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iMac Businesses Apple Hardware

Apple Offers eMacs To All 111

pinqkandi writes "Apple released the cool and cheap eMac a few weeks ago -- but for educational purposes only. Today, they announced that it is now available to everyone, for only $1099, making it the cheapest G4 Mac ever. I'll buy one." I won't, but I am glad people who want to buy it, can. It's a nice little machine. I guess Apple doesn't see it cutting into iMac G4 sales, but I wonder if iMac G3 sales (starting at $800) will suffer.
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Apple Offers eMacs To All

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  • There isn't an option for DVD or even just a plain CDROM.
    • Very good point.

      I don't see the CD-ROM only model sold in the education market being the best idea for a general release, but I can't for the life of me figure out why they aren't making the combo drive configuration (also available to education customers) available generally. Is there such a high demand for it in the edu market that they don't have enough units? That's never stopped Apple before...
      Or maybe they're just trying not to cannibalise iMac sales.
    • I guess Apple would like you to consider the flat-panel iMac instead
    • Read the pretentious component names:

      700Mhz PowerPC G4
      40GB Ultra ATA
      NVIDIA GeForce2 MX with 32 MB of DDR SDRAM
      Two 400-Mbps FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports (5); 8 watts shared
      (fortunately, Apple's long since stopped prepending all their new product names with Power or Quick) QuickTime
      Apple Pro Keyboard, Apple Pro Mouse
  • Wow, this looks super-cool.

    One of my concerns with the new flat-panel iMac is that it looks less durable, but the eMac seems to solve that problem, and with a flat tube no less. Obviously this was most important to the educational settings, as this one looks more lab-friendly, but I can see it being a useful thing for students and families and the like.

    Go Apple!
    • No kidding. A bigger screen at $300 less. This may not eat into old iMac sales so much as the flat iMac sales. Because with the exception of drive offerings, the eMac is essentially the same computer with a different monitor.

      Question for anyone with the information: what kind of fans do the various current iMac/eMac models offer? Aren't the old G3 iMacs fanless? What about the flat-screen iMac? Any idea on the eMac?
  • I doubt that Apple will continue to manufacture the old-style iMac. Most likely, they're only selling off their inventory now, and now that that's running low, they're making this box available. People who want DVD can go for the new iMac.
    • Lessee...$800 for the (base model) old iMac, $1100 for the new eMac. Dumping the old iMac would boost Apple's lure-'em-into-the-showroom price by $300 (37.5%). That doesn't sounds like a smart move. Not to say that the old iMac line couldn't use some freshing up, starting with the new IBM G3 CPU that they just added to the iBooks.
  • Wow, what are they thinking? I really think they should have thrown more RAM in there, even if it cost a little more. OS X would probably go a lot faster.

    As it is, people will buy this eMac, complain about it being slow and tell all their friends, who will just assume Macs are slow.

    • I'm using 128 megs on an G3 iMac (circa Jan 2000) and Mac OS X works great. Of course I don't use it for high end game playing, photoshop or other workhorse apps.

      For typical use (e-mail, browsing, an office suite), digital hub stuff (iPhoto, iTunes) and for unix-y program-y stuff, the eMac is likely to be a pretty good choice.

      Don't expect a machine billed as an 'educational computer' to blow the doors off your expectations.
      • I'm using 128 megs on an G3 iMac (circa Jan 2000) and Mac OS X works great. Of course I don't use it for high end game playing, photoshop or other workhorse apps.

        For typical use (e-mail, browsing, an office suite), digital hub stuff (iPhoto, iTunes) and for unix-y program-y stuff, the eMac is likely to be a pretty good choice.

        Well, your experience is totally different from mine. I was running my iBook with OS X's newest version (10.1.4, I think) with 128 megs, and I took darn near forever staring at that rainbow disk switching between Internet Explorer and Terminal. It was intolerably slow, and it really seemed to fly once I put it up to 384 megs. If you consider web browsing and emacs workhorse apps...

        Don't expect a machine billed as an 'educational computer' to blow the doors off your expectations.

        My fear is that people don't know what expectations to have--even if they're expecting OS 9-like performance with 128 megs, OS X will leave a bitter taste in their mouths. How much does another 128 megs cost, 50 bucks? Given the purpose of these machines is to introduce macs to kids, so they later buy more macs, is it really so wise to give kids the impression that "macs are slow"?

        • Comparison test. (Score:2, Informative)

          by Big Sean O ( 317186 )
          I did just what you suggested on both my iMac DV SE (Jan 2000) and iBook (Sept 2001). Both of them have 128 megs RAM and Mac OS X 10.1.4.

