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Apple introduces iMac with built-in iSight

post #1 of 139
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As first predicted by AppleInsider last month, Apple today unveiled a new iMac G5 which features a built-in iSight video camera for out-of-the-box video conferencing and the debut of Apples breakthrough Front Row media experience.

Front Row gives users a simple and powerful way to play their music, enjoy their photo slideshows, and watch their DVDs and iMovies, as well as popular movie trailers from apple.com and music videos and television shows purchased from the iTunes Music Store, on their iMac from up to 30 feet away using the new bundled Apple Remote. The new iMac G5 comes in a sleek, new design that is even thinner than its predecessor, and starts at just $1,299.

The new iMac G5 debuts our amazing Front Row media experience, and we think users are going to love it, said Steve Jobs, Apples CEO. Plus, the built-in iSight video camera delivers out-of-the-box video conferencing with friends and family, as well as hours of fun with our new Photo Booth application.

Apples Front Row media experience uses the bundled Apple Remote to let users enjoy the content they have on their iMac -- including songs from their iTunes music library, slideshows of their photo albums in iPhoto, videos including Podcasts, iMovies and DVDs, and popular movie trailers streamed from apple.com -- all from up to 30 feet away. And with iTunes 6, users can now purchase and download music videos, Pixar short films and hit TV shows such as Desperate Housewives and Lost from the iTunes Music Store and watch them on their iMac using Front Row. Front Row is easily controlled using the Apple Remote, which has only six buttons, compared to remote controls for Microsofts Media Center which typically have over 40 buttons.

With its built-in iSight video camera, the new iMac G5 provides video conferencing right out of the box using Apples award-winning iChat AV software. The new iMac G5 also includes Photo Booth, Apples fun-to-use new application that lets users take quick snapshots with the built-in iSight video camera, add entertaining visual effects with the touch of a button, and share them via Mail, save them in iPhoto, or use them as icons in iChat or Address Book.

The refined design of the new iMac G5 is now up to 1/2-inch thinner and 15 percent lighter than the previous generation. Delivering even greater value, the new iMac G5 line includes a 17-inch model with a 1.9GHz PowerPC G5 processor for just $1,299 and a 20-inch model with a 2.1 GHz PowerPC G5 processor for just $1,699. Both models now come standard with a SuperDrive with double-layer support for burning professional-quality DVDs, 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable to 2.5GB, hard drive storage capacity up to 500GB, and ATI Radeon X600 PCI Express-based graphics with 128MB of dedicated video memory for outstanding graphics performance and realistic game play. System memory is easily upgraded via a convenient access door along the bottom edge.

Offering the latest high-performance I/O, the new iMac G5s include built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme for fast 54 Mbps wireless networking, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire 400 ports. The new iMac G5 includes Apples Mighty Mouse, featuring up to four programmable buttons and an ingenious Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any directionvertically, horizontally and even diagonally.

Every new iMac G5 also includes iLife 05, Apples award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications; Mac OS X version 10.4 Tiger, the worlds most advanced operating system; and a collection of productivity and entertainment titles including AppleWorks, Quicken 2006 for Mac, 2006 World Book, Photo Booth, Nanosaur 2 and Marble Blast Gold.

Pricing & Availability

The new iMac G5 line will be available next week through the Apple Store, Apples retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The new 17-inch 1.9 GHz iMac G5, for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), includes:

17-inch widescreen LCD display;
1.9 GHz PowerPC G5 processor;
512MB of 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2.5GB;
8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
ATI Radeon X600 Pro with 128MB DDR memory;
built-in iSight video camera;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
ships with infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

The new 20-inch 2.1 GHz iMac G5, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:

20-inch widescreen LCD display;
2.1 GHz PowerPC G5 processor;
512MB of 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 2.5GB;
8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
ATI Radeon X600 XT with 128MB DDR memory;
built-in iSight video camera;
built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR;
250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
ships with infrared Apple Remote, Mighty Mouse and Apple Keyboard.

