New York Times: Apple eMac ‘an affordable Mac’ starting at $799

“It’s not just Windows boxes in the $1K Club anymore. Apple, despite its reputation as a provider of premium products at premium prices (with premium hype), makes a desktop machine, the eMac, that costs significantly less than its long-necked flat-screen iMacs. Like the iMac, the eMac runs on a G4 PowerPC processor, but it uses a built-in 17-inch C.R.T. monitor,” J.D. Biersdorfer writes for the New York Times.

“Once relegated to the education market, the eMac is gaining attention as an affordable all-in-one system for Apple fans. In fact, Apple upgraded its eMac line last week, boosting the G4 processor to 1.25 gigahertz in its $999 model (with a DVD burner and an 80-gigabyte hard drive) and in its $799 edition (with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and a 40-gigabyte hard drive). Both models come with 256 megabytes of memory and a 32-megabyte ATI Radeon 9200 video card and now have U.S.B. 2.0 ports (standard on most new PC’s but late to arrive on Macs) mixed in with those iPod-friendly FireWire ports that also make connecting a digital camcorder a breeze,” Biersdorfer writes.

“The eMac comes with Mac OS X 10.3, Apple’s elegant yet simple operating system, and the company’s iLife ’04 suite: the self-explanatory iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD and the newcomer GarageBand, which lets you cook up personal audio compositions till the cows boogie home. There’s no free Microsoft ride here, but you do get AppleWorks, the Macintosh word-processing and spreadsheet software that will let you save files in PC-compatible formats, and a 30-day test drive of Microsoft Office for the Mac. World Book Encyclopedia 2004, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 and Quicken 2004 for Mac add to the onboard software selection,” Biersdorfer writes.

“The eMac was by far the easiest to set up of all the machines I tried out – power cord, keyboard, mouse and network cable, and you’re all plugged in. (Not that a PC setup is hard anymore, since with most systems you get a color poster and colored-coded cables to guide you.) Software compatibility is still the Mac’s Achilles’ heel, however, as many programs are still Windows-only and gamers often face a frustrating lag until popular titles get ported over from their PC versions,” Biersdorfer writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Two points to be made here: 1) If you want to play games, get a PlayStation and you’ll have a better time, and 2) There are currently over 18,000 Macintosh applications and software titles, so even if you find a piece of Windows-only software, odds are high that there is a Mac title that will do the same or a better job for you. Click here to browse over 18,000 Mac software applications (including games!). Bonus 3rd point: If you are a Windows user thinking about adding a Mac to your computing arsenal, DO IT! You can thank us later.


  1. “Add a Mac to your computing arsenal!”

    Brilliant! Apple should promote this instead of “Switch” as the end result will be the same: once they add a Mac, they’ll switch to it totally soon after!

  2. Stumbled here via Google News. Why would I add an Apple when I have everything I need with my Dell? I would not want to have to learn a whole new computer all over again. And why would I stop using my Dell and Windows XP, if I did get an Apple?

  3. Ford,

    It’s difficult to explain. You kind of have to try it for yourself to see why you won’t care much for your Dell after trying Mac OS X. You can start here:

    Good luck and here’s hoping your stumble here from Google ends up changing your computing life. If you add a Mac, you’ll be very, very happy. Again, good luck!

  4. “…where are all of the Anit-Virus programs for Mac OS X?”

    You’re kidding, right? If you’re really paranoid you can buy Norton, but you don’t really need it. Use any argument you like (“security through obscurity” is a popular M$ rant) but the bottom line is that there are zero Virii in the wild for OS X.

  5. Ford – you might not. The comment about software being the Achilles` heel is incredibly misleading. If you’re happy with your Dell and XP, that’s fine. We don’t deal with critial updates, viruses or any of the many spyware and spam annoyances that plague a WinBox. But hey, if you’re happy…

    If you decide to – get a digital camera, or a video camera, or a ReplayTV, or burn DVDs that will play in normal DVD players, you’re not going to have a pleasant experience with your Dell box. But hey, maybe you’re into pop ups, and spyware, and maintaining an anti-virus program, and paying extra money for your Dell Picture Studio (cuz it only works free for 30 days out of box). Perhaps blocky fonts are your thing, or quite possibly it’s just your lack of creativity or appreciation of beauty. Your computer is probably just a tool that clutters desk space – an email portal.

    “Why would I add an Audi when I have everything I need with my Kia Rio? I would not want to have to learn a whole new car all over again. And why would I stop using my Rio and its 94 horsepower, if I did get an Audi?”

    *sigh* to each his own.

    – Bill

  6. My switcher loan machine (a 400MHz G4) is currently being enjoyed by its current keeper :

    I’m starting to get to grips with the very very very very weird
    keyboard layout of the mac (strange angle of repose, practically no bezel, unusual depression depth) and although I haven’t done any DV editing yet I’m hooked on it purely for the convenience of the mail program alone. Currently giving very very serious thought to a new eMac.

