How 'bout them Apples?

Apple has again push industry standards to a new level by introducing its new, totally redesigned IMAC computers.

According to a Reuters report, Apple CEO Steve Jobs thinks the new IMACs is Apple's best product to date.

"This is the best thing, I think, we've ever done," Jobs said in the report.

Apple has pushed industry standards by including its G4 processor in both the low-end models and the high-end model of the new IMAC. The G4 was once only reserved for high-priced computers.

"One of the greatest differences," said Don Grable, sales representative at Circuit City, 3500 N. Morrison Rd.,"is that Apple's G4 is equivalent to IBM's Pentium 4 processor, but actually the G4 clocks out faster in head-to-head tests with Pentium."

Grable said the G4 chips are faster and more powerful, and they are better equipped to handle graphic design programs and digital video editing.

Another feature the new IMACs boast is the flat, 15-inch LCD screen can rotate 180 degrees. According to Apple spokesperson Natalie Welch, the LCD screens give greater real estate, stronger pictures, better contrast and clarity with no flickering.

The IMAC also offers a CD burner that burns music, data and DVDs.

The redesigned IMAC almost looks like a desk lamp. A small dome base holds a short bar with the flat screen.

Even though the IMAC is compact, it's packed with out-sources like two firewall ports and 5 USB ports.

Demand is already starting to gain momentum. Grable says there have been several inquiries about the new Apple computers, which won't be in stock until next week.

"It looks like demand is going to be pretty good," Grable said.

But consumers should expect a price hike with the new design. The old IMAC computers, first introduced in 1998, are priced at about $800 on the Apple Web site, www.apple.com. The low-end, redesigned IMAC is retailing for $1299, while the upscale version will be $1799.

The original IMAC helped Apple regain ground in the home computer market. Apple sold more than 6 million of the original model.

"They are a nice compact system," Grable said. "All-in-one. And actually, it is a little easier to use compared to IBM."

The announcement of the redesigned IMAC pulls together what Job calls "the digital hub."

According to Welch, Apple strives to bring digital lifestyle together, and the digital hub makes it easy to interact with digital devices.

"People today have all sorts of digital appliances, like camcorders, music players, digital cameras," she said. "Apple has set out to be a digital hub. Without software applications to interface, all those things are hard to use."

Apple's "digital hub" includes applications like iphoto, imovie and ipod. Iphoto, "breaks the chain of tears," Welch said, by making it easy to import, edit and share pictures from digital cameras, and ipod has revolutionized MP3 players.


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