Apple introduces new thinner iMac G5 with built-in iSight video camera, ‘Front Row’ media experience

Apple today unveiled the new iMac G5 which features a built-in iSight video camera for out-of-the-box video conferencing and the debut of Apple’s breakthrough Front Row media experience. Front Row gives users a simple, intuitive and powerful way to play their music, enjoy their photo slideshows, and watch their DVDs and iMovies, as well as popular movie trailers from apple.com and music videos and television shows purchased from the iTunes Music Store, on their iMac from up to 30 feet away using the new bundled Apple Remote. The new iMac G5 comes in a sleek, new design that is even thinner than its predecessor, and starts at just $1,299.

“The new iMac G5 debuts our amazing Front Row media experience, and we think users are going to love it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “Plus, the built-in iSight video camera delivers out-of-the-box video conferencing with friends and family, as well as hours of fun with our new Photo Booth application.”

Apple’s breakthrough Front Row media experience uses the bundled Apple Remote to let users enjoy the content they have on their iMac—including songs from their iTunes music library, slideshows of their photo albums in iPhoto, videos including Podcasts, iMovies and DVDs, and popular movie trailers streamed from apple.com—all from up to 30 feet away. And with iTunes 6, users can now purchase and download music videos, Pixar short films and hit TV shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” from the iTunes Music Store and watch them on their iMac using Front Row. Front Row is easily controlled using the Apple Remote, which has only six buttons, compared to remote controls for Microsoft’s Media Center which typically have over 40 buttons.

With its built-in iSight video camera, the new iMac G5 provides video conferencing right out of the box using Apple’s award-winning iChat AV software. The new iMac G5 also includes Photo Booth, Apple’s fun-to-use new application that lets users take quick snapshots with the built-in iSight video camera, add entertaining visual effects with the touch of a button, and share them via Mail, save them in iPhoto, or use them as icons in iChat or Address Book.

The refined design of the new iMac G5 is now up to 1/2-inch thinner and 15 percent lighter than the previous generation. Delivering even greater value, the new iMac G5 line includes a 17-inch model with a 1.9GHz PowerPC G5 processor for just $1,299 and a 20-inch model with a 2.1 GHz PowerPC G5 processor for just $1,699. Both models now come standard with a SuperDrive with double-layer support for burning professional-quality DVDs, 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable to 2.5GB, hard drive storage capacity up to 500GB, and ATI Radeon X600 PCI Express-based graphics with 128MB of dedicated video memory for outstanding graphics performance and realistic game play. System memory is easily upgraded via a convenient access door along the bottom edge.

Offering the latest high-performance I/O, the new iMac G5s include built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme for fast 54 Mbps wireless networking, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire 400 ports. The new iMac G5 includes Apple’s Mighty Mouse, featuring up to four programmable buttons and an ingenious Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction—vertically, horizontally and even diagonally.

Every new iMac G5 also includes iLife ‘05, Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications; Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tiger,” the world’s most advanced operating system; and a collection of productivity and entertainment titles including AppleWorks, Quicken 2006 for Mac, 2006 World Book, Photo Booth, Nanosaur 2 and Marble Blast Gold.

The new iMac G5 line will be available next week through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The new 17-inch 1.9 GHz iMac G5, for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), includes:
• 17-inch widescreen LCD display
• 1.9 GHz PowerPC G5 processor
• 512MB of 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2.5GB
• 8x SuperDrive™ with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
• ATI Radeon X600 Pro with 128MB DDR memory
• built-in iSight video camera
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• 160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone
• ships with infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard

The new 20-inch 2.1 GHz iMac G5, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:
• 20-inch widescreen LCD display
• 2.1 GHz PowerPC G5 processor
• 512MB of 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2.5GB
• 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
• ATI Radeon X600 XT with 128MB DDR memory
• built-in iSight video camera
• built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
• 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
• built-in stereo speakers and microphone
• ships with infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 2.5GB DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB and 500GB Serial ATA hard drives, AirPort Express™ and AirPort Extreme Base Station, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Wireless Mouse, Apple USB Modem and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

More info about the new iMac G5 here.

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33 Comments

  1. YOu know what’s next…
    Front Row on the Mac Mini,
    A connection (preferably wireless!!!) for your widescreen HDTV,
    HBO, Showtime, and other premium cable networks sign on to itunes,
    My dream comes true… Cable Ala Carte!!!
    I think it’s time iTunes gets a new name. Anyone have any good new names for iTunes?

  2. I hear sobbing in Redmond.

    Talk about an XP MediaCenter killer. Great work Apple.

    Now make FrontRow available as a “Software + Remote” kit for ALL Macs.

    Lastly, MS falls further into the dust with the ViPod/ViTunes combo.

  3. “I assume that there is an easy way to send the video output to a TV”

    I would imagine that Apple is working on updating the Airport Express to have video output capabilities. That’s been in the rumor mill for a while now.

    Can you plug your video ipod into a TV and play Video like you can plug an iPod photo into a TV and play slideshows?

  4. What I want to know is, having looked at Apple’s website and having seen that the new iMacs support mirrored video out, is what hacks can I do to make that mirrored out port drive a separate display. If that 20″ model can drive a second monitor (and my PB with 1/4 the VRAM can), then I’m buying tomorrow.

  5. I think Microsoft has just had the King Richard.

    (For all the non-Ausies out there: because he was king, King Richard was the biggest Dick in the land. Also refered to as having the Royal Richard)

  6. Great…love the new stuff…but where are the new powermacs?!!!!!
    On the verge of buying the new ones…gonna buy 6 of them (seriously)..
    and the wait for those is getting hard to take.

  7. My iMac is too fresh for a change but wow, I like the direction we are taking. The pace of innovation is almost breathtaking. I can see my third Mac being a mini when its speed doubles and all the media-serving bells and whistles are more settled. It’ll go next to the HDTV in the informal living [MW] room. We’ll need a custom design coffee table with a drawer for the keyboard and mouse.

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