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Monday, January 7, 2002

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MWSF: New iMac, Updated iBooks, iPhoto...
2:14 PM | Jason Sims | Comment on this story

The dawning of 2002 brings us another new page in the book of Apple. Steve Jobs has kicked off this year's Macworld Expo in San Francisco with his highly-anticipated keynote presentation. Apple has been pumping out the hype over the last week, and Mac fans around the world tuned in this morning to hear the latest announcements from the mothership.

The New iMac
No doubt the highlight of this event was the unveiling of the new iMac, which--just like the original iMac--marks a very important transition for Apple's consumer product line. The original iMac marked the end of floppy drives, ADB and serial ports, and introduced USB to the Mac. Similarly, this new iMac marks the end of CRT displays, the old iMac form factor, and the debut of the complete digital lifestyle hub--Apple's new, core strategy.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the new machine is its (once again) radical new design. The computer itself resides in the small, round base, while the monitor--now a 15" flat-panel LCD display--is attached to a hinged neck that lets you move and tilt the monitor with unprecedented ease. The design is a continuation in Apple's line of glossy white products, such as the new iBook or the iPod.

The G3 processor line has been laid to rest--the new iMac features a G4 processor at 700 or 800 MHz on a 100 MHz system bus. It also features an NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX graphics card with 32 MB of DDR memory--definitely a big step up in graphics performance, especially for 3D applications and games. And new to the iMac line is the option of a built-in superdrive (for reading CDs and DVDs, and burning CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-R discs, all in one drive), and the ability to use iDVD to make custom DVD discs that can be used in any DVD player.

One of the strongest features of the new iMac is its price--you can get one for as little as $1299, with the mid- and high-end models coming in at $1499 and $1799.

Updated iBooks
The portable end of Apple's consumer line also got an upgrade today. The top-end model now features a 14" display (instead of the standard 12"). The 14" model does have a larger form factor, so for pure portability the 12" model is still offered. The faster models feature a 600 MHz G3 processor on a new 100 MHz bus. Titanium PowerBooks are out of many peoples' price range, so the added power and flexibility in the iBook line will be appreciated by many.

Completing Apple's suite of digital hub applications is iPhoto, a complete digital camera solution that you could call "the iTunes of pictures." iPhoto is a brand new application that is designed to make it easy to import, organize, print and share photos from a digital camera. It's for Mac OS X only, it's free to download and it's available right now, so head over to Apple's website and grab it. It's really cool.

Mac OS X becomes the default OS
Mac OS X was first released on March 24, 2001. In July, Apple started pre-installing it on all new Macs (though they would still boot into Mac OS 9 by default). The release of Mac OS X 10.1 in September smoothed out many of the initial rough edges of the new operating system, so now, Mac OS X has become the default OS that all new Macs will startup with. Mac OS X has progressed a lot in the last year, and many applications and devices are now supported in the new OS. We are still awaiting the official announcement of the next major Mac OS X update--version 10.2--which is expected to be ready this summer.

Stay tuned to IMG for ongoing coverage of Macworld San Francisco 2002 from a gaming perspective.

iMac 2002
New iBook

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