Rating: NNNNNWhat's not to love about the new iMac? When Apple first launched the iMac in 1998, company co-founder Steve Jobs.

Rating: NNNNN

What’s not to love about the new iMac?

When Apple first launched the iMac in 1998, company co-founder Steve Jobs claimed he was revolutionizing the desktop computer by taking what was previously just a grey box and making it sexy.

The small, silent, powerful machine looked unlike any personal computer ever created — it came in tie-dye as well as red, purple, blue and green — and immediately became a must-have fixture, seen on the desks in the coolest offices. When was the last time a computer doubled as a fashion item?

To suggest that Apple’s new iMac takes that idea to the next level would be an understatement. There has never been a computer that looks like this before, and while Apple’s trademark fluid design remains, the response most people have when they first see the machine says it all: “Cool.”

It’s built around an adjustable flat screen that seems to float in front of you and spins 180 degrees, and the guts of the machine are held in a tiny dome-shaped hard drive that’s less than a foot wide but, at the top level, still packs an 800 MHz G4 processor and DVD burner.

Convergence is as important as good looks here. The iMac comes bundled with applications like iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iTunes as well as OS X, making it the hub of the user’s multimedia world. You can burn CDs, splice videos and DVDs and edit photos in one place, without having to buy supplemental software or hardware.

Whether these goodies will woo PC users over to Mac world remains to be seen, as does the question of whether consumers will bite at a machine that begins at $2,050 and goes all the way up to $2,900.

Still, when the iMacs begin to ship at the end of this month, expect them to proliferate.

I want one.Apple’s new iMac looks nothing like a personal computer — and that’s precisely the point

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