    I really only boot the PC now when there is something proprietary in a website’s html that neither Safari nor IE for mac can handle.

  7. Potential “Adder”, if you want to spend the money on anti-virus software, Virex, Symantec, and others offer it. The fact is, though, that there aren’t any viruses that can infect a Mac running Mac OS X. The only “virus” discovered was a few weeks ago, but it hasn’t been released in the wild yet, so it can’t get to your computer. I run Symantec’s anti-virus. I scan for viruses once a month, though so far it’s been unnecessary.

    Ford, I’m assuming that you are typing your message from Mozilla or another good web browser, not Internet Explorer. IE, which you have to have on your Dell if its running windows, is the currently the worst web browser out there. I’m currently on lunch break at work and using Mozilla, with pop-up blocker and adblock running. The Dell you’re using might be “good enough,” but most of us who prefer Macs (and, yes, most of us also use windows due to work) do so because we prefer using our computers over maintaining our computers. Yes, I know there are plenty of ways to run maintenance automatically, but it’s easier not to have to do it. I don’t need a third party spam software, it’s built into my Mac. I don’t have to download a separate browser for popup blocking, it’s built into my Mac (Safari). Many of the pieces of software that I use are better than their windows counterparts (even microsoft’s mac unit claims that the mac version of office beats the windows version!). The list of reasons go on. It’s about the total experience, not about being “good enough.”

  8. This “get a playstation if you want to play games” retort is tiresome and bitter sounding. Computers are excellent platforms for gaming. Were they not, computer gaming would not be such a large part of the gaming industry as a whole.

    By telling someone simply to get a playstation, you are in effect telling them to add even more cost onto being a mac user. Yes, Macs are rather competitively priced, but not when you need to tack on another $150 for gaming. Perhaps if Apple is looking to be a digital hub, and a provider of all things, gaming shouldn’t be overlooked.

  9. BTW, I do use IE on my work machine. Once a month I download the latest patch releases from microsoft. Once the patches are downloaded, I get to ignore IE for another month. Now if microsoft would release a decent operating system, then I wouldn’t need IE at all, of course, then they wouldn’t have an excuse to bundle it with their bloatware called windows, so I guess the poor operating systems will have to keep coming.

  10. “Add a Mac to your computing arsenal!”

    Worked for me. I went a few years w/o a Mac (sold before Steve came back). I grabbed a PM 7600 to play with 3 years ago. I have since bought 9 new and used Macs. I only keep a PC for gaming (FPS games are better on the PC than the PS2 – which I also have).

    Important stuff: email, iLife, business – is the exclusive domain of the Mac.

    An eMac would convert even the most hardened PC zealot.

  11. I agree with rageous and the comments above that Apple should start a “Add a Mac” campaign. And back to games, I can play just as many entertaining games on my Mac than I can spending the $150 for a PlayStation. Why would I shell out those bucks for just a machine that then ALSO needs $20-50 game cartridges when I can just buy the game for my Mac (I’m patient, I can wait until prices drop a little and get it from someone on eBay who paid full price) and enjoy it just as much?

  12. I have one of the first eMacs and it’s still a great machine. The new ones are amazing value. No, not everyone needs a monitor, and a headless option would be ideal to save a few more bucks. But it’s a GREAT display, not to mention cool-looking and cable-free.

    I’d like to add my reasons why a Mac is the best game machine. These don’t apply to everyone, but they apply to a LOT of people:

    Vs. PCs:

    Macs just work, more often than Windows, are less trouble-prone, easier to manage, and less vulnerable to attack. That makes anyone’s life easier–gamers too. I would never consider using a PC for gaming and having to deal with Windows–it’s not worth it to me when Macs already have more games than I could ever play. A tech-savvy Windows expert who enjoys troubleshooting might do just great with a Windows box of course. That’s not me.

    Vs. consoles:

    * Downloadable maps and mods
    * Downloadable free demos
    * Free online multiplayer
    * iTunes in the background
    * Mouse control and highly configurable controls in general
    * Portability (I game on a PowerBook now–I’d like to see a GameBoy run UT2004 at 15.2 widescreen inches!)

    So I’d never game on a console and give all that up.

    I tried Halo in Playstation and that convinced me even more. Mousing is SO much more natural for 3D navigation.

  13. X-Box of course… my friend was going to bring both and showed up with only the X-Box ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  14. “I can play just as many entertaining games on my Mac than I can spending the $150 for a PlayStation.”

    Beg pardon? What do you mean by this? There are multiple times more game choices for the PS than there are for the Mac, and the games come out on the PS a lot quicker than they do on the Mac, take Lord of the Rings 3 as an example. Having a PS2 also saves wear and tear on your Mac. It’s hard to break a keybord or mouse with by using Photoshop, but games put a lot more stress on hardware than other productivity SW does. Granted that games designed for Macs are more sophisticated than console games, but you could have both a mac and a console and get the best of both worlds.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.