ONE look at the big, bright and beautiful 27-inch screen of the new iMac and I was smitten.
Resolution, at 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, is superb. The LED-backlit display with IPS panel technology means bright visuals, allowing the user to sit at either side of the screen and still see images as clearly.
In fact, this all-in-one (AIO) hybrid puts all other monitors and AIO screens in my home to shame.
Amazingly, all its innards are housed in the 1-inch thick brushed aluminium chassis just behind the screen. There is only one cable - the power cord. Both the ultra-slim keyboard and the Magic Mouse - an innovation in itself with no scroll wheel but finger-flick navigation - are wirelessly connected via Bluetooth. It comes with Wi-Fi 'n' (Mac calls it Airport Extreme) so you can skip the LAN cable too.
Blu-ray is sadly missing but the slot-load DVD drive and SD card slot are neatly arranged on the right side. Four USB ports, one Firewire, one mini-Display port and one LAN port sit along a straight line at the back.
The hybrid monitor also works as an external monitor, so you can connect your laptop to it.
A snag: this iMac uses a mini-Display port, which most laptops do not. So to get iMac-to-laptop connection going, you will need to buy a mini-Display to DVI port converter.
That still leaves the game console or Blu-ray player out, as these devices need a mini-Display to HDMI converters, which are not sold anywhere as far as I know.
The twin stereo speakers pack a punch and the built-in webcam and microphone means you can Skype with your friends without any add-ons.