Alongside the iMac upgrade, Apple today introduced a stealthy improvement to its eMac computers.

The two available eMacs now ship with 1.42GHz G4 processors, larger hard drives, better graphics cards (with twice the dedicated graphics memory) and Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' and iLife 05 pre-installed.

eMac prices remain the same, with the models starting at £549, or £679 for the 8x speed SuperDrive-equipped version. The latter eMac carries twice the installed memory (512MB) and twice the capacity (160GB rather than 80GB) of the entry-level model.

Double layer DVD gets standard

Just like the SuperDrive now installed in G5 Power Macs, this SuperDrive implements double-layer (DVD+R DL) support, so users can archive data or save video projects to discs with maximum capacities of 8.5GB.

Bothe eMacs offer two FireWire 400 ports; three USB 2.0 ports on the computer and two USB 1.1 ports on the keyboard. The eMacs are AirPort Extreme-ready, and can be readied for Bluetooth connectivity, too.

The software bundle across both eMacs in the range also includes: AppleWorks; Nanosaur 2; Marble Blast Gold; and Microsoft's Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive.

eMac models compared

The entry-level model costs £549, and is available now. It offers a 17-inch flat CRT display; a 1.42GHz PowerPC G4 processor; 256MB DDR333 SDRAM; and 80GB Ultra ATA drive; a combo drive; an ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card equipped with 64MB dedicated video memory; a 56k internal modem.

An additional £130 gets users the top-of-the range SuperDrive eMac, which carries an 8x speed SuperDrive, as well as double the memory and hard drive capacity of the entry-level unit.

The DVD-burning eMac (£679) is also available now. It carries a 17-inch screen; a 1.42GHz PowerPC G4 processor; 512MB DDR333 SDRAM; a 160GB Ultra ATA drive; SuperDrive; an ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card equipped with 64MB dedicated video memory; a 56k internal modem.

All prices include VAT.