The new 2012 iMac isn't as big a redesign as the switch from CRT displays to flatscreen with the G4 iMac, or the move from a white polycarbonate body to the aluminium casing, but it's still a pretty radical change.
A basket of new technologies give us a massive reduction in screen reflection, a powerful new hybrid storage solution and meaty Ivy Bridge processors. Attention to detail is evident throughout, with stronger mics and speakers capping some very welcome across-the-board improvements.
On the down side, we've lost the optical drive and the FireWire 800 port.
The new screen is a sight to behold. With distracting reflections kept to a minimum, the images really leap out and grab you. Photographers, artists and video editors will love it, and it's great for watching movies.
The stylishly thin casing looks set to become a design classic. The bulge housing the computer components is brilliantly disguised, making the bodywork look incredibly thin from almost every angle.
Apple's Fusion Drive is an excellent halfway house between an SSD and a HDD, giving great boot times and fast access speeds without compromising on capacity. We hope it's soon made available across the Mac range, instead of only in the new iMacs and Mac minis.
The powerful new Ivy Bridge processor and Nvidia graphics are welcome too, as is the switch to USB 3.0 for all four of its USB ports.
There really isn't much to dislike here. Even though most software is downloaded these days, through the Mac App Store or developers' own websites, not everyone has made the switch to digital media for music and movies.
If you prefer to buy a CD and rip it to iTunes, for example, you need an external optical drive. This isn't a huge problem - Apple's own USB SuperDrive is bus-powered, sits comfortably on the foot of your iMac and isn't that expensive, but it's still mildly annoying.
The FireWire 800 port is gone too, so if you still use FireWire peripherals, you need to buy a Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptor.
The 27-inch 2012 iMac has real style, but it doesn't sacrifice function to form. Its screen is excellent, has lots of power under the hood and the Fusion Drive option is a great alternative to a speedy-but-expensive SSD or a capacitous-but-slow HDD.
Some may bemoan the lack of an optical drive, but for our money, a portable solution is more than sufficient considering how little they're used nowadays. Overall, the new iMac is a triumph.