          With Mozilla and Finder running I started Terminal. I got a prompt at the end of "3 hippopotamus" on both machines. Earlier when I had a few more programs open in the dock (BBedit, Help Viewer, System Preferences) it went up to "5 hippopotamus". Not great (and my 'stopwatch' sux), but not exactly forever.

          I'll take your tip and get some more ram when I have the chance.
          • I can't make any promises on application launching times--having more memory makes it more likely the application is cached it will start up faster, but if it's the first time you start the application up since last reboot, it likely takes just as long no matter how much ram you've got, at least that's my guess.

            What I was referring to was, having already started both IE and Terminal, switching in the dock from one to the other frequently I had to wait two seconds or more (because only one application could be in physical memory at once)--whereas after I got more memory, switching between tasks became instantaneous.

            So, I suppose if you don't have a problem waiting when switching between tasks, perhaps I'm wrong and memory won't help that much--but it certainly made my computing experience easier. Maybe it's because my mind wanders too much and I switch tasks way too often ;)

    • The memory can be increased. From their tech specs page [apple.com]:

      128MB SDRAM; two 168-pin DIMM slots support up to 1GB using 128MB, 256MB, or 512MB DIMMs
      • Just so everyone knows:


        They are forced to pay a very high price for it and in doing so are forced to charge a lot for it. When you get a computer from Apple get the least amount of RAM possible and buy the rest seperately.

        • Now, I know they charge a lot for RAM when you buy it with your machine, but how are they forced to pay a very high price for it themselves? Santa Clara county issues or something? I assumed it was just a way for Apple to make a buck.
          • Because they enter into contracts that go for 6 months at a time. The price the negotiated 6 months ago has not much to do with what RAM costs today, but we still have to pay based on the pricing of late last year. I mean come on now, $400 (US) to get a 512 MB upgrade for the iBook. It can be had elsewhere for $185, or less, if I looked that hard.

  • I guess Apple doesn't see it cutting into iMac G4 sales, but I wonder if iMac G3 sales (starting at $800) will suffer.

    Of course it will--Apple doesn't have big plans to push yesterday's hardware and design as The Next Big Thing. The G3 iMac is right at the end of it's lifespan and has only stuck around this long to fill Apple's entry-level slot. The eMac will probably completely replace the old G3 iMacs before too long.

    • i am guessing they reason they are only selling it with CD-R is because it's the way the assembly line is running. maybe the CD-rom versions are all going to schools. there is a CD-rom version of the LCD iMac, so i am guessing it'll eventually open up to the public. i would think in the next few months these will take over the 15" CRT imacs place in the lineup, and then the options will come out (optical drives and whatnot). from what was said at the end of the last quarter, the CRT iMac still sell a LOT of units. offhand i can not remember, but it was something more than 100,000 for the quarter. it's possible that will lower with the new LCD iMac shipping in volume, but the lower cost and durable screen makes it a good choice for many locations. i also wonder if some people are not ready for the physical design of the LCD iMac. i don't agree with them, but if they control the purchases, then they call the shots.
      • That's a CD R/W.

        The next step up is a combo CD R/W + DVD.

        The top of the line is a DVD R/W.

        I don't think Apple will sell a system without a writable CD; they emphasize burning too much in their advertising.

        I'd really like to see a $999 eMac replacing the prehistoric iMac range entirely, but I guess the costs aren't quite there yet.

        • The top of the line is a DVD R/W.
          So Are the MAC DVD units DVD-RW or DVD+RW?
        • DVD R/W

          Be careful with your terminology. The correct spelling is "DVD-RW" with a dash, to distinguish it from DVD-RAM and DVD+RW (with a plus).

          Also, the bottom-end eMac (schools only) [apple.com] comes with a vanilla CD drive, intentionally without burning capabilities. If the kids want to copy files, they'll have to use their iPods. :-)
          • Sorry - I should have said that I don't think Apple would sell a non-CD R/W system to consumers, as opposed to schools.

            And of course you are right to point out the existance of the two standards. It's worth noting that Apple chose the one most compatible with standard DVD players, which was surly the right decision for anyone who wants to produce a DVD playable by as many people as possible.

  • Pfah. (Score:2, Funny)

    by pb ( 1020 )
    What kind of a moron would expect mac users to run Emacs.

    And why aren't they using GNU instead of *BSD? Someone call RMS!
  • The eMac seems more attractive than other Macs from a price standpoint. Does anyone know whether it has crippled video (i.e., 1024x768 only, and no dual display) like the other 'consumer' Macs?

    The video cards are capable of dual display and 1600x1200, it would be a shame if Apple turned those features off.

