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Apple Dishes Up New Hardware

Macworld Expo last week was seasoned by a liberal helping of new product announcements from Apple Computer. A trio of new Power Macs - the 8600/300, 9600/300, and 9600/350 - head the list and should be available in late August for $3,600, $4,500, and $5,300 respectively. (Another model, the 8600/250, reportedly will be sold in some locations outside the United States.) These three machines represent large speed jumps from their predecessors and feature a PowerPC 604e, 1 MB Level 2 cache, and a high-performance IXMICRO Twin Turbo 128M8 graphics card with 8 MB VRAM. Though Apple's new machines have faster clock speeds, they'll compete closely with the likes of Umax's SuperMac S190 and Power Computing's PowerTower Pro (both sport 250 MHz PowerPC 604e chips).

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Apple also announced the new Workgroup Server 9650/350, which comes with a PowerPC 604e and 1 MB Level 2 cache as well as two 4 GB hard disks for use in mirroring or striping scenarios to enhance reliability or performance.

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Those looking for a high-end printer might consider the new $2,500 LaserWriter 8500, which supports PostScript Level 3, can bleed (print) to the edge of ledger- or A3-sized sheet of paper, and should be available in early September. Other specifications include speeds up to 20 pages per minute, 600 dpi resolution, and a 650-sheet paper tray. The printer offers connectivity via LocalTalk, parallel, twisted-pair, and AAUI ports. Expansion options provide duplex printing and various paper handling features.

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Finally, Apple announced a pair of 17-inch monitors that will be of particular interest to designers interested in controlling the appearance of onscreen color.

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