Apple’s Power Mac G4 Cube has been voted best desktop system by PC Magazine’s Technical Innovation Awards.

The G4 Cube beat three other nominees, including the Power Mac G3, the Power Mac G4 and the SGI Visual Work Station 320.

PC magazine described the G4 Cube as: “Stunning-looking. You can't fail to be impressed by this clear 24.8 by 19.5 by 19.5cm plastic cube and its matching accessories.

“The Apple G4 Cube is a product that will no doubt inspire imitations in the PC world, but it's unlikely that any will match the overall execution of this outstandingly designed product.”

Apple’s latest offering is based on a 450MHz PowerPC G4 processor and offers both USB and FireWire expansion ports for simple plug-&-play addition of peripherals.

It has built-in 10/100BaseT networking, a V.90 modem, plus the option to add an 11MB/s AirPort wireless-networking card.

The G4’s fan-free design relies on passive cooling and ventilation via slots at the top of the system.

The G4 Cube is available in two models: Fast, which has 64MB SDRAM memory; and Ultimate, which has 128MB SDRAM. They cost £1249 and £1599 respectively.

The iBook was runner-up to IBM’s UltraPort connector in the best portable-system category.

The laptop has a 12.1-inch active-matrix display. There is a 366MHz PowerPC G3 processor in the Indigo and Key Lime iBooks. A 466MHz G3 processor is available in Key Lime and the iBook Special Edition in Graphite.

The iBook Special Edition ships with a DVD-ROM drive. All models feature the same turbo-charged ATI RAGE Mobility 128 graphics accelerator. Indigo and Key Lime iBooks cost £1062. The Special Edition Graphite and Key Lime iBooks cost £1,275.