Apple demoed its latest range of hardware to a packed auditorium at Old Trafford football ground in Manchester yesterday.

The company showed its new iMacs, multiprocessor G4 Power Macs and the G4 Cube. The reaction was typically British – positive, but reserved. None of the whooping and hollering of the Jobs Expo keynote here.

Nigel Fowler, Apple UK’s product sales manager, also showed the Pro Mouse and Keyboard. He echoed Steve Jobs’ claim that “Apple listens to its customers” when he explained the demise of the derided “puck” mouse.

Improved keyboard Nick Clarke, an IT technician at The Hayfield School, Lancashire, was pleased with the new keyboard. She said: “I missed the right delete key on the old keyboard.”

Of the new computers, Clarke added: “The Snow iMac looks classy, but the Ruby is a bit Barbie-dollish. The Cube is completely different.”

Writer and musician Adrian Carter was less impressed with the new range: He said: “I don’t think the new products will do anything the old ones don’t. I’m not thinking of upgrading for another year.

“The Snow iMac looks good in the ad, but just doesn’t look as good in real life.”

Cube upgrade When quizzed about the compatibility of the G4 Cube with third-party graphics cards, Fowler admitted that at the moment, the cards are "too big". However, he did hint that manufacturers may produce cards “in the future”.

Stuart Harris, Apple UK’s software business manager, also showed iMovie 2 and Mac OS X – which should be released as a public beta in September.

Dave Peppicate, a Mac technician in West Yorkshire, summed-up many people’s feelings about the new OS. He said: “I like the look of OS X, but I think it’s going to be a steep learning curve.”

Edward Pickering, a freelance IT consultant, enthused: “I think the classic environment of OS X will make the transition smoother – it’s a great idea. However, he was concerned about the support of third-party hardware.

He said: “What about people with hardware peripherals? As smooth as the transition is going to be, I’m sure there’s a lot of work that needs to be done by third-party developers.”