Conclusion: With the latest version of its all-in-one desktop, Apple left everything that was great about the 27-inch iMac alone (namely its best-in-class screen and beautiful design), while making some serious improvements to it internal components.
Excerpt: Hard to believe it's only been 10 months since the last iMac update, but Apple's venerable desktop needed a quick bump to stay current with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors and the Thunderbolt interconnect.
Conclusion: Casual Mac users will love the new iMac (Intel Core Duo), but professional users or anyone who uses graphics apps like Adobe Photoshop and video-editing software (such as Final Cut Pro) should wait until those tools are updated.
Pros: Intel Core Duo dual-core processor. Mini-DVI port for true dual-monitor usage. Front Row software is now peppier.
Cons: Many applications that are not optimized for Intel will run slower. Classic OS 9 environment no longer available.
Conclusion: Apple moves closer to the sweet spot with the iMac (Nvidia GeForce 9400M). This new all-in-one gives you the screen real estate you crave, along with strong multimedia capabilities, and the covetable Apple design, all for a reasonable price.
Pros: Both Windows- and Mac-compatible. Fully HD-capable screen. Recyclable aluminum-and-glass construction. EPEAT Gold certified and Energy Star 5.0 pre-certified. Minimal cables. 4GB of DDR3 RAM is standard. No crapware. iLife '09 included. Same price as old 20-inch model.
Cons: No media card slots. Mighty Mouse is slippery and annoying. Vista 64-bit installation complicated. No Blu-ray option. No eSATA. No numeric keypad and cursor control on standard keyboard. Only 90-days phone tech support.
Summary: No one wants to design desktop towers any more, but they've still failed to match Apple's aesthetic for all-in-ones. Rivals like the EeeTouch, Acer Aspire Z5610 , Sony Vaio L or Lenovo's IdeaCentre are technically worthy, but design-wise they just don't compare.
Summary: Apple shows that the melding of hardware and software makes for a very compelling computer. Sleek and cool-running, the latest Apple iMac is arguably the best one-stop PC you'll find, at home running Windows or its native Mac OS X.
Pros: Great design, quiet
Cons: Won't run the latest games at highest settings thanks to its graphics card
Conclusion: Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+; 2GB 667MHz
DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics
chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Samsung hard drive
Pros: Free phone support runs out after 90 days
Cons: A minor specification update results in some significant performance gains, Graphics upgrade an option on this 24-inch model, Sleek, polished design didn't receive an update, but we won't start clamoring for a new design until the current one is at least 12 months old