Few in the computer industry dare challenge Apple Computer’s ranking in the market place. It is well known that the Mac family of computers is the reigning King of all things graphics and publishing, and has been for some time. Currently, TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner iMac is sending shockwaves through the business sector because with this machine, the Macintosh is no longer just for graphics, and is challenging the standards of the traditional business desktop. For objective reviews and side by side comparison of similar products in this category, check out our business computer review site.
iMacs are powered to perform. The 21.5 inch iMac all-in-one is the base model offered by Apple. It is equipped with 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a 500GB SATA hard drive. Straight out of its packaging, this machine delivers an unexpected amount of might to the traditional business user. Leaving power options up to the individual user, each of the features above can be upgraded to a variety of advanced computing levels. The iMac is capable of running the Intel Core i7 processor.
Memory reaches its maximum capacity at 16GB. Hard drive storage can be expanded to a huge capacity of 2TB. The maximum levels of hard drive space, processor speed and memory capacity are far greater than the average business user will ever need.
The display of the 21.5 inch iMac base model is a full 1080p high definition with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The 16:9 widescreen format is ideal for viewing HD content, and with its LED backlit technology, colors are vibrant and displayed accurately. The glass front spreads from edge to edge and provides the seamless look Apple fans have come to expect.
IT decision makers are advised to use some discretion and assess the lighting of the workspaces in which the computer will be deployed. A disappointing feature of this magnificent screen is that it lacks an anti-reflective coating. In some reported instances, especially under fluorescent lights, the screen acts as a mirror and reflects its surroundings, making the completion of tasks difficult at best.
For connectivity, the iMac features Bluetooth 2.1, AirPort Extreme wireless networking (802.11n) and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The rear casing houses one FireWire 800 port and four USB 2.0 ports. An HDMI port is conspicuously absent from this otherwise well executed package.
The computer ships with a wireless keyboard and Apple’s own Multi-Touch mouse. The keyboard is a laptop style keyboard. Business users will quickly notice that Ten-Key functionality is lacking from the keyboard. Apple does not offer a wireless keyboard that retains the Ten-Key abilities. If a Ten-Key keyboard is needed, users will need to purchase an additional wired one, but otherwise it has the same form factor as the wireless keyboard. Apple touts the mouse as the world’s first multi-touch mouse. The entire surface of the mouse is equipped with a sensor that reacts to two finger commands and gestures similar to the iPod touch, iPad and iPhone. Swiping movements across the surface cause scrolling up, down, left or right.
The operating system of the iMac is Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. Everything that the office user will need for email, calendar, contacts, browsing the Internet and more, is addressed on-board. The system allows for the sharing of documents with PC users, and will work in a mixed OS environment with Windows.
No productivity software is included with the operating system. iWork, Apple’s own productivity suite is available for an additional cost. A Mac version of Microsoft Office can also be purchased. OpenOffice.org offers a free and open productivity suite for