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Apple Revises eMac 223

Posted by timothy
from the flatscreen-would-rule dept.
RadRafe writes "Today Apple revised the eMac. It now sports a 1.25 GHz G4 processor, DDR RAM, and Radeon 9200 graphics. The Combo Drive model has twice as much RAM as before, and the SuperDrive model now costs just a grand. This is the first consumer Mac update in five months."
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Apple Revises eMac

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  • Worth buying? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by psyconaut (228947) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:46PM (#8855944)
    At a grand with a Superdrive, seems like a nice little system for me to use when at home rather than setting up my Powerbook G4 when I get home...any comments on how usable it is? I'd definitely bump the RAM up from 256mbytes ;-)

    -psy
    • Re:Worth buying? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Visigothe (3176) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:55PM (#8856027) Homepage
      The eMac is a good machine. the proc is fast enough to do most things [web, mail, WP, digital camera editing, mp3 ripping, etc.]. A few things to be aware of. The eMac is much larger than you think it is. Unlike the original iMac, the eMac doesn't have a handle, and the 17" monitor makes it rather awkward to pick up and move around.

      And yes, you'll want to up the RAM to as much as you can afford [OSX likes to use RAM as cache].

      Enjoy!
      • I definitely wouldn't move it much...that's what my Powerbook is for ;-)

        Thanks for the comments....I think I'll go buy one!

        -psy
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Huge Pi Removal (188591) * <oliver+slashdot@watershed.co.uk> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @04:02AM (#8857905) Homepage
        FYI, the eMac is slightly shorter front-to-back than a CRT iMac :)

        It is, however, wider, higher, heavier, and a pain to move around. Good machines though, and the CRT is flat which makes it pleasant to work at.

        Oliver.
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by chrism238 (657741)
        And yes, you'll want to up the RAM to as much as you can afford [OSX likes to use RAM as cache]

        I'm a bit confused by your comment. One of the very reasons for having (lots of) RAM is for it to act as a cache. I help lots of first-time Linux users who express disappointment that the free command keeps showing that 95% of RAM is being used ("but I just bought 512MB more, and it's full again!!?!").

        Are you suggesting that using RAM as cache is somehow unusual? What are you saving it for?

        • >>Are you suggesting that using RAM as cache is somehow unusual?

          Not at all. Merely stating fact. OSX [like all Unix(like) machines] use as much RAM as cache as it can. Where in my previous post do you find a suggestion that it is unusual? If I stated something like "unlike most OSs, OS X uses RAM as cache", that suggests something [and also happens to be false]. Stating "OSX likes to use RAM as cache" is just a fact that the OP may not be aware of.

          breathe.
    • Re:Worth buying? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by merdark (550117)
      It has a CRT. I will never ever buy another CRT again. LCD is just that much better. Too bad this is not just a box, I really can't stand computers with attached monitors (laptops excepted of course).
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:2, Insightful)

        So just hide it in a cabinet, and attach a VGA-plug LCD screen...
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by somethinghollow (530478) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @12:44AM (#8857162) Homepage Journal
        At risk of getting my chops busted, here is my input:

        It is a flat CRT, not a regular CRT. I'm staring at mine now, and to the left of it is a standard CRT I got from Gateway. It's running dual display (not mirroring). Compared to my old Gateway CRT, the eMac FLAT CRT is incredible.

        My graphic design professor said flat CRTs are better for design work than LCD or regular CRTs. Having worked with all three, I can attest to that.

        As far as the "too bad it isn't just a box," I guess that is personal opinion. I don't need the extra PCI slots, since everything I interface with is USB / firewire. The monitor is great, and the only thing I'd ever want to upgrade is the internal HDD (difficult) and RAM (easy). But I look at it this way: My eMac is roughly the same dimensions as just the older Apple CRTs for PowerMacs, and I don't have to find a place to store the box. But, hey, to each his own.
        • Re:Worth buying? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by merdark (550117) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @01:47AM (#8857479)
          It's really just the CRT. I can't stand CRTs anymore. I don't really do much graphic design so that's not too much of an issue for me. I find LCDs to be much much easier on my eyes, and also much sharper (pixels really looks square). Not to mention subpixel antialiasing for fonts is AWSOME. I spend my entire day looking at text, so for me an LCD is top priority.

          Oh, not to mention an LCD takes up much less space on my desk and produces far less heat. Both properties are also very very important to me.

