The iMac is recommended as an "excellent choice" for people looking for a new PC.

The Wall Street Journal's Walter Mossberg writes: "Most buyers will go with Windows PCs. But Apple's new iMac models are an excellent choice. Not only are they beautifully designed, but they also use a powerful processor called the G5, and their prices are actually lower than those for comparable Windows machines.

"Best of all, users of the current Mac operating system haven't encountered any viruses."

The only fault that he can find is that new software will be required. "The main downside of the Mac is that it requires buyers to acquire and master all new software. Much of this comes bundled on the computer, but most people will have to spend at least $150 for a Mac version of Microsoft Office, which can handle files created in the Windows version."

As for security, the author recommends: "Even on a brand-new Windows machine, you should immediately obtain an arsenal of security programs, and keep them updated. One recent test showed that a brand-new, unprotected Windows machine became infected with viruses in just 20 minutes on the Internet.

"Most of this isn't needed on a Mac, but Mac buyers may want to get an antivirus program, because the Mac isn't invulnerable," he concludes.