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PCs Reviews
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Apple iMac 24in 2.8GHz review

£1,149 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Apple has updated its iMac line, keeping the metal-framed design from last year but upgrading internals such as processors and hard drives.

Apple has updated its iMac line, keeping the metal-framed design from last year but upgrading internals such as processors and hard drives.

The first Apple iMac, launched in 1998, had a 233MHz processor which might seem risibly slow today - the current line-up starts at more than 10 times that speed. Or indeed twenty-times, if you figure the two processors of the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, the latest 'Penryn' version of which runs cooler and faster than ever before.

Latest (late 2012 models): Apple iMac 21.5-inch review and Apple iMac 27-inch review

We tested the 24in Apple iMac with 2.8GHz CPU, second-to-top model, featuring a 24in expanse of glossy screen framed by a bezel of satin silver metal. All ports are discreetly hidden behind, and with the new low profile keyboard, even the qwerty interface seem to take up less space than ever.

Overall finish is staggeringly good. We could find no fault with the fit and finish of the entire Apple iMac package.

Already loaded is Apple's OS X, a mature and stable operating system based on Unix, now up to version 10.5 ('Leopard'). But for the sake of testing the Apple iMac, we used Apple's Boot Camp program to partition the drive and install Windows Vista as a second boot volume.

Benchmarked with WorldBench 6 Beta 2, the Apple iMac acheived a score of 101, respectable enough for a one-box PC that puts class and silent style above sheer number crunching. If you do put it in the living room you can rest easy that the whirr of cooling fans won't be disturbing your peace.

Top spec gaming options are somewhat limited by the choice of ATI graphics card, although we did manage to coax 16fps (frames per second) when running the daunting Crysis test at High Quality, 1024x768. Switched to its lowest rendering settings, Crysis ran at a much more useful 70fps.

Back in Leopard, we have the iLife applications for website, photo and video editing, and iWork can be added for ?55 to handle all MS-compatible word processing, spreadsheet and presentation needs. With Apple trading on high-quality systems extolling ease-of-use, an Apple iMac remains the discerning choice for anyone who needs a dependable desktop at work or home.

Apple iMac 24in 2.8GHz Expert Verdict »
Apple iMac MB325B/A Scores 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 reviews
2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Mac OS X 10.5
2GB DDR2 RAM
320GB/7200rpm HDD
24in (1920x1200) glossy widescreen display
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB VRAM
3 x USB
2 x FireWire (FW400 & FW800)
micro-DVI video out
802.11b/g/draft-n
Bluetooth 2.1
built-in stereo speakers (24W amplifier)
iSight webcam
slot-load 8x SuperDrive
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Apple shows that the melding of hardware and software makes for a very compelling computer. Sleek and cool-running, the latest Apple iMac is arguably the best one-stop PC you'll find, at home running Windows or its native Mac OS X.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • 20/24in 'Penryn' Apple iMac review

    20/24in 'Penryn' Apple iMac

    The 3.06GHz iMac released earlier this week - Apple's first consumer machine to top the 3GHz mark - turns in an impressive performance.

  • Apple iMac 3.06GHz review

    Apple iMac 3.06GHz

    When Apple updated its consumer Mac line in March, notably by revving up the evergreen Mac mini, it also took the upgrade spanner to the iMac range. Top of that range of consumer all-in-ones stands the flagship model Apple iMac 3.06GHz, featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 3.06GHz.

  • Apple iMac 27in (Mid-2010) review

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    The 27in all-in-one iMac is the first Apple machine to appear in our desktop PC charts, but its specification, performance and value make this power desktop PC impossible to ignore.

  • Apple iMac review (21.5-inch, 27-inch)

    Apple iMac (21.5-inch, 27-inch)

    The new Apple iMac design lends itself more towards use as central part of a home entertainment centre, as well as boasting top-end performance. [Updated with Quad-Core i5 and i7 speed tests, November 20, 2009. See LATEST 2012 iMAC REVIEWS link below]

  • 24in Apple iMac desktop PC

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