In a surprising move, Apple has announced it’s now selling the all-in-one eMac to anyone who wants one, barely a month after introducing the low-cost, CRT-based system solely for the education market. (See "Apple Rolls out Education eMac and Faster PowerBooks" in TidBITS 628.) The move brings the clunky cathode-ray tube back to Apple’s mainstream product line after a much-touted shift to an all-LCD lineup with the flat-screen iMac, but there’s one strong reason for the reversal: the eMac’s $1,100 price tag puts a 700 MHz PowerPC G4 within reach of more consumers, some of whom are still balking at the flat-screen iMac’s $1,400 minimum price tag. The default configuration of the eMac will ship with 128 MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard disk, along with a CD-RW drive and a 56K modem (which weren’t standard on the education version). Of course, the eMac still features a 17-inch CRT display, built-in 10/100-BaseT Ethernet, two FireWire ports, five USB ports, and an Nvidia GeForce2 MX graphics controller: an AirPort card can be added for wireless networking.
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