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Thou shall treat thy iMac with care
Thou shall organize all files and keep thy iMac clutter free
Thou shall always defend thy iMac in the great PC debate
These are just a few simple rules I live by on a daily basis. Abide to these rules and your iMac and yourself will live together in peace and harmony!
Apple's Zombie Nation
Okay, so whilst Apple aren't exactly a religion, they may as well be! They have an ever-growing following and an astonishing record when it comes to sales over the last 10 years. Apple seems to be taking over civilization with the amount of customers turning into zombies, constantly on their products! Almost everyone would of experienced an Apple product by now, be it an i-/Pod/Pad/Phone or Mac. I personally had several iPods on the past, which I kept on upgrading and still use this very day. Where would we be without Apple, hey?
So amongst many of their successful products are the computers and laptops. I had never used a Mac until the age of 19 and to be honest, I never felt that I needed to. I was very happy with my Windows run, Dell computers! At college there would always be the same debate week in and week out, whether a Mac or PC was better. I always defended PC in this case, as the money saving difference was huge. Then all of a sudden my University dropped the big bombshell. "This year we will be using Logic for all of our audio assignments." For those unaware, Logic is an amazing piece of audio software, which is industry standard, but like much other of their software, ONLY available on a Mac. Great.
I had to delve deep into my pockets for this purchase.. or so I expected. After browsing the Apple store (and entering my University details for an education discount) I found the iMac in a 'refurb store'. Priced with 18% off a new price I picked up my iMac for around £800. The specs were as follows: -
Core i3 3.06 GHz Processor
4GB DDR3 RAM
500 GB Hard Drive
Radeon HD 4670 Graphics
21.5" Widescreen Display
My PC Comparisons
My PC I purchased before was actually home made. I bought all the components separately to make a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), which required certain specs. It was a hassle trying to work it all out and after several hours of my brothers putting it together I finally had a PC running. That was only the beginning however as everyone knows there are a lot of installations for motherboards, sound cards, graphic cards etc. This took many hours to complete and even at first there were several error messages. On contrary my iMac was perfect! I took it out of the box, plugged it in and it was complete. Within an instant I had a fully working DAW! I couldn't believe how simple it was.
The speed and smoothness of the iMac competes with some of the best PCs on the market. From a cold boot it can get into the login page within maybe 10-15 seconds! Even after 3 years of use this Mac still seems to be incredibly fast, in comparison with many PC, which slow down after time.
The software is the biggest difference. Everything seems in the right location. With features on their operating systems, which allow you to see, all open pages or minimize to the desktop at a swipe of a mouse. All of these features come customizable. As I practice Chinese in my spare time, installing a new keyboard language was practically done. Once I set up a hot-key to change languages I was away. On a PC I had several drivers and downloads to install and even then found problems.
For anyone wanting to preserve energy there are energy saving settings in which you can time the Mac to sleep or turn on or off at required times. When I was a student and money saving is a big issue, this came in very handy to save on the electricity bill! Plus the thought that you're saving the planet makes you feel a little bit more worthwhile. All software updates are checked regularly and swiftly done at the end of a session.
I have never experienced my iMac crashing due to programs failing or viruses. This is vital for someone in my industry who needs their software working 100% of the time. A crash during a recording project can be quite disastrous!
Anybody wanting to add external hardware will find it a doddle. There are 4 USB slots and a firewire slot on the rear of the iMac. To get the majority of products working it is as simple as 'plug and play'. I spent 18 months with a PC trying to get a MIDI keyboard to work in the USB. Countless times I replaced sound cards, motherboards and never did it work! My jaw virtually dropped when I plugged in the USB and saw the Mac recognize the hardware without any prior installations. All the time I could of saved!
As there are limited fans in the Mac there is very little noise, which becomes perfect for a music studio computer. However this did worry me as the top of the iMac seems to get very hot very fast! This just seems the norm with iMacs however and has never caused a problem for me. If anything it saves a little on that heating bill!
These days almost all products are available for the Mac as well as PC so there are very little restrictions when it comes to needing software. Like I mentioned, my problem was the very opposite where the product was only available for Mac!
