Updated iMac is an energy saver

Making fun of messy PC desktops, Steve Jobs at an Apple event this week explained the iMac’s neat-and-tidy one-piece design has made it successful.

The Apple will turn to stuff from its professional products–aluminum and glass–to make the iMac better, he said.

Aluminum is cool and environmentally friendly. So is glass. They’re used in products like the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro and iPhone. And now they’ll be used in the new iMac. “It’s just stunning…it’s just gorgeous,” Jobs said.

It will feature an audio in and out, Firewire (including 800), and more ports. Removing one screw lets a user add memory. It will come in two sizes: 20-inch display and 24-inch display. (The 17-inch one goes away.) The displays are glossy, like that of the MacBook.

There’s a new aluminum keyboard with two USB 2.0 ports. “It’s dramatically lower in the front than our prior keyboard,” he said. There are screen-dimming and brightening buttons and media playback controls. There’s also a wireless, Bluetooth version. T

he new iMacs are Intel Core 2 Duo–and the 24-inch version has a 2.8-GHz option, accommodates up to 4GB of RAM. It also has a ATI Radeon graphics card and Airport Extreme wireless networking.

Prices for the 24-inch starts at US$1799 (down $200 from before) and 20-inch starts at $1199 (down $300, and the same price as the 17-inch model).

“We think these models are all going to be pretty popular,” Jobs said. Both consumers and pros will like them, and they’re eco-friendly, Jobs said. Jobs revealed more news iLife ’08, a new version of Apple’s digital media suite. “We’re dramatically enhancing” some of the apps and completely replacing one of them,” he said.

iPhoto is also much better, he said. A new iPhoto feature called Events organizes your pictures by the event where you took them by default. What’s an event? All photos taken in one day are an event. If you went to more than one event in one day, you can split them. What if you went to a multi-day event like a ski trip? You can merge them.

You can hide photos which you like enough to save, but don’t love, then show them again. There’s unified search, and more powerful editing tools, such as the ability to cut a set of edits you did to one photo and apply them to another.

Printing “looks gorgeous” with new borders and themes. “They’re much nicer.” The books and calendars you can order from Apple are better (the books have dustjackets). “They’re really quite nice.) Calendars are 70 per cent bigger at the same price.

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