Apple iMac 27in review

Apple's iMac can now be had with a large 27in diameter display. We see how it performs.

This obsessive design unfortunately extends to the iMac itself. Clearly, nothing so ugly as a power button could tarnish that perfect front panel, so it's chucked on the rear in the bottom-left corner. That wouldn't be the end of the world, but putting the FireWire and USB ports on the back as well is hugely frustrating - we had to wrestle the iMac away from the wall every time we went to plug in a flash drive. We're used to Apple hardware having its own quirks, but with a slot-loading DVD writer and SD card slot already on the right-hand edge, would an accessible USB port really have spoiled the look any further?

magic mouse

But in many ways this new iMac isn't really best suited to a desk at all. The brilliant screen, pounding 17W speakers and jaw-dropping design wouldn't look out of place as the centrepiece of your living room, and the 802.11n wireless makes putting it there as easy as pie. The mini-DisplayPort output is as frustrating as ever with no supplied adapter, although with that screen you'll rarely need to output to anything else, and you can order an optional iMac remote for use on a sofa.

Whether it's worth 1,349 inc VAT to a Windows user is the big question. There's no denying it's hugely gorgeous and desirable, but we also can't look past the typical, easily avoidable Apple foibles that persist. Sure, you could replace the mouse and keyboard, and there are more powerful specifications available if your wallet can handle it, but you're still paying an awful lot for something that shamelessly chooses style over practicality. If you can live with that you won't be disappointed; if you can't, Sony's brilliant 24in multitouch VAIO VPC-L11S1E is waiting in the wings.

Verdict

Stunning one-piece design and a magnificent 27in screen, but the usual Apple foibles are there to drag it down

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz Memory: 4GB Hard disk: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Optical drive: DVD Writer OS: Mac OS X 10.6 Graphics: Ti Radeon HD 4670, 256MB Display: 27in, 2,560 x 1,400 Ports: 4 x USB, 1 x FireWire, 1 audio out, headphone, Connectivity: Dimensions: 650 x 207 x 517mm (WDH) Warranty: 1yr

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