The iMac Channel

The New iMac: What Color Do You Want?

Dan Knight - 1999.01.07, updated

Apple surprised us again.

Everyone expected Apple would announce a faster iMac at Macworld - more speed at the same price (most of us expected 300 MHz). And just about everyone figured a February 1 release.

So I think we were all stunned when Apple dropped the current iMac to $1,049 effective immediately and announced the immediate availability of a faster iMac at only $1,199.

In your choice of non-Bondi colors: Blueberry, Tangerine, Lime, Grape, and Strawberry.

The Hardware

The iMac 266 has almost identical specifications to the Revision B iMac. The big changes are a 50% larger hard drive (6 GB vs. 4 GB) and a 14% faster CPU (266 MHz vs. 233 MHz).

But is it a better value?

For 14% more money, you gain 14% in speed. That's enough to justify the extra cost by itself!

But you also gain a larger hard drive. Cost of a 6 GB drive vs. a 4 GB drive is about US$40 more, which drops the cost of the increased speed to about $110.

Now it's a 14% speed improvement for 11% more money. Considering that most manufacturers try to squeeze a premium price for a faster model, the iMac 266 is quite a value!

Value

Looking it over, I have to say the old iMac and the new iMac represent a lot of value for the dollar, although the 266 does offer more value. The extra speed of the iMac 266 will make things run more smoothly, but 14% is not a whole lot faster. And 4 GB is a lot of space - 6 GB seems like overkill! (Sure, next year it'll seem small, but today I'm using Macs with 2.1 GB and smaller drives, so 4 GB is a dream come true.)

Maybe it just boils down to one question: what color do you want?

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