A scant four months after announcing the death of the CRT in favor of flat-panel LCD displays, Apple today introduced the eMac, an all-in-one G4-based Macintosh strictly for the education market - and to keep costs down, the eMac is built around a 17-inch CRT display supporting resolutions up to 1,280 by 960 pixels.
On the outside, the all-white eMac looks much like the original iMac, and its roughly similar footprint means it will fit on existing furniture, despite having a larger screen. Under the hood, the eMac offers a 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 40 GB hard disk, an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphics processor with 32 MB of video memory, 10/100Base-T Ethernet, three USB ports (plus two more on the keyboard), two FireWire ports, a headphone jack and a built-in microphone along with an audio input jack, optional AirPort support, and a mini-VGA port for video mirroring. Two configurations are available: the $1,000 eMac offers a 32x CD-ROM drive (for schools preferring non-recordable Macs in labs and classrooms), and a $1,200 edition includes a DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive and a 56 Kbps modem. Apple also offers a nifty tilt and swivel stand for the eMac.
The eMac will be available in May to the U.S. and Canadian education market, which wanted a display larger than 1,024 by 768 pixels and has been underwhelmed by the price tag of Apple's new flat-screen iMac. The eMac fits that bill, and its introduction is well-timed: right now, schools are planning budgets and purchases for the next academic year. In the past, Apple has often missed the boat with product announcements or price drops in July or August. The eMac seems like a good idea: it may not greatly bolster Apple's bottom line, but it could help increase Apple's share of the education market.
TiBooks to 800 MHz -- Apple has also revised the high-end Titanium PowerBook G4 line. The most visible change is the screen: it still measures 15.2 inches but now offers a resolution of 1,280 by 854 pixels, up from the 1,152 by 768 pixels of its predecessors - a 25 percent pixel increase. An ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 processor with 32 MB video memory drives the display.
The new machines sport processors up to 800 MHz with 1 MB of L3 processor cache, Gigabit Ethernet, and a DVI video connector for connecting to digital displays. (A DVI to VGA adapter is included; Apple also introduced a $150 DVI to ADC adapter to connect Apple's own digital displays.) The new PowerBooks are available immediately starting at $2,500, with processor speeds of 667 MHz and 800 MHz, 256 to 512 MB RAM, a slot-loading DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, 30 to 60 GB hard disks, and optional AirPort support. Pricing is higher than the previous low-end of the Titanium line, but cheaper than the previous 667 MHz model.