July 26th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Northgate may not have cloned the eMac or the iMac - but they're getting relatively close. Their Integra PC vaguely resembles the eMac, but features an LCD like an iMac.
More eMac-ish is the price: a mere $1,099.
The Windows-based all-in-one features a 15" XGA LCD, a 1.8GHz Celeron, DDR 266 support, built-in speakers, one FireWire port and four USB.
Northgate are touting the Integra's "small footprint", but naturally it doesn't have the either the elegance of the eMac design, or the innovation of the iMac LCD.
All-in-one designs, while stunningly successful on the Mac plaform (the original Macintosh; Plus; Classic; Color Classic; LC575; a number of PPC Performas and Power Macs; the G3 AIO; original iMac and iMac G4, to name a few), have yet to achieve widespread acceptance on the PC side. One criticism often made is the built-in monitor, which makes upgrades more difficult, and also renders the machine a possible boneyard addition if the display dies.
Northgate describe the design thus:
"[the Integra] is constructed with a simple "h" shape design. Its creative sliding seat allows the users to push it backward, sit lower, further away from the screen.
Actually, to us, it looks like they couldn't decide whether to pirate the eMac or the iMac. Two design teams went and designed one prototype each. They apparently never met, so Marketing took half of each design and stuck it together with duct tape.
Analysis: We don't think Apple will be suing on this one, although several engineers may giggle loudly and swallow their Buds the wrong way.
Northgate do lie at least once though:
"With the latest 1394 Firewire Technology downloading and editing you videos from your digital camcorder is just a breeze."
On a Windows box? Fat chance. And the typo on 'you' in their PR is their typo, not ours. Would you buy a used car from them?
Or a new PC?