I thought I would review this product as I have just recently purchased one, yes it is 2009! It is my first foray onto the Mac platform and OS X.
Truthfully it's utterly beautiful. It's sleek and contemporary and is still aesthetically relevant today as it was when first revealed. The screen is a vibrant 17" with a wide screen aspect ratio and is infinitely adjustable from its link to the half sphere base. The transparent bezel adds style and an impression of greater size to the screen and it bears a simple 'iMac' logo. The base has a stealthed DVD drive at the centre, above which is the iconic Apple logo in a chrome effect.
Connect the speakers to the rear. Connect the power cord and plug into mains.
Nothing more. Nice and easy and very quick!
1 Ghz PowerPc G4processor
256k L2 Cache
256 SDRAM (512 in mine)
80 Ultra ATA Hard drive
Active Matrix LCD 1440*900
GeForce4 MX 64Mb
56k V.92 Modem
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
2 * Firewire ports
5 * USB ports
Apple Pro speakers
Apple Pro keyboard
Apple Pro mouse
I have to say that I love it and have become a Mac fanboy overnight!
The keyboard is sublime and provides lovely tactile feedback when typing. Two of the iMacs 5 USB ports are located on either side of the keyboards rear and there is also a dedicated hotkey to open the superdrive which also eliminates the need for any kind of button on the base. Looks are everything with Mac design. There are some slight changes to the layout when compared to the traditional PC keyboard.
The mouse is a low profile and sleek one touch affair. No wheel or optional right click with this version which incidentally is achieved using the control key to accompany a single click. The mouse is both comfortable and responsive.
The Pro speakers are round, transparent and acrylic. They look nice and produce a vibrant sound across the range and are capable of playing your music well in a medium sized room.
The three remaining USB ports are at the back of the unit.
I am currently running OS X 10.4.11 and the machine is quick and capable.
I prefer to use Firefox as opposed to Safari for web browsing as it is more functional and can be tweaked for speed hikes.
I like the visual interface, the magnification on the dock looking particularly good. There doesn't appear to be any hit on performance from using special effects which is something you definitely would notice on Windows software. It seems that Apple hardware and Apple software are a perfect combination.
Absolutely awesome system which looks stunning. More so in the flesh as pictures just can't do it justice. Good build quality as expected mean a 5 star experience.
When the iMac arrived at work, I was on a break, in the middle of reading an article on thinking outside the square … what better example could I have had, than to set up and demo the new iMac in my office. This is one computer that shows, designers (especially those at Apple) are now thinking firmly outside the square. For the last few years computer manufactures have been slowly moving away from the beige box, into more creative systems. Apple are on the leading edge of this move. The first thing people say, "Oh that's a Pixar Apple", due to its striking resemblance to a certain dancing lamp. The solid white base, gleaming stainless arm, and floating flat screen scream out "Touch me", and of course that is exactly what people do. This is a unique machine that wants to be touched. But aside from it's glamour and looks, is this really a computer or is it just another electronic gadget that looks good in your living room? Apple UK kindly loaned me the iMac for the weekend, so I bought it home, rubbing my hands together at this opportunity to really see what this little toy could do. Now keep in mind I'm not exactly the intended audience. The new iMac is targeted directly to the home user, who wants a computer they can remove from the box, plug in and it works. Specifications » 700 or 800mhz PowerPC G4 (Velocity) » 256k level 2 Cache » 128 or 256MB SDRam (up to 1GB) » 40GB or 60GB hard drive » 5 USB ports (3 onboard 2 on keyboard) » 2 Firewire ports (400-Mbps) » 15" TFT LCD screen » Up to 1024x768 resolution » Nvidia GeForce2 MX 32MB video » 56k6 V.90 Modem » 10/100BASE-T Ethernet » Built-in Speaker or Apple Pro Speakers » Mini-VGA output (adapter included) » Standard Keyboard & Pro Mouse The first thing I wanted to check of course was if it really was a "out of the box" working item. I popped it on the
desk, plugged in the cables, unplugged my PC modem cable, and slipped it into the iMac built in 56k6 modem and hit the power button. Nothing … not a sound, and then the screen burst into life. (This thing is seriously quiet, so quiet in fact I pulled my PC apart to see why it makes so much noise in comparison.) Initial boot up on the iMac is about 40 to 50 seconds, which I'm told is because OS X (pronounced OS 10), takes a bit longer to start. I'm also used to seeing MacOS 9 screens with extensions loading, you no longer see this with OS X. Once going, I quickly clicked on the system preferences icon, located on the handy Dock. Opened the internet settings, entered my ISP number and password, and launched Internet Explorer. Not even 5 minutes had past since the iMac had been in the box, and I was happily surfing away checking my mail!. Okay, so it lives up to it's easy out of the box promises, and yes it looks great sitting in the living room, where over the weekend I replaced our TV with the iMac to enjoy some DVDs. Watching DVDs on the iMac, you soon forget that it's a computer. The clear perspex edging, the fact that the monitor "floats" you feel more engrossed in the movie because there is nothing distracting you around the edges. The only thing that let this side of the iMac down was the speakers lack of ability to handle bass audio clearly. However I put my Altec Lansing set with subwoofer into the headphone slot and the iMac threw out some beautiful sounds. I was disappointed with the speakers that came with the iMac. While they look funky, clear plastic, and again crying out to be touched, there is no protection for the speaker driver, which I'm sure with smaller children would be irresistible to touch. They also suffered with the quality of audio being delivered. At half volume they sound great, nice full sounds, but if you really want to watch DVDs, play your music loud, then you s
