Every great review you might have read of this machine is true. Bullet-proof reliability, lightning fast processing of even very large files (mine is used for Photoshop files which can easily hit 500 meg) and a large, clear, high contrast screen make this a machine to live and work with all day, every day. Its near-silent running is also a major bonus for those who prefer to work without a blizzard of fan noise as an accompaniment.
One good addition to the basic model 'as ships' is extra ram. It is well worth a few extra pounds for an upgrade to 4GB and while I have no test data to compare with the basic 2GB version, I have never yet made the machine pause for thought even while running Photoshop and Quark, listening to MP3s on iTunes and downloading hefty files on its fantastic wireless internet connection.
Being the new Intel architecture, those running apps on older G4 or G3 machines will have problems porting old software across - and this is worth considering. These machines do not have the facility to dual-boot into OS9 and buying all your favourite apps again can be add considerably to the cost. But as this is the architecture of the future, it is only a matter of time before it will be necessary to make the leap, and the positive aspects of this machine make now a perfect time to make that leap.
True, the cost is high (although most Macs do tend to hold their values very well), but there is nothing else at almost any price that will touch the Imac in terms of speed, reliability and astonishing aesthetics. (Only Mac desktops pack more punch - but they cost more, make more noise and don't look so nice!)
Minor gripe? The slim keyboard took a lot of getting used to - it has the short key-travel of a laptop and feels very odd for the first few weeks. And the mouse wheel, while useful, is not up to Apple's usual build quality. Mine gave up the ghost after only a few weeks, but since most mac users never had one before, it's not really a big deal.
All in all, this is what a computer should be. It's a tool, and one that is more than willing to work very very hard.
This is a brilliant machine, and it has been my first Mac. For someone changing from PC to Mac in my home office it has taken a little getting used to, but I have to say all (nearly all) the functionality of Windows is available in Macintosh, so it really is not that foreign. I love the keyboard, it has a nice short travel, and using a standard PC keyboard now feels positively pre-historic. The mouse is a bit of a let-down, the scroll wheel works well but with it being a one piece construction the right click function sometimes doesn't work too well.
(Major) Plus points: a) the brilliant screen - beware, it is HUGE! If you have constricted space then perhaps it might not be for you, but for photo/video enthusiasts it is perfect b) Mac software. Windows is rubbish, we know that, and you get SO MUCH free/included functionality in Mac software, it is fabulous stuff c) It is not really as expensive when you add it all up, Mac software is dirt cheap compared to Microsoft, and it is like a different world. Things make sense, and just... work. Add in the stress hassle and service and software costs for PC then it's often cheaper to go Mac d) No fussing with anti-virus, and anti-virus stuff for PC has gotten expensive. Its not an expense you need to worry about with Mac e) Startup and Shutdown times are ridiculously, amazingly, brilliantly fast f) VERY solidly constructed g) Online tutorials (free!) from Mac, and also tutorials at Apple shops h) It is oh so q-u-i-e-t. Lovely! I sometimes don't realise its on, a lovely change from my PC desktop that made so much noise and heat you'd think it was steam powered
(minor) Minus points: a) Not enough USB slots - it has USB slots on the end of the keyboard, but could do with a few more b) the Mac mouse is not to my liking, there are some great ones out there that are Mac compatible though c) There isn't (as far as I can tell) the "Home" and "End" keys on the keyboard like there are on PC
All in all a brilliant piece of kit and Apple provide some brilliant free (can you spot the theme) tutorials online to help you get used to your Mac and to get the most of it
Apple are a company at the very top of their game in every single respect right now. They are peerless. They make Microsoft, HP, Dell, Lenovo and all the other laggards out there look PATHETIC!
I bought this machine (actually a 3.06 GHz with 4GB RAM - 2gig upgrade) about 4 months ago and I can promise you that after more than 15 years of using PC, I will NEVER touch the things again. I am a photographer and love it for its big, clear screen to see my work on. I also bought aperture 2.0 which is an apple photo app....NOT as sophisticated as Adobe Photoshop but does 95% of the things I want right now. And does them really really well. I also do freelance work as a business consultant and writing Powerpoint presentations is a complete synch. Vista eat your heart out. The fact that Microsoft and Apple have got together finally and figured out a way of making PPT, XLS & WORD actually work is great. But the thing about Apple's Microsoft Powerpoint? Its sexier. The presentations are more exciting and easier to produce once you get used to it - which takes ZERO time.
I was slightly worried about making the transition after being so used to PC but honestly? It was simply a breeze. Now I go to PC and think.....what the hell was I doing? I mean they lack all the intuitive-ness of Apple's OS. You always hear people say that right. Mac evangelists go on and on and on about how intuitive macs are and the boring thing is not only are they dead right but I am firmly in their camp now. Aesthetically this is ....in a word.... beautiful. Or at least as beautiful as a computer could ever be. Its gorgeous. I have my machine rigged up with a set of Harmon Kardon Soundsticks and they just compliment it perfectly. I find safari (apple's browser) fantastic but also use Mozilla. The "dashboard" function - loads of personalised widgets - is great fun although I do find it a tiny bit of a gimmick (ie; don't use it THAT often - 2/3 times a week). I dunno...i could go on and on about this machine. Surfing the NET? 5 stars Watching DVDs? 5 stars. Speed? 5 stars (get it as fast as you can) Looking at photos? 5 stars. Software? 5 stars. itunes? 5 stars (naturally). And about a hundred other things I could mention. I mean, I've started to worry. Is this machine taking over my life? Is there anything I cannot do on it? Its brilliant brilliant brilliant!
