I couldnt help myself. My poor old eMac is getting a little past its prime now, especially with the transition to the Intel processor, so I decided with the latest version, plus the fact that at the time of release, the Aussie dollar was very strong against the US dollar, so prices fell by around $400 and specs, of course, improved. If you are contemplating an iMac purchase, don’t wait – the next incarnation will likely be more expensive, the dollar is beginning to slide again, and with the way markets are behaving at the moment, it could potentially slide a very long way.
I opted for the 20″ model… its around the same size top to bottom as the eMac 17″ screen (a couple of cm taller) but its width is fantastic. I went to the store with the full intention of buying 24″ but they hadn’t got any, I was impatient, and in any case, the 24″ just seemed too big. Now that I have the 20″ on my desk, I realise it would have been completely unsuitable for my environment. I have got the best option.
The iMac comes with Mighty Mouse, an apparently buttonless mouse. In fact it has left and right force detecting buttons, as well as a button on the top which is the scroll wheel. I’d be happy with MM if I had more space on my keyboard tray for it to roll about, but since I don’t, I’ve left it in its packaging and continue to use my Logitech trackball style mouse.
The keyboard is amazingly thin. Its more like a laptop keyboard than anything, with very low profile buttons. Its made of the same brushed aluminium as the screen surround and is quite heavy, which makes for stability in the absence of the usual size of a keyboard. There are the usual additional USB ports as well, and in this keyboard, instead of being in the back, they are at each end and form part of the riser which lifts the keyboard from horizontal. I’m finding though, that I have to look at the keys more often than I used to, to make sure I don’t misfire. I’ll get used to it very soon, I expect. Ergonomically, its fine so far.
My new iMac also comes with a 320G hard drive (No idea what I’ll do with all that space, but I guess its like water… software, downloads and documents all tend to expand to fill available space), a 2.4Ghz Intel Core2Duo CPU which, as you might imagine, flies by comparison with my 1Ghz G4. I opted to leave the RAM at 1G for now, and will boost it to the max (4G) in time, but given the expense of Apple RAM, will buy from a different source. A camera, bluetooth and WiFi are built in. I’ll keep the old dLink dongle though, one never quite knows when it might come in handy. In addition to the 2 USB ports on the keyboard, there are a few in back, as well as firewire and ethernet. There’s no modem included these days, if you need a modem you have to get an external one. That’s no issue for me. If ever I have to revert to dialup, I’ve kept my Airport Extreme Base station which has a modem built in.
Setup was a snap, I had already saved out most of my essential files to the external drive, transferring them was as easy as drag’n’drop and during the initial setup, my Billion 7404VGP was detected and connected in the time it took me to remember what my password was.
All in all I am a very happy camper. Getting exactly the right machine is nothing more than serendipity, because I would have bought the 24″ had it been available.
Pix in this have been lifted unashamedly from the Apple Website. If they get persnickety with me I’ll take them down but not until.