hould upgrade to the larger set and defiantly get the subwoofer. Given that I don't own a Mac at home, I didn't have access to a lot of Macintosh software to install to try this machine out, so I decided to push what software came with it. First of all I wanted to test the superdrive (CD, DVD burner), so inserted a blank CD, pulled some things of the net to burn and went hunting for a burning application. Strange, I couldn't find anything. I opened Sherlock (Apples great search system), and found an application called Burn. Sweet I thought, opening it up. But here came my first surprise, Burn is a MacOS 9 application, not 10. Here is a brand new computer shipping with a CD & DVD burner in it and having NO burning software for it's primary operating system installed, not even a lite version of Toast. (Even PC burners come with at least some burning software). After my attempts at burning something went out the door, I decided to try iMovive. I had borrowed one of the digital video cameras from work, shot some footage especially for this. Now here is were the iMac shines above your average PC. Put the firewire cable into the camera and into the iMac, launch iMovie. Things couldn't be easier. iMove instantly recognizes the camera, allows you to play, rewind and control the camera from the desktop, and importing clips, is so easy, and did I say FAST? This was REALLY fast, in fact I was watching the video in real-time on the computer while it was importing off the camera. Once you have your clips in place, drag them onto a simple time line, quickly slice out the bits you don't want, add in some words, transitions and sound effects and you're the next Peter Jackson. And talking of sound effects, you can be playing the movie through and recording your voice narrating the movie in real-time with no extra microphones needed. Exporting the movie as a QuickTime was the longest part of the process, and iMovie gives you the
option to export your movie to iDVD to add a simple menu system, and burn to DVD. MacOS X makes using this computer so simple, and yet if you really want to dig around and push it, there is a command line facility, and heaps of power to play with. This iMac was the G4 800mhz system, and while it handled nicely everything I threw at it, this machine is NOT designed as a graphics development system. It's a home computer, built to allow "mum & dad" to email the kids, put their holiday video onto DVD, and write letters to friends. Over all I have to say I was impressed, and this little computer has got me reconsidering my idea of a second PC in favour of adding a Macintosh to my collection. The iMac is a great computer in my eyes for home users, reception areas and places where the looks of a computer matter as much as it's ability to do simple tasks.
The original iMac was released in 1998 and was credited with saving Apple from bankruptcy. It was a revolution that no-one expected, it looked radically different from any computer up to that day and had no ‘legacy’ ports but instead had the (then) not widely adopted USB interface. The iMac went from strength to strength; indeed Apple claimed that an iMac was sold every 15 seconds somewhere in the World. However despite numerous (relatively minor updates) the design never changed considerably and consumers began to get bored (despite the Flower Power and Dalmatian Blue…) and sails flagged. However January saw the release of the widely rumoured and long awaited flat-panel iMac. Again the design is unlike any other. It seems to have been inspired by an angle-poise lamp rather than any other computer. In an interview after its release Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said that Jonathan Ive, the designer of the original iMac had shown him drawings of a potential design, which had a flat screen with all the ‘guts’ of the computer placed vertically behind it. Jobs however wanted each component to remain ‘true to itself’ that is for the screen to be movable and for the CD/DVD drive to be placed horizontally, at which it works better, than vertically, etc. This discussion took place in Jobs’ garden in California and the design was allegedly inspired by a sunflower. For those of you who have not seen it, the new iMac has a hemispherical base approximately 10.5 inches in diameter. From this sprouts a stainless steel arm which is connected to a 15 inch flat panel display. The colour is predominantly white with flashes of silver and fully translucent plastic, taking many cues from Apple’s PowerMac Cube of last year. The design may seem strange to start but it really grows on you. It is functional as well as elegant the screen can to moved to almost any angle and can completely cover the base from vie
w if you wish. It is hard to believe that the entire guts of the computer (including the power supply) are contained in the hemispherical base; indeed it packs a punch as well. The high-end version contains an 800Mhz G4 processor (now standard on all desktop Macs) 256Mb of RAM, a 60Gb hard drive, a zippy GeForce 2 MX graphics card, Apple Pro Speakers and perhaps the best feature a ‘SuperDrive,’ which burns both CD’s and DVD’s (and rewrites CD’s). This is where the included software comes into it. The iMac ships with iDVD 2, a program dedicated to writing DVD’s and producing professional interfaces. As you would expect from Apple it is powerful and feature rich but a cinch to use. Moving on to the software, the iMac ships with Mac OS X as the default OS, but Mac OS 9.2.2 is included for compatibility and classic support. The iMac comes with a whole host of applications from the excellent AppleWorks to the bizarre caveman racing game, Cro-Mag Rally. As you can expect all the ‘iRange’ of software is included, iMovie, iTunes, iDVD and the new iPhoto. iPhoto is an easy to use photo management tool that allows you to collate and organize your photos, as well as touch them up with a few basic tools. It is true that this program has no feature that is not available with some other program but this is the most elegant and sophisticated solution to date. The iMac presents a very convincing picture. It is ideal for the first time user as well as the more experienced user who does not want the added expandability of PowerMac (and added price). The drawbacks are few but are neverthelessthe obvious ones. Lack of Windows software support has traditionally been the major drawback for buying a Mac. However there are more and more programs making the transition or appearing for the Mac only (e.g. conversions from UNIX). Limited expandability and the slightly high price are only slight niggles to an otherwise
fantastic package. If you want expandability then buy a PowerMac. If you want something cheaper buy one of the cheaper versions or get a traditional iMac, they can still be bought new. The iMac represents style, performance and value for money which Windows equivalents cannot get near. Apple has produced a really classy product.