Apple replaces eMac with $899 iMac for education

Apple on Wednesday introduced an $899 version of its 17-inch Intel-based iMac specifically for the educational market. The company took the wraps off the new model at this week’s NECC conference in San Diego, Calif. Apple says the new low-cost iMac is its replacement for the eMac, Apple’s last CRT-based system.

The $899 iMac boasts some similar specifications to Apple’s base-model iMac that’s available for $1,299. The Core Duo processor is clocked at the same speed — 1.83GHz — and it features an iSight video camera and comes with iLife ‘06 pre-installed. It also comes with 512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, expandable to 2GB, built-in 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet capabilities, built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi wireless networking, three USB 2.0 ports and two FireWire 400 ports.

What’s missing compared to the $1,299 retail model is Bluetooth connectivity, an optical SuperDrive (instead this system features a 24X CD-RW/DVD-ROM “Combo” drive), and ATI-based graphics — this system instead features integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics. The educational iMac also features a smaller hard drive — 80GB, as opposed to 160GB.

The new low-cost iMac is available immediately through the Apple Store for Education. The eMac, which has been restricted to education sales only, is no longer in production but will remain available while supplies last through the Apple Store for Education.

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