          But as you said, to each his own. Perhaps a CRT suits your needs better if you are a hardcore designer. CRTs do have better colour contrast than LCDs, but the average person would not be able to notice I doubt. :)
          • Re:Worth buying? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Graymalkin (13732) * on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @04:44AM (#8858010)
            The eMac uses about as much power (ie produces as much heat) as a similarly sized CRT monitor. So for the heat output of a nice size monitor you get a whole computer. Even if you've got a flat panel display it is going to be driven by a little space heater under the desk. While an LCD is definitely going to be smaller than an eMac the overall power savings aren't too impressive. If you want a system that won't heat up a room or take up a bunch of space get a Powerbook. My 12" PB uses as much power as a small light bulb and has a really crisp screen.
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by crackshoe (751995) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @12:49AM (#8857193)
        At the moment, i would go with a CRT over an LCD. why? I don't particularly value my desktop space ( i currently have 2 19" displays and a 21". i have the room), and LCD's are tiny per cost. I've used the apple 17" display, and its gorgeous, but overpriced. I do haev a few smaller (15") LCD's i use in a 'server closer' or for portable systems, but i wouldn't want to use one everyday. But as far as attatched displays go, I agree with the exception of the iMac. We bought one for my mum, and its a great box (unless you want to get all fiddly in it). The eMac is really designed for educational entry level enterprise use. after i graduated, my highschool upgraded to eMacs, with individuals logging in and having a floating profile. they were, i believe, designed to be cost efficent (as far as apple goes - theres also a CD-ROm only version thats only available for educational accounts) all in 1 systems. while i think it is currently the cheapest available apple boxen, i would think that the affordable iBOok would be a better draw for those on the edge of switching - but for mass deployed education, you want a relatively sturdy all-in-one box. LCD's get damaged really easily (hey, ir member the joys of making permanent squiggles in the school owned laptops).
        • I know. :) It's just that people here seemed to be suggesting the eMac for a personal use. I guess if you don't mind CRTs then it could be good.

          I hope my next machine (the one that will make me a switcher so to speak) will be a powerbook.
    • At a grand with a Superdrive, seems like a nice little system for me to use when at home rather than setting up my Powerbook G4 when I get home

      You can afford to spend $1K just to save yourself from plugging in your laptop? You've weathered the downturn better than most of us!

      I'd definitely bump the RAM up from 256mbytes ;-)

      Systems are always sold without quite enough RAM. Anything to get the price past whatever sweet spot they're trying for.

      • Actually, I really need a new laptop as my 2-year old G4 is falling to pieces (mind you, it's been around the world a couple of times and I use it every day). But I can't justify buying a new 15" G4-Al right now. ;-)

        As for the downturn, I was lucky enough not to have to work through most of it....I think I might have had to do a Joe-job if I did! Things seem to be picking up here in Toronto, and I work in the financial sector these days doing some rather specialist stuff, so I'm lucky.

        -psy
      • Re:Worth buying? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bhima (46039)
        This has always been one of my problems with Apple!

        I've always thought they should just pass the RAM at market prices and double or triple the RAM in base systems

        Surely the positive reviews would be worth very slight drop in the revenue stream.

        After all I love OS X but it sure ain't fluxbox!

    • You'll be much happier with vi.
    • After I bought my PowerMac a couple years ago, then an iBook, I talked my dad into buying an eMac to replace the old p166 I gave him . . .

      I have to admit I always disliked computers with built-in CRTs, but the eMac is pretty slick. If I'm ever on a budget in the future and can only afford an intro model, I probably wouldn't rule out the eMac. It appears to have a goofy form factor when viewed on -line, but in person it looks pretty attractive. I'll second the other folks' recommendations about the swive
  • by Reorax (629666) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:51PM (#8855990)
    ...because asking people about Emacs isn't confusing enough already.
  • by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @09:56PM (#8856032)
    For under $800 this Mac is a bargain for potential "switchers". It is a Jaguar system for those who don't want to invest in a $2,000+ G5 setup to give the Mac a try.

    When I wanted to try out OS X, I did so with a $1800 Powerbook Ti G4 at 400Mhz, 256k RAM, 20GB HD, and a CD/DVD reader. I found that system well equiped to flex the power of then OS 10.1. Panther and Jaguar are both responsive on my 400Mhz PB and I can only imagine that on the $800 eMac, especially if the 256k is upgraded, it would be a great low cost Mac.

    This eMac system is well equiped for experimenting with iMovie, iPhoto, iTunesMusicStore, and GarageBand - all which come with it. For just $200 more you get a DVD burning SuperDrive and twice the drive space.

