2008 Aluminum iMacs Reviews & Information


Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's much-anticipated new "aluminum and glass" iMac line on August 7, 2007 (updates were released on April 28, 2008). The new iMac has a new slimmer housing of Apple's signature anodized aluminum along with a glass face, giving it an unmistakably iPhone-ish appearance. The case is made from a single sheet of aluminum, with no seams or screws except for a single compartment on the bottom that provides easy access to the memory slots. The iSight camera and microphone are built-in in a similar manner to Apple's notebooks.

The base 20-inch iMac, with the 2.4 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, and a 250 GB SATA hard drive, and 8x SuperDrive starts at $1199. A 20-inch, 2.66GHz CPU model with 2 GB RAM, a 320 GB SATA hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive sells for $1,499, and a 24-inch machine with a 2.8 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB SATA hard drive and an 8x SuperDrive is priced at $1799. The top-of-the-line 24 inch model with a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 500 GB SATA hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive carries a $2,199 price tag.


iMac Model Chart:

24" 2.8GHz

24-inch widescreen LCD
1920x1200 resolution
2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
320GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO
256MB VRAM

$1799

24" 3.0GHz: $2199

2GB memory
500GB hard drive
Apple Store only

20" 2.66GHz

20-inch widescreen LCD
1680x1050 resolution
2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
320GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO
256MB VRAM

$1499

20" 2.6GHz

20-inch widescreen LCD
1680x1050 resolution
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1GB memory
250GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT
128MB VRAM

$1199



2007-2008 iMac Core 2 Duo

by Charles W. Moore


April 28, 2008 Note: Apple freshened the iMac for 2008 with models ranging from 2.4GHz to 3.06GHz, 2GB RAM with all but the base model, the option of 512MB NVIDIA graphics with one 24" model & standard on the high-end 3GHz iMac, and $100 off the price of the high-end iMac. All other specs and configurations remain the same.

The new Intel Core 2 Duo powered iMacs introduced by Steve Jobs on August 7, 2007 are the third generation MacIntel, sixth distinct family and fifth form factor to bear the iMac banner, beginning with the original Bondi Blue 233 MHz G3 iMac in 1998, through a second generation of "teardrop" G3 iMacs, the extremely stylish G4 iMacs with a flatscreen display mounted on an articulated gooseneck arm, the comparatively minimalist G5 iMac, and the original Intel Core Duo iMac which carried over the G5 iMac form factor, and the Core 2 Duo iMac introduced in August, 2006.

With these new aluminum and glass iMacs, the erstwhile 17" iMac has been discontinued, making the 20-incher the entry level model, priced at $1,199 - or $300 less than the previous 20" iMac, and you can now get a humongous 24" display model for $1,799, down $200 from previously. Not long ago, 24" inch displays were the astronomically expensive and exclusive domain of high-end graphics and video professionals. The base 20-inch iMac, with the 2.4 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, and a 250 GB SATA hard drive, and 8x SuperDrive starts at $1199, a 20-inch, 2.66GHz CPU model with 2 GB RAM, a 320 GB SATA hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive sells for $1,499, a 24-inch machine with a 2.8 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB SATA hard drive and an 8x SuperDrive is priced at $1799, and the top-of-the-line 24 inch model with a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 500 GB SATA hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive carries a $2,199 price tag. The iMac uses 3.5" desktop hard drives, and a variety of build-to-order drive options are offered up to one terabyte capacity.

The new iMac is slim in case section, almost alarmingly so when you consider that all of the works have to be crammed inside that razor-thin housing. At least being elevated in mid-air as it were, the cooling characteristics are more efficient than with a notebook computer.

My initial and so far abiding impression was that Apple was unmistakably going for an iPhone-ish look, and it does work, although not as convincingly as on the iPhone itself...However, there is more here than just styling as with all good design. The iMac's case is made from a single sheet of aluminum, with no seams or screws except for a single compartment on the bottom that provides easy access to the memory slots.

The new iMacs come with either 20-inch or 24-inch glossy 16:10 aspect ratio widescreen displays and have ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB of GDDR3 memory standard and NVIDIA 8800 GS optional graphics processing units with 512MB VRAM in the 24" 2.8GHz iMac - standard on the 3GHz model. The 20-inch version has a resolution of 1680 x 1050, or 36 percent more than the previous (discontinued) 17-inch iMac. The 24-inch unit sports 1920 x 1200 resolution, or 30 percent more screen area than the 20-inch model.

The new iMac line comes with a new, ultra-thin aluminum Apple Keyboard, built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing and iLife '08, including iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb, GarageBand, plus Front Row, Photo Booth, and a 30-day trial version of iWork '08. The latter is a bit cheesy, when you recall that Apple used to ship AppleWorks for free with its pre-Intel consumer models.

Alas, there is no internal modem, so if you live beyond the reach of broadband as I do, you'll need to pony up another 50 bucks for Apple's external USB Modem. The 20" and 24" iMacs weigh 20 and 25.4 pounds respectively.

Both iMac models come with a built-in iSight video camera, built-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet, built-in AirPort Extreme, a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire ports (including one FireWire 800 port).

If you're in the market for a desktop Mac and on a budget, you can't beat the iMac for value. While the Mac mini has a lower sticker price, you don't get a whole lot with it - just a slower Core 2 Duo CPU, no keyboard, no mouse, no display, a generally inferior architecture. The iMac has a 250 GB 3.5" 7200 RPM desktop hard drive and an 8x SuperDrive standard. It's not hard to divine where the value lies in this saw-off. The amount of standard bells and whistles and bundled software, plus a built-in widescreen display make the iMac, whichever model you choose, and awesome deal. The biggest knock against the iMac is its limited expandability, but an awful lot of Mac users never upgrade from the hardware configuration that their computer ships with, and if they do, it's usually RAM, for which the iMac has ample headroom for most of us.

http://www.apple.com/imac/

iMac photos: http://www.apple.com/imac/gallery/