The iMac Channel

New iMacs Announced

6 October 1999 - Dan Knight

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's article on the topless iMac. After all the stress with Apple legal, it was fun doing a parody piece.

But now Apple has officially unveiled the new iMacs, which are apparently immediately available for purchase.

For the curious: yes, the photos were real, as were the specs on AppleInsider and The Mac Observer. Looks like Apple had better improve security - I'm sure if this happens again, pro-Mac sites will be more aware of the law and less likely to buckle.

There are now three iMacs. Some have typified them a good, better, and best. All three share the same case, the same 100 MHz motherboard, the same RAGE 128 video, the same pair of separate USB ports, and the same Harman Kardon sound system.

Where they differ is in CPU speed, hard drive size, memory, and whether they have CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives. This table gives a quick overview of the differences. Follow the links for full profiles of these machines.

New iMac iMac DV Special Edition
350 MHz G3 400 MHz G3 400 MHz G3
64 MB memory 64 MB memory 128 MB memory
6 GB hard drive 10 GB hard drive 13 GB hard drive
no FireWire 2 FireWire ports 2 FireWire ports
no video out VGA video port VGA video port
Blueberry only Blueberry, tangerine,
grape, lime,
Graphite only
$999 $1,299 $1,499

For anyone using a computer slower than a 300 MHz G3 (that includes me), the New iMac (c'mon Apple, can't you do a little better with names?) represents a whole lot of power for under US$1,000. It's more computer than the current $1,199 model - a bit faster, better graphics, and more memory.

At this point, I don't find DVD compelling, although that could change as soon as a few games ship on DVD instead of several CDs. The 6 GB hard drive is a bit small by today's standards, but it's also three times larger than what I have at home.

As the first Macintosh introduced at under $1,000 since the floppy only Mac Classic of 1990, the blueberry-only 350 MHz iMac should be a runaway success. It even has AirPort for talking to an iBook.

The iMac DV offers a lot of extras for $300 more: a huge hard drive, DVD, VGA video output, and two FireWire ports. I'd think twice before spending the extra money just for 14% more speed, the larger hard drive, or DVD, but find VGA output (I love big screens) and FireWire compelling reasons to spend the extra money.

For the same price as the original 233 MHz iMac, it's a lot of computer.

As for the Special Edition, unless you plan on doing digital video editing with the included iMovie software, the slightly larger hard drive and extra 64 MB of memory comes dear.

On the other hand, it is a gorgeous graphite gray.

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