My one gripe is with the mouse rollerball which seems to have a bit of a life of its own. I wish they'd sort it out. The only other worry I have now is how can I afford one of the new macbook pros. Can't wait for that too and then an iphone and having the whole system linked up through mobileMe.
After many months of holding off buying myself a new iMac, I finally made the plunge and decided to go for the 24" model. As I work as a designer, I knew a large screen would benefit me. The new iMac is a fantastic machine, a real power house with a lot packed in for your money. It starts up in seconds and runs Adobe Creative Suite 3 with ease, again loading each application in no time at all. I have yet to try any games on it but it goes without saying that they too will run magnificently.
All macs include iLife 08 which includes a range of useful software for everyone, my favorite is iMovie which has been completely redone to provide a rapid way of producing professional movies. I would also recommend purchasing iWork 08, which is compatible with Office, but costs a fraction of the price at just £50 on Amazon. And it looks much better too. Front Row is another fantastic application operated by the tiny remote. This allows you to play music, watch the latest movie trailers full screen and more from a beautiful interface.
This Mac should last most people for many years, the one I bought replaces my 15" G3 iMac which I purchased back in 2000 and lasted me over 8 years of heavy use. In fact it still works fine now if a little slow, so if that is anything to go by then it looks promising for the current range of Macs too.
All parts of the 24" iMac are built to a very high standard, being mainly constructed from aluminium and glass. The keyboard feels top quality too being extremely thin and compliments the aluminium iMac perfectly. It could just do with the mouse updating to match. The glass front of the screen is a huge improvement over the previous LCD model, with returning to a glass screen it is very easy to clean. The screen is fantastic, it is top quality with superb contrast and is also perfectly clear when viewed from the side, unlike a lot of LCD flatscreens.
You really should no look no further than this iMac. With it having an Intel processor it also allows you to run Windows either in its own window or full screen, which gives PC users no excuse not to migrate to a Mac right now. The iMac is also extremely quiet. It is remarkably slim and makes a great fashion item in any home or office.
What a pleasure to open the box, plug it in and be up and running within minutes. Leaves the Windows experience for dead! The bundled iLife software is very good and adding iWork '08 Family Pack completes the package. This can read and write MS Office files and the ability to preview (quick look) files in Mail without opening the application is very convenient. Great sound from inbuilt speakers, and standard output to hifi makes this a great entertainment machine. You need to buy a £15 apple cable to output video to TV. Well worth it for watching BBC iPlayer or Youtube videos. AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac is well worth it too, giving 3 years on site warranty, even if you leave the country!
I am writing this review with one aim in mind-to reach out to anyone contemplating leaving the world of windows for a mac.I took the plunge with this model a year ago-any regrets? only one-why didnt I cross over years ago.Everything those mac users with superior looks said is true, and more than you can imagine..it works.its better.I will NEVER use a windows machine again.virus's? what are they? crashing hard drives?nope.lotsa fun?-you bet. ok, its not cheap but if you're over 30 you'll know that you only get what you pay for..Believe me, it'll be the best grand you ever spent I assure you.I have converted 4 of my friends so far and they all feel the same way.Thinking of changing? do it-you'll only have one regret...
have been using PC's since the year dot...... from windows 3.?? upto Windows Vista (yuck)
we bought the 24" intel imac and we have been blown away... stylish, quiet, RELIABLE, NO CRASHES, great software & easy to learn.
if you are in any doubt about making the plunge (or step) to mac it realy is simple, you can even run windows from a partition on the imacs hard drive, i ran the 'boot camp' application to allow windows to run on the mac and within 12 hours the partition was deleted as it was not needed as apple software downloads on the net (some free) are perfect.
we shall never return to a PC with windows on it not worth the hassle, be scared Microsoft, be very scared apple is after you....
I've been using the 24" iMac for professional webdesign and it's amazingly fast. Running OSX is a thing of beauty, but being able to run Window XP AND Vista at the same time all on the one machine (using Fusion) makes webdesign a doddle (I've added a bit more RAM than the standard).
Microsoft Office (for Mac), Adobe Creative Suite, and a host of Mac specific apps all run at the same time without any loss of speed (I've even got web radio playing in my ear at the same time as writing this, along with having about a dozen other apps running).
The mouse and keyboard are also a joy to use (the Mighty Mouse has 4 buttons and a scroll wheel - but you might need to read up on how to use them all, as the mouse looks like it has no buttons at all).
The screen is bright and although I was worried about it being glossy, it's not been an issue at all in a well lit office.
No virus software (on the Mac OSX partition - XP/Vista have their own virus software running), as there are no real viruses (it'd be easier to delete you hard drive manually than to install a virus at the moment for OSX).
It's running happily on a PC controlled network as well - folders are happily shared, iTunes libraries can be heard from any machine, and the printer just showed up as soon as it was installed on the network.
Not the fastest I've ever used so don't buy if you're a PC games freak; but for everything else it's totally elegant, great iLife software is included, and some brilliant advanced titles like Photoshop & Toast are available if you want to do more. Brilliant design, looks great, compact, great screen for photo editors. If you think you'll miss Windows for any reason, using Boot Camp can resolve that issue (I need to use a few apps and also run Vista when I need it, which is less and less).....would like a much bigger hard drive, but otherwise for me at least this is the perfect machine.
As a film/art student I have generally 3 programs running (After effects, Final Cut, Photoshop) as well as MSN, Web Browser and itunes etc and you wouldn't realize it's so smooth and fast not freezing or stalling as my old window machine used too.
Te actual machine looks gorgeous and I'm sure wont date so awfully as earlier, more tacky, models have. One thing I will note is the price, yes it's expensive but I believe is worth it and if your a student go on the apple site and see if your University is listed you can get a 1/3 off, defiantly not something to sniff at.