New iMacs Highlight Macworld Expo Tokyo — At his keynote address at the Macworld Expo in Tokyo, Steve Jobs continued Apple’s move to CD-RW as the media device of choice in new Macs. Apple’s iMac line still includes Indigo and Graphite models, and adds psychedelic Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power designs. Available in a basic 400 MHz model ($900, with CD-ROM drive) and higher-end 500 MHz and 600 MHz models ($1,200 and $1,500 with CD-RW drives), the iMac family is now at the core of Apple’s "digital lifestyle" push. Interestingly, no iMacs currenty offer DVD-ROM drives, though the low-end 450 MHz Power Mac G4 Cube ($1,300) retains one, and they’re available as build-to-order options on Power Mac G4s and G4 Cubes. New G4 Cube models at $1,600 and $2,144 (with 128 and 256 MB of memory, respectively, compared to 64 MB for the base model) sport CD-RW drives, and the high-end unit also packs Nvidia’s GeForce2 MX video controller and a 60 GB hard disk.
Apple announced a $1,000 price cut in its 22-inch flat-panel Cinema Display, now a mere $3,000. Jobs also unveiled Nvidia’s GeForce3 graphics processing unit (GPU), a high-end chip appearing first on the Mac that performs over 800 billion operations per second to render 3D objects; it will be available as a $350 build to order option on Power Mac G4s in April. Almost lost in the shuffle was word that Apple’s top-of-the-line 733 MHz Power Mac G4 minitower, with the CD- and DVD-writing SuperDrive, is now shipping. [MHA]