Apple Announces the G4

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Apple's new G4 desktop computer emerged from a misty cloud of buzzwords and benchmarks yesterday at the Seybold Publishing Conference in San Francisco. For those keeping score, the key numbers were, of course, the high speed and the low price: 400, 450, and 500MHz models, offered for sale at $1,599, $2,499 and $3,495. But it's difficult to concentrate on hard data in the presence of so much beautiful clear molded plastic.

We're not kidding. The new G4's, aimed at higher-end users than the newbie-friendly iMac, come in a silver and graphite case that wouldn't look out of place in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Onstage, Apple CEO/Eternal Champion Steve Jobs put the machine through some carefully chosen tests in which it beat the pants off a Windows machine running a top-of-the-line 600MHz Pentium III processor. Jobs was joined onstage by John Warnock, CEO of Adobe Software, and together they watched the Velocity Engine (as Apple refers to the G4's processor) process images and video featuring key media-friendly brands, also carefully chosen: Buzz Lightyear and James Bond were in evidence, as was SETI's now-ubiquitous find-the-aliens screensaver. MORE >>