Design splash with new iMacs

Design splash with new iMacs

In typical Apple fashion, the latest iMacs unveiled here last week leave no design detail unconsidered and the pricing is attractive for consumers considering upgrading or switching to Mac.

As Australian product manager Geoff Winder explains, Apple has gone for a clutter-free design that still packs features in.

“We wanted to do all the things customers wanted. With the complicated set up of most PCs, the iMac gives them everything they need in the box and nothing they don’t.”

The iMacs are made from anodised aluminium and glass – with the display casing manufactured from a single piece of aluminium so there are no joins. The materials are the same as those used in its professional products.

The glass is scratch resistant and recyclable and the matte display of previous models has been replaced with a glossy screen to enhance photo viewing.

The monitor’s black frame is used to full effect to house the iSight VGA camera, while the microphone on top of the display is found beneath tiny, laser-etched holes.

RAM is easily upgradeable via a panel underneath the display.

Now in 20 and 24-inch models (the 17-inch has been phased out), the display on the 20-inch version is 38 percent thinner than it was. The 24-inch model can be configured with up to one terabyte of storage.

The new thin keyboard is also eye-catching with an 80mm front edge. It includes dedicated controls for media, screen brightness and iTunes. Winder says the keyboard has also been used to incorporate a USB port, which users had indicated they wanted moved from the position on the back of earlier iMacs.

The 20-inch iMac has a recommended retail price of $1899 ($800 less than its predecessor), with $2799 for the 24-inch (a drop of $750).

The iMacs include Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors running up to 2.8 GHz and features ATI’s Radeon HD 2600 PRO graphics with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, along with the ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB of GDDR3 memory.

Apple has also enhanced its iLife 08 suite with new versions of iPhoto and iMovie. iPhoto 08 now includes Events software that allows photos to be organised into groups and referenced with one picture.

Imovie simplifies home movie making as users can preview any of their video clips by moving their mouse over the clip to skim through.

The latest version of iWeb – 08 – allows the addition of Google Maps and Google ads into users’ websites, along with YouTube videos.

Ilife ’08 sells for $109, but is included with new Macs that come out from this month.

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