    But like I say, for $800, this is a great system for those who don't want to make the investment in a G5 inorder to give OS X a try.
    • by Llywelyn (531070) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @10:06PM (#8856115) Homepage
      >It is a Jaguar system

      Panther, actually.
    • especially if the 256k is upgraded

      See? 640k would be MORE than enough for you... And everybody makes fun of Billy-G for that comment...
    • by bhima (46039) <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @04:44AM (#8858012) Journal
      Actually a last a guy had a pretty good idea for a bargain Mac. Stupid name "Core Crib" but a good idea none the less. It was basically a headless / Speaker-less eMac G4. The prototype rendering he had was very nice, very "Macish", very cheap. I believe he wanted either to buy spares or factory reconditioned parts or something like that. Of course Apple legal emasculated him and so a good idea lays by the way side.

      I had hoped that when people started to make IBM PPC 970 reference boards that something like the idea would resurge.

      But giving the whole thing a little more thought, there is no-way Apple would allow something to run Apple's OS at a lower cost that any of their offerings. Perhaps something will come out that requires mad soldering and live BIOS swapping, but not something someone not willing to sacrifice a goat would attempt. Which is too bad. I really think if they produced some at a Mail Station price point that would really increase their market share.

      • I had hoped that when people started to make IBM PPC 970 reference boards that something like the idea would resurge.

        The problem with the 970 reference boards is that they are just that. Reference boards. Designed and priced for prototyping. A 1.6GHz reference board alone costs more than a complete dual 2GHz G5.

        The machine I would like to see is a relaunched cube, with eMac specs, and a slightly sub-eMac price (or maybe the same price, with the lack of monitor being made up for by an AGP slot and mayb

    • If you have access to the Education Store, Apple is making a 1 Ghz eMac with a CD-ROM, and one without any optical drive(DDR333 256MB, 40GB HD). It looks like Apple is getting serious about going after the educational market again, to compete with cheap x86 boxes.

      The next logical step would be a headless eMac. I would vote for one with a DVD drive, so IT people can boot from a CD/DVD to configure Netboot, and run hardware troubleshooting discs.
    • by Lebooge (728899) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @10:28AM (#8859466)
      Another thing for people to keep in mind is that this is the 'e'Mac.... as in educational. This box is not designed for power users or even 'prosumer' high-end home users. It's designed to be a relatively cheap computer that Apple can sell in bulk to school districts.
      • This box is not designed for power users or even 'prosumer' high-end home users.

        True, but that's consumerism for you. There's a high-productivity video production studio downstairs from me, and they bought an eMac just to develop interfaces and do preliminary graphics work, plus After Effects rendering on the side.

        Considering a lot of power users in the video trades are still using their tricked-out early G4's (it ain't broke, don't fix it--I even know an audio project-studio still doing their main reco

  • iPod killer (Score:5, Funny)

    by amichalo (132545) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @10:15PM (#8856180)
    What a rip off Apple, no one is ever gonna buy the 40 GB iPod now - not when for just $300 more they can get a 40 GB music player with a combo drive, airport extreme & bluetooth support, and a 17" CRT for viewing cover art and playlists.

    Plus it comes with Garageband and iTMS BUILT IN!!!
    • Yes, but for once the battery life on the iPod would be an advantage. Not to mention that carrying around an eMac at the gym wouldn't have the same "coolness factor" as an iPod, despite it's larger color display, wireless support, GarageBand, etc.
      • Right, whatever... people say the same thing about the iPod Mini's supposed increased portability.
      • Not to mention that carrying around an eMac at the gym wouldn't have the same "coolness factor" as an iPod, despite it's larger color display, wireless support, GarageBand, etc.

        Not to mention the cost of multiple hernia operations ...

  • $749 for the combo/40gb, and $899 for the superdrive/80gb!!! That's $100 savings on the latter. Seems like it'll be a great buy for students who.
  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:33PM (#8856720) Homepage
    Cache = store, etc. I think you might mean cachet. That's pronounced "kash-ay" for you Americans that don't speak foreign.

  • Nice little system (Score:5, Informative)

    by hattig (47930) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:40PM (#8856774) Journal
    At last a reasonably priced Apple computer. And the international prices don't have the standard 50% Apple International tax, they are reasonably close to the US prices after currency conversion!

