Apple’s new iMac has been a long time coming. At first glance it looks a lot like every iMac for the past five and a half years, look at it from the side and you get a shock – it’s really really thin.

Apple created the basic aluminium iMac look in August 2007. Then it was available in 20-inch and 24-inch models, running Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo processors.

Today it’s also available in two models: 21.5-inch and mega 27-inch. Or rather it’s not available in both, as the larger iMac isn’t expected until very late December and possibly in January 2013.

Apple is taking orders for the larger iMac but has finally started shipping the 21.5-inch iMac.

Macworld has had one of these new smaller iMacs in its labs, and you can read our 21.5-inch iMac (late 2012) review for all the details on Apple’s latest all-in-one desktop computer, including comprehensive speed tests and benchmarking.

Our friends at Hardware Info have been getting excited about the news iMacs, too.

They have lovingly detailed the unboxing of the 21.5-inch iMac, and we have a few of their snaps available here.

 Apple iMac 21.5 inch in box

Apple iMac 21.5 inch in box unbox

Apple iMac 21.5 inch unbox 2

The model that Hardware Info unboxed is the entry-level model (MD093N/A), equipped with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB (2x4 GB DDR3-1600) RAM, a 1TB 5400 rpm hard disk, and an Nvidia GeForce GT640M graphics card.

Like most new Apple products there’s no optical drive, so you need to buy an external DVD reader/writer for £69.

As we note in our review while it’s super sleek many will find fault in its almost impossible to upgrade new body, and lack of FireWire 800 ports. You’re stuck with the memory you have installed at purchase, and we all know that Apple’s RAM prices aren’t the cheapest around.

Luckily the 27-inch iMac does have swappable RAM.

See the full Apple iMac 21.5-inch unbox photos at Hardware Info.