Touchpad, But No Touch
Included in every big iMac box is Apple's wireless keyboard. You can choose between the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad. All instantly pair with the computer via Bluetooth 4.0, but I'd really suggest getting the trackpad. Mountain Lion works best when you take advantage of the gestures -- swiping four fingers upward to see all your open apps in Mission Control, swiping from the right to left to show the Notification Center, etc.
All that has made me wonder, though: why, with this generation of iMacs, has Apple not taken the touch-screen plunge? When my girlfriend first saw it, she actually touched the screen. I asked why, and she said, "I wanted to see if they had done that yet."
Her reaction makes sense, especially since so many of the competing all-in-one desktops have touch screens. Of course, Steve Jobs' answer was always that people don't want to hold up their arms vertically -- it's "ergonomically terrible," he once said. That might eventually change for Apple -- it certainly changed its tune on a smaller iPad, which Jobs had pooh-poohed for a long time -- but it also wouldn't quite be Apple to throw a touch screen on top of its Desktop operating system.
But even if today's iMac doesn't have a touch screen or a higher resolution display, it's still one of the best -- if not the best -- all-in-one out there. Dell's $1,399 XPS One 27, which has a a 27-inch IPS display and Blu-ray drive, is also a good option if you're looking for a Windows 8 touch all-in-one. And, as you might expect, you will pay more for Apple's version. The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299 and the 27-inch version at $1,799. And to get those Fusion Drives you have to pay at least an extra $250.
The price aside, if you're in need of an iMac upgrade or you are considering a new desktop for the home or office, the new iMacs are worth a very long, hard stare. This isn't just another "eh" upgrade. This is a desktop with as much sex appeal as the iPad and iPhone.