    (And please don't tell me about 'cannibalizing sales' - I don't have to buy a $1700 Dell to have the ability to use a high resolution monitor).

    • Re:crippled video? (Score:2, Informative)

      by generic-man ( 33649 )
      It can do 1152x768 and 1280x960. The back has a video out port for a second monitor, but it does not support dual monitors (only mirroring).
      • Interesting... IMO this is actually a "better" computer than the iMac, at a lower cost too. Does it have PCI/AGP slots?
        • I doubt it ... where would you fit it? The case is larger than the original iMac, but that's because of the larger monitor size, nothing else. That doesn't leave any more room for expansion cards. If you want expandability, as usual, buy a G4 tower.
          • If you want expandability, as usual, buy a G4 tower.

            Which, again, at $1700 with no monitor, is overpriced.

            • Starting at $1,599, actually ... and for what you're getting, nah ... it isn't *really* overpriced. Doing a quick compare to a Dell 8200 based system w/o monitor w/ 2GHz P4, that sits around $1,277 after very minor adjustment to the G4 specs (hardrive/memory/etc.) I'm not sure about the quality difference between the sound cards, video cards, etc. - not really into those things. Sure, you can get a commodity PC for $600, but you can get a commodity iMac for that amount, too ... look on eBay, or get a refurb from the Apple store for $699 or so ...
        • You don't ask much, do you? The eMac is only slightly larger than the Kihei and Columbus iMacs, yet it has a 17" CRT rather than the 15". If anything, there's likely less room left for internal expansion.

          In line with that thought, I'd be somewhat concerned about airflow inside the machine, and the resulting cooling issues.
        • I hate to sound rude, but Apple has a Web site where you can easily read the specs.
          • I hate to sound rude, but Apple has a Web site where you can easily read the specs.

            That's a nice thought. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't exactly ADVERTISE the shortcomings of their computers.

            For example, it's awful hard to tell from a casual read that the iBook can't drive an external monitor at anything better than 1024x768. Ditto for the iMac - a reader might note that it has a GeForce2MX video card (a card which does 1600x1200 in PC land) and assume they could drive an external monitor at high resolution. But that assumption would be wrong.

    • That video card does *not* support dual display with the exception of mirroring.
  • I wonder if iMac G3 sales (starting at $800) will suffer.

    Of COURSE they will. That's the point. They're replacing that model with a current model.

  • by Chacham ( 981 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @12:29PM (#3638697) Homepage Journal
    We all vie for eMacs, with vigor, no less, but rather more.
    • We all vie for eMacs, with vigor, no less, but rather more.

      I can't HELP myself ... I GOTTA do it ...

      If your going to plug this [userfriendly.org], you should link to this [sourceforge.net].
  • Good move Steve! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geethree ( 38366 )
    This is a very big deal.

    Think about it. For those people considering buying a PeeCee...

    Feature for feature, from the 17" CRT to the G4 proc, 40g HD, USB, FireWire, ethernet, AirPort, and finally OS X... there is no better value on the market right now!

    $1099 for a desktop *nix box is huge, and just what Apple needs to lure disaffected wintel users to the Mac platform.

    • Feature for feature there are many better deals than this. Considering that this is probably Apple's best value system, they still have a long way to go if they want to come close to being competetive in the real world (e.g. not their current niche market). Budget system users want to be able to get on the internet, write some documents and maybe play some games. They can do that just as well if not faster with a $599 Dell system as they can with a $1100+ Apple system.
      • by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @01:50PM (#3639312) Journal
        Budget system users want to be able to get on the internet, write some documents and maybe play some games. They can do that just as well if not faster with a $599 Dell system as they can with a $1100+ Apple system.

        If your premise were correct, your conclusion would undoubtedly be correct, too. But as it is....

        I think Apple's biggest success over the past two years has been marketing the idea of the digital hub. While it used to be true that the average first-time computer buyer was interested only in email, surfing, and Quicken, today's newbies want to play MP3s, connect their digital cameras, and make DVDs out of their home movies.

        Keeping up with these new trends just isn't practical with PC hardware running either Windows or Linux. Have you ever tried to capture video, edit a movie, and burn a DVD with either of those platforms? Nightmare!

        If all you're interested in is surfing and email, by all means, buy the Dell. But Apple's contention-- rightly or wrongly-- is that you should expect to be able to do more than that with your home computer. And I think they're doing a great job of promoting that point of view.
        • Hell, if surfing and e-mail is all you need, shell out a couple hundred bucks for an original bondi iMac 233, throw YellowDog Linux on there, and you've got a surfing (Mozilla/Netscape) and e-mail (Ximian Evolution) machine, all in one, not to mention one that can rip/play MP3s while you're doing that with some decent speakers. You can even carry it with you. Try lugging around a cheapass Dell like that.

