I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the new hardware offerings that Apple introduced at MacWorld yesterday. I was expecting a new machine that was kind of “out there” to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Macintosh. A few years ago (1997 I think), Apple released the 20th Anniversary Macintosh to celebrate 20 years of being in business. It would have made more sense to call this the 20th Anniversary Apple, or something different so they would be able to ship a real 20th Anniversary Mac this year. For it’s time though, the 20th Anniversary Mac was “out there” compared to the more boring machines of it’s time. It was no speed demon, but it’s design was top notch.

Instead, we got new iPod minis and a new G5 XServe. Both of these are pretty nice products, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

I think the iPod minis miss their intended market slightly. Apple wanted to have competition in the high-end flash card MP3 player market. The iPod mini does do very well when you just look at it in a narrow field of high-end flash players. However, I wouldn’t buy one at the price that they set for it. $249 for a 4Gb player? Yes it’s only $50 more than Rio’s 256Mb offering, but the 15Gb iPod is only $50 more for almost 4 times the storage. Give me that amount of space for $150-200 and you have a sale.

The XServe G5 looks like a pretty nice machine. Being able to get dual G5s cooled enough to run in a 1U rack gives me hope that we’ll see a G5 Powerbook soon. Then again, they had to put 7 fans in there to do it…