on 7 November 2010
This is a powerful and elegant computer with a wealth of features. Its memory size, storage capacity and enormous screen make it ideal for editing and storing digital images, video editing, and music software.
I am however a little less enthusiastic about the supplied wireless "Magic" mouse and keyboard than an earlier reviewer. The keyboard does not include a number keypad to the right hand side of the letter keys as supplied with earlier iMacs. This omission from Apple is somewhat puzzling and a retrograde step, as software such as Sibelius makes use of this keypad if the keyboard has it. For this price, surely Apple could have retained this feature? Earlier iMacs also included two Firewire ports (400 and 800) - this machine only has one Firewire 800 port. The "ergonomic" shape of the mouse is taking some getting used to, and there are no side or top buttons which in my view increase flexibility of operation.
This machine was delivered with iLife 09 installed, which was disappointing as Apple have recently launched iLife 11.
For the above reasons 4 stars not 5.
on 1 March 2011
After spending 6 years with an HP Pavilion running Windows XP, we decided it was time for an upgrade. 6 years with Microsoft's quite frankly, poor service, we looked at Apple. A few friends highly recommended Mac OS X. After looking at models for a few months, we went to the Glasgow Apple Store, and walked out with the new 27" iMac. (Off topic, but the Apple store staff were amazing, giving us a quick run through of the Mac)
Setting up the iMac was a COMPLETE breeze. The hardware was a pleasure to set up, with only one wire needed. The on-screen set-up was fantastic aswell, giving you nice easy instructions to set it up (Wi-Fi, Account etc.)
Having had the iMac for nearly 3 months now, I simply cannot fault it. Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" is a truly amazing Operating System, with everything being easy to use, and it runs so smoothly. Looking forward to Mac OS X "Lion", being released this Summer. The hardware looks so great aswell, we have had it in our dining room for the whole time, and it looks amazing with only one wire. The i3 processor is great, making the Mac run exceptionally smoothly. The 27" Screen is just an absolute visual treat, colours are so vivid.
The iLife '11 software (Which comes free with every new Mac) is great fun to use - iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. iPhoto blows Windows Photo Gallery out the water, iMovie shadows Windows Movie Maker completely and GrageBand...I don't even know if Windows has an onboard music editing program.
I can't speak highly enough of Apple and the Mac. The OS, the hardware, the Apps, they all just work. Everything is just that little bit easier than in Windows.
Unless you haven't already guessed, I highly recommend this computer.
I can firmly see why people say "Once you go Mac, you never go back". I know I won't.
I have owned the 27" iMac for a few weeks now and I am really glad that I did bite the bullet and upgrade from my previous Mac. The size and quality of the display makes working in programmes such as Photoshop and Corel Painter so much easier than on my 17" intel core 2 duo.
I was a bit worried that I might have problems finding somewhere to sit this, given the size of it, but in reality it takes up very little more room than my previous machine - and if you were really stuck you could always mount it on a wall!.
Performance wise this machine is excellent - fast, quiet and pure quality - as, in my opinion, are all Apple products. Everything just works, straight out of the box!
I think enough has been written by other reviewers about the pro's of owning one of these machines so I'll just point out a couple of things that I have found to be minor negatives:
1) If migrating data from a previous machine be sure to get a Firewire 400/800 adaptor, I didn't think of this beforehand and of course my previous Mac was Firewire 400 and this one is Firewire 800. You can of course use an Ethernet cable if your previous machine isn't too old (like a G4 800MHz).
2) No remote control is included in the box. If you like using Front Row you'll need one of these, they can be bought for about £15-£20, but when you're spending this sort of money on a computer you would think that items such as this would come as part of the deal.
3) If, like me, you like to have a second monitor connected there are a couple of things that I have found. The cursor of the mouse often behaves erratically when the second monitor is connected but not turned on, turn on the second monitor and everything works fine. You will need to purchase a mini display to HDMI or VGA adaptor as this machine only has the mini display port.
Apart from these minor detractions this machine is a really excellent piece of kit and a real pleasure to work with, plus of course it looks great and you will be the envy of all your computer literate friends.
I have been running a Dell with a 24" display for a wide variety of applications, from photography and music, to design, and through business applications.
It is now so slow and crashes so regularly that it needed replacing, and relegation to being a backup machine.
I've been a computer user since 1965, and a PC user since 1982, and have provided support for the early Macs, so I've used a lot of computers from BBC Micros to Cray supercomputers in my time.
First point is that I would not have bought the iMac if it didn't have Boot Camp as I need to use Windows for those things Macs can't do. However, I want to use the Mac OS for music and pictures, and hopefully to migrate everything as my business needs recede.
I'm used to delving in the guts of PCs and am wary of a system where everything is contained in the display, whether iMac or one of the new similar Windows systems. So I bought a 4 core 8Gb, 2TB 27" iMac on the basis I would not need to add memory or hard disk. I also bought VMWare to enable the Mac OS and Windows to be co-resident.
The iMac display is outstanding in its clarity and resolution, far better than anything I have seen elsewhere. While the applications that come bundled with the iMac are a good starting point, I have already bought Aperture for my photographic needs.
As a long time Windows user since Windows 2, I still find Windows more intuitive than the Mac OS. However, the iMac runs Windows far faster than any other hardware I have seen, with a lightning startup time, and no crashes at all, whereas the Dell was dying several times a day - admittedly it only had 4Gb of RAM.
