It may come as a surprise to some people but Apple doesn't just make sleek, shiny, spangly phones and music players - it actually sells computers too. In fact, there was a time when that was all it did. The one I've got in front of me right now was released less than two months ago, on the 7th August 2007, but in the frenzy of everything iPod, iTouch and iPhone, the iMac seems to have been iForgotten.
It's actually the first iMac we've reviewed at TrustedReviews, as up to this point Apple has never seen fit to send us one, thankfully a situation now remedied. The new iMac comes in 20in and 24in flavours, with the old 17in version retired. What's more the 20in entry level machine now comes in at the price of the old 17in, £799, which is good news. This is the version that we were sent, and the core spec offers a 20in screen, with a native resolution of 1,680 x 1,050, which is a tangible improvement on the 1,400 x 900 that featured on the old 17in model. You also get an Intel 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB of Level 2 cache, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk drive, an 8-speed dual-layer DVD burner, which Apple likes to call a Superdrive, and a Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of memory. It also has built-in iSight camera, Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and you get a wired keyboard and mouse.
Note that the parts are mobile based, so you only get an 800MHz front-side bus, not 1,066, and 667 RAM, not 800MHz, as you would on a regular desktop. Even so the iMac gets quite hot at the rear after prolong use, mainly where the CPU is. However, it never caused any problems. Another point is that the iMac is near silent most of the time, in fact blissfully so compared to your average PC.
The spec is also impressive for an entry level machine, though the step up 20in contains a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, which from our experience in laptops, provides a noticeable speed improvement. You'll also get a larger 320MB hard disk and a Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics card with 256MB of RAM. Move up to a 24in display and the base spec is the same save for the larger screen with its Full HD supporting 1,920 x 1,200, while the top end model, boasts a hefty 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme, 2GB of RAM and 500GB of disk space, spread over two physical discs.
The new iMac follows the same basic design as the previous version, being a screen and display all in one sleek case. What's more Apple has improved it by slimming things down even further. While having the computer built into the screen meant the previous iMac was always a compact machine, but now it's even thinner. This makes it look even slicker on the desk. The small white light that used to glow when theiMac went into standby has been removed, and now when it goes to sleep the iMac is now a sleek shiny monolith on your desk with real presence.