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 2.5GB DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB and 500GB Serial ATA hard drives, AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme Base Station, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Wireless Mouse, Apple USB Modem and the AppleCare Protection Plan.
post #2 of 139
great value. very solid and nice.

my favorite part...

"Even when its sleeping, iMac thinks about whats best for you. In low-light environments, a sensor detects the rooms ambient light and adjusts the sleep light to match so you and your iMac G5 can both catch some Zs."
post #3 of 139
Glad I bought an iMac last weekend. I really would like PCI-express graphics. Oh well.
post #4 of 139
To aim camera.. just reposition iMac.
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I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
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post #5 of 139
The new iMac was a really cool surprise. Better GPU, thinner... and a remote and camera!

And like other recent Macs, it can connect to TV and surround-sound speakers.

Can anyone confirm that the remote is IR rather than BT? Seems odd, but it really looks IR to me. (But it can be used with the new iPod dock as well--cool!)

I like the new port placement along the bottom.

Now how about a black option?
post #6 of 139
The built in camera is just exactly positively what was needed to get video chat reach critical mass. Good going Apple.
post #7 of 139
This is a great deal. I can't wait until they go Intel. Then I purchase a new one.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #8 of 139
For those wondering about Apple and PCI-E. Well here it is.With this they will certianly have to update the PowerMac's with PCI-E. And the ATI Radeon X600 XT, gamers should be really happy about that.

I can see the logic in iMac's though, as they outsell the PowerMac's. The iMac is likely at the point where Apple's investment in developing it has been paid off and now its pure profit. So Apple will now give it more expensive features.

The integration of iSight is a good idea. I only know a couple of people with an iSight camera and rarely use mine. I imgaine this is a sign that iSight will become apart of all Apple displays and laptops. Which would mean nearly everyone in the Mac community can video conference for the cost of an internet connection.

A good point was brought up above though. Do you have to position the entire monitor to optimally position the camera?

With Front Row Apple is clearly showing its move into multimedia presentation. without a doubt this software (some future variation) will eventually move onto the television.

I agree with the strategy of taking it slow on computer multimedia. You don't want to be too early before the market is interested as well as too late.
post #9 of 139
This will be mine! I still have the original iMac G4 and it is showing it's age.

20" one I think. :-)
post #10 of 139
Well now... isn't that a nice surprise! Really nice update to the iMac. Well done Apple! I'm really pleased that Apple are finally listening to their customers (and probably reading these boards for 'tips' ).
Pity no FireWire 800 though, but hey, it should sell extremely well.
post #11 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by nathan22t
great value. very solid and nice.

my favorite part...

"Even when its sleeping, iMac thinks about whats best for you. In low-light environments, a sensor detects the rooms ambient light and adjusts the sleep light to match so you and your iMac G5 can both catch some Zs."

I use that technique to save power on battery powered outdoor devices with LEDs. I'm glad to see that SOMEONE understands.

On another note, I like this update. I'm curious if there's any difference in the G5 processor, which I would assume to be the case given the form factor change. Anyway, I can see myself getting a decked-out 20" in the next few weeks. I will have to see the comparative difference of the expected dual core PMG5s. If this iMac indeed has a dual core G5, then I don't think there's much advantage to getting the PM.
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post #12 of 139
OK, so is Front Row going to be available for other Macs and same for the Apple Remote? Does the Apple Remote use Bluetooth or some other technology???
post #13 of 139
OK, bummer, from the specs, it looks like the remote is IR instead of Bluetooth. Bluetooth would've been a great way to keep it compatible with other Macs.

Also, from the pictures, it looks like you could easily mix up that remote with the iPod Shuffle.
post #14 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Does the Apple Remote use Bluetooth or some other technology???

I think it is infrared.
post #15 of 139
holy frickin crap. didn't they just update the imac like 4 months ago?? i'm not sure anyone really saw this coming. the addition of PCI-e and DDR2 ram are good signs for the future, and the faster processors point to faster processors on the PMs to come. they'll have to introduce the new PM G5's soon, or else they'll really lose some sales (as if they weren't already from the imac) since its such a better deal to go with a 20". incredible. i think this is showing an incredible path ahead. i can't wait to check it out, now we just need dual dual-core PM's and we'll be set!
Macbook Pro
2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo
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Macbook Pro
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160GB HD
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post #16 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by pix
This will be mine! I still have the original iMac G4 and it is showing it's age.

