Apple's iMac G5 has "defined the shape and style of desktop computing for the next few years", but can it survive a market that is moving towards laptops?

Fortune's Peter Lewis writes: "As impressive as the iMac is, it comes at an awkward stage in the evolution of the PC. Many desktop computer owners are choosing to replace their bulky PCs with laptops, which are smaller, lighter, and more versatile, and the trend will continue despite Apple's impressive engineering achievement with the iMac."

While the iMac has been designed to be portable in as much as it can be easily moved from room to room within the house, Lewis notes: "My Apple PowerBook G4 is lighter than the iMac and perches easily on my lap."

Also, the emergence of wireless hotspots around town in coffee shops and bars, "argues in favour of laptops as desktop replacements", he adds.

"The iMac offers greater processing power and a bigger screen but I'm still not going to take it out on the porch to catch up on e-mail or lug it to Starbucks to download files while I download caffeine."

But for those who already have a portable computer and are looking for a desktop machine for use at home as an alternative to lugging the portable to and fro, "the iMac is certainly worth considering", he concludes.