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The $899 Educational iMac 483

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheap-machines dept.
Valthan writes "Macsimum news has just released news about a new version of the iMac that is being touted as an educational machine. It seems to be a nice setup, and has the cheapness that us university students strive on, I think they just may have a winner here to get people on the Mac. Now if only JCreator worked on it ..." From the article "Featuring a 17-inch widescreen LCD display, the iMac for education includes a Combo drive for burning CDs and reading DVDs, 512MB of 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable up to 2GB and hard drive storage capacity up to 160GB. Every iMac also includes a built-in iSight video camera, built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11g WiFi for up to 54Mbps wireless networking, a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire 400 ports."
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The $899 Educational iMac

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:35PM (#15663960)
    I'm very happy to hear that college kids strive on cheapness.
  • No cheap 20" model (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hlimethe3rd (879459) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:36PM (#15663964)
    It'd be nice if Apple would release a cheap version with a bigger screen. I know it isn't really Apple's way, but it'd be nice to have the option. There are a lot of us out there that wouldn't mind having a slightly slower processor, a smaller HD, and no bluetooth, but would still appreciate the larger monitor for movies, etc.
    • how about real a video card $899 for GMA 950 is a real big rip off.
      • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:26PM (#15664423) Homepage
        Considering that this is basically the $799 Mac Mini model built into a 17" widescreen LCD, I'm going to disagree with you on that one. It would have been nice, yes, but at least relatively speaking it's a great deal. You get a faster processor, same amount of memory and hard drive (both 2x256 by the looks of it). You only get a CDRW/DVD instead of a DVD burner, and lose the Bluetooth and remote (I'm assuming it still has a sensor, but I could be wrong), but gain the widescreen display and iSight camera. Not a bad trade imho, especially considering what's gained by spending the extra $300 for the standard 17" iMac w/ student discount: DVDRW, bluetooth, remote, x1600, 160GB HD - and aside from the hard drive space, I'd question the utility of the other stuff for most students. Heck, I've only used half the 60GB drive on my MBP, though I've also got a fileserver for the media. Apparently all of the iMacs include the Apple Keyboard and not-so-Mighty Mouse, which furthers the distance from a Mini.

        Heck, I'd get one, and I've already got a monster display available for a Mini. In fact, I'd almost have to get a mini for that reason (no room for another display).

      • by AugstWest (79042) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @11:38PM (#15664731)
        I totally agree. Apple is extremely dense about including decent video chipsets in their machines. It's sad, really, because a lot more people would buy the low-end Macs if they could actually play the games that do get ported over to OSX.

        And yes, there are a lot of good games for the Mac, all of your first-tier FPS games get ported, WoW, etc.... but you can't play them (not even Second Life) on the low-end Macs they sell.

        Cheap bastards are shooting themselves in the feet.
    • Where's the $499 intel based Mac Mini? I've been running a mac mini as a headless media server, and it is great, but it is too slow for realistic HDTV (even regular TV is sometimes a strain), at least using el gato products (there may be others that work better with the g4 speeds). When an intel mac mini comes out I will probably upgrade, but I have no use for an imac, and I don't think most people do at this price point. Sure, a lot of college kids will go for it - and I paid more than that in grad scho
  • 899 is cheap? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:37PM (#15663967)
    Cheap for a uni student? I certainly didn't have that sort of money laying about when I was at university.

    /got my computer for 50 bucks
    //i didn't ask where it came from...
    • Cash (Score:3, Funny)

      Cheap for a uni student? I certainly didn't have that sort of money laying about when I was at university.

      There are a few options: 1) Beg parents 2) Get job, or...

      3) That's why God gave you blood plasma and spoo. Sell it.

      4) Failing that, find some lubriderm, a rubber glove, and a busy intersection.

      • Re:Cash (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        Apple has no plans for financing that I am aware of.

        Although that post was supposed to be humorous it is a problem.

        My compaq v4000 notebook I got for $740 was financed with a high interest 14.4% APR loan. With these its about $35 but I had $300 cash from working and saving so it turned out to be affordable for college students. The best Apple could do was a 90 day loan. Uh sorry.

        Apple loyalists claim their systems are like BMw's for the wealthy to make themselves feel supperior. Well it wont help spread the
        • Re:Cash (Score:5, Informative)

          by samkass (174571) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:06PM (#15664348) Homepage Journal
          Try checking out http://www.apple.com/financing/ [apple.com].

