By Rebecca Freed
Is it a sunflower? A lamp? An alien life form? By now, you probably have an opinion about the looks of the latest iMac. I tried one and found that inside that matte-white lamp base is a very usable, powerful home computer with a reasonable price tag.
Whatever you think of the design, it succeeds at conserving space and at being adjustable. It's small enough to tuck into a corner, and the monitor can be pushed up and completely out of the way. But when you grab the edge of the screen and position it, it stays put. The stainless steel arm moves fluidly and feels substantial--Apple suggests you use it to carry the iMac.
The 15-inch LCD shows photos with vivid, natural colors, but the text smoothing that OS X applies to all text at 12 points and larger makes the type look blurry.
With an 800-MHz G4 processor and 256MB of RAM, this system, the top of the new iMac line, allowed me to run multiple office applications and switch among them without delay. It also has a DVD-R-burning SuperDrive and a 60GB hard drive.
Like its predecessors, this model isn't designed for internal expansion. You can add an AirPort 802.11b card and upgrade to a maximum of 1GB of RAM. Any other additions must be external, but the three USB ports and two FireWire ports should provide enough basic connections.
From the May 2002 issue of PC World magazine