Apple iMac MC509LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION)

December 28, 2011 - Comment

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Steve H "books911" says:
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars
Solid, Quick Mac, Check Your Display, September 6, 2010
By 
Steve H “books911” (U.S.) –
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(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
  
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Apple iMac MC509LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

I anxiously awaited this summer 2010 update to the iMac line.

iMacs offer a better value than one might think, and the space saving they offer compared to having many components spread out on a desk, make them an attractive offering from Apple.

My current iMac was an aging model, summer 2007. The first iMac with aluminum enclosure. Honestly, however, it is not far off the machines of today particularly notebook models. The iMacs are aging nicely, and I’m sure this new model will too. iMacs tend to offer a better value than notebooks and because they aren’t carried around, can have better reliability / longevity too.

When I opened this new computer, I loved the widescreen display. This display is 16×9 similar to a television, whereas conventional widescreen computer monitors were 16×10 (including my old iMac). The extra width gives you more room to fit documents across your desktop (screen) while working. I like that.

Furthermore, don’t let anyone suggest that this is not a fast computer. Its 3.2 GHZ i3 processor includes hyper threading to give you up to four “virtual,” cores. Some argue that this feature isn’t useful, or that not enough applications utilize hyper threading. However, I was able to look at CPU usage and see video encoding software on my computer using the multiple threads. It was fast.

I chose the 21.5 inch model because my desk is simply too small to house the 27-inch model. The 27 is absolutely staggering in size. I would choose it, if I had the room, but the 21.5 is far from being a slouch and is somewhat more sensible looking.

It features standard 4GB of memory, which can be easily upgraded to 8GB by buying two additional 2GB sticks. A 1 TB hard drive being standard on this model will be plenty for all but the hard drive pack rats out there. While optical media is less popular today, do not forget this iMac can play DVDs and burn DVDs. Burning DVDs can also be useful to backup important data such as your family photographs. The speed of the drive is satisfactory, and it is the cool slot loading variety.

A SD card slot is located under the DVD drive, to easily load pictures onto your computer direct from your camera’s SD card.

Why choose this 1499 model over the entry level 1199 model? Both are actually competent machines. The 1499 model gives you a larger hard drive (1 TB over 500 GB, so twice the size), and it has a faster graphics processor, which is useful when gaming and in other graphic intensive applications. While I chose the 1499 model, the 1199 doesn’t lack much, if that final ten tenths of graphic performance and extra hard drive space is not something you believe you will need. Someone who needs the extra graphic performance or hard drive storage, will probably know it, for they are more intensive users.

The iMacs are great values over notebooks, if you don’t need portability. You get more performance, more storage, and a massive display by comparison of a MacBook Pro. All at an attractive price.

One of my favorite features? iMacs have included for the past year bluetooth keyboards and mice standard! That means when you take the iMac out of the box, if you have wireless internet, you can be up and running by simply plugging in the power cord. The Magic Mouse and keyboard are both wireless and work flawlessly. They are easier on batteries than you might think too, though they take easy to acquire AAs.

Included software? The latest operating system Mac OS X Snow Leopard is included, plus iLife 09. iLife includes great and useful applications such as iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band.

Someone new to Mac might consider picking up the Student/Teacher/Home edition of Microsoft Office for Mac. It runs beautifully and has a Mac feel to it, despite being a Microsoft product.

My final verdict? I absolutely adored the machine. It was the fastest Mac I had ever used and a solid upgrade over my previous iMac. However, a week into ownership I discovered that the bottom and right side of my screen had a yellow tinge/appearance to it. A white background window, such as Amazon.com page, looked beautiful and white in the top left, but on the rest of the display, it turned yellowish. I had invested so much time transferring my data from my old iMac to my new one. I had to transfer everything back and securely erase the new one before returning it. I didn’t want to go through that entire process again, during my busy time of the year, so I just returned it for a refund. Once I have some spare time to go through all the trouble, I will try again. Just be sure to check your display when it arrives because I have read some others having a similar display issue on the Mac Rumors forums.

Overall, this iMac was an impressive update. It features the latest…

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Game Fan says:
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
My first Mac, love it!, September 6, 2010
By 
Game Fan (New York) –

This review is from: Apple iMac MC509LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

After 25+ years of using PC’s (started in the MS DOS days) I got my first Mac, and I love it! Just an FYI, I ordered this model direct from Apple using an education discount, plus upgraded the processor to the dual core i5, but everything else is the same as the model above including screen, GPU, RAM, and Hard drive.

The screen is gorgeous! It has a tiny taint of “discoloration” towards the bottom of the screen (some people have referred to it as yellow), but it doesn’t bother me, I hardly notice it all, and I only bring it b/c some hardcore mac users do test after test looking for this “defect”. My machine is lighting fast, and ultra quiet. It gets a little hot at the top, but what do you expect for an entire desktop encased in aluminum?

I own an iphone and an iPad, but as a new mac user this was a breeze to set up. It took me a while to perfect the transfer of my itunes library as I’m very particular about not duplicating files, but now its all set up. I set up a 2nd account for my wife, pulling my media to her itunes as a shared drive system which was much easier than I thought it would be. The iSight camera works great for skype and iChat.

