While the iMac got a big upgrade last year to Core i, and the 24-inch expanded to 27, this year's upgrade is a lot more modest. Processors have been given a boost in speed in Core i3, i5 and i7 flavours, and there's now a Radeon HD 5000 series inside and a second drive bay for a solid-state drive (SSD) should you choose to upgrade.
Don't think the option is there for later upgrading though — if you don't select the SSD option, you won't get the extra mounting bracket. While Apple wouldn't tell us exactly what brand of SSD would be supplied, we suspect it's still using Samsung, an inferior option for performance compared to the likes of the SandForce controllers out there today.
I'll have more of the same, thanks, waiter
The 27-inch iMac is otherwise the same dominating presence it was last year, with its gorgeous LED backlit, IPS-based 2560x1440 screen, aluminium styling and the included wireless keyboard and magic mouse (although Apple is, of course, pushing the Magic Trackpad as the perfect accessory — whether it is or not we'll leave up to you). Almost everything we said in the last review still holds true, from the gloss screen being a potential annoyance, to the bi-directional mini-DisplayPort connection and SD card reader being big positives. A nice addition this year is the ability to read large capacity SDXC cards, allowing up to 64GB of storage.
All your favourite ports are here. Well, except eSATA, but we imagine a certain devil would be skating to work on the day that happens. The SDXC card reader is on the side of the iMac, under the DVD drive. (Credit: Apple)
While Core i7 versions of the last generation 27-inch iMac were available, we only saw the Core 2 Duo version for review, meaning our benchmarking this time will show quite the increase in performance, with the quad-core Core i5 processor pushing it higher.
Our review sample included a quad-core Core i5 2.8GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and a Radeon HD 5750 GPU, and sells for AU$2599. The base level iMac starts at AU$1599; however, this comes with a dual-core Core i3 3.2GHz processor, a 500GB hard drive and a Radeon HD 4670 GPU.