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PC World

Jobs unveils a bushel of new Macs

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TOKYO (IDG) -- Apple Computer has unveiled several new models, designed to fit almost anyone's taste. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs on Tuesday showed the new flavors during his keynote speech at the tenth MacWorld Expo here.

Jobs unveiled both consumer and business models, all of which are available immediately through the Apple Store online and through resellers.

In the consumer sector, Jobs unveiled upgrades for Apple's existing iBook notebooks and a special-edition iBook. This companion to the special-edition iMac desktop that the company has already put on sale will come in a graphite-colored enclosure.

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The upgraded iBooks feature twice the memory of existing machines and twice the hard drive space, 64MB and 6GB respectively, but will be sold at $1599, the same price as the existing machines.

Like the existing models, the new iBooks offer six-hour battery life and support for Apple's AirPort wireless networking for cable-free Internet access. The iBooks include a 12.1-inch display, a built-in 56K modem, 24X CD-ROM drive, an ATI Rage Mobility graphics controller featuring AGP 2X support and 4MB of SDRAM, a USB port, and "instant" Internet access, including a free 30-day trial with EarthLink. The machines will run the Mac OS 9.

The special-edition iBook, which is priced at $1799, will offer a 366-MHz processor and the same memory and hard disk configurations as the previous two machines.

Get to work

In the business market, Apple announced enhancements to its desktop and notebook PCs.

The Power Mac G4 line will offer faster processors, running at 400, 450, and 500 MHz, with prices starting at $1599. The desktop models will come in three configurations: a 400-MHz model, with 64MB of memory and a 10GB hard drive; a 450-MHz model, with 128MB of memory and a 20 GB hard drive; and a 500-MHz model with 256MB of memory and a 27GB hard drive. The 450-MHZ Power Mac costs $2499 and the 500-MHz model costs $3499.

The company's PowerBook notebook computers are being given a makeover. A new high-end machine features a 500-MHz G3 processor that, Jobs said, does not slow down when the machine is switched to battery mode.

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It features a 14.1-inch active-matrix display, a 100-MHz internal bus, Ultra ATA66 drives, an ATI Rage Mobility 128 graphic controller with 8MB of SDRAM, a DVD drive, two FireWire ports, and support for Apple's AirPort wireless networking system. The PowerBook runs the Mac OS 9 and offers a 56K modem. It weighs 5.7 pounds with a weight-saving module and battery, or 6.1 pounds with a DVD-ROM drive and battery.

The machines also have a five-hour battery life, which, Jobs was keen to declare, is a "real five hours" and no exaggeration by the company. Available Friday, a version equipped with a 400-MHz processor, 64MB of memory and a 6GB hard drive will cost $2499. The 500-MHz model, which features 128MB of memory and a 12GB hard drive, will cost $3499.



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