I’m getting used to the keyboard and mouse, but overall I’m very please. I’ve already used bootcamp to install windows 7 ultimate 64bit, it runs fairly flawlessly. I installed parallels 5 as a virtual machine, it works quiet well, but windows “thinks” the VM is a new computer and asks you to reauthenticate windows and MS Office licenses which is a real pain in the ass. But that’s a microsoft problem, not mac.

I haven’t had a chance to use the iLife products yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve started ripping my home DVD collection to iTunes via Hand brake and its super quick and easy. The 1 TB hard drive really comes in hand for the extra space.

I bought this as a media and productivity desktop as I don’t do PC gaming anymore. I’m very happy for the switch, my iDevices sync flawlessly to the mac, as having full access to my contacts and calendar via iCal is great. I still have to use PC’s for work, but I’ll never buy another PC for home again. I am fully converted to Apple!

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D. O'Keeffe says:
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
My First Mac, I’m Thrilled!, February 5, 2011
By 
D. O’Keeffe (USA) –
(REAL NAME)
  

This review is from: Apple iMac MC509LL/A 21.5-Inch Desktop (OLD VERSION) (Personal Computers)

I’m 50 years old and have been using PCs all adult life for work and home. I’ve had what I consider to be very good PCs & Laptops over the years. I NEVER thought I would switch over to a Mac because I’m not into gaming and I’m not an artist. But I just made the switch and I’m thrilled, to say the least!

The analogy that comes to mind between the two is this…
I liken my current (and past) excellent quality, loaded Laptop PC to a strong, healthy work horse. It looks nice, it feels and looks strong, and I have no doublt it can get the job done. We have a good relationship, we’re buddies.

But I liken the iMac to an Arabian stallion! It’s simply gorgeous to look at and touch, it’s muscles are rippling and glistening with strength- it has unfettered energy, and it can take me places I can’t even imagine right now! But don’t get me wrong… if there was crap behind the screen and inside the housing, no amount of good looks could make up for it. What I’m really falling in love with is the way it thinks, the way it works, and the possibilities ahead of me. It will do the mundane work that I need to get done, with a style, flair and ease that the PCs just don’t contain and it’s making my work feel not so much like work anymore but like play, and I know it’s going to inspire me to be more creative with the work I do and the projects I’m just starting to envision.

Regarding Customer Service; I don’t care how good customer service has ever been with HP, or Dell, or any other brand that I owned, Apple’s customer service is in a different league with or without their Apple Care plan, which I highly recommend. They are amazingly helpful and personable- as if you’re talking to someone you could easily be friends with- any one of them that you speak to. …and you’re talking to people who speak English as their first language so they understand what you’re saying and you can understand them! They never rushed me off the phone, even before I actually made a purchase. They were patient, gracious and very helpful with me without being condescending when they were helping me sort through technical confusions I had.

I purchased the 21.5″ i5 iMac. I loved the 27″ but it was just too big for my space and the longer I spent in front of it at Best Buy, the more I realized that the screen was simply too big for me to sit in front of to work… I just didn’t want to have to turn my head to see from one side of the screen to the other and I didn’t want to have to cover that much acreage with a mouse! 🙂

I also purchased Apple’s Airport Extreme wireless router and created a wireless network with my current laptop PC, My HP Photosmart printer and the iMac. (It was very simple to do by the way.) I love the iMac’s keyboard and mouse, but I also purchased a Bamboo Craft pen tablet mouse due to a damaged tendon in my mousing hand that gets very painful with mousing (wish it was also wireless but it’s not). Later I purchased the remote for the iMac but that’s coming in a couple of days.

Before I started using the Mac, I watched the tutorials on Apple’s website, and I would recommend any new users take advantage of that quick and easy training as well. I’ve already downloaded Office for Mac, transferred all my iTunes music and movies from the PC to the iMac, I’ve hooked up my external backup drive and got that rolling and have downloaded a very cool program to digitize all my DVDs so I can get rid of the physical ‘stuff’ that’s taking up space in my apartment! (My books are going digital too when I get my Kindle tomorrow!) I’ve been spending time exploring the different applications in the Mac and loving them and the way they work. I’ve also set up my preference and have set up different user accounts, and more.

But I guess in this review, I’m really talking about the difference in the experience between a PC and a Mac.

And it started right at the beginning when I called Apple for some pre-sales help.
Then when my iMac arrived, the experience of opening the box and taking the computer and everything out of the box. The way Apple packages its products shows that they care about and value the products they’re selling and that they value you, their customer… their packaging tells you you’ve just bought something amazingly special, and it is. Like I said before, I’m not fooled by pretty packaging, I care about the substance and there is absolutely no disconnect here. Anyway, the feel of opening that computer box was one of luxury, of being pampered, and of having received something very important and worthwhile.

Then the setup- it couldn’t have been easier. I’m not saying that I didn’t have some technical confusion when setting up my network, but had I fully read the instructions I wouldn’t have had that confusion and I wouldn’t have had to call Apple for help! (I’m embarrassed to admit that I…

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