          I've got one sitting on my desk filling those simple roles quite nicely, and it didn't cost me a penny 'cause instead of throwing the old iMac away I just took it off my dad's hands. There are tons of the old iMacs lying around that are unloved. Go find one and make a friend for life!
          • shell out a couple hundred bucks for an original bondi iMac 233, throw YellowDog Linux on there, and you've got a surfing (Mozilla/Netscape) and e-mail (Ximian Evolution) machine....

            I think you've missed the point. Nobody who would buy an entry-level Dell would want to run Linux on anything.

            Truth be told, in terms of getting the job done quickly and easily, I wouldn't wish Linux on my worst enemy. It's just not a very effective OS for desktop use, unless your only goal is to fart around with Linux.
      • Considering that this is probably Apple's best value system, they still have a long way to go if they want to come close to being competetive in the real world [...] They can do that just as well if not faster with a $599 Dell system as they can with a $1100+ Apple system.

        I just checked Dell's site and found that comparable systems start at $819, not at $599 as you suggest. This cuts the $500 difference you claim to $280 (almost half).

        Yes, I know that's not your point, but it does weaken it, doesn't it?

    • I paid the same amount for my PC, and my PC has the same specs--40GB HD, USB, ethernet, Unix...

      The difference is, I bought mine TWO YEARS ago.

      So, really, what are you waiting for?

      Just FYI, I always price compare whatever I want to the equivalent Mac, because the hardware platform isn't that important to me. (Linux runs on Macs :) And before Apple killed the clones, I really was hopeful that there would be some price-competitive Macs on the market. But don't kid yourself; there aren't.
      • Did you remember, when comparing prices, to include the fact that the eMac comes with a bundled 17" flat-tube monitor? I paid about $1300 for a similar system 2 years ago, but the monitor cost another $200. It really isn't fair to Apple to compare a PC sans monitor to the price of an i/eMac with a builtin CRT/LCD.

        Not only that, you get what is arguably the best GUI ever designed and excellent native UNIX video-editing software, which you just can't get on a PC. Plus, iPods are schweet and the Windows/Linux sync software for them are still in the dark ages (one thing I don't like is Apple's insistence on proprietary hardware). While I'm no Mac fanatic, I do believe that they have definite advantages in some areas.

        • flat-tube monitor

          Yeesh. I thought "flat screen monitor" or "flat panel" sounded bad (Given that CRT manufacturers have been billing their monitors as flat for a long time).

          I wish people would use the terms "CRT" and "LCD". They're easy to say and aren't ambiguous
          • The eMac has a flat-tube CRT: a CRT with a flat, rather than curved, face. It is a CRT, not an LCD, and has a flat face. The term "flat-tube" is not at all ambigious to anyone familiar with modern CRT technology.
        • I did remember, actually, but I never had to pay for a new monitor because I didn't need one. I've had this same 17" monitor for over 4 years, and originally got it with a P133; I think it cost ~$250 then, and would cost $200 now. This is one of the benefits of owning a PC; you aren't forced to buy a new monitor when you don't need one.

          If I wanted video editing software, I suppose I'd look for it, but I really have no talent for it; maybe a little more talent than I have for music tracking, but still no talent. :)

          The GUI I use (and am using now) is fvwm2, and for what I do, it might very well be the best GUI ever designed. It can open xterms, maintain virtual desktops, and stay out of my way, and that's a beautiful thing.

          I agree that Macs do have some advantages in some areas; I am staunchly not in those areas, but am, rather, in those areas where they have disadvantages. Therefore, by only comparing cost and not mentioning features, I am being more than fair. However, the OS doesn't really matter since I'd probably *still* install Linux on it. :)
      • Apple has the highest profit of any computer hardware maker right now, and it's true: You do pay, component for component, more for a Mac. But what people have to understand is that when you buy a Mac you buy the whole experience. You see, a Mac is not just a computer like any other (as you may have noticed), but it's a solution. If you get a Mac, you get a computer that works the way you want it to. It's intuitive and a couple of years ahead compared to most other stuff on the market. And on top of that you get great iApps that you can only dream of getting with on PC. Sure, PC's get bundled with tons of software, but it's crap, and it's not quality-software that are easy for the "normal guy" to use. (believe me, I have seen this myself in my own family!) As an addition to all of this, you can also choose to be 100% Microsoft-free if you wish, and still have access to all the other great apps (like Adobe, Macromedia etc.).
        • I don't want an experience, and no Mac has never worked the way I want it to.

