Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The new iMac

Picture of the New iMac If you’re an Apple fanatic, then you’ll probably already know that there’s a new iMac out; if you’re not, then, erm… there’s a new iMac out. Like the previous iMac it has an LCD screen; unlike the previous one but like the first one, all the electronics are in the same panel as the screen. Except this time the panel is considerably smaller.
It does look pretty good, although at £919 ($1650 US) for the cheapest model, it’s not for everyone. That said, a PC with the equivalent design would probably cost about the same and you would have to put up with Windows instead of OS X, so I guess it represents good value in that respect.
It’s quite well specified – the cheapest model has a 1.6Ghz G5 processor, 533Mhz FSB, 17″ LCD monitor, DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, 1 total of 5 USB and 2 Firewire ports, modem and ethernet sockets, an optical-in port that doubles up as a headphone socket and a line-in socket. The lack of a microphone socket is made up by a built-in microphone, and there are built-in speakers which point down so that the sound can be reflected off the desk. Pay more and you get a 1.8Ghz processor and a 600Mhz FSB, plus a 20″ monitor and the ability to write DVDs, although interestingly no rewriting – odd, because a lot of PCs have this ability already.
I’m not sure if I like the slot-loading optical drive that comes on all models – I always find them temperamental. A tray-loading tray would have been nicer. Memory-wise I’m concerned that such a new computer only comes with 256MB of RAM as standard (upgradable to 2GB) – I’d have thought 512MB would offer more acceptable performance, but this may be my Mac ignorance showing through. An 80GB HD in the basic models should be fine for most people and 160GB in the most expensive model is excellent.
I’m not going to buy one – if I was going to buy any Apple it would be a PowerBook and I don’t have anything like enough money to be able to afford one of those, but I guess it’s good. I do like the design and it’s nice to see powerful home computers that don’t take up much space coming out, but it’s just not for me.

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