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Find More IMac Products
This review is intended mainly for PC users who are new to the Mac. I’m not a huge computer person, I’ve always had PCs, and frankly I’ve always thought Macs were for hippies with ponytails. I pretty much have to use a PC for my job functions, but over the last few years I’ve been underwhelmed by both my home and work desktop (both dells) and my home notebook (HP). I’m fed up with the windows BS – freezing for no reason, slowing down for no reason, taking forever to shutdown/startup, constantly nagging to update virus software etc. I’m ok putting up with this for my work PC, but when it was time to replace my home desktop I decided to take a look at the Mac. I’m glad I did. I went with the 2.66ghz iMac with 24″ monitor and 640gig HD.
First Impressions: Coming from a Dell, the iMac was pretty damn impressive right out of the box. The single box was smaller than I expected, and Amazon packed it pretty good (important because Amazon has dropped the ball on this before on other items). The 24″ screen is HUGE and looks great. Setup is a breeze – it took much longer to disconnect my PC than to set this up. Just plug it in, connect to router, connect keyboard and you are ready. No, I don’t miss the gigantic bundle of wires that used to be next to my desk. I was connected and playing around with this within 5 minutes of opening the box.
Pros: Beautiful screen, fast, easy to get set up and start using. The display is impressive compared to a windows PC. No dealing with virus software nagging for updates. The Time Machine feature makes it extremely easy to back up. Great overall design w/ few wires and nice touches like 2 USB inputs on the keyboard, camera built into monitor etc.
Cons: No Bluray player option (why not?). No numeric pad on keyboard (but I can’t knock them for this since it is an option if you order from Apple’s website). Built in speakers in monitor are pretty weak for music (I’ll upgrade). I do think the “it’s so intuitive to use” hype of Macs is a bit overhyped today – I think the user interface on a windows machine is just as intuitive, albeit much less visually impressive.
Where to buy: I purchased this from Amazon and I’m glad I did, as I saved about $150 vs. the Apple store. The downside to ordering on Amazon is the apple store gives you a few choices (like a numeric pad on the keyboard and wireless mouse) that Amazon does not. I initially started to purchase this from the Apple website because I wanted the numeric keypad, but as I was checking out I noticed they slapped me with sales tax of about $100 – you normally don’t pay sales tax when you buy on the internet and the vendor is out of state. When I saw that I immediately cancelled my order and purchased from Amazon (plus Amazon was a bit cheaper to begin with in addition to no sales tax). Amazon also shipped it to me faster (though I have Amazon Prime), and did a good job packaging it. If you go w/ the apple store online, pay attention to sales tax your results may vary depending on your state.
Bottom line: I’m glad I got this. It’s a great alternative for a home computer which I mostly use for internet and media purposes (I won’t be installing excel on this machine!). It is a bit pricey compared to a PC, but it’s worth it if you appreciate the impressive design, nice asthetics, great monitor, and less headache vs. a PC.
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First of all, I am a software developer who primarily uses my home computer for web development. I was previously struggling with a Dell laptop that was running Windows XP, and gave me nothing but problems from the beginning. Everything from the shoddy construction of the computer itself, to the slow software bogged-down by antivirus software made every task a chore. I was already in the market for a new desktop, and was leaning towards an iMac. When the new lineup with the upgraded RAM, hard drive, and nVidia graphics card was released, I decided the time was right to upgrade.
I purchased the 24″ 640GB/4GB iMac from Apple because I received a substantial discount through my company, and one week later it arrived. I was extrememly excited to open the box, and after doing so was not disappointed. The computer comes packaged beautifully, and looks awesome. Everything about the design and packaging exudes minimalism and simplicity. I plugged in the keyboard, mouse, and power cord, pushed the power button, and was off. The startup included a cool animation followed by the typical registration/configuration screens. About 5 minutes after pulling the computer out of the box, I was exploring the massive desktop and checking my email. The software runs smoothly, and everything loads instantaneously. The computer runs silently, and restarting the computer takes about 15 seconds. The keyboard is wafer-thin, and is not the most ergonomically-sound piece of equipment I have seen, but it is still very nice, and the mouse is the best I have used.
As a user who does more than just surf the net and check email, I can say that there really is no comparison between my old computer and this one- they are two different machines, and this one is just capable of doing things that my old one wasn’t. My old laptop actually had a 3GHz Intel P4 and 1GB of RAM, so we’re not talking about a 386 here. However the software and crappy hardware were a constant headache- I actually had to solder together several wires in the motherboard due to a widely reported design flaw which Dell would not fix. They actually suggested that I mail the laptop in for $200 so they could diagnose the problem. That one episode is why I will NEVER consider a Dell again. They build crap and don’t stand behind their products. Due to a virus, I had to wipe my hard drive clean and reinstall Windows, losing about two years worth of files in the process. I am with Apple for the long haul.
So to summarize, if you are on the fence about this computer, and don’t care to wait for Snow Leopard to be released, get this computer- there will be no buyer’s remorse. Also, definitely opt for the 24″ model- the screen is enormous, and the display is just gorgeous. One suggestion- Apple packages the new iMac’s with a keyboard with NO numberpad. If purchasing from Apple you can opt for the full keyboard for no extra charge. Since Amazon typically sells these at a substantial discount from the Apple store (and with no tax), it is probably worth just dealing with the shipped keyboard (since I don’t think Amazon allows any customization). You can always use another USB keyboard, but the Mighty Mouse has a cord that is about 6 inches long, so it is really designed to plug into the keyboard, so if you are subbing in a different keyboard and want to use the Mighty Mouse, you will probably have to have a USB port on the keyboard.
I just recently purchased this wonderful piece of engineering and I am very impressed with it. I have always been a user of Windows based machines but I am currently learning programming and have branched out to Linux based laptops in my studies. Sadly, the past five years I have only used laptops because of the size of my apartment, I just could not fit a tower. Even more discouraging, the all in one Windows based machines only have Vista. I was actually in the market for a Macbook but when I saw the new iMac I was in love. It was the perfect size for me to finally have a desktop after all these years. The screen, resolution and colors are beautiful. Even from few feet away I can view the screen clearly. It feels so good not to squint at a laptop screen. It has been easy to adjust to this OS and I find the experience painless. The feel of the keyboard is like no other; I was apprehensive about the small size but typing is incredible and quiet. I did have an issue regarding iTunes but the customer support was fantastic and they resolved the issue better then I imagined. Compared to Windows based machine one may find the power in the iMac to be less but keep in mind Mac’s are very efficient with resources. For example, the new iMac is ready to go after a few seconds after startup. My mother’s HP with 4gb of ram, same speed processor and dedicated video graphics memory-requires a few minute to boot up to a usable environment. I am able to open application(s) in the Mac very quickly after startup. I am very impressed and I can’t wait to play around with Xcode and other development options. In the end I highly recommend to anyone looking for a solid system for home use. Power users may want to consider the iMac with dedicated graphics. Just one last note upgrading the 2Gb RAM to 4Gb is very easy and cost around $60.
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