New iMac Impressions and Facts (Live from Giz HQ)

You've seen our hardware gallery and know all about the New iMac's specs. I guess it's time to take an extended look at it, and I might as well turn on the lifecam. I also just got back from Cupertino where I learned some details which I'll write about in this post, in a bit. I might try to answer some of the questions you guys have about the new hardware and iLife, too. Updates to come.5:12 EDTInteresting Design Details •The black border around the glass helps the display pop (like on an iPhone or iPod) •The keyboard cable is just high enough that it won't bump into the metal base of the iMac if you push them together on your desk. •The keyboard's aluminum back is exactly 3mm thick. This is the same thickness as the chassis of the iMac. •The aluminum chassis is stamped from a single piece of aluminum, and the LCD cutout and the speaker grill are punched out. The microphone is on top of the iSight, and it is laser cut (5 holes so small that a grain of sand would probably have problems passing through it.) •No other CE device has been made from a single piece of aluminum this big. •The magnetic remote control fastener is gone. Updates to come, below. •The back of the iMac is black. Like the slimming effects of a black dress, it makes the iMac appear to have less junk in the trunk. •The iSight and IR receiver are behind the glass border. •The Apple logo is black on the front of the iMac.

More Impressions: •The model I have is fairly warm, but so were the old ones. Nothing to freak out about. •There isn't a single screw on the whole device, except in between the speakers where the RAM goes. •The speakers are on the bottom, pointing down at the desk, where the sound bounces off nicely. (They're loud.) •The port count: headphone, line-in audio/optical, three USB ports (and two on the keyboard, which are powered enough to charge an iPhone and iPod), Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 400 and 800 (800 finally makes it to the lower end iMac now, the 20-incher). Oh, and Mini DVI out. •The 20-inch and 24-inch screen have more differences than just size. The 20-incher has a slightly lower viewing angle and is less bright (160-degrees vs. 178-degrees; 290 nits vs 370 nits.) But the 20-inchers are more contrasty at 800:1, as opposed to the 24's 750:1. •Like Jason and I noted yesterday, the keyboard's keys throw a very short distance. The gaps between the keys are just like those of a Macbook. Crisp. •The keyboard has one shortcoming: the USB ports are sheltered beneath a ledge, so only the cable protrudes. Bulky USB keys will not fit here. Not a big sacrifice, since the back of the iMac has 2 free ports. •I totally forgot to ask why there is no Apple logo on the command key. And what is up with the F13 through F19 keys? (Anyone know?) •USB humping dog SO wanted to hump the iMac, but the ports didn't give his leg enough clearance to do move and groove. •The screen is extremely glossy. Being behind the glass offers great protection to an ordinarily soft-ish LCD screen. I might even say it's TOO glossy, far glossier than a Macbook Pro's glossy LCD, and will be less visible in direct sunlight, if you happen to put it near a window. The preset color calibration for "iMac" makes the screen look washed out. I preferred one of the other RGB profiles. (Maybe the iMac calibration is for the 24?) •Looks like you can't wall mount the 20. The 24 has an optional VESA mount, according to Seamus from Giz Australia. •There are no LEDs on the front, indicating sleep. Ben Longo, Gizmodo Editorial Assistant says that this has been a goal of The Steve for awhile. •All iMacs ship with 1GB of RAM, default, except the gonzo 2.8GHz extreme chip'd one. All those 1GB configs have one slot free for expansion. The 2.8GHZ machine has 2GB and has no slots free. •It is super quiet, but I haven't kicked up the CPU yet.

I'd buy this thing. Specifically, the 24-inch 2.4GHz machine for $1799, plus I'd spend the money for 2GB of RAM. The 2.8GHz Extreme chip is probably not worth the extra $250, since it doesn't include a bus speed bump or anything. To each his own. [Done updating, I believe]