          You can get what is essentially a Mastercard with no annual fee and an APR somewhere between 13.5% and 22.5% depending on your credit rating, with no interest for 90 days after purchase. If you've got good credit, this pretty much amounts to the same thing you got. If not, good luck finding financing anyway.
    • How much is tuition these days? 20K-35K? not to mention living expenses are probably another 10-20k. The computer is cheap relatively.

      All the kids will want a computer. The real question is why get this when you can get a portable, bluetooth, macbook for only $200 more?
      • Re:899 is cheap? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NemosomeN (670035)
        How about you compare it to other computers, rather than just other things.

        If my elected officials start saying X is cheap compared to the space shuttle, war in Iraq, etc. I'll shoot them.

        I am a Mac user. They are not cheap. This one is not cheap. (Incidentally, mine was cheaper.)

        Still wasn't cheap.

        Dell is cheap.
        • by linvir (970218) * on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:43PM (#15664249)
          Dell is cheap? More like eBay is cheap.
        • Re:899 is cheap? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by creepynut (933825)
          Dell is cheap.

          Maybe, but if you take the quality into account, I'd say they're about par. Dell isn't exactly known for quality, most people I know who have Dells have them because they were the cheapest. The people I know have a Mac because they know Macs for the quality. And only one of the 3 or 4 people I know using Macs uses it for MacOS X.
      • Re:899 is cheap? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wdomburg (141264)
        How much is tuition these days? 20K-35K? not to mention living expenses are probably another 10-20k.

        Harvard costs about $38k including tuition, fees, room and board. Most people aren't going to ivy league schools.

        Cost is going to depend heavily on area, but the local univeristy here (University at Buffalo) you looking at more like $6K for tuition and fees and housing starts at about $4K. And there are colleges you can go to with tuition and fees well under $4K for the year.

        And this all ignores the fact th
    • Yes $899 is cheap. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260)
      Cheap for a uni student? I certainly didn't have that sort of money laying about when I was at university.

      /got my computer for 50 bucks
      //i didn't ask where it came from...


      It seems like a rather good deal to me, that offer is actually cheaper than the computer I bought when I went to university. I spent almost every cent I had on that thing including the money meant for buying books. The school books I checked out of the library or borrowed off my friends then I photocopied them for a fraction of what they
    • Well, uni students get a discount from Apple, so it may be closer to $800 after all is said and done.
    • When I was a student I didn't have a laptop. Computer Science doesn't need computers!
    • Most of the college grads I know of used loans to pay for school. Is there seriously that much difference between graduating $45,000 in debt instead of $44,100 in debt?
    • Re:899 is cheap? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vought (160908) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:51PM (#15664533)
      Cheap for a uni student? I certainly didn't have that sort of money laying about when I was at university.


      At my school, we weren't a rich campus by any means, but an 8MHz Mac Classic and a raster laser printer for $1200.00 was a fucking STEAL when I started college in 1991. Even the Dells with Windows 3.1 were $1000.00 - and you didn't get a printer.

      Times change...but the dollar barrier for entry into the "computer in my dorm room" club has remained nearly constant for fifteen years. If you want a computer that will last you through college, mow a lot of lawns between your high school graduation and your freshman orientation. For $1200.00, you can get any number of very nice Macs or PCs. For $1000.00, your choices get fewer, but there are still many nice machines. This new Mac is a lot of machine for $900.00.
  • 5 USB ports? (Score:3, Informative)

    by chasingporsches (659844) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:38PM (#15663969)
    that's a bit misleading. it's at most 4, considering that two of them are on the keyboard that must be plugged in via USB, and really 3, if you consider that you need the mighty mouse plugged in to use the machine (since it doesnt have bluetooth), and so that takes up another (probably one on your keyboard). so you're left with one 1.1 port on your keyboard, and two 2.0 ports on your imac unless you get a hub.

    granted, i have an imac g5 that has the same USB setup, but i just don't like misleading advertising. (although its not really advertising, but i digress.)
    • Re:5 USB ports? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NilObject (522433)
      Do car makers say their cars have "4 seats", because one is taken up by the driver?

      No computer maker reports their product's number of ports based on what they thing you might or might not have plugged in to it. I just don't understand how saying your computer has 5 ports when it... has 5 ports is misleading.

      "My car has 5 seats."