Now if I haven't sold t his product enough on its fantastic ability and simplicity then wait until I get onto its appearance. The 21.5" widescreen is absolutely amazing. I put it side by side to a 22" Acer monitor I was running and it was quite incredible how much brighter and more crystal clear the Mac monitor was! This makes it perfect for people in the design industry. Also, I just love to watch my favourite films! But it does get better. Did I mention that the whole of the iMac and its hardware are built into the monitor? The iMac is simply just one big monitor which is about 1-3 inches thick! No needs to have two separate parts for a monitor and the main hub. It seems silly to think that was ever needed!
The accessories that come with the iMac are the wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard and smart mouse. Both of these are available to buy separately in the Apple store at £55 each but come free with the purchase of the Mac. The keyboard is very stylish, slim and short. It doesn't feature a numeric pad but this has never caused a problem for myself. The keys are a delight to type with as they are simply millimeters from being pressed. Why else would I write a review this long! The magic mouse is just one curve of pure style. It has no visible buttons as the whole top shell is a button. Clicking on the left or right side will still be separate clicks and swiping your finger along the shell, whether up, down, left or right, will scroll across documents, images or software applications.
So there is style simplicity and every software and hardware available that I desire. At the similar price of a desktop PC I don't see why I would ever go back. Safe to say I will be a long term Apple customer as long as the products keep coming out with this standard. I can now happily say I've been taught a lesson about putting something down without trying myself. I have definitely been converted!
I am the owner of one of these babies and i use it as the brain for my home studio. I was once a pc user and never really considered apple given that their equipment always seems outclassed for half the price on windows machines. I was wrong, very wrong. The operating system makes that price tag every bit worth it. Next to my i7 pc machine, my mac boots up and performs most tasks in around half the time. Again this is due to osx. The pc actually has more than double the power bu the numbers however you simply cannot beat apple for the efficiency. The unit does get hot after a few hours of use, so hot infact you may burn yourself if you place your hand on the top.
The screen quality is amazing and with everything being contained within the unit i dont have cables running everywhere either.
If you wish to upgrade in future the ram is easy to access but that is about it. Changing out everything else will also void your apple warranty so be careful as this is not easy to do like inside a pc tower.
The Apple iMac is a great desktop computer. It comes pre-set with the Mac OS X Operating system that is easy to use and easy to learn and is very professional. One thing about this mac that sets it apart from the other Macs is the display; its big and very advanced. The iMac also has an ATI graphics card that can play high graphic games at good frame rates. The iMac can also have Windows installed to it, with the use of Boot-Camp (free). The iMac comes with 4GBs of RAM ready to handle power-heavy applications such as Photoshop, High graphic games, and video editors. With the iMac there is an included Superdrive (DVD/CD drive, RW-W) Multiple USB ports, a firewire port, and the new thunderbolt port. Overall, this is a great desktop that can handle heavy applications in a professional and home environment.
I originally had a netbook which was good but not the top spec. My parent purchased me this for my birthday and i was just blown away by everything it does. I have to say they are very pricey in my opinion but are worth every penny. The quality of everything is amazing, they have everything sorted on it. Coming from this just seemed surreal, the speed of it and the amount of things it can do at the same time is amazing. If i have over 5 applications open at once i don't feel any different to if there was only one open.
The screen is so good, the HD quality is just great. Watching films on it is as good as on the TV; just a bit smaller.
The speakers on it are really good, as loud as you would want them to be.
Although you can't access all the games that are on the market at the moment which is a big concern for gamers wanting a mac. They are adding games nearly everyday to it.
I definitley recommend purchasing one, also; get the trackpad and everything wireless.
I purchased this machine just over a year ago. I run a computer support firm, and therefore flip from PC to Mac and back again regularly, to ensure I can discuss our clients issues effectively. Since getting it, I have noticed a minor slowdown in the PC's I am running but these are a little older than the Mac, so that may be the reason - the Mac though, is as fast as it was when I unpacked it. This may be the way the Mac OS uses 'Sandboxing' - the way they keep all their applications working well is to ensure they don't interfere with each other, unlike the way that Windows based machines work.
Another very useful and appealing feature of the Mac is its 'App Store'. Now the majority of applications are downloaded - no need for out of date things like CD's!!! These apps seems far better value than their 'on the shelf' counterparts, and of course, you don't have to drive to a store to collect them.
The only fault I can think of is to do with the screen. I'm not sure if this is just mine, or if it a 'feature' of all macs, but you should be aware....
