"First look at the new iMac"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
First look at the new iMac
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>> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to take a look at Apple's new fourth generation iMac. Now what we have here is the 20 inch model. You can also get a 24 incher that's a little bit more expensive. Mostly though this is a cosmetic update for the iMac. There's a new brushed aluminum chassis with silver and black finish. There's also a glass plate on top of the LCD which gives it a glossy, sturdy cover. For the most part though, the design of the iMac is pretty much the same as the older one. You got the iSight camera on top. Up here there's a little mike, it's a little bit smaller than the old one. And once we get to the back, you can see basically the same row of ports as the original model. The only major update here is there's fire wire 800, which is more bandwidth than fire wire 400 or even USB2. That's nice if you want to plug in a nice high speed hard drive. Now in addition to the redesign of the case, Apple also rolled out a brand new design for its keyboard. Now the keys are actually the same as an Apple's MacBook Laptops. The low profile, nice and responsive. And the keyboard itself, even though it's really thin actually fit the table pretty well. It's nice and heavy, doesn't slide around too much. In general, we think this keyboard is a really sharp redesign. Now you can also see on the side panel here the same slot loading DVD burner we've come to expect on pretty much every iMac. Now on top of all these visual updates, Apple actually added some new hardware under the hood as well. There's a 2 gigahertz Intel core two duo processor, a 256 megabyte API Radion HD 2600 Pro Graphics chip, as well as 802 dot 11 N wireless networking. Now 802 dot 11N is faster than older types of WIFI. But you have to make sure you have the right router in order to get the benefit. After running this system through our benchmark tests, we found that Apple did a really good job of putting a fast PC together. It compared very well against similar Windows desktops, at least in general applications. But as usual with Apple, it's not quite the gaming system we'd like it to be. Now because this is an all in one PC, the usual caveats apply. You're tied to the same monitor and upgrading is pretty difficult. There's not a lot you can do to make it better once you buy it. The only exception is that you can add more memory. I'll take up to 4 gig and you can add it to a small trap door on the bottom edge of the system. Overall though, because this new iMac is so fully featured especially compared to other systems on the market, we have to give it an Editor's Choice. I'm Rich Brown and that's the Apple Fourth Generation iMac.
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