          Sell it to the masses; I've tried it, and for me, it's patently false, and I'm not a normal guy, either.

          I can be 100% Microsoft-free by simply running Linux, which I can also do on a Mac; however, there is no point paying a premium for a Mac if I'm going to run Linux on it.

          Adobe and Macromedia aren't apps; they are other big evil companies that aren't Microsoft, but wish they could have been...
          • Well, it looks like you are pretty narrow minded, and have only experienced with the "old apple" back in the 90's, when there was no OS X and no good and solid strategy.

            I don't like giving Steve Jobs too much credit, but the company is more interesting than ever right now, and the solutions they make are better than anything out there.

            As to your comment about Macromedia and Adobe, I think you are really wrong. Yes, they do want large marketshare, but their strategy and goals are very different from Microsoft's. They are not evil, and at least they are competitors on the DTP market, compared to Microsoft which is all alone and rules the world by itself....

            • I took a look at OS X, actually, and I didn't like it very much. It took me a while to find where they buried the command prompt, but I was heartened to see that it was there, at least.

              I wouldn't be using their OS, though; my original post was really just talking about their hardware, and there's no reason to pay a premium for that.

              Macromedia and Adobe monopolize their niches, they're just small niches. Macromedia has Flash and now ColdFusion, and neither product is improving any. Adobe has Photoshop, and is (still) trying to get a stranglehold on publishing, with moderate success; they're also responsible for turning PS into PDF, which was probably the smartest thing they ever did for themselves, but not necessarily a good thing for the consumer. However, trust me; given the opportunity, they'd both take Microsoft's place--that's every corporations' wet dream.
  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2002 @01:27PM (#3639113) Journal
    Anyone have info about whether all of the hardware is supported for Linux on PPC?

  • ...for our little office here. It's really a great machine for businesses that already have a Mac presense, and for any who are moving into it. 1099 for the whole kit and kaboodle. It'll fit on any desktop. It's got more than enough power for anything aside from server stuff and serious film/video production work. No DVD, but for businesses, especially small businesses, that doesn't really matter a whole lot. It's got enough video memory to run the accellerated quartz features in Jaguar. We're going to be specing these things for serveral of our clients, and retiring the aging Cube we're using to pasture as a test machine and getting one for ourselves pretty soon. I'm just peeved that It's not gonna be mine.

    Just got back from the local Apple store and they've got a couple of them out there. Really sweet little machines.
  • Hmmmmm ... wonder how long it'll be before THIS lawsuit [ubersoft.net] happens??
  • Price comparisons (Score:2, Informative)

    by dadragon ( 177695 )
    Time for dadragon to compare the feature to feature price of the new consumer eMac to the old student eMac. Prices for students come from the University of Saskatchewan's computer store (ccs.usask.ca), consumer prices are from Apple's online store (Canada) All prices are Canadian Dollars.

    Combo dvd/cdrw drive
    128mb ram
    40g HD
    Geforce2MX 32mb

    128mb ram
    40gb HD
    Geforce2MX 32mb

    Well, the difference is $185. An external DVD reader costs more than $185, but an internal one is less. I think the consumer model is a better value, but the student model will likely go down in price at the next price update, so I think this will be my next desktop.
  • hmmm...the eMac only comes in two standard configurations. One comes with a swivelling stand for the computer, and the other one doesn't.
  • The eMac will be a good choice for people like me who want a faster G4, want an all-in-one form factor, don't need a tower and just don't like flat-panel monitors.

    One question: It looks as if the eMac meets the specs for Quartz Extreme. Am I right?

  • The AmigaOne released by Eyetech or soon to be released by eyetech has already gone through its first revision and will be offering G3/G4 module PPC's in the not too distant future.

    I also want MacOSX and am seeing it as a real alternative to Windows. Infact, i believe that goes without saying now!

    But yer, the hardware is too cheap, and i wouldnt be able to run AmigaOS anyway! I Apple supported POP boards, but then again, may still require a ROM, like AmigaOS!

    Bugger!! When i get my next computer, ill c what happens. I might get an Amiga then run MacOS X through iFusion (PPC Mac Emulator for AmigaOS) and get a ROM for it somewhere *frown*...
  • I wish Apple still had a model like the LC or pizza box x100 line. Some of us "pros" can't afford pro-level machines and have to settle for consumer boxes, but have invested in a good 19" or 21" monitor, and don't want one built-in. By the time second-hand pro machines come down to consumer prices, the consumer machines seem to have outpaced them. I, for one, would be in the market for a $899 Mac like that.

Torque is cheap.