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SPECIAL FEATURE JANUARY 18, 2001
Creative Mac's Best of Show Awards for Macworld SF 2001

The best new creative gear at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, 2001

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

This year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco saw a number of innovative, new products for creative professionals, ranging from animation packages to video hardware to ... well, everything. Literally. This was probably the most pro-oriented Macworld in history, and no segment of the market was excluded. Audio, video, print and the Web were all represented by vendors showing off their latest goods.

So how do you pick out the best stuff out of such a large and diverse crowd? Well, if you work for Creative Mac, you take your accumulated experience from the show, enter it into your TR3XJZ Computinating Analyzitron, insert the proper punch cards and emerge with a perfectly scientific, infallible matrix of products ranked in order and categorized for award presentation.

We've also added a bit of multimedia to this year's awards, so do play along by clicking play on each of the audio clips below as you read along.

And so, without further ado, the first winner is ... or appears to be ... Windows NT for Best Operating System.

Wait a minute.... That can't be right! I think some of my peecee-using coworkers have been messing with my TR3XJZ! Oh, all that data entry time wasted! Somebody's going to get the Blue Screen of Death for this!

Well, at any rate, I admit that I peaked at the list of winners a bit earlier today—prior to this malfeasance—and I think I can do this from memory. So, without much further ado, I present the winners of the Creative Mac Best of Show Awards for the Macworld SF Expo 2001. These winners were selected from the vendors at the show demonstrating NEW products, either released at the show or shipping soon after, but certainly nothing we've seen at previous shows—all selected because of their innovation, excellence and potential contributions to the various creative fields they serve. We have but eight awards to give because, although there were dozens of great hardware and software offerings at the show, many had been shown elsewhere in various stages of development (with some having been promised since last April) and are not all that new. So here are the winners.

The overall Best of Show award must go to Apple's Power Mac G4 733 MHz. Aside from being the most powerful Mac yet, this machine also appears to be the first top of the line Mac that also offers the most value for the dollar. (Apple's best values have typically fallen into the upper midrange of its offerings.) Aside from the fast 733 MHz G4 processor, this puppy sports a 133 MHz system bus, 4x AGP graphics, four PCI slots, a faster PCI architecture and the all-powerful Pioneer SuperDrive, a combination CD-R/CD-RW/CD-ROM/DVD-R/DVD-ROM. Assuming Motorola can actually deliver the chips this time around, this machine stands to be the centerpiece of any post-production facility.

Apple receives another Best of Show award for its 500 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium, a beautiful little piece of equipment that offers something unique in the history of Mac notebooks—a case that might not break. It's also the first PowerBook with a G4 processor and the smallest full-featured Mac notebook ever, all without sacrificing the features of its predecessors and a pretty fancy new 15.2" screen.

Apple's final award goes to DVD Studio Pro, a professional-level DVD authoring suite at a very affordable price of $995. Of the trillions of Macs decorating the Macworld show floors, none but two were running this software, but, from what we had a chance it see, it looks to be as feature-rich as any pro authoring solution on the market. Looks like Apple's takeover of Astarte last April is about to pay off....

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