Sony and Apple make computers they claim will bring order to the chaotic and confusing digital desktop. We put the two systems to a head-to-head test.
The idea is simple: a home computer that acts as a kind of dispatcher, translator, and organizer for all your digital devices. A computer that can download and edit data from PDAs, digital cameras, the Web, MP3 players, DVDs, and CDs without the nightmarish struggles over compatibility that have made many users want to hang themselves from the nearest beam with a USB cable. Sony, which manufactures gadgets for almost every digital need, has been preaching this "convergence" for years, hoping consumers will buy Sony, Sony, and more Sony.