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Desktops

Apple eMac (Combo Drive)

The eMac's two baseline price points remain the same at $799 and $999, but each machine offers more for the money. Apple brings Tiger, a faster G4 processor, larger hard drives, and better graphics to the budget eMac. Read our First Take.

Apple eMac (1.42GHz)

Not to be left out, along with the Power Mac G5 and iMac G5, the plucky eMac now ships with Mac OS 10.4 Tiger and updated hardware. The eMac's two baseline price points remain the same at $799 and $999, but each machine offers more for the money.

Upside: The Apple eMac's PowerPC G4 processor gets a modest speed bump, going from 1.25GHz to 1.42GHz. Compared to its predecessor, the low-end $799 model supplies double the hard drive capacity at 80GB and double the graphics memory with ATI's midrange 64MB Radeon 9600 video card. The $999 version received more goodies; it now ships with 512MB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and an 8X SuperDrive.

Downside: We were hoping that we could call Apple's entry-level, all-in-one PC the eMac G5, but, sadly, it's still running on the PowerPC G4. The eMac's memory is still the slow 333MHz variety. And unlike with the current iMac G5, wireless AirPort Express and Bluetooth remain added-cost options on the eMac.

Outlook: The eMac's biggest hardware upgrade is the addition of the 64MB ATI Radeon 9600 graphics card. The midrange 9600 should offer better performance and helps give the eMac a leg up over its in-house budget competitor, the Mac Mini, which still uses the 32MB Radeon 9200. The eMac remains a smart choice for Mac fans on a budget looking for a complete system.

Where to Buy

Apple eMac (Combo Drive)

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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