The iMac series of Macintosh desktop computers has been a large part of Apple's consumer range for over ten years. The original iMac G3 was perhaps the
most iconic, with its egg-shaped colored translucent casing and integrated CRT monitor.
The iMac's major design feature is that places all of the components behind the screen so everything is in one neat unit free of wires and external components. The design of the aluminium casing is similar to that of the MacBook Pro with the screen also being glass covered with a black border.
iMac review 2009
The current iMac range was introduced in March 2009. Although it looked outwardly identical to the preceding 2007 Intel based iMac, with the exception of a
slightly redesigned base, there were a few significant revisions made by Apple.
Technical revisions included doubling the amount of RAM and hard drive capacity on all models. Faster hard disks were also introduced along with faster DDR3 memory. New nVidia GeForce graphics also featured with lower end models getting the 9400M chipsets and higher end models getting GT based chipsets.
Connectivity was also revised with the FireWire 400 port being replaced with an additional USB port and the introduction of the new Mini DisplayPort connection.
Other changes included altering the screen resolutions and the introduction of the new standard Apple keyboard featuring no numeric pad. All iMac's come with Mac OS X Snow Leopard version 10.6.
The current range offers a choice between one 20" model and three 24" models with variations in processor speed, RAM sizes, hard drive size and graphic capabilities separating the individual specifications. If you are not a getting a free iMac and would rather buy one from Apple then you get the option of being able to customise your iMac even further. Be warned though, these optional upgrades can be very expensive. At the time of writing, doubling the 24 inch models RAM to 8GB cost a whopping £800 (approximately $1200 USD)! We'd recommend you stick with the free iMac option.
The iMac is a great looking computer that will introduce a clean, wire free look to your home or workplace. Where you might struggle is with the difficulty in upgrading your machine, especially considering the components and monitor are all in one unit. The initial cost is also a factor in purchasing any Mac computer, but if your getting your Mac for free then you needn't worry about this issue.