Apple CEO Steve Jobs has pulled off the biggest job of wowing the crowds at Macworld Expo since he launched the iMac two years ago. The latest marvel of Apple’s design department is a fully functioning G4 workstation fitted inside an 8-inch cube.
Already nicknamed the toaster (because of the slot in the top for vertically sliding in CDs and DVDs) or the car battery (because of its size and shape), the G4 Cube is white and encased in a clear plastic case. It was described as an "amazing engineering and design feat" by Jobs.
Turn the G4 Cube over and twist the handle on its bottom and the case slides off in a way reminiscent of nuclear bomb detonators in Hollywood movies. This allows easy access to slots for more memory or cards.
Jobs backed this with the news of a new line of more standard-looking G4 with dual processors. Available as 450MHz and 500MHz configurations, they replace the single processor versions as of yesterday – leaving the 400MHz G4 as the only model in the line with a single processor.
The dual-processor 450MHz G4 Mac ships with 128MB of RAM, an ATI 128 Pro AGP 2X graphics card with 16MB of video RAM, a 30GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk, and a DVD-ROM drive. It costs £1,749 plus VAT.
The dual-processor 500MHz G4 Mac ships with 256MB of RAM, an ATI 128 Pro AGP 2X graphics card with 16MB of video RAM, a 40GB Ultra ATA/66 hard disk, and a DVD-ROM drive. It costs £2,499 plus VAT.
Jobs also announced four new iMacs: an entry level iMac with a 350Mhz processor, priced at £649; the iMacDV with a 400MHz chip, priced at £799; the iMacDV+ with a 450MHz chip, priced at £999; and the iMacDV Special Edition with a 500MHz chip, priced at £1,199. Four new colours for the iMacs were also announced: Snow, Sage, Indigo and Ruby.