      "NO IT DOESN'T! YOU BIG PHONEY! PHONEY MC-FAKERSON! FAKER!
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:39PM (#15663975)
    We recently bought a bunch of Dells - P4 2.8Ghz, 512 MB ram, 80 GB hard drives, DVD-CD burner, with a 19" LCD monitor for $450.00. I could buy two of those for the price of the iMac. Yeah, I know....windows....Mac OS X, windows blah blah blah.

    OK, so the Dell has a separate tower VS the all in one design of the iMac....but the Dell costs HALF what the Mac costs.

    -ted
    • by Cadallin (863437) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:41PM (#15663985)
      And the Pre-installed Spyware and Adware was FREE too!
      • Yeah, because it really costs $450 to reformat the hard drive and install the OS of your choice. Or you could take the less extreme approach and uninstall all the "trial versions" and such that come with it. Nah, I'd rather pay an extra $450 to have the pretty Mac logo on the case so everyone knows I'm hip. Especially if I'm on a tight budget.

        </sarcasm>
    • Granted, for a lot of educational uses this doesn't matter, but I still feel obligated to point out that your 2.8GHz P4 puts out twice as much heat and is about half the speed. So the comparison isn't quite fair on specs, though it may be for usage.
    • The iSight camera alone is $129 IIRC. Sure, you could get a Logitech piece of crap, but the comparison wouldn't be very fair.

      Add in MS Word - OSX can (usually) read .doc right out of the box - and you're getting up towards the Mac's price point.

      Comparisons like these are invariably flawed, but yours was particularly unfair.
      • Add in MS Word - OSX can (usually) read .doc right out of the box - and you're getting up towards the Mac's price point.

        So can XP after a fashion - WordPad...

        That being said, if I got a Hel^W Dell, the first thing I'd do would either be to reinstall Windoze, making sure to keep the drivers and activation files from the old drive, or install Debian or Ubuntu. The crap that you get with a "stock" Dell is extremely annoying and can lead to boot times > 5 min on a new machine.

        -b.

      • Dell includes Word Perfect for free, Hewlett Packard includes Works, Gateway includes Office, etc. If your building yourself, you can get Microsoft Works for about $18, or Works Suite (which includes a full version of word) for about $70 or just download OpenOffice.

        And of course, since we're talking the educational market, you can also snag a full academic version of office for $120 (or less, since a lot of campuses negotiated larger discounts).
    • Yeah ... but... you would end up with a dell??
    • "Yeah, I know....windows....Mac OS X, windows blah blah blah."

      This IS actually the point.

      Mac OS X IS the differentiator. If you don't want Mac OS X - get your Dell. If you do then get one of these.

      Simple.
    • .. in seriousness, how much was the shipping and handling?

      Dell is know to charge $200 for shipping and handling on a $399 computer worth $550 on the market. Dell pays Fedex $30 and pockets the change and the consumer thinks he got a good deal on the system.

      I dont know if they still do this but for awhile it worked as everyone orded Dell's because they appeared cheaper.
    • by be-fan (61476) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:24PM (#15664415)
      Are those P4's dual-core? Because if they're not, we're talking about two completely different classes of machine. Dual-Core Dells run $700+ on Dell's website. Also, the integrated form-factor is definitely a plus. As a recently-graduated undergrad, let me tell you that desk and floor space are at an absolute premium in any modern dorm.
  • Whoa there, if a $899 computer is what a student strives on, then what about student loans, rent, utilities, and groceries?

    Get a prev-gen iMac for less than half the price and spend the rest on beer and hookers or callboys.
    • Whoa there, if a $899 computer is what a student strives on, then what about student loans, rent, utilities, and groceries?

      I never spent more than about $250 on *any* computer in college, considering that there were many people willing to throw away "last year's model" or sell it very cheaply. I got into Macs after I graduated and started to have money.

      -b.

  • by $hecky (445344) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:42PM (#15663989)
    But I've switched to Ubuntu.
  • by RunFatBoy.net (960072) * on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:43PM (#15663999)
    If Leopard has the Windows support that I think it will, this iMac could easily become the next must-have next to the iPod.

    College students want a cheap but stylish machine, yet they don't want to lose their "gaming" functionality. It could be a perfect marriage.

    Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise for the rest of us.
    • by Wildfire Darkstar (208356) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:57PM (#15664055)
      College students want a cheap but stylish machine, yet they don't want to lose their "gaming" functionality. It could be a perfect marriage.

