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Apple iMac (27-inch, unibody, 2009) review: Apple iMac (27-inch, unibody, 2009)

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The whole of the Magic Mouse's seamless plastic surface is a multi-touch sensor. This works much like the MacBook's trackpad for clicking and scrolling, but two-finger swipes for moving back and forth require a degree of dexterity that Apple's designers seem to have underestimated. The mouse is also very flat, and held between the thumb and little finger, rather than in the palm. We didn't find this very comfortable, but it probably won't be a problem for everyone.

Slight performance boost
The thinner, LED-backlit screen has freed up space inside the iMac's case, which has allowed Apple to switch to stock desktop processors and beef up the cooling system (the all-aluminium case no doubt also acts as a giant heat sink).

All iMacs now ship with a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 processor as standard, with a 3.33GHz chip available for an extra £160. Also standard across the board is 4GB of RAM, and Apple has added an extra pair of SODIMM slots for cheaper upgrades to 8GB. In addition, Apple has increased the maximum RAM to 16GB.

The 27-inch iMac is also available with either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 quad-core processor, but these models are still a few weeks from arrival, so we can only speculate about the stonking performance they'll deliver.

In the meantime, our 27-inch iMac with an Intel Core 2 Duo E7600 processor and ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics returned a score of 190.52 in the synthetic Xbench benchmark test. A 24-inch iMac with a 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8335 chip and ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics scored 162.3. You're not really getting much more in terms of performance with these new iMacs, then, but you are getting a better overall specification at a similar price point to the old models.

Conclusion
The gap in screen sizes between the new 21.5-inch and 27-inch Apple iMacs seems rather wide to us, but that's the only real complaint we can conjure up. The increased specifications and much-improved construction mean they both offer decent value for money, although the usual grumble about iMacs costing more than equivalent Windows PCs still applies.

Edited by Charles Kloet

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