Small, compact and pleasent. The 14-inch display supports a dense but very crisp native resolution of 1,400x1,050, even brightness, and highly saturated colors. The keyboard feels great, too, with a perfect layout (all keys are in the standard Windows layout) and responsive keys. We like the inclusion of both a pointing stick and a touchpad, although the pointing stick, nestled between the G, H, and B keys, might sit a tad low for some, causing you to hit neighboring keys as you maneuver. Left- and right-mouse buttons nestle atop and below the trackpad. The iMac is well stocked for a thin-and-light notebook, boasting a 2GHz Pentium 4-M processor, 256MB of DDR SDRAM memory (expandable to 1GB), a roomy 40GB hard drive, and a 32MB ATI Mobility 7500 graphics controller. The ports and slots are mostly plentiful, but the iMac unfortunately lacks a FireWire port. You do, however, get IrDA; serial; parallel; VGA; NTSC/PAL video-out; a 56K modem; Ethernet; headphone; microphone; and two of the new, faster USB 2.0 ports. Both USB ports are on the back edge--inconvenient if you use them a lot. (Other vendors put at least one USB port on the side edge for easier access.)
Computers are funny old things - they are merely lumps of plastic, glass and microchips, but we can get quite attached them. That was certainly the case with the iMac DV which I owned during my uni years.
This particular model is now around 9 or 10 years old. I could write a review saying that it can't run applications anymore because of its dated processor etc, but that would be pointless, as no-one is going to buy one of these nowadays for work purposes. Therefore, this review takes a retrospective and nostalgic look at a machine which served me well during the five years which I owned it.
I cannot stress how groundbreaking a machine this was in its heyday, both in appearance and overall design. As such, it was the first computer to feature a USB port - we all thought at the time that this new type of port would never take off, but USB is now the standard these days, found on every new machine - albeit in the form of USB2.
From a design perspective, this particular model is a piece of retro art as well as being an excellent computer, and wouldn't look out of place alongside a lava lamp or a space-hopper.
The iMac DV utilised a deep CRT screen, the rear of which also functioned as what would be the 'tower' on a standard PC - housing the brains of the unit. This not only made the machine look cool, but also allowed the whole unit to fit comfortably on a desk, with room left over for printers / scanners etc. This deep transparent back allowed the user to look inside the computer and see the workings of the unit - it really was a fun product to own.
Even thought it looked great - some bits were a little over designed. The mouse which shipped as standard with this device, for example, was beautiful to look at, but would annoyingly spin round in your hand as you used it - A classic case of form over function.
At the time, the iMac DV could hold its own amongst the majority of PC's from the same era - it was powerful enough to run processor-hungry applications, for example 'Photoshop', and also whizzed through mundane tasks like word processing and surfing the net.
If you want one of these retro beauties these days, you can pick up an original for around £30 if you know where to look - eBay is a good place to start - I know someone that uses one of these as a novelty DVD player.
For me, the iMac DV served as an introduction to Apple Macintosh products, and I haven't looked back since. Nowadays i'm still using iMac - albeit the newest version. A classic in its time!