While Mac users wait for the next generation iMac, sure to sport a powerful G5 chip from IBM, as well as a new design (I bet on aluminum), the low-end continues to be a sweet spot for the user on a budget. The eMac.
What do you get for $799? Check out Apple’s web site for details, but the eMac’s a bargain even when compared to cheaper Windows machines or Linux machines.
First, the basic eMac doesn’t need much extra. Hmmm. Nope. Nothing I can think of. It comes with Mac OS X Panther so you have pretty much everything the Linux world has and it’s all built right in: Apache web server, PHP scripting language, Perl, PHP, unix utilities that’d fill a Cadillac trunk. The popular MySQL database application is available as a free download.
And there’s AppleWorks.
No, AW isn’t Microsoft Office for the rest of us. It’s close, though. Word processing, spreadsheet, database, graphics, and more, wrapped in a tasty package that’s Mac AND Windows compatible. Oh, it’ll read Microsoft Word files, too.
Better yet, the $799 eMac also comes with all the iLife applications (free, of course): iMovie, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, iPhoto, GarageBand, and iDVD on the $999 eMac with a DVD burner.
Oh, all that stuff works. It just works. Try making all that work on a Linux machine in 10 minutes. 10 minutes. That’s how long it takes to set up an eMac and get it on the Internet. 10 minutes.
$799. 256 megs of RAM, 40 gig HD, 17” monitor, 56k modem, 10/100 Ethernet, dual USB 2.0 ports, dual 400 megabit Firewire ports, CD-R/RW/DVD player, keyboard, 1.25 gigahertz PowerPC processor, iLife applications, AppleWorks. There’s even an encyclopedia and some games.
Also included is Apple’s mail application, the very fast Safari web browser, iSync (to sync your phone, iPod, and more), iCal (calending application), AddressBook – and they all work together.
Cons? Aren’t there any cons? Well, the eMac is white. Bright white. You’d better like white.
Dalmation and Flower Power didn’t make the transition from the iMac. The box it comes in is rather large and needs a good sized back seat, or a big trunk. Or a friend with a truck. Nah, just kidding. It’ll fit in the back seat of most cars and is an easy fit into an SUV.
How does the eMac compete for $799? Compare prices anywhere. Compare what you get. Compare the new unix heritage of Mac OS X with anything in the Linux community or your friend’s and neighbor’s and workmates exasperation with Windows (choose a flavor; 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP Home).
OS X is rated even better by the PC community and media.