Apple has revamped its iMac range with CD-RW drives and iTunes, G3 processors running at up to 600MHz, and 40GB hard drives. But the most talked about new additions to these new iMacs, unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during this morning’s Macworld Expo Tokyo keynote, are the two new patterned case colours: Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power.
Blue Dalmation is a white iMac with white spots on its cool-blue sides. Flower Power is also white, with predominantly blue multicoloured, layered petal shapes. The Indigo and Graphite colours remain; Ruby, Sage and Snow all go.
"There's a big tie-in between the new colours and what we're doing with the digital lifestyle and digital music revolution," said Linda McNulty, Apple's director of product marketing for desktop products. She recalled Jobs' Macworld Expo San Francisco keynote, when he presented the music visualization feature in Apple's iTunes software, depicting "what music would look like if you could see it". "That's the thinking that inspired these designs,” McNulty said.
Apple spent 18 months researching and developing the new iMac enclosures, as the company determined "what looks best and what's going to appeal to this whole music scene," said product manager Greg Joswiak.
iMac flavours The entry-level iMac, available in Indigo only, features a 400MHz G3 processor and contains 64MB of RAM, 512K backside cache, a 10GB Ultra ATA hard disk, slot loading CD-ROM drive, 8MB ATI Rage 128 Pro video card, built-in 56K modem, two USB ports, and VGA video mirroring. Unlike previous entry-level iMacs, this new model features two FireWire slots and is AirPort ready. It costs £799, including VAT.
The mid-range iMac, available in Indigo, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power, features a 500MHz G3 and contains 64MB of RAM, 256K on-chip backside cache, a 20GB Ultra ATA hard disk, slot-loading CD-RW drive, 16MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra, a built-in 56K modem, two FireWire ports and two USB ports, and VGA video mirroring. It costs £999, including VAT.
The top-of-the-range iMac Special Edition, available in Graphite, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power, features a 600MHz G3 and contains 128MB of RAM, 256K on-chip backside cache, a 40GB Ultra ATA hard disk, a slot-loading CD-RW drive, 16MB ATI Rage 128 Ultra, built-in 56K modem, two FireWire ports and two USB ports, and VGA video mirroring. It costs £1,199, including VAT.
All the new iMac models are available immediately.
Entertainment centres “iMac has evolved into an entertainment centre, where you can create desktop movies, manage your digital music library and burn custom music CDs,” said Jobs. “iMovie and iTunes are so easy to learn and use, even your parents can use them without getting confused.”
Apple’s “jukebox” software, iTunes, (now updated to version 1.1) lets users create and manage their own music library and burn their own custom audio CDs. Apple claims iTunes has been downloaded more than 750,000 times since its debut in January. The free software lets users import songs from CDs into their iMac and compress them into the popular MP3 format; organize their music using simple searching, browsing, and play-list features; watch graphic visualizations on their computer screen; and create custom music CDs with the new iMac’s CD-RW drive.
All iMac models also come preinstalled with Apple’s iMovie 2, the latest version of the easy-to-use consumer digital video-editing software, and offer two FireWire ports for connection to a high-speed peripherals such as digital camcorders and cameras.
Every iMac comes standard with Apple’s optical mouse and full-size Apple Pro Keyboard, and is AirPort ready. AirPort is Apple’s wireless-networking solution that provides untethered Internet access at speeds up to 11 megabits per second.