Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, took a cue from his boss, CEO Steve Jobs, as he unveiled one more thing at the end of his keynote to kick off this week’s Apple Expo in Paris: an
iMac G5 that includes the entire system inside a 17- or 20-inch LCD screen. Continuing the all-in-one theme that started with the original CRT iMac, the G5 edition features a new industrial design that does away with the hemispherical base of the previous generation all together. Schiller said that the new iMacs will be available in mid-September.
All iMacs feature common traits, including a widescreen aspect ratio and a slot-loading optical drive built into the right-hand edge of the system. They come mounted on an anodized, centrally mounted aluminum pedestal that allows the system to tilt up and down from 25 degrees to -5 degrees. The systems also feature downwardly-firing speakers whose grilles are used to vent air into the machine; a rear vent on top displaces hot air. Apple says the new iMac operates at 25dB when idle.
The new iMacs come in 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz G5 processor speeds, but all share a Front Side Bus (FSB) architecture and support for 400MHz DDR RAM. All the new systems also sport Serial ATA (SATA)-based internal storage and Nvidia GeForce 5200 Ultra graphics with 64MB of VRAM. The new iMac has peripheral connectors mounted vertically on their rear panels; the systems feature audio in, audio out — supporting analog or digital output, much like Apple’s AirPort Express — a mini-VGA connector, three USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire 400 ports, a 56K v.92 modem and 10/100baseT Ethernet. Support for 802.11g-based wireless networking is optional using an internal AirPort Extreme card, as is an internal Bluetooth interface.
The base 17-inch iMac G5 comes equipped with a 1440 x 900 pixel screen, 80GB 7200RPM hard disk drive, DVD-ROM/CD-RW “Combo” drive, 533MHz Front Side Bus and 1.6GHz processor, for US$1,299. A 1.8GHz model, with a 600MHz Front Side Bus, is equipped with a DVD-R “SuperDrive” and costs US$1,499. The 1,680 x 1050 resolution 20-inch model, sporting a 1.8GHz processor, 160GB 7200RPM hard drive and SuperDrive, costs $1,899.
In addition to shipping with Mac OS X v10.3, the new iMacs also include AppleWorks, Quicken 2004 for Mac, WorldBook Encyclopedia 2004 Edition, iLife ’04 and the games Nanosaur 2 and MarbleBlast Gold. Build-to-order options include increasing the RAM to 2GB and the hard drives to 160GB or 250GB in the 17- and 20-inch models, respectively. Apple’s wireless keyboard and mouse are also available as add-on options.