20 years ago, Apple announced the eMac, an iMac specifically for the education sector


Exactly 20 years ago, Apple announced its eMacan all-in-one computer, manufactured from 2002 to 2005, developed specifically for educational use in classrooms and computer labs.

The original eMac had a shell in glossy white polycarbonate with a 17-inch flat CRT display, a 700MHz PowerPC G4 processor, nVidia GeForce2 MX graphics card, 128MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive, five USB ports, two FireWire ports, two 16W stereo speakers and a ‘CD-ROM drive.

The list price of $ 999, which went up $ 1,199 for the 56K modem version, placed the eMac squarely between the previous generation iMac, which cost $ 799, and the LCD iMac that sold for $ 1499. These are all the specifications:

  • 17-inch flat CRT display (16-inch diagonal) up to 1280 x 960 pixels in 24-bit color
  • 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor
  • 128 MB SDRAM
  • CD-RW optical drive
  • 40GB ATA hard drive
  • Integrated 10 / 100BASE-T Ethernet
  • 56K V.90 modem
  • support for optional AirPort wireless network (IEEE 802.11)
  • Integrated 16-watt digital amplifier and stereo speakers for great stereo sound
  • an audio-in port, a headphone jack and a microphone
  • NVIDIA GeForce2 MX AGP 2X graphics with 32MB Double Data Rate (DDR) video memory for exceptional 3D performance
  • Apple Pro optical mouse and full-size Apple Pro keyboard
  • Mac OS X version 10.1.4, Mac OS 9.2.2

Steve Jobs commented on the eMac launch with these words:

“Our educational customers have asked us to design a desktop computer specifically for them. The new eMac features a 17-inch flat CRT and powerful G4 processor, while maintaining the compact enclosure that teachers love.” .

The eMac was based on Mac OS X version 10.1.4, known as “Puma”, and had Microsoft’s Internet Explorer pre-installed. Apple’s web browser, Safari, was announced in early 2003. About a month after the announcement, despite the intention to limit its sale to the educational sector only, Apple decided to make the eMac available to everyone. According to Steve Jobs, it was the pressing demands of consumers:

“Consumers have been punching the table by asking us to buy the eMac, and we agree. The eMac production schedule is ahead of schedule and so we will have enough eMacs this quarter to meet both of our eMacs. educational clients that non-educatonal “.

Apple continued to release additional eMac configurations with updated specs and a SuperDrive over the next few years. In October 2005, the eMac was again limited to the educational sector only to be replaced by a low-end 17-inch iMac in July 2006.

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