The newest "supercomputer" by Apple, which will be sold exclusively to the education market. You must be a professor, student, or otherwise affiliated with a K-12 school or university to buy one. (Update: as of June 4, 2002, this restriction is no longer the case. The general public can get an eMac with a CD-RW for $1099.)

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the old CRT-based iMac, the eMac includes a 17" flat-screen CRT rather than the old 15". This allows resolutions up to 1280x960, although most users will likely stick with 1152x864 or 1024x768. Remarkably, it also includes a small "video out" port, which allows a connection to a second monitor. Unfortunately, this only allows for display mirroring, not multiple monitors support.

Also, unlike the old iMacs, the eMac includes a 700MHz G4 processor. While certainly not the fastest processor out there, it is fairly capable for most of today's applications. The system bus runs at a relatively pokey 100MHz, a speed that has hampered performance on existing Macs.

As for storage, it includes a 40GB hard drive, although you can expand this using FireWire enclosures externally. A standard eMac includes a CD-ROM drive, although this can be upgraded to a combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) at the time of purchase. It ships with 128 MB of memory, not nearly enough to run Mac OS X comfortably, but can be upgraded to 1 GB through the use of two DIMM slots. Like all current Apple models, it offers AirPort connectivity for 802.11b.

The system is not a bad-looking machine, although its price is a bit of a deterrent. Models start at $1249 (with a combo drive) for students, or $999 (with a CD-ROM drive) for institutions. An optional tilt and swivel stand, an interesting new feature, is about $50 more. strawberry points out that this computer is solid white -- not even semi-translucent white like the old Snow iMacs -- so its appearance is fairly distinct.

The eMac lacks a carry handle and weighs a hefty 50 pounds (about 22 kg), so its sheer bulk might serve as a theft deterrent from schools.

Not a ground-breaking new computer, but perhaps truly the last CRT system we'll see from Apple.

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