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Apple Releases 17" CRT-Based eMac, for Education Market Only

Apple Releases 17" CRT-Based eMac, for Education Market Only

by , 8:00 AM EDT, April 29th, 2002

Apple has officially unveiled what Mac users have been wanting for years, a 17" CRT-based iMac. There are two caveats: it's only intended for the education market, and it's being called the eMac. The eMac uses a 700 MHz G4 processor, includes 5 USB ports (only three are on the eMac itself, the other two are the ports included in the keyboard) and 2 FireWire ports, and starts at US$999, again that's only for the education market. The CRT screen is a flat-screen CRT, and Apple has actually made it more shallow than the old 15" CRT-based iMac by 8 mm.

Other tech specs of note:

  • The US$999 model does not include a built-in modem
  • The US$999 model has only a CD-ROM drive - the US$1199 model has a DVD/CD_RW combo drive
  • Apple is offering two configurations: one that boots up in X, and one that boots up in OS 9
  • The serial number and Ethernet ID (usually called the MAC number) are located on the optical drive's door, aimed at making it easier for inventory management
  • There are no feet, and the unit sits flat on its feet, with the entire front sloped back for viewing ease

From Apple:

Apple® today unveiled the eMac®, a new desktop line designed specifically for education, featuring a stunning 17-inch flat CRT and a powerful 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor in a remarkably compact design that is 8 mm less deep than the original 15-inch iMac®. The most affordable PowerPC G4 system ever, the new eMac line starts at just $999 (US).

"Our education customers asked us to design a desktop computer specifically for them," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "The new eMac features a 17-inch flat CRT and a powerful G4 processor, while preserving the all-in-one compact enclosure that educators love."

"By listening to educators and including their suggestions in the development of the product, Apple is showing why they have led the market for technology in education for the past 25 years," said James L. Konantz, Asst. Superintendent, Instructional Technology, Los Angeles Unified School District. "The new eMac delivers on the promise of powerful, affordable technology for schools."

Designed for today's digital classroom, the new eMac incorporates a 17-inch flat CRT, yet is actually 8 mm less deep than the original iMac with its 15-inch CRT, an ideal size for both classrooms and computer labs. The 17-inch flat CRT display has screen resolutions up to 1280-by-960 pixels in 24-bit color. All eMacs include Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle software, including iPhoto™ for managing and sharing digital photographs, iMovie™ 2 for creating digital movies and iTunes™ 2 for creating a digital music library.

With five USB ports and two FireWire® ports, eMac provides easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as digital video camcorders, digital still cameras, printers and scanners. The eMac line includes a choice of a tray-loading CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive for watching DVDs and burning CDs.

Additional eMac features include:

  • 40GB ATA Hard Drive;
  • built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet;
  • a 56K V.90 modem (some models);
  • support for optional AirPort™(IEEE 802.11) wireless networking;
  • a total viewable image size of 16 inches on the 17-inch flat CRT;
  • an audio-in port, headphone jack, and integrated 16-watt digital amplifier and stereo speakers for great stereo sound;
  • NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 3D AGP 2X graphics with 32MB of Double Date Rate (DDR) video memory for outstanding performance;
  • an incredible software bundle offering AppleWorks®, QuickTime®, Mac OS® X Mail, Microsoft Internet Explorer, WorldBook Mac OS X Edition, PCalc and Acrobat Reader;
  • Mac OS X version 10.1.4, Mac OS 9.2.2; and
  • Apple's optical Pro mouse and full-size Apple Pro Keyboard.

Pricing & Availability
eMac priced at $999 (US) includes:

  • 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor;
  • 128MB SDRAM;
  • CD-ROM optical drive; and
  • 40GB ATA Hard Drive.

eMac priced at $1,199 (US) includes:

  • 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor;
  • 128MB SDRAM;
  • CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo optical drive;
  • 40GB ATA Hard Drive; and
  • 56K V.90 modem.

You can find more information on the eMac at Apple's education Web site. The new model will be available in May to US and Canada education customers. Join in on the discussion on the eMac in our forums.

Thanks to Darla Sasaki for her assistance with this article.

The Mac Observer Spin:

In our never humble opinion, it is absurd for Apple to make this unit available only for the education market. Jump the price up by US$200 or US$300 for retail, and let customers decide which route they want to go. Apple has featured education-only products before, but since the PowerMac G3 All-in-one that was discontinued more than three and a half years ago the company has not limited its product line in such a manner. One of the most memorable education-only units would be the ill-fated eMate, the portable based on Apple's Newton technology. That was nuked when Steve Jobs axed the entire Newton division.

The problem with making the eMac an education-only model is that there are MANY Mac users that would love to buy it. Is that such a bad thing? Is Apple worried about competition for its new iMac G4? If so, the company should get a grip, get out of the way, and let its customers do what they want. Since we don't sit in on Apple's product meetings, there are likely circumstances of which we don't know. From the outside, the same place from which all of Apple's customers look at the company's offerings, it doesn't make sense. We hope that Apple eventually brings this product to the consumer side.

That out of the way, we are very excited about this new model. It offers things the education market wants: a sub-US$1000 model, a model without a DVD drive, a model without a modem, a model with a larger screen, a model with enough USB ports to not need a USB hub more often that not, and a model that is as durable (as we assume this one is) as is the old iMac. All of those features are very important to those managing the built-on-a-shoestring networks that make up most educational settings. It should be a big hit.

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