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First Look: Apple iMac summer 2010 (Intel Core i5 2.8GHz, 27 in)

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First Look: Apple iMac summer 2010 (Intel Core i5 2.8GHz, 27 in)

3:08 /

Apple's highest-end 27-inch iMac gets a welcome CPU and graphics card update that, along with its giant display, makes it even more competitive than its best-in-class model was previously. Its high overall appeal makes the absence of an HDMI input particularly glaring, but on balance we can recommend the 27-inch iMac to anyone looking for a large screen, high-end all-in-one.

-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for cnet.com. Here, we're gonna take a look at Apple's brand new 27-inch iMac. So this is Apple's $1999 27-inch iMac that updated a couple of weeks back. Default settings for this new model are an Intel Core i5-760 CPU as well as 1 gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics card. Those 2 features are the main updates of this new iMac. Otherwise, it has most the features we're familiar with. It has 4 gigs of RAM, a terabyte hard drive as well as the giant 27-inch display. Now, the 27-inch monitor is unique among all the ones. There are no windows on one for example that has a screen larger than 24 inches. So for that reason alone, this iMac is just as competitive as it was before. It's great for productivity. You can fit all kinds of stuff on the screen. The resolution is 2560 x 1440. It's also great for home entertainment. For example if you wanna watch movies although there are some quirks that will get into a little bit later. As before, the system comes with a DVD burner and there's a webcam on top like you'd expect. There's also a wireless mouse and keyboard. Like most new Mac's, this system also has an SD card reader on the side. This is an SDXC card reader which means it can take cards up to 2 terabytes. On the back of the iMac, you get most the ports you're familiar with. You had a couple analog audio jacks, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort, input and output, as well as the standard Ethernet jack. Now one of the audio jacks actually doubles as a digital audio output, so keep that in my mind. One of our bigger grieves with this system actually is to do with the Mini DisplayPort jack. Now, Apple is going for Mini DisplayPort here because it works with its Mac laptops as well as Apple Cinema Displays. Now, we definitely like the input function of the Mini DisplayPort jack. For about $130, you can get an adapter that lets you go from HDMI to Mini DisplayPort that opens up the iMac as sort of a home entertainment hub. You can connect game consoles, cable boxes, Blu-Ray players which is nice because the system doesn't have Blu-Ray itself. And that's a pretty convenient setup if you have, say, a dorm room or some other small space where you're trying to keep your devices consolidated. That said though, an HDMI input would make that a much simpler process and save you the extra money of the adapter. That's it for traditional productivity. The iMac is outstanding. It's a $1999 system so you would expect it to be pretty fast. Unfortunately, the core i5 CPU is dedicated quad core unlike some other core i5 which have a virtualization component. That means the system will have a multitasking, digital content creation, or any enthusiast level task you wanna throw at it. Now, the new graphic card also makes this a very capable gaming PC. And if you're familiar with Valve software and their Steam service, that's now available for Mac and you actually have a much bigger library for Mac gaming than you used to. So $1999, this system is definitely expensive but we think it's worth it for its large screen and its fast performance. We wish Apple had made life easier for those who wanna use it as an entertainment hub, but it's still workable if you're willing to spend extra for the adapter. So, I'm Rich Brown. This is Apple's new $1999 27-inch iMac.

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