Sleek. Powerful. Graphic. Capable. Stable. Portable. Clean-design. This new iMac G5 Rocks. At a special event today (Oct 12, 2005), Apple Computer released two new awesome pieces of hardware -- an iPod that can play video, and a new awesome iMac G5. Let's talk about this new G5 and why I want one on my desk.

The new iMac G5 an all-in-one computer that features an LCD on the front, and houses the computer on the back. The keyboard and mouse plug right into the display -- the computer uses almost no deskspace, aside from the keyboard and the mouse. It reminds me of a laptop computer that doesn't open (no hinge) and the display facing outward instead of inside. Wow. The computer is available with a 17" or a 20" LCD monitor, and all of the components are inside.

While this system is not designed for internal expandability, it comes with many neat features:

* 3 USB 2.0 ports
* 2 Firewire 400 ports
* Composite and S video outputs (meaning 2 displays possible!)
* Audio in and out
* Built-in Gigabit ethernet
* Built-in Airport Extreme (802.11g)
* Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
* 8x Super Drive to burn CD and DVD's (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
* Built-in iSight camera for video conference
* 2 Models: 1.9 GHz 17", and a 2.1 GHz 20"
* 160 GB (17") or 250 GB (20") SATA Hard drive (can upgrade to 500 GB)
* Supports up to 2.5 GB of RAM!
* Video card: ATI Radeon X600
* Apple's Mighty Mouse

If you need to dial into the internet, Apple has a USB modem listing for $49.

According to Apple's website, the following software bundle is included:
Front Row, iLife ’05 (includes iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand), Photo Booth, Mail, Dashboard, Spotlight, iChat, Safari, Sherlock, QuickTime, iSync, iCal, DVD Player, Address Book, AppleWorks, iWork (30-day trial), Classic environment, Quicken 2006 for Mac, 2006 World Book, Nanosaur 2, Marble Blast Gold, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive, Zinio Reader, XCode Developer Tools and Apple Hardware Test

The only question I have concerns video output... does the second port support a second display, or is it mearly a video mirroring device? My Powerbook allows me to have two physical displays, so that if I am giving a presentation, my audience can see one thing, and I see something else. I think it is neat to be able to mirror, but am hoping that the option exists to have two different displays.

Suggested retail price is $1299 for the 17" model. I did not go into the Apple Store to price out the larger unit with more memory and the larger screen.

This unit would be a substantial upgrade from my G3 hardware, and the price is nice for all the software bundled with the package. OS X Tiger is a very sleek and polished user interface. I want one of these things. I would add OpenOffice to the base install, and just start rocking with the system.

Christian