No kidding. They’ll love you forever. If your giftee uses a Windows computer, about the best gift you could offer is a Mac. Any Mac. Whatever you can afford (after all, how much you spend is fully reflective of how deep your gift-giving-love is, right?).
At the low end, a $799 eMac will provide more pleasurable computing experience than anything you could buy that says Windows or Intel Inside.
To be really chic this year, go with the new iMac G5. It’s fast. It’s chic. It’s loaded with multi-media software for music (iTunes and GarageBand), digital photographs (iPhoto), digital movies (iMovie).
Toss out another few hundred dollars and that iMac G5 will even burn photos and movies and music into DVDs which can last forever (no one’s really tested that whole “forever” thing out yet) or until the next big thing comes out next spring to make DVDs totally obsolete.
Skipping the PowerMacs (if you have enough money to give those away and you haven’t put me on your list, then you’re probably not reading this now anyway) and going straight to the PowerBooks and iBooks seems logical. I am a blonde. Your mileage may vary.
After all, about half of all Macs sold are laptops. The iBook reigns supreme on the load end at $999. A little more power and extras show up in the PowerBook. Still, there’s gotta be a teenager in your life who needs one of society’s best laptops, right?
Mac Power-User-Wannabe Gifts
I have to put these two gift items on the non-iPod list. First, because they’re affordable. Really. Second, there may not be a better bargain available for the Power-User-Wannabe. Except a fully loaded iMac G5 with 20” display.
Apple’s Final Cut Express and Logic Express.
What’s so special about these $299 applications (that’s $299 “each”)? If you’re a Power-User-Wannabe you’ll know already. The only reason to get these two at $299 each is that the pro version of each at a whopping $999. Each.
See? I’m saving you a Wad-o-Cash™ just by pointing out the obvious to the oblivious.
Final Cut Express is an excellent video production tool. You could easily take a Sony or Canon miniDV digital camera and make a full length movie (provided your giftee’s last name is Spielberg and your mom is Kate Capshaw). No kidding. There is so much video production power in Final Cut Express or Pro that most giftees will love the gifter for years to come.
But FCX is only one cog in the wheels of the next budding Spielberg or Bono. Remember music? The stuff you listen to while you watch the movie?
Logic Express is the tool that makes all other mid-range power music production tools look and work like a Sony Walkman (a Sony what??).
There’s enough power in Logic Express for your budding musician to produce an entire CD, and, assuming there’s a modicum of talent in the cranial area, make the cuts sound like real music.
That’s because GarageBand comes with every Mac these days, and chances are good that your Mac lover has already learned how to drag and drop and apparently that’s all that’s required to make a CD these days.
While GarageBand is waaaaaay cool for the newbie, it doesn’t take long to out grow drag and drop musical talent requirements. That’s where Logic Express comes it.
Yeah, there’s some drag and drop. And more musical tools than you, me, or our progeny (provided you’re a hunk and like blondes who can type) could ever figure out, let alone use.
Loops. Plugins. Multiple tracks. Effects. Filters.
Heck, make a movie in Final Cut Express and drop it into Logic Express to provide the musical score. Waaaaay cool.
Lest you think that these tools are stripped down versions of their more expensive cousins, well, you’d be partially correct, except they’re not very stripped. Yes, Virginia, there is a bargain this holiday season and it comes in the form of Express—Logic and Final Cut.
Ask anyone who knows music production or video production to check the specs of the Express twins (fraternal, not identical) and they’ll tell you they’re a whopping good deal and should be banned from places like Japan, Hong Kong, and India where the movies are so bad that even Apple software wouldn’t make things better.
Grammy winning albums have been recorded using Logic Pro. The little brother Express is more powerful than the full version of Logic Pro just a couple of years ago. Final Cut Express can assemble movie clips and scenes together so professionally that no one, no one, not even the CIA, the FBI, or Al Jazeera, could tell they were done by your giftee.
Since this is turning out to be Bambi’s Gift Giving Idea Headquarters Week I started with the two best bargains I could find. Admittedly, they’re not low end gifts. They’re not exactly high end, either, considering the cost of their big (more expensive) brethren, so “bargain” is one of those relative things.
Stay tuned for the best of all the OTHER Mac gift ideas—tomorrow.