20" one I think. :-)

Same here. This new iMac is just the perfect upgrade for my 800Mhz FP iMac (15 inch). I was very tempted this summer to buy the new iMac G5, but i'm glad i waited. Christmas comes early this year :-)
post #17 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by exhibit_13
the addition of PCI-e and DDR2 ram are good signs for the future...

The benefits from DDR2 are questionable at this point (see latency), but more important is the fact that Apple changed the RAM slot design and now we have a module soldered on. Which makes the once affordable 2 GB mark (2.5 GB with the current design) prohibitively expensive.

And what happened to dual-channel memory? Was all marketing nonsense?

Other than that, it is clear that the iMac gets much attention and it is perhaps the best equiped out of the box Macintosh in Apple's history, serving a great variety of uses.
post #18 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by exhibit_13
holy frickin crap. didn't they just update the imac like 4 months ago??

On a somewhat unrelated note: didn't they do the same with the iPod? And where the hell is my updated PB?
My computer can beat up your computer.
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My computer can beat up your computer.
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post #19 of 139
dang! i want one now! that is an amazing revision. much less plastic, much more screen on front, and OMG 25% thiner!!!!! HOW CAN THEY DO THAT? amazing
post #20 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
OK, bummer, from the specs, it looks like the remote is IR instead of Bluetooth. Bluetooth would've been a great way to keep it compatible with other Macs.

Also, from the pictures, it looks like you could easily mix up that remote with the iPod Shuffle.


The thing about bluetooth is that devices need to be paired up. So, in the case of the bluetooth mouse, this means that the mouse has to be "on" to pair up, using power even when you're not actually using the mouse. That's why the Apple BT mouse has an on/off switch on the bottom. If you left it on all the time, it would run out of power, even if your Mac was left powered off, because the mouse would always be "listening", waiting for a signal from any device (your mac in this case) to contact it, wanting to pair up. So, for this remote, it would have to either have an on/off switch, or else it would use power even when not in use. I think this is a pretty good argument against using bluetooth for a small and simple remote like this.

- JonYo
post #21 of 139
Anyone know if this new Photo Booth software included with this new iMac rev will be available to other Mac/iSight users in the future? I wouldn't mind some simple software like that, allowing my iSight to operate as a still picture camera.

As for powerbook / powermac updates...I think we'll be seeing them soon. Somewhere between 1-3 weeks is my guess.

- JonYo
post #22 of 139
i just need some proof one way or the other that Front Row is going to be available for more than just the iMac..
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post #23 of 139
Well, PCI-e is in. And the rest looks great. Good job, Apple.
post #24 of 139
I just bought an iMac 2 months ago and now this...Im pissed. I should have waited.
post #25 of 139
I'd be all over this if I didn't own a Cinema Display. =/
post #26 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by jonyo
The thing about bluetooth is that devices need to be paired up. So, in the case of the bluetooth mouse, this means that the mouse has to be "on" to pair up, using power even when you're not actually using the mouse. That's why the Apple BT mouse has an on/off switch on the bottom. If you left it on all the time, it would run out of power, even if your Mac was left powered off, because the mouse would always be "listening", waiting for a signal from any device (your mac in this case) to contact it, wanting to pair up. So, for this remote, it would have to either have an on/off switch, or else it would use power even when not in use. I think this is a pretty good argument against using bluetooth for a small and simple remote like this.

- JonYo

or as soon as you push a button it powers up, thousands of devices like that use that feature, like the keyless car entry. it doesn't work well with a mouse cause the laser has to be on to sense movement, and it would shut down while scroling the mouse and haven't clicked in a while
post #27 of 139
WOW! Front Row looks like Apple's attempt at Media Centre - and much better I might add. Spec is really good and built-in camera are great bonus. Is there anything missing from this amazing machine - it's also priced competitively.
post #28 of 139
Yeah, this iMac is very tempting indeed. I have the original FP 15" iMac 700, so it'll be quite the jump.