The screen has started showing 'burn in' marks, which are a bit of a pain when looking at images etc. I don't use the mac for this in the main, so it's not too much of an issue, but the white areas of the screen definitely have a number of shadows on them now. The official line from Apple is to turn off the screen saver, and leave the screen on for as long as it took the shadow to appear - but as that is anything up to 13 months, I'd really prefer not to!!!
Hope this helps you decide if you want one or not!!
This Mac is brilliant! The Full HD 16:9 aspect ratio monitor is an amazing feature that has been of great help to me due to the fact I am studying film production at uni! I have put it under a lot of strain since I got it! It has ran Final Cut Pro 7 editing studio shot footage with me doing chromakey work and colour grading at the same time as jumping back and forth between the internet, Skype, MSN and audio editing software and kept soldiering on! The Firewire 800 port is a godsend! The data transfer speed has meant I could actually run an external hard drive in my workflow without any drop in performance. The placing of all the ports is quite annoying and there aren't many USB ports for me personally and also a dedicated visual input would have been very nice. The screen has spectacular colour rendition, the webcam is half decent, the magic mouse is inspired. I am very impressed with this computer and to be honest couldn't live without it now!
Coming from a consistent PC user, I first thought that the Mac was more style over substance. My university forced me to use a Mac for my digital graphics course and well, my complaints are subdued.
The screen that I have is HD and 21 inches and well needed for doing a heavy graphics course such as my own. Although I do admit that if the sun is on it due to the glossy screen you cannot see a thing, so the computer lab at uni always has curtains drawn. A matte screen would have been much easier but there is not even an option for this.
So editing images becomes more detailed and easy to do pixel by pixel and so tabbing through various footage can be done easily with a cheat button on the keyboard which no windows computer has had so far in my opinion unless you do a fancy Ctrl+something+something.
This computer has dual core processors which is fantastic for dealing with heavy media so the computer can deal with two streams of data at once, which means I can be rendering a film with one program and streaming on the internet with another... the machines at uni have 3.2 GHZ processor which is just enough, I dislike it greatly when the pinwheel comes up and then I'm stuck scratching my head because Ctrl+alt+delete does not work on macs! It has 4GB Ram but so does my PC laptop and sometimes that freezes too. Technology needs to keep up with the media.
The machines at uni come with a "Superdrive" but its a DVD burner/rewriter. To open this you have to press a button on the keyboard instead of on the drive itself like most computers. My biggest worry that my cd gets jammed in there and there is no way of opening the drive itself.
Regarding ports, there is a USB port on the keyboard which is handy for pen drives at uni however it is not strong enough for DSLR camera data transfer so the four USB ports at the back of the CPU have to be used.
I do not know much about the software that comes as standard I just know that we are running on
Mac OS X 10.6.x and it makes it very hard to get viruses and malware on a mac. iLife suite is included as well but for uni we use the Adobe Creative Master Suite 5 and these sometimes can put a strain on the system because when rendering Flash video, it has frozen on me a couple of times and I have lost my work!
Also being a PC user mainly, all the shortcuts I am used to become totally redundant... and I have had to get used to "My Computer" being called "Finder" and various little nuances that I am not accustomed to. I do not think macs are particularly user friendly unless you have been taught how to use them as I am never sure if a program has fully shut down or not as they are always jumping up and down in my task bar at the bottom of the screen.
You have to buy the windows office suite seperately and annoyingly the font sizes seem to be incredibly different opposed to the windows run office. Size 12 on a windows comes out like size 10 comparatively to the mac and this has frustrated my lecturers immensely. Though this is a software problem, not a mac problem.
The cost of this machine for me to buy at home is just short of £1000 and that is far too much for a student to be spending, despite getting a 15% reduction just before term resumes, it still is too much. I think it is great that the university provides a suite for us to use.
A nice touch is when the networked macs have been linked, the main computer linked to the projector in the lecture room can show work from other computers by "screen sharing" which I find is so much easier than to upload your work on a usb and then give to the teacher and then faff about, sometimes films do not fit on a USB so screen sharing is the best revelation for teaching media.
As someone who bought his first Mac 5 years ago as an experiment - to see what it was like - I'm a relatively experienced Mac user, and this review is written as such.
The reasons for my purchase of this iMac were simple.
* I knew my existing Macbook Pro wasn't cutting it any more for my purposes, I needing something with more 'oompf'
* I found a good deal (at Comet incidentally)
* I no longer needed portability.
