Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday updated its flat panel iMac all-in-one consumer computer, giving the system a speed bump and many of the same technologies added to the Power Mac line last week. Apple also dropped the price of the iMac making the low-end version available for for US$1,299. Apple’s eMac computer also received a price cut today, but did not get updated with technologies or speed increases.

The new 17-inch widescreen model features a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor and 133 MHz system bus; 256MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory; a faster 4x SuperDrive; and internal support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, for $1,799. The new 15-inch flat panel model features an 800MHz G4 processor and is now priced at $1,299 — $200 less than its predecessor.

“The 17-inch widescreen iMac is Apple’s top selling consumer desktop, and we’ve just made it faster and more affordable,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “Apple’s new iLife applications are bundled with the new iMacs, making them perfect for digital photography, music, moviemaking and DVD creation.”

The 17-inch widescreen and 15-inch flat panel iMacs also offer two FireWire 400 and five USB ports for fast, simple, plug-and-play connections to digital devices such as digital cameras, DV camcorders and iPods.

The 17-inch iMac offers internal support for optional high-speed 54Mbps AirPort Extreme 802.11g wireless networking and optional internal Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to a range of peripherals such as cell phones and PDAs.

The eMac features a 17-inch flat CRT and now starts at $999. The SuperDrive equipped model is available for $1,299.

The 17-inch widescreen flat-panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,799, includes:

— a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor;

— a 4x SuperDrive DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive;

— an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics processor with 64MB video memory;

— 256MB of DDR system memory;

— internal support for AirPort Extreme wireless networking and Bluetooth;

— an 80GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and

— Apple Pro Speakers.

The 15-inch flat panel iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,299, includes:

— an 800MHz PowerPC G4 processor;

— a 32x Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive;

— an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory;

— 256MB of system memory;

— internal support for AirPort wireless networking;

— a 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive; and

— Apple Pro Speakers.

The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $999 includes:

— a 700MHz PowerPC G4 processor;

— a Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW optical drive;

— an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory;

— 128MB of system memory;

— internal support for AirPort wireless networking; and

— a 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive.

The 17-inch flat CRT eMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,299 includes:

— an 800MHz PowerPC G4 processor;

— a SuperDrive DVD-R/CD-RW optical drive;

— an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics processor with 32MB video memory;

— 256MB of system memory;

— internal support for AirPort wireless networking; and

— a 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive.

Compared to older models

The iMac was available in four configurations; three of those shared many of the same features including a15-inch LCD flat panel screen; the two low-end models had a 700MHz PowerPC G4, while the mid-range model had an 800MHz processor; Nvidia GeForce2 MX; 128MB SDRAM for the entry-level system, while the other two came with 256MB; 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive for the two low-end iMacs and a 60GB drive for the mid-range model; 10/100BASE-T Ethernet; Apple Pro Speakers were included on all systems except the entry level model; and a 56K internal modem.

The entry-level iMac came with a CD-RW drive for $1,199; the next model came with a Combo Drive for $1,499; and the mid-range model included Apple’s DVD burning SuperDrive for $1,699.

The biggest difference between those models and Apple’s high-end iMac was the 17-inch flat panel display. In addition to the display this model came with an 800MHz PowerPC G4; a SuperDrive; Nvidia GeForce4 MX; 256MB SDRAM; 80GB Ultra ATA hard drive; 10/100BASE-T Ethernet; a 56K internal modem; and Apple Pro Speakers.



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