Sight for Sore EyesBy Troy Dreier | Posted 2003-12-29 Email Print
Apple's 20-inch iMac is possibly the prettiest computer we've seen.
Apple iMacs are always beautifully designed, but the latest, a $2,199 (direct) system with a gorgeous 20-inch flat screen (up from 17), is almost too striking to relegate to a desktop. The super-sized display is a joy to view whether you're watching movies, surfing the Web, or even crunching numbers.
This iMac marks a high point for Apple's midrange desktops (the CRT eMacs are for thrifty shoppers while PowerPCs are for more demanding users), but it may have a hard time finding a market. At $400 more than the 17-inch iMac, which has identical specs save for the monitor, the system may seem expensive to those looking for a home computerand limited upgradeability is a liability in offices.
The 20-inch screen is a knockout, though. It has a maximum resolution of 1,680-by-1,050 and the vast real estate gives room for two open pages and then some. Like other iMac flat screens, this one produces a sharp, vivid picture with a wide viewing angle. Though large, the screen adjusts with little effort and stays firmly in place.
Although the price of this system is in line with comparable Windows models, we wish the technical specs were beefier than those of the 17-inch iMac. As we saw in our recent
As with other iMacs, the power button is awkwardly placed on the back side of the half-dome base along with the ports, which include a video-out, two FireWire 400, three USB 2.0, one modem, and one Ethernet connector; and speaker, line-in, and headphone jacks. Apple Pro speakers are included. The keyboard uses one USB 2.0 port and has one free USB 1.1 port with the mouse plugged in.
This iMac comes with a solid assortment of software, including OS X 10.3 and the iLife suite (iDVD, iMovie, iPhoto, and iTunes), so users can get their creative juices flowing immediately. Other titles include the full version of Quicken 2003 Deluxe, iCal, iSync, World Book 2003, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. The 20-inch iMac is not a powerhouse under the hoodit's for those who want to get the big, beautiful picture.