- Apart from the revised port layout, the only external visual cue that you're looking at a new iMac is the tapered foot -- the old ones were flat slabs.
- The display is as glossy as ever. We actually think it looks really nice in a dark room -- beautiful, even -- but anywhere else, it's a mirror.
- Final verdict on the tiny keyboard? It's ridiculous. We actually love Apple's full-size aluminum keyboard, and while the lite version feels just as sturdy, the smaller space bar and missing keys are disorienting. Apple says laptop users love it, but the whole thing feels like an unnecessary compromise -- if you have room for a 24-inch iMac on your desk, we're guessing you can spare an extra six inches for the full-size keyboard. Don't believe the hype, take the free upgrade.
- Similarly, the Mighty Mouse is still totally lame.
- The Apple Remote is no longer bundled in the box, you'll have to pay extra for it. Sorry, Front Row fans.
- We did some quick'n'dirty XBench testing and the results are solid but not unexpected: the midrange $1,799 2.93GHz unit is oh-so-slightly faster than the similarly-spec'd top-end 17-inch MacBook Pro we just tested, but it's not much faster than the outgoing iMacs. Graphics are a similar story: the GeForce GT 120 chip in the model we have is certainly faster on paper than anything else we've tested, but playing Call of Duty 4 didn't make us feel like we had to race out and upgrade. Sure, you can up the settings slightly and still get 60fps now, but at 1920 x 1200 with everything maxed out there's essentially no difference between the new iMac and our 2007 unit -- you're looking at 8-15fps either way.
- Although they wouldn't say it explicitly, Apple's PR basically told us that FireWire 400 is gone for good. Goodbye, old friend.
- Similarly, it's doubtful we'll ever see HDMI on the iMac -- Apple's committed to pushing mini DisplayPort as the new standard, particularly since it supports high resolution displays better.
iMac (Early 2009) unboxing and hands-onSee all photos