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The ultimate all-in-one. Turbocharged. The new iMac is the ultimate all-in-one computer. Its Intel Core i5 processor feature an advanced architecture and set new benchmarks for iMac performance. And fast discrete graphics processors now come standard in every iMac. The 27-inch widescreen displays is perfect for HD video, and the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse keep your desktop tidy.
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This machine was purchased to replace an aging 2004 vintage 24" white Intel iMAC that was beginning to have some video display problems after 6 years of continuous operation. That machine and now this new 27" iMAC are used to run our official National Weather Service weather station hardware and OSX native weather software. In addition to our main weather software application, this machine also runs a LIVE webcam and server, crunches huge climate prediction data packages for "climateprediction.net", also runs web editing software, Photoshop and the usual email client and web browser. All opened and being used simultaneously. A computer being used for weather station operations needs to be up and running 24/7/365 and have the reliability and power to handle all of these various duties unattended without crashing or requiring human intervention. Our previous iMAC pulled this off without a single problem for nearly 6 years without turning it off or putting it to sleep, so when the time came to replace it with a new machine, there was only one brand and model we would even consider. You guessed it! Another Apple iMAC! ;o)
Since other reviews here have gone into all the various details of this machine's long list of features and performance, we are not going to bother recapping all of that. Considering the level of cutting edge power, performance and features you get out of this model for the price, in our opinion there is not another personal computer on the market that even comes close to matching this product's overall value. For our specific application, a Windows PC just doesn't provide this level of quality and reliability to basically be left alone to run continuously for literally years at a time without any significant maintenance requirements or uptime issues. Believe it or not, ANY Apple Macintosh running OSX has absolutely no problem pulling this off right out of the box! It is no wonder that many famous scientific organizations such as NASA and JPL employ Macs any time they need a computer to run unattended for extended periods of time without shutting it down.
So far, our new 27" Quad Core i5 iMAC has been up and running like a top since the day it arrived! All of our various weather data software applications have never run so fast and so smoothly as they do on this impressively FAST machine! We have had as many as 15 separate applications up and running on this machine at the same time without any noticeable slowdown or performance hits.
WHY WE DIDN'T GIVE IT 5-STARS...
Our only complaints about this particular model is the high gloss screen that Apple began using a few years ago on all iMAC models. Our previous iMAC used the traditional "Matte" screen which was much, much better at eliminating distracting reflections from lights and objects placed behind and to the right and left of where the user is sitting at the screen. We frankly can't understand why Apple would replace something that worked so well, with something that literally is so highly reflective that you can actually watch TV from the reflection of our 52" Sony Bravia HDTV that sits on the opposite side of the room. Unlike the MacBook Pro series which gives new buyers the option to purchase the superior color accuracy and low reflection finish of a Matte screen, the iMAC series is still only offered with this high gloss glass cover over the display.
The other issue with the 27" display is that it runs at a very high 2560x1440 resolution that while great for watching HD movies on, makes everything on the desktop VERY small and often times very hard to read. Most applications provide a way to increase font sizes and such to make text more readable, but the current 10.6.4 version of OSX still does not allow the user to increase the font sizes of the user interface items themselves. This means that pull-down menus, System Preferences and all other system specific sections are VERY small on this screen and often times very hard to read. If Apple eventually provides the long requested "Resolution Independence" capability to the next major release of OSX, then this problem can be easily corrected by increasing the size of all the OSX user interface items.
Although the screen still looks fantastically sharp and the colors vibrant, the reflection issues created by the glossy glass cover over the display surface coupled with the very high resolution which makes some day to day activities hard on the eyes, we were not able to give this product a full 5 Stars.
Still... If you are looking for a computer that can give most professional graphics servers a serious run for their money along with one of the most impressive computer/video displays on the market, you will be hard pressed to find another computer out there for under 2k that even comes close. I'm talking about either Mac or PC.
This review is coming from a 23 year old male ICU nurse, and self described technology fanatic. My house is filled wall to wall with gadgets and I keep up on my tech news with a passion. This is my 3rd apple computer, 1st desktop experience. I debated on going for the i7 vs. the i5 for quite some time. Although the tech nerd side of me was screaming for the i7 simply because I could, I decided for what I need the computer for the i5 would suffice (i.e. word, excel, power point, web browsing, music, video etc.) I am more into media consumption than creation. Why not go for the i3 you ask? Well, as my biology professor said upon buying his iMac, it is to weather the computer future as gracefully as possible. You should never buy the dirt cheap model (although I imagine 1699 isn't exactly dirt cheap to most), but rather decide what you really need a computer for and maybe go one above that to help it stay relevant as technology continues it's breakneck pace (darn you Moore!). Anyway, the computer itself is terribly fast, there is no real lag between clicking and doing on this machine. Video playback is smooth and looks wonderful on the huge 27 inch screen which is really the selling point on this computer. The resolution is quite astounding and makes my samsung 55 inch 1080p seem drab in comparison. The speakers are about as good as to be expected in an all-in-one device (seriously, if you are looking for extreme base in this kind of set up, you are fooling yourself). The computer does seem to run a touch hot on top, but only when really putting those quad cores to use. While I haven't done much gaming, I have read great reviews on it's ability to run all the steam stuff available. What makes this thing really nice though, is the fact that the entire computer is powered by a single power cable. Sitting on my desk you see a huge, crisp, beautiful 27 inch display with wireless mouse and keyboard, and a single cable. That is really a site to behold compared to my desktop PC which has wires for speakers, monitors, keyboard, modem, wi-fi, etc. Overall, this is a truly fantastic machine that will please most in my opinion.