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The Latest PCs to Entice an Upgrade

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Computers have become an integral part of life. Most people cannot imagine life without access to a computer and all that comes with it: the Internet, word processing programs, games, etc. But if your PC only supports Windows 3.1 and nothing else, then it's definitely time for an upgrade. Computer technology is constantly updated, and staying ahead is a difficult task. Here are the latest exciting models on the market.

For those of us who crave speed and sleek design, Apple has outdone itself and quenched our thirst with the new iMac G5. Their slogan—Where did the computer go?—tells the story of the iMac G5 in a nutshell. Everything, from the computer to the power supply to the stereo speakers, is enclosed within the widescreen flat panel display. PC users will be immediately captivated by the design, perhaps even peeking underneath the desk to look for a tower. No bulky CPU here. The engineers at Apple have found a place for everything inside the back cover of the iMac G5. Nothing has been lost—not speed, technology, or memory.

The iMac comes in three models: the 1.6GHz, 17-inch iMac, the 1.8GHz, 17-inch iMac, and the 1.8GHz, 20-inch iMac. The 17-inch model is 1.99 inches thick, while the 20-inch model is 2.2 inches thick. The iMac G5 implements the same technology used to build supercomputers. Apple has harnessed that speed, intelligence, and power with the G5 processor. You'll be able to surf the Internet, burn DVDs, play games, and balance your checkbook -- all at the same time. The secret to this super-fast thinking are the engineers at Apple who have developed a unique method for information to be processed. It all starts with the frontside bus, which is three times faster than the original Mac. Then the subsystems do their work without going through central control. Thus, the result is a faster computer. A spin-off of notebooks, the iMac G5 is even light enough and compact enough to be moved from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom. The iMac is wireless ready and is loaded with features to accommodate your digital lifestyle.

You'll find everything you need for the digital lifestyle preinstalled on your iMac G5. Apple's innovative iLife allows you to do more with your digital products. The iMac software is compatible with virtually every digital product. You can create photo albums to send to your family and friends using your digital camera and iPhoto. Better yet, you can even create your own digital movie using iMovie. Hook up your iPod, and iMac auto-syncs your latest music store purchases and playlists. Plug in additional speakers using the USB ports and let your playlist do the DJing. Burn a CD of your favorite tunes. For the business professionals, the iMac G5 comes fully equipped to produce spreadsheets, documents, and presentations.

The iMac G5 starts at $1,299 for the smaller 17-inch model. The iMac is all about speed, power, sleekness, and fun.

If you prefer IBMs, then consider the new ThinkPad T42. If you want to be on top of all the cutting-edge technology on the market, then the ThinkPad T42 is for you, as it will not be released until October 19. Plus, you'll get the convenience and mobility of a notebook.

ThinkPads have been known to be some of the most secure notebooks currently on the market. But IBM has one-upped themselves with the addition of on-the-fly hard disk encryption, upgrades to the ThinkVantage Technologies suite, and an integrated fingerprint sensor. New to the ThinkPad T42's software bundle is SafeGuard Easy, which protects your data against loss or theft by providing hard disk encryption. SafeGuard Easy is fully tested for compatibility with Rescue and Recovery, which is part of IBM's ThinkVantage Technologies suite. Rescue and Recovery provides straightforward backup and restoring of hard disk images. The new Password Manager should provide a convenient alternative to typed user IDs and passwords for accessing a range of network and online services in a variety of locations. The fingerprint sensor itself is a swipe-type unit, located on the right-hand side of the wrist-rest, just below the arrow keys. Scans take a few seconds, matching the pattern of electrical resistance on the fingerprint's ridges and furrows to a stored template. These are just a few of the standard and new security features built into the ThinkPad T42. The IBM might be a smart option in today's world of computer viruses and identity theft.

The ThinkPad T42 also includes features that today's consumer demands. The ThinkPad 42 is wireless Internet-ready and features the new Pentium M processor for faster computing. Something that is sure to delight buyers is the long battery life. Expect 5.5 hours with a 6-cell battery, 7.2 hours with a 9-cell extended battery, and 9.5 hours ("all-day computing") with the extended battery plus a second battery in the UltraBay. The ever-popular DVD burner, or as IBM calls it, the ThinkPad Multi-Burner UltraBay Slim Drive, comes standard. And, of course, all the software typically associated with PCs is included. All this high-tech security comes at a price, though: about $2,300.

Now that you've been brought up to speed on the latest in computers, research and compare them, and you'll be current--for at least the next few months.

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