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Apple iMac 27in review

Apple's iMac can now be had with a large 27in diameter display. We see how it performs.

As standard Mac OS X 10.6, known as Snow Leopard, runs beautifully but to tests the raw performance on the hardware we needed to put Window 7 onto it. A display driver issue initially prevented a successful boot but once solved we ran our benchmarks, and the score of 1.5 is certainly quick for an all-in-one.

The ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics were capable of 43fps in the game Crysis at 1,280 x 1,024 and medium settings; in all-in-one terms not that bad, but you won't get anywhere near the native resolution with modern games. More importantly, any high-definition video we threw at the iMac ran smoothly, and the screen brought all kinds of scenes and images to life in a way only the most expensive displays can.

windows

Apple has innovated further with its hardware, but its new designs don't all earn the plaudits. The wireless keyboard is one of the most pathetic we've had the displeasure of using, with its laptop size and complete lack of useful function keys. It looks embarrassed to be sitting beneath its hulking parent, and opting instead for a larger Apple model will mean wires trailing across the desk.

Then there's the Magic Mouse, the first to turn its surface into a multitouch interface. For obvious reasons Apple hasn't provided drivers to make it work fully in Windows 7, but after using it extensively in OS X that isn't a devastating loss. It doesn't support the iPhone's pinch-to-zoom gesture, leaving you with basic swipe scrolling and CTRL-swipe zooming - it's little more than a glorified mouse wheel. The mouse itself is small and sits very low to the desk, leaving your palm rubbing awkwardly along behind it. And Apple's obsession with one-piece design means right-clicking involves lifting your left finger off the mouse completely - hardly forward progress.

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