One of the great appeals of Apple products is their elegant design. (Elegant enough to entice long-time Segway CTO Doug Field to leave
Dean Kamen's brain trust at Segway and move over to Steve Jobs lair as VP for product design at Apple.) Apple's designs have such a unique appeal to them that they frequently invite competing manufacturers to imitate Apple's designs. By now, we've lost count how many iPhone knockoffs are on the market already.
But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple should be blushing proud at Averatec's just-announced All-In-One PC. (Although we doubt it if Apple is happy about how much the All-In-One looks like an iMac.) Upon first glance, the All-In-One PC looks an awful lot like an all-black version of an iMac--perhaps its evil Doppelgänger. The similarities don't stop at the outside, either, as the configuration of the 22-inch All-In-One is not too dissimilar from the 20-inch iMac.
While both systems feature 2.4GHz Intel processors, the E4600 in the All-In-One is a true desktop CPU, while the iMac's T7700 is a lower-power, mobile processor. The T7700 in the iMac, however, features twice as much L2 cache as the All-In-One's E4600. The standard SKU for the 20-inch iMac comes with only 1GB of memory, while the All-In-One comes with 2GB. It is difficult to speculate as to which system would be the better performer without doing actual testing; but an educated guess tells us that we'd probably see better Windows Vista performance with the All-In-One because of the additional memory. Upgrade the iMac to 2GB total system memory and it might be a very different ball game.
Some iMac users have complained that the 20-inch display was not quite big enough for their needs, but found the 24-inch version was too big. For some users, the All-In-One's 22-inch display might just be the perfect size.
Besides chassis color, the most obvious difference between the two systems is that the All-In-One runs Windows, while the iMac runs the Mac OS. It should be noted, however, that the iMac can also run Windows using Apple's Bootcamp or via virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. Other notable differences are that the iMac includes FireWire ports and includes integrated Bluetooth; the All-In-One has neither. Also, while the iMac supports 802.11a/b/g/n, the All-In-One only supports 802.11b/g wireless networking.
The All-In-One comes with a larger hard drive and one more USB port than the iMac. Some of the available information for the All-In-One says that it includes an integrated ATSC (over-the-air) high-definition TV tuner, while other information says that the TV tuner is optional. So far, we've only seen the All-In-One as a single configuration in the U.S., so we'd hazard a guess that the TV tuner is part of the standard config. We're currently seeking confirmation on this, and will update this post once we have an answer.
Curiously, the All-In-One is available in Korea
through Averatec's sister company, Lluon, with a more powerful 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600. In the U.S., it will be interesting to see how the Averatec All-In-One fares against the iMac and other popular Windows all-in-one desktop system such as the Dell XPS One, Gateway One, and HP TouchSmart.