Apple has added two enticing options to its consumer lineup — low-price iMac and iMac DV models that offer the elegant design of the original, plus a functional mouse and keyboard. First-time Mac buyers will find the $799 iMac (available only in indigo) a terrific bargain. For those interested in editing digital video on the cheap, the $999 iMac DV is likewise tempting.
The indigo iMac is a more vibrant blue than the blueberry and Bondi models that came before it, and the iMac DV — which also comes in indigo — adds a richer red (ruby) to Apple’s color palette. But although the colors and prices are new, these iMacs are nearly identical to earlier models. Like the blueberry iMac, the new iMac bears a 350MHz processor and lacks the iMac DV’s FireWire and video-out ports and AirPort capability. The new 400MHz iMac DV differs from earlier DV models in its inclusion of a CD-ROM drive instead of a DVD-ROM player. Both iMacs ship with a much smaller collection of software than previous iMacs did.
Our lab tests revealed that the new models offer performance similar to that of their predecessors, although the new iMac was slower in our Speedmark tests (which may be accounted for by a different hard drive and ROM version).