      Except that, as even a modest gaming rig, it's entirely uninspiring, largely thanks to the graphics chip. As the GMA 950 lacks support for things like T&L and vertex shaders, it's not going to cut it for most modern games. And since it draws from main system memory, the fact that the system is shipping with only 512MB (even granted the fact that it's expanadable to 2GB) is going to be a problem, as well. It seems extremely unlikely to me that this is going to set anyone's world on fire. It certainly won't bomb, but I don't really think it's going to expand much beyond the original eMac niche.
  • Yes, but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by tlacuache (768218) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:43PM (#15664001)
    does it run a Lin... I mean, imagine a Beowulf clust... ah, crap, I choked.
  • by Pinky3 (22411) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:45PM (#15664011) Homepage
    17-inch widescreen LCD
    1440x900 resolution
    1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor (1)
    512MB memory (2x256MB SO-DIMMs)
    80GB Serial ATA hard drive
    24x Combo drive (DVD-ROM, CD-RW)
    Intel GMA 950 graphics with 64MB of shared memory
    ($899)

    The regular entry level iMac comes with
    17-inch widescreen LCD
    1440x900 resolution
    1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor (1)
    512MB memory (single SO-DIMM)
    160GB Serial ATA hard drive
    8x double-layer SuperDrive (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory
    Bluetooth 2.0
    Apple Remote
    ($1199)

    You save $300, but give up Apple Remote, bluetooth, ATI Radeon, 80GB of drive space, and the SuperDrive.
  • A bit spoiled? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aliens (90441) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @08:52PM (#15664037) Homepage Journal
    the cheapness that us university students strive on

    $900 for a computer, for students, er yeah I guess some of them have that kind of cash. But I don't think they fit the stretched to the max, loans up the wazoo students that you'll encounter in today's universities. Those students still get by on the computer resources made available by the school.

    In fact for $400 you could get a laptop from a couple of PC makers.

    Saying that any price point is cheap and affordable only makes you look like an ass and makes other people feel bad. /Get off my lawn
    • That's interesting. At my university it seems like almost EVERYONE has a laptop now. And most people I see are carrying around those 17" monoliths from Toshiba or Dell that weigh about 20 lbs. I started school there 4 years ago, and I got myself a laptop part of the way in to my first year so that I'd be able to work on projects without having to rely on finding space in the lab. At the time, I was one of the few people with a laptop. Then in the last 2 or 3 years, laptop use at my school has exploded, it's
    • Re:A bit spoiled? (Score:4, Informative)

      by be-fan (61476) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:16PM (#15664394)
      In most schools, owning your own computer is required. A lot of schools these days give a "computer ownership" tuition credit on your first semester. I went to Georgia Tech for undergrad, and IIRC, we got $1500 for a new computer.
    • There's a clause in the financial aid law that allows for a one time "need adjustment" of $1500 (or the published allotment for your college).

      A lot of students count financial aid as "free". And as an example, here at Kansas State as a Computer Science student I fell under the $1500 category, but friends in the College of Architecture and Design were in the $2500 category. Also, for "studio" in Architecture you *must* buy a fully capable computer and provide it for the duration of the coursework in a lock
  • Unfortunately it's not available in Canada apparently. I called the Apple Store and they couldn't tell me if it would be eventually either. It's a shame.
  • Dude... JCreator? (Score:2, Informative)

    by jungwirr (249169)
    Hello? Eclipse?
  • Seems they could have dropped the price a bit if they didn't include the built in iSight, which doesn't strike me as much added value.
    • The iSight is necessary as it adds functionality to several iLife apps. Video conferencing, photobooth etc. Not every school setup will use them but many will. Bluetooth on the other hand is different. For home users bluetooth can be used for headsets, keyboard/mouse , file transfer from cameraphones.

      Keyboard and wireless mouse is the real deal-breaker for some people but in a computer lab it's exactly what you don't want. Also bluetooth is easier to remove. You can just take the chip out and people can

  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:21PM (#15664164) Homepage Journal
    The Lenovo N100s (notebooks) have some mods that come in at $900; dual core, 1GB RAM, CDDVD. 15.4" screen. They come in around $900 give or take.
  • Our University has over 700 Macs and upgrades varying labs every few years. We were looking at replacing some old labs with Core Duo Minis, but this is actually cheaper as we don't have to buy LCD displays for them and get more and better features. No need to buy a new keyboard and mouse, too.
  • ... but for a student I'd go with a laptop. Not much more expensive, if you insist on Apple, and less from most x86 vendors.
  • ... because if they had actually ASKED a few students, the students would probably have said:

    a) "What ? No DVD burner ? How the hell am I supposed to earn beer money by pirating things I've downloaded on school internet ?!"

    b) "No remote ? GTF out of here, now how am I supposed to cycle through my slideshow of err.. botany pictures from bed with one hand ?!"