However, I told myself I wouldn't buy another all in one...that my next desktop would be either a G5 mini Mac (but that ain't here...yet), or a refurbished 2 Ghz G5 dualie PowerMac.

Damn Apple! You're making my decision making more and more difficult all the time!
post #29 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
I use that technique to save power on battery powered outdoor devices with LEDs. I'm glad to see that SOMEONE understands.

The previous revision of the iMac G5 had the ambient light sensor too.
post #30 of 139
what kind of batteries does the remote use?

its not often that i have to change the batteries in TV type remotes, but it does happen
post #31 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by i-am-an-elf
or as soon as you push a button it powers up, thousands of devices like that use that feature, like the keyless car entry. it doesn't work well with a mouse cause the laser has to be on to sense movement, and it would shut down while scroling the mouse and haven't clicked in a while


Most one-way remote control devices use no power whatsoever until you press a button and a signal is sent. No communication is maintained between button-presses. Those remote control devices have no on/off switch, because essentially they "power on" when you press the button, and "power off" when you release it.

Bluetooth devices don't work that way. Bluetooth as a protocol is designed for 2-way communication, so, the protocol is designed so that BOTH sides are listening all the time for incoming transmissions from paired devices. That's why the communication is kept open as long as they are paired. In a bluetooth one-way remote, the pairing would still have to be maintained all the time (requiring power on both devices) for the remote to work, despite the fact that it's a one-way situation, with the remote never needing to receive anything back from the host of the pairing (ie- the Mac). That's the nature of the Bluetooth protocol.

The only way to make a bluetooth remote control that would NOT have to maintain a constant connection with the computer, and therefore NOT have to use power all the time, would be to make a button press on the remote contact the Mac/computer, initiate the bluetooth connection, wait for the connection to be established so both sides are ready to talk, then send the signal for whichever button was pressed (up, down, select, whatever), and then disconnect the bluetooth connection and power off. Establishing the bluetooth conenction would cause a big delay, making this whole idea pretty much useless.

So, short version, the nature of the bluetooth protocol makes it less than idea for one-way remote controls because of the need for constant power.

It's for this very reason that I never use my Apple bluetooth mouse anymore, because unless I remember to turn off the mouse, it eats through batteries way too much, always holding that bluetooth connection open.

- JonYo
post #32 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by PB
The benefits from DDR2 are questionable at this point (see latency), but more important is the fact that Apple changed the RAM slot design and now we have a module soldered on. Which makes the once affordable 2 GB mark (2.5 GB with the current design) prohibitively expensive.

Yeah, that's the first thing I noticed with the new design ...

It was a similar with iMac G4, back when a 1GB SO-DIMM for its one user-accessible slot was ~$400(!) and with only 256MB in a hard-to-access internal slot. I'd considered buying that system for awhile then ended up with an eMac instead; faster HD, nicer DVD burner, and two slots for cheaper DIMM modules.

I've got 2GB in my rev B iMac so having 1.5GB in a rev C makes it less enticing.
post #33 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by jonyo
The thing about bluetooth is that devices need to be paired up. So, in the case of the bluetooth mouse, this means that the mouse has to be "on" to pair up, using power even when you're not actually using the mouse. That's why the Apple BT mouse has an on/off switch on the bottom. If you left it on all the time, it would run out of power, even if your Mac was left powered off, because the mouse would always be "listening", waiting for a signal from any device (your mac in this case) to contact it, wanting to pair up.

Are you saying it should be possible to power off the BT mouse and have it automatically re-pair when it's powered on?

When my Apple BT mouse loses its pairing with my iMac (for any reason) it never automatically re-pairs. Only options are to redo the pairing or reboot. It's a hassle when I change batteries (NiMH rechargeables) but if I do it quickly enough it won't lose pairing.
post #34 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by ROCjetblue320
I just bought an iMac 2 months ago and now this...Im pissed. I should have waited.

