Think Different, Look the Same

Trends in music change at the drop of a hat--and so, too, do iMac colors, apparently.

That appears to be the case with the latest revision to Apple's three-year-old iMac design. The new iMacs ditch the "inspired by music" Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian patterns introduced in February for new models with familiar colors -- indigo, snow, and graphite.

The three latest iMac configurations made their debut at Macworld Expo in New York Wednesday, ushering in the sixth such revision to that product line since its introduction in May 1998. Although rumors abounded that Apple was due to replace the iMac with a new design at this month's Expo, instead CEO Steve Jobs rolled out models that kept the same look-and-feel of the existing iMacs and the computer's base price below $1,000. The revision also ushers in a high-end model that's within spitting distance -- and $200 -- of the low-end 733MHz Power Mac G4 introduced today.

The new $999 iMac is essentially the same configuration as the $1,199 iMac Apple introduced in February, with a boost to the installed memory. The 500MHz machine now has 128MB of RAM -- no surprise, since Apple lists 128MB as the minimum RAM a system must have to run Mac OS X.

Moving into the middle iMac slot with a price of $1,299 is a system similar to February's $1,499 iMac Special Edition (see "A Brief History of the iMac"). Again, RAM is the only difference between the two 600MHz systems -- the iMac announced today comes with 256MB of RAM.

At the top of the line is the new $1,499 iMac Special Edition, featuring a 700MHz G3 processor, 256MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive. Unlike the other two configurations, which are available now, the 700MHz model won't ship until August.

The iMac Through History Here's how the new iMacs released today compare to the top-of-the-line iMac models throughout its lifespan.

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