Apple iMac review

Shiny is probably the best way to describe the new iMac launched earlier this month and in the flesh it doesn't disappoint. But does delving deeper open up a chasm of problems? We get playing to find out.

Coming in two sizes; 20-inch and 24-inch you can see that the person in the design department who likes metal has finally got their way.

Shaking off the iconic white, the Desktop computer comes in aluminium with a black framing around the glossy glass screen.

Apart from the even shinier logo emblazed on the front the device lacks any buttons cluttering its frontage. The one button that is on the unit, the off switch, is tucked out of sight around back.

Also around back are the sockets to plug stuff in. Ethernet, Firewire, USB, Headphones and Line-out are all there and the only disappointment is that cables are left to dangle into view. From a design perspective it would have been nice to get them to trail down the metal stand at the back of the screen.

With a new design for the desktop element, Apple has also redesigned the keyboard.

The new keyboard is just 0.33-inch thick, and builds on the MacBook Pro keyboard and has dedicated keys for screen dimmer and brighter, as well as media controls such as volume, play/pause and eject for the optical drive.

Unfortunately the wireless keyboard option doesn't come as standard, however you can choose as to whether you want to be fussed with the number pad as Apple is offering a smaller more compact keyboard.

In use and the keyboard is nice. The keys are responsive and its very much like using a keyboard on one of Apple's laptops. The addition of the shortcut keys, including dedicated keys for expose and Desktop certainly help and the iTunes play/pause and skip track buttons are something that we've wanted on our MacBook Pro keyboard for some time.

Back to the iMac, and inside, users will be able to get up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, with up to 4GB of memory.

There will be an ATI Radeon HD graphics card and up to 1TB of hard drive storage. The news models will feature 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.0. There is also an iSight for web conferencing.

Verdict

As an aspirational product the iMac ticks all the boxes, it's fast, easy to use and super shiny whether you're merely surfing the web or using the new iLife suite.

So what's the catch? Well you're going to have to pay for that swish cool look. With prices starting at £749 you could get a PC equivalent for half the price, but you'll end up with something that needs to be hidden rather than put on show.

Nice.