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Umax ships small-business Mac clone

The new system offers Mac users a glimmer of hope that Apple will continue to license the Mac OS, albeit on a much smaller scale than once hoped.

Umax, the last major vendor of Mac OS-compatible computers, rolled out a newly architected system that offers Mac users a glimmer of hope that Apple will continue to license the Mac OS, albeit on a much smaller scale than once hoped.

Umax today introduced the J710/200, which comes with a 200-MHz 604e PowerPC processor, 32MB of memory, a 3GB hard drive, a CD-ROM Special coverage: All the Mac's a stage drive, built-in networking capabilities, and 4MB of video memory (expandable to 8MB) for an estimated street price of $1,595. The system is similar to the J700, except the J710 comes in a slimline desktop case.

"We?ve had huge feedback from higher education sites and small businesses who wanted more power and performance than the C500, which has the less powerful 200-MHz PowerPC 603e," according to Bruce Berkoff, director of product marketing for Umax.

The system isn?t a technological breakthrough--Apple sells a similar system called the Power Mac 7300/200 which, although near the end of its life cycle, is priced close to the Umax system. The Umax system is significant in that the company has redesigned the main PC circuit board for increased performance and to allow for easier processor upgrades--and that Apple has allowed them to sell the system, which is also significant.

The company is also hoping that Apple will soon let it ship new systems with the high-performance PowerPC 750. Apple's recently introduced PowerMac G3 systems with the new PowerPC 750 processor are being touted as Pentium II killers, but Umax has yet to ship a product with the new processor factory-installed.