Now onto the review of the machine itself.
The machine, and the 'siblings' in the range pack Intel's i3 (or in the higher cases i5/i7) processors. These are dual core chips and some of the latest mobility range available from Intel. Now while I'm not the most technical person when it comes to such thing I would like to pass some observations.
Dual core processors essentially allow two streams of information to be dealt with at once, as opposed to the traditional one. The easiest way to explain this is to compare it to a leaky bucket (bear with me) whereby a single hole lets a small amount of water through at once, creating another whole however allows twice as much to come through. It's not impossible to overload (indeed, there are four, six and I believe eight core chips in production on bigger machines) but it does mean that you've got a good amount of data bandwidth available. My machine came with a 3.2Ghz processor as opposed to the 3.06 here, a minor difference as both will give you the ability to manage any everyday processing functions. In fact mine quite happily handles video encoding, programming, office programs, mail clients, twitter and iTunes - all running at once without too much hassle.
Of course backing up this processor is a healthy 4gb of RAM. RAM is vital for effective multi tasking in a computer. These days I would advise that nobody buys a computer with any less than 2gb. Modern operating systems require more and more RAM as they develop more advanced features, now it's a reasonably common knowledge fact that Mac's require less RAM than Windows to perform the same task equally, as the Unix based operating system that is Mac OS X is more efficient in these terms than it's Windows counterparts, so believe me when I say that with 4gb of RAM the machine is quite capable of holding it's own. As I type this review I've got iTunes streaming video to my AppleTV, Google Chrome running a couple of tabs, Twitter, Mail and a video encoding piece of software running with no slow down what so ever. Whilst the machine supports up to 16gb of RAM I would say that even running 8gb should secure you for any but the most intensive software tasks.
The machine comes with a standard Apple Slot loading 'Superdrive' - put simply it's a DVD burner/rewriter. Nothing flashy, but it's there. Also on the removable media front there is an SD slot on the side of the machine, tidily hidden next to the superdrive slot. A first on this generation of machine I do believe, but nice for the photographers.
Regarding ports, round the back there are four USB, one firewire, one ethernet and a minidisplay port adapter. These provide plenty of connectivity to devices or a second monitor. That said with the Wifi and Bluetooth built in you'll generally not need these for mice, keyboards or internet connections, unless you choose to break from the standard gear (more on that later) there are also audio in/out ports. The biggest trouble with all of these ports is that they're all around the back - nice aesthetically but a flaming nuisance when you're trying to insert a USB stick, USB hubs are a necessity if you ask me.
Regarding graphics ability the card included isn't 'high' end but is certainly on the 'mid to good' range for the size display included. The computer comes with a 21.5" screen throwing out an impressive display resolution of 1920 x 1080 which can display HD film at full resolution happily, as well as handling many games at medium to higher settings at native resolution. The gloss on the screen is lovely on the whole, but if you dare catch the sun on it you're going to have a hard time seeing anything. Apple's recent obsession with glossy displays is somewhat frustrating and to be honest, I'd rather at least have the option of a matte screen. Though given this is my biggest problem with the machine I'd have to say it's not a deal breaker.
The included bluetooth keyboard gives a decent battery life, lasting for about a fortnight of my typical use on 2 AA batteries, the only thing that I didn't like was the lack of a number pad as I used one regularly for programming, those I have quickly adapted to this. The 'Magic Mouse' included is something of an interesting beast though. It's got a nice, simple Apple-esque design to it, no visible buttons to it. What it does have though is multi touch capabilities, similar to that of the iPhone or iPod Touch. It contains only basic controls, but the ability to swipe your finger to go back a page in the browser for example is really nice. The only minor complaint here is that you can't have a left and right click at once which as a gamer can be frustrating, I simply use a different mouse but for most the included mouse will be quite ample I'm sure.
Of course with the hardware comes software. Mac OS X 10.6.x is included - known commonly as Snow Leopard. An evolution of a software line that has developed over a decade Snow Leopard is fast, minimalistic, efficient and secure. The unix code base makes it very hard to crack without a users explicit permission so viruses and malware whilst not impossible, are very rare and generally fall to user error rather than a security flaw.
Talking to Windows users? Consider the dock your start menu, finder your Windows Explorer, and system preferences your Control Panel. Beyond that there's not much to learn.