I had expected to move across from Windows very quickly, but I am finding that it is simply more productive than the Mac OS for my current needs. Clearly, a long time using one system can't prepare a person immediately for using a different one.
Moving a huge photographic library to the iMac is not without its problems. I had defined a file structure based on years and months and iPhoto and Aperture do things differently - better, but differently. I was beginning to lose my way in finding things in the library on Windows as it was not indexed, and I think Aperture will enable more effective retrieval of pictures, once I have my head around it.
One thing I had not considered is that the two different methods of using Windows - 1) with Boot Camp 2) using VMware, for much software, two separate licences are needed. Also I found that Illustrator and PhotoShop had problems being loaded on VMware, so I run them using Boot Camp.
I run Windows 7 Premium on the iMac and it installed easily and runs like a dream. Norton Internet Security 2011 installed quickly - antivirus software is needed for Windows.
From what I can see, most people take issue when their budget doesn't really run to Apple pricing, or when they are gamers. Valid points, but not for me.
My view at present after a month's use, is that the iMac is an excellent choice of system, running the two OS that I want to use. I'm very pleased I bought it and every piece of hardware that I used on my Dell works on the iMac - even the HP scanner that would not work on Windows 7 because its drivers were not digital. [there is a solution that enables it to work on both systems on the Mac.]
I purchased the AppleCare warranty just in case any problems occurred, and also the one-to-one training package.
Apple support is absolutely outstanding. In the past I have been diverted to Delhi [Dell] or south Africa [HP] for support and that was really not satisfactory, in communication terms. With Apple, I spoke to a graduate in Newcastle, and he sorted my one problem easily, though it was a VMware issue, not an Apple one. The training is really good, and I simply take along a list of questions and applications when i go and we work through them. The cost of £70 for that has already been recouped in time savings though one really needs an Apple Center nearby to gain most benefit. The £70 covers as many sessions as you want for the first year and represents very good value if used. It is only available at purchase time.
The iMac is robust and I recommend it. As an aside, my iPad and iPhone also work better with the iMac.
Never thought I'd be saying any of these things about Apple products!
UPDATE: 3 months on
Well, the iMac is still a great computer, but I have used it almost exclusively as a Windows 7 machine since buying it. Lightning fast, but a tad expensive for Windows.....
I needed to use Windows at first, because I had no Mac versions of the Adobe software I use - Illustrator and PhotoShop. Also MS Office, and a raft of other things. The idea was to migrate, slowly.
So far I have spent over £1,100 more in new Mac software because, VMware doesn't really work for my needs in hosting Windows and Mac at the same time. Bootcamp works, but I was spending all my time in the Windows area, so the Mac logo was rather superfluous.
I have now bought the Adobe applications for Mac, plus MS Office for Mac, to retain compatibility with colleagues using Windows.
So I thought it was all sorted, and I could move platforms.
I can't used a shared hard disk between the systems without buying yet more software. Mac won't write NTFS and my old FAT32 drive is not recognised by Windows 7. Windows can't read the Mac formatted disks.
So now I need to buy MacDrive software, it seems, then possibly the system will be useful.
I still haven't moved across my photo and music library to the Mac because that has its own raft of organisational problems.
So in summary, if you are a Windows or business user, it is probably best to stick to that system. The interface these days is nicer anyway.
If you are a newbie, or never ever need to interact with anyone not on a Mac, and you have budget, then iMac is a great solution.
For me it has been a very expensive learning curve at nearly £3,500 for an almost working system. Mind you, my first Windows PC cost £2,800, in 1990, and that had a massive 20Mb hard drive....... Prices have dropped a lot since then, and power greatly increased.
on 12 December 2011
I recently picked up a second hand iMac to replace my ageing PC. It is my first foray into Mac's. As everyone knows, the build quality of the iMac is excellent and second to none. For a machine with only an i3 processor it runs pretty well and processes large RAW files at an acceptable speed. I upgraded the RAM from 4gb to 8gb as soon as I got it, so have never run it with just 4gb of RAM, so can't comment on how much of a performance difference the extra RAM actually makes.
As for usability, it takes a while to make the switch from PC to Mac, but overall I would say the Mac experience is the better one.
Now for the minus point. Software compatibility issues. I am not going to go into detail, but there are a few things I cannot so on my iMac as the software is just not available or not supported, so I still have to use my Windows Netbook for certain things. I'm not saying this is Apple's fault as it's up to the software manufacturer if they want to make their software Apple compatible or not, but it is something that you should bare in mind.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase which I got at a great price and included a 12 month warranty.
on 28 November 2014
This is the machine I own. I spent a lot of time deliberating wether to buy it or not, eventually I did and I must say I have not regretted it! It's a dream.
From the perfect screen size to the sound from built in speakers everything about this machine oozes quality, including the build and the software. It is so easy to use, though I must admit it took a while for me to get used the the new operating system (my first mac, bar an iPhone). After a couple of years now the machine has slowed down a bit, though the hard drive is over 3/4 full and I could do with cleaning up my files a bit, which does improve that.
I must say it has never given me a days trouble, there are no error messages, unlike my last dell PC which was a nightmare. If you are looking to edit photo's or audio, or even just want a high end machine to browse the web and watch movies from, it doesn't get any better than this. Go for it.