For MacWorld San Francisco 2002, an iMac with a completely rethought design was released... although a flub by Time Canada 'spilled the beans' about it the evening previous to Steve Jobs' announcement keynote on the 7th of January.

Internally, the 2002 iMacs are nothing too revolutionary. All new iMacs now use the G4 processor, use an N'vidia GPU and have the Apple SuperDrive available in some configurations.

No, the obviously most striking part of the new iMac is that it uses a 15 inch TFT display panel mounted on a swinging, tensioned armature to make the display "float" above the rest of the system. The "guts" of the system make the base of the screens' armature and are encased in a hemisphereical enclose which one #everything noder aptly described as a "speedbump". To add user upgrades (which amount to either more RAM or an AirPort card), 4 screws are taken from the underside of the base whereupon the circular bottom plate comes away reveling one SO-DIMM slot (accepts up to 1 gigabyte modules) and the AirPort card receptacle (the AirPort antenna is built into the edges of the display). Like the iMacs before it, the 2002 iMac is convection cooled using trick learned from Apple's brief offering of the G4 Cube some time earlier It turns out that the new iMac does, indeed, have a cooling fan, but it is a very low noise Powerbook-style fan.

But like it or not, you cannot say the new design isn't eye-catching, either for it's good points or bad points. Apple gets points for the the TFT panel and it's useful pivoting arm, use of the G4 CPU but looses points (in my opinion) for using a non-standard power connector and loss of the handle (though, depending on weight, you could simply lift the unit via the screen armature). Updade: Huzzah! Mr. Yerrick informs me that the screen armature is the officially sanctioned carrything!

As for colours, this initial model appears to only be availabe in white, but I don't doubt we'll see other coloured models appearing the next time a speed increase is announced.