Apple's new iMac has a sweet 70's future style that will have many reassessing the line. But it's about more than looks—just ask any significant others of the Gizmodo staff. And while Brian Lam already published a fantastic rundown on the new machine, what we need here is a consensus for iMac users: to buy or not to buy.
So hit the jump for our Frankenreview: a mega review for the lazy, or just efficient (same difference).
It's a much more serious looking Mac than its predecessor. It's darker, slimmer, sexier and has a more professional feel. The display looks fantastic when playing video (who needs a TV in the house when you've got the new iMac?)
The monitor itself is very bright, and the colors look vibrant and saturated. The display looks noticeably brighter than either of my HP LP2065 LCDs or my 23" Apple Cinema Display—but the other three displays are over a year old by now
Apple says the 20-inch model has a viewing angle of 160 degrees (both up and down and side to side), which is 10 percent less than the 24-inch model's 178 degrees. The difference was very noticeable when viewing the two sizes next to each other...
Regrettably, the unchanged, glossy white Mighty Mouse now looks out of place next to the new aluminum chassis and keyboard.
Data transfers were at full USB 2.0 speed. In addition to the USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports await camcorders and external hard drives as well. The faster FireWire 800 is a new addition to the iMac family, available on all models
In our benchmark tests against the last 20-inch iMac G5, the new 24-inch Core 2 Duo is simply in a different class of performance. Most tests which focus on the CPU show that just one of the two 2.4GHz Intel cores can nearly double the speed of the 2.1GHz PowerPC chip; in tests aware of multiple cores, the newest Core 2 Duo is well over three times faster.
Despite its new ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics chip, the iMac still isn't very well suited to playing 3D games. On our Quake 4 test, at a forgiving 1,024x768 resolution, the iMac turned in an only marginally acceptable 39 frames per second.
If I was looking to replace my PC right now, I would be sorely tempted.... wait to get an iMac in October, when Apple is to roll out [Leopard].
I'd buy this thing. Specifically, the 24-inch 2.4GHz machine for $1799, plus I'd spend the money for 2GB of RAM. The 2.8GHz Extreme chip is probably not worth the extra $250, since it doesn't include a bus speed bump or anything.
Final thoughts: We mixed 20 and 24 inch reviews here, but the big difference is that the 24's screen has a far superior viewing angle. And the 20's is actually worse than the previous generation of iMac. If you've waited to upgrade a G5, it's time. The Intel processors are screaming fast compared with the old models. For those who bought last gen, you aren't missing out on a massive speed bump.