    For a laugh earlier I configured a system on Dells site with similar features. This was a 2.6GHz Celeron 2400C system. It came out higher priced than the eMac (eMac 549, Dell 580) for as close a match of specification as possible (and I made sure that warranties, etc, were minimal on the Dell, I'm not an Apple owner so I won't cheat like that!). Certainly not a bad deal in my opinion, especially with iLife and Panther included (after a year of using XP, I realise how much I loathe it). The Dell looked like a turd as well, if that matters to you! :)
    • by bhima (46039)
      That "standard 50% Apple International tax" is enough for me to go back the US, say hello to some old friends, pick up a new PowerMac & Display (When they finally come out) and drag them both back. For a net savings!

      So I wind up giving my money to KLM rather than Apple.

      Disclaimer: Part of this is caused by the Dollar Euro conversion rate and the fact that I Still have US dollars.

  • by jimlau (581205) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @12:14AM (#8856961) Homepage
    From the "Tech Specs" page:

    SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW); writes DVD-R discs at up to 8x speed, reads DVDs at up to 10x speed, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x speed, writes CD-RW discs at up to 10x speed, reads CDs at up to 32x speed

    8X DVD-R speed, that's twice what they're putting in the G5s! Bonus points for that. It's nice that it's not a bare-bones low end model.

    • by Anonymous Freak (16973) <prius DOT driver AT mac DOT com> on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @12:28AM (#8857061) Journal
      To me, this is an iron-clad sign that the entire lineup of desktop Macs is about to receive an update.

      I mean, making the second-cheapest computer have a faster drive than the top of the line PowerMac? And making this new eMac better or equal to the iMac in every way at a significantly cheaper price? This can't stand for long. Either LCDs are so expensive that they're not making much of a profit off the iMacs, or the iMac is about to be updated.

      Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if everything else but the iBook gets an update within two weeks. (This also signals to me that the iMac will either receive a noticeable speed bump, or go G5.)
      • Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if everything else but the iBook gets an update within two weeks. (This also signals to me that the iMac will either receive a noticeable speed bump, or go G5.)

        Don't tease me like that, i've had my eye on a 12" powerbook for the past few months. I'm sure there will be no revision in the next couple weeks, because I'm not going to buy one until another month or so, THAT is when they'll release the new line, 2 weeks to a month after I finally crack down and buy my powerbook.

        -
  • that the fan isn't as loud as in the previous model. It uses the newer G4, so there is some hope. But the quiet old fanless iMacs were really nice.
    • I just hope that the fan isn't as loud as in the previous model. It uses the newer G4, so there is some hope. But the quiet old fanless iMacs were really nice.

      Yes, the fan noise of the early eMac is my *only* complaint about the thing. Hell, even the speakers aren't *completely* sucky. I agree with you that the fanless iMacs were incredibly nice...but they weren't silent unless you got one with a hard drive much quieter than the one I have. I'm guessing this one will be very similar in noise proper

    • But the quiet old fanless iMacs were really nice.

      And which were they? I've taken apart both flavours of iMac and they both have a fan in. The fan in the CRT iMac is in the bottom, just behind the CD-ROM drive. The fan in the LCD iMac is right at the top, pointing up toward the monitor stalk.

      • > And which were they? I've taken apart both flavours of iMac and they both have a fan in.

        There were a lot more than two flavours of the iMac, the CRT iMacs alone had a dozen of revisions [everymac.com]. The earlier versions had a fan, but I believe all versions between 350mhz and the LCD iMacs didn't. In any case, the 350mhz [macworld.com] and the 500mhz [macaddict.com] were fanless.
  • by rixstep (611236) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @03:53AM (#8857883) Homepage
    This is the first consumer Mac update in five months.

    What are they up to? Where is my dual G5 PowerBook anyway?
  • by mzs (595629) on Wednesday April 14, 2004 @09:09AM (#8858896)
    Here is a link that I probably found on macosxhints.com some time ago:

    http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html [rutemoeller.com]

    It tells about how you can use an nvramrc to change graphic-options on your mac to enable monitor spanning (as apposed to monitor mirroring). It works on Radeon 7500 eMacs [rutemoeller.com] but it is unclear yet whether this trick will work on these new eMacs. Let's hope so....

  • ... Unfortunately. I was hoping Apple's lowest tier would still allow us to boot into 9 when necessary... Another case of Apple dragging us into the future, whether we like it or not.

    Unfortunately there are many applications (including a few decent games) that don't boot, or run buggy from X running "classic." My faithful laser printer doesn't print from X running "classic." I can understand why it wouldn't work with a G5, but how difficult would it really be to allow dual-boot with the remaining G4

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