Included as standard is Apple's iLife suite of software. Put simply this includes iPhone (a Picasa like photo organisation suite), iMovie (powerful movie editting software), and Garageband (music creation and editing software) all of which give the user a good experience out of the box with a good range of tools at their disposal. Of course should you wish to run Microsoft Office or other 'PC' software you usually can, but you will likely need to purchase a different version to run (though certain games for example are Mac/PC compatible now, World of Warcraft being a prime example)
Software can be expensive for a Mac if not bought carefully, that said the Mac App Store (available on OS X 10.6.8 and higher - a free software update) contains easily purchasable software that you can download over the internet, and in case you're one of those who still avoids online purchasing, simply purchase an iTunes gift card at most high street retailers and use that to top up your account, it's really that simple - the only limitation is your bandwidth.
The built in iSight works nicely with Facetime - a video calling solution that can be used to call someone's iPhone or iPod Touch (4 or 4th Generation) for free, that said it's equally at home with Skype or many other VOIP programs. Take your pick.
Ranging from just under a thousand pounds the iMac's don't come cheap, that said with a new display included every time along with a solid, fast and tidy hardware set they're definitely offering value for money. Prices range up to around £1600 for a 27" model so pick carefully, the bigger machines house a bigger screen, but also more powerful hardware so but the best you can - remember as an all in one you're going to have a job upgrading much more than the RAM.
Whilst I'm sure I could ramble on about this machine for some considerable time more, I feel that to do so would be 'geeking out' so I'll leave it at that. The Advantages and Disadvantages below provide a good summary of the machines high and low points but ultimately, if you're looking for a new machine you could go a damn sight worse than an iMac.
Now up until a year ago, I was all against macs. Totally pc for me. My friend was selling his and decided to
See all the hype was all about. I defiantly am a huge fan. There are plenty of things I can list about the things it can do,
As of yet I have had no bad experiences with it. I heard that having to much ideas on the desktop slows it down, had nothing like that.
If you have internet connection it automatically updates the system for example word will update it's self. Iv seriously felt like iv had about 4 new computers. It's also allows users to download ups from the app store,
The video and picture editing tools are also another positive element about the mac! It's all very easy to use. I found with other pc's very complicated to use the editing system.
As stated I have not experienced any negatives with my iMac, it's does everything a computer should do in 2011.
Another great from apple
Now I am a PC. I don't particularly like using the macs however there are some great things about them as well as things I don't like. Most of the things I don't like are within the operating system itself however the other thing is the mouse that is only one button... I'm not a fan of this however you can easily put in your own mouse. I love the fact that the computer is all in one and the start up and shut down is extremely quick and it is one of the most economical computers around. It is very well built too. The keyboard also.
The things are don't like are, as I said, mostly within the operating system. When you click the [x] in the top corner it doesn't actually close down the program. Also I have experienced system crashes although they have said it doesn't happen. Gaming has been an issue but now thanks to the Steam software you can get they now offer a huge number of games that work on both PC and Mac. This is a huge development and could very much help the macs sell better.
Then they is the elephant in the corner. The price... It is very expensive... But is it worth it? Well I am not so sure. Yes, windows 7 has as many, if not more, issues than the mac OS but you can buy a computer with some very high specs for half the price that you could buy this for. Plus you can actually upgrade your PC to suit you? If you wanted to upgrade your mac you need to buy a new one. But this Mac is overall very good and with no viruses around for it you can't say it isn't safe. Yes, it's expensive, but it's very well made and works very smoothly. What more can you ask for in a computer?
After having PCs for the past ten years i thought it was time to go for the apple imac, to see if the hype was real! i purchased it from the apple store at £999 quite expensive for a desktop pc! i took it home to unbox it and first thing you notice is the superb quality and craftmanship! the imac is a thing of beauty! the led screen and the aluminium casing are a superb design! The keyboard is very small but with big buttons and a nice feel to them so is very comfortable and easy to use. You also get the apple magic mouse with this computer. this mouse is an exceptional piece of kit, u slide your finger up and down and left and right on the surface of the mouse to scroll around the page, it makes browsing the web a pleasure and far easier to find what your looking for on the page. I wired it up which involved one cable to plug in (yep that easy, the imac is all in one desktop!) after using the imac for a good few hours i was getting the hang off apple and there software! the ease of use and the features, make this sure to be one of the best home pcs on the market! so if your thinking about making the jump to the imac! go for it!