So what is so great or new about the 2012 iMac?
Well the first thing I noticed is the thinness of the sides; the edge is just 5mm which means it is thinner than the iPhone. This makes it very attractive to look at and immediately differentiates it from earlier iMacs. It also means you can discuss friction stir welding with your friends (that is the clever technology, invented in the UK, that makes it possible).
From an accessibility perspective there are some important benefits:
- Some more clever technology means the screen is 75% less reflective. This considerably reduces glare and reflections that can effect people with vision impairments, dyslexia or autism. It improves the picture quality so that it is like looking through an open window.
- The on-off switch is still discretely hidden behind the screen, but it is very slightly raised so that it is much easier to find than the old button. Making it easier for people with limited dexterity or sensitivity in their fingers.
- The iMac can be configured so you can choose the Magic Trackpad instead of the Magic Mouse. I wrote in 2010 about how good the Trackpad is, and would recommend it to everyone, but some people may still prefer the mouse. Choice is good here.
- Even though the machine is thinner and lighter the sound quality has been improved considerably which should help people with some hearing impairments.
- The iMac now has dual microphones that are designed to reduce background noise. This will help people who use dictation and applications such as Skype.
Besides the improvements that effect accessibility there are: the Fusion drive that improves disk access speed (reducing boot time by up to 70%), faster CPU and graphic cards and up to 3TB of disk storage.
So a great new machine with several accessibility improvements built-in.