Everyone who bought a rev B iMac (I did) could be "pissed" since this was one of Apple's shortest update cycles. Heck, two months ago was just past the midpoint. It's not like you bought it two weeks ago. Suck it up.
post #35 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by sjk
Are you saying it should be possible to power off the BT mouse and have it automatically re-pair when it's powered on?

When my Apple BT mouse loses its pairing with my iMac (for any reason) it never automatically re-pairs. Only options are to redo the pairing or reboot. It's a hassle when I change batteries (NiMH rechargeables) but if I do it quickly enough it won't lose pairing.


I'm not entirely sure if it could be made to automatically re-pair with the Mac without requiring the Mac to be left in bluetooth "discoverable mode" all the time. I know that the Mac would detect my bluetooth mouse automatically during bootup (when I used to use it, I don't anymore) if I powered the mouse on before powering the Mac on, assuming they were paired up at the time I last shut down. But when the mouse lost the pairing for some other reason while everythinig was already powered on and paired, you're right, it wouldn't re-pair unless I went through the re-pairing process manually. Pretty lame. So...who knows. The only advantage to making a bluetooth remot control would be compatabilty with all computers with bluetooth, not requiring some dongly thing on the computer end. But, like I said, it doesn't seem practical because of the nature of the bluetooth protocol, especially if it's just to save the inconveience of having some dongle (USB, or whatever) on the computer end.

- JonYo
post #36 of 139
Funny: the iMac has a better interface than the powermac...
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post #37 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by jonyo
I'm not entirely sure if it could be made to automatically re-pair with the Mac without requiring the Mac to be left in bluetooth "discoverable mode" all the time.

The "Discoverable" Bluetooth setting is enabled on my iMac.

Quote:
I know that the Mac would detect my bluetooth mouse automatically during bootup (when I used to use it, I don't anymore) if I powered the mouse on before powering the Mac on, assuming they were paired up at the time I last shut down. But when the mouse lost the pairing for some other reason while everythinig was already powered on and paired, you're right, it wouldn't re-pair unless I went through the re-pairing process manually. Pretty lame. So...who knows.

Thanks for confirming mine's not a unique experience. Sometimes my BT keyboard losing pairing but it does reconnect after about 10-20 seconds. Once yesterday and again this morning the keyboard has had a particularly nasty problem with the delete key "sticking", irretrievably erasing a bunch of text, then disconnecting/reconnecting. Lost at least an hour of some finer writing to that. Normally I save more often and of course one of the few times I don't... argh! Both times I was furiously clicking the Desktop hoping to abort it... today I seemed to have more success. Another time might be reason to abandon the BT keyboard. Oh, I'd just changed the batteries last week and they last around six months.

Anyway, thanks for the useful feedback. Oh, which mouse do you use now?
post #38 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by jonyo
I'm not entirely sure if it could be made to automatically re-pair with the Mac without requiring the Mac to be left in bluetooth "discoverable mode" all the time. I know that the Mac would detect my bluetooth mouse automatically during bootup (when I used to use it, I don't anymore) if I powered the mouse on before powering the Mac on, assuming they were paired up at the time I last shut down. But when the mouse lost the pairing for some other reason while everythinig was already powered on and paired, you're right, it wouldn't re-pair unless I went through the re-pairing process manually.

Huh??? I don't have the Apple Bluetooth mouse, but something must be seriously screwed up with it if you have to re-pair it all the time. I turn my Bluetooth devices on and off all the time, and I've never had to pair them again with my Mac. That is the whole point of pairing the devices, so that you don't have to do it again.
post #39 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
Funny: the iMac has a better interface than the powermac...

Which "better interface"?
post #40 of 139
Quote:
Originally posted by pmjoe
Huh??? I don't have the Apple Bluetooth mouse, but something must be seriously screwed up with it if you have to re-pair it all the time. I turn my Bluetooth devices on and off all the time, and I've never had to pair them again with my Mac. That is the whole point of pairing the devices, so that you don't have to do it again.

I'm suspecting this might be Apple BT mouse-specific. AppleCare was clueless about it and I haven't thoroughly researched the issue. Like I mentioned, the KB does auto-re-pair okay.
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