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Introduced earlier this summer, the key upgrades in Apple's latest iMac range are a quad-core Core i5 processor running at 2.8GHz, faster 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM (4GB as standard) and ATI's powerful Radeon HD 5750 graphics card with 1GB of video memory. The base configuration for the 27in. Core i5 system, with a 1TB hard drive spinning at 7,200rpm, costs £1,649 (inc. VAT). The unit that Apple sent to ZDNet UK for evaluation had a 256GB boot SSD in addition to the 1TB HD, which boosts the price to £2,249.
Other available upgrades can empty your wallet even quicker: a 2.93GHz Core i7 CPU costs £160 extra; the full 16GB of RAM will cost you another £800; and a 2TB hard drive adds £120.
Despite its large 27in. 2,560-by-1,440-pixel LED-backlit display, the iMac's hinge mechanism works beautifully: you can tilt it with a light push of the finger, and it stays put when you let go. This iMac isn't small, measuring 51.7cm high by 65cm wide by 20.7cm deep and weighing 13.8kg, but it looks and feels elegant. The two openings on the side are for a slot-loading optical drive (8x SuperDrive) and an SDXC flash card reader.
The 27in. iMac's aluminium back panel looks striking, but it can become quite hot after prolonged use of graphics-heavy applications.