May 2nd 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Apple's eMac release this week has also pushed Greg Joswiak, Hardware Marketing Director, to make a stripped eMac model available for individual students.
In a ZDNet story, Joswiak was quoted as saying there was sufficient customer demand to introduce an eMac model priced around $50 ($1,050) more than what it costs an institution to purchase the base eMac.
However, the CD-ROM-equipped entry-level model (more pricey models have a CDRW or Combo drive) doesn't even come with a modem. However, it puts a 17" G4 within the grasp of students for a little more than $1,000.
Our earlier story on Gray-Market eMacs suggested that the $1,249 (Combo) and $1,516 (additional RAM plus stand) models were too high up the price scale to attract individual student purchasers. But a $1,050 model would not place the G4 plus 17" monitor at too much of a price premium over the previous G3 iMacs, which started at around $899 for the 15"/500MHz model.
Joswiak also says in the ZDNet story that the eMac was being done "uniquely" for schools.
Analysis: I don't know about you, but a $1,050 eMac to me sounds like a great Network Computer. Not Larry Ellison's conception, no, but a Mac hooked up to a school ethenet network (or Airport) with enough processing power to run just about anything. Add DVD Studio Pro and a FireWire DVD-R and you've got a serious box in front of you. Plus of course you can add almost anything you want via FireWire (hard drives, flash card readers and so on).
That base eMac is beginning to look damn tempting. A cheap, work-horse box in the corner to handle "stuff" while my PowerBook is doing the real work. And I want one.