleasure. Everything is USB, with the keyboard and speakers connecting to the two ports on the rear of the monitor, rather than the host. The monitor doesn’t require a separate power supply, further reducing cable clutter.
Cleverly suspended in a clear plastic enclosure, the eight-inch core of the unit can be quickly lifted out of the enclosure without picking up a screwdriver. There’s immediate access to every major component for quickly adding additional memory or an Apple AirPort wireless networking card. We also “gee whizzed” at the flat power sensor that turns the Cube on with the tap of a finger. The machine operates at a low purr, thanks to a special cooling design that does not require a fan.
Beauty aside, the Cube is also a machine of substance, packing a 450MHz PowerPC G4 processor with Velocity Engine, 64MB of memory, and a whopping 20GB hard drive. It also includes a built-in 10/100Base-T Ethernet port for networking or broadband access, and a built-in 56K V90 modem. Two FireWire ports and two USB ports are included as well.
The slot-loading DVD drive, which also reads CD-ROM discs, is located on the top of the unit. A separate external floppy or Zip drive can also be purchased.
The full-sized Apple Pro Keyboard provides a comfortable layout with navigation, numeric, volume control and disc eject keys.
The 450MHz Power Mac G4 Cube (without the monitor) is priced somewhat expensively at $1,499. A 500MHz Power Mac G4 Cube is available for $2,299. If you have a penchant for design with substance, the Cube is the computer for you. Liz Levy
Apple Computer Corp.
PROS: Powerful computer in a small, attractive package; very easy set up; convenient internal access
CONS: No floppy or CD-RW drive included; high price