    Good on them for trying, but I think this machine is basically a decoy so that they can say the iMac line-up "starts at $899", because taking out somet
  • I can tell you that the life-blood of current college students is 3-4 year old PCs with Maxed out ram and paying a geek in pizza and Mt Dew to come delete the trial/spy/crap ware, configure email and install Office, and whatever special apps they have in their major...pizza and MT Dew is good pay for a college geek...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @09:41PM (#15664243)
    $899 = 1.83MHz Core Duo iMac with 17" screen and not enough RAM.

    $899 = 12-pack bottled Guinness Draught [bevmo.com] x at least 50.

    So, an iMac or 600 bottles of Guinness. College student unimpressed.

    And don't anybody say "B-B-B-BUT THE GUINNESS DOESN'T COME WITH ILIFE" or I will rip your fucking head off and shove it up your ass.
  • I've been poking around the apple site(s) and have yet to see it anywhere outside the US. Personally, I'm tempted to get two of them for my elder kids (5 kids == expensive schooling) but can't find local details for Australia.

    Anyone know more on this?
  • by jpellino (202698) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:02PM (#15664332)
    This is primarily a replacement for the eMac, aimed at the educational insitutions. We've been running a dozen iMac G5 iSights for the past year, and what they've left out to get th prioce down are largely not going to be missed.

    - this will drop the HD capacity (schools don't generally load up boxes with the photos and songs that end users do)
    - drop the remote (you can drive FrontRow from the keyboard)
    - 20" (for students in a lab up close, 17" is plenty big)
    - bluetooth (not a big deal in a classroom)
    - graphics for gamers
    - DVD burner (as long as you have one or two of these per lab, you'll do fine)
  • by t35t0r (751958) on Wednesday July 05, 2006 @10:33PM (#15664447)
    Until the price of mac's go down to $250 or the price of a mac laptop goes down to $550 i can't afford one;
  • by ccollao (227727) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:09AM (#15664849) Homepage
    I'm gonna burn some karma here to complain..

    Come on.. this is puRe advertisement about Mac, could you stop it!
    No news here, just advertisement, and I don't want advertisement covered as a story (yeah, yeah, somebody is going to say, then don't read /.), but this special discounts are really pi**n' me off...

    If these are news, I would like to read the news about the special discount from Dell for grannies. I'm sure it rocks!

    Please, don't get me wrong, I own several PowerBooks/iBooks (in fact I'm writing this posts in one!), so I don't have anything against macs, I'm against lame stories on the FrontPage of ./

  • by ssand (702570) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @01:50AM (#15665172)
    Perhapse it's just the market in my city, but you can get a nice computer for 399 - 499 CDN. These type of deals are usually factory refurbished from the manufacturer, but are today's technology. if you watch the papers for a deal, you can easily get something good (with xp, dvd burner, and what not) for under 500 CDN.
  • by Britz (170620) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @06:28AM (#15665847) Homepage
    http://listings.ebay.com/_W0QQsocmdZListingItemLis t?sofocus=pf&sbrftog=1&from=R2&catref=C3&socmd=Lis tingItemList&sbrbin=t&satitle=&sacat=3736%26catref %3DC6&fsop=3%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=compare&copagenum =1&coentrypage=search&fgtp=&a14=-24&a26444=26556&a 12=26564&a25710=-24&a10244=-24&gcs=1504&pfid=1810& reqtype=2&pfmode=1&alist=a14%2Ca26444%2Ca12%2Ca257 10%2Ca10244&pf_query=&pf=Show+Items&sargn=-1%26sas lc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=ZIP%2FPostal&sascs=2&ftrt=1& ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi= [ebay.com]

    You spend 150 to 200 bucks on the machine and 50 on the crt or 150 on the lcd. If you use Ubuntu you can even save the 50 bucks for XP.

    You get a total of 200 to 350 bucks minus the printer. I would use something that you can refill. Old sturdy inkjets or laser printers that now have cheap cartridges come to mind. You should really be able to stay below 400 in total and installing ubuntu is easier than to install windows nowdays. Especially because a computer illiterate would have problems installing all the anti spyware tools.

    Does Slashdot get money for advertisements for Apple machines? Seeing how much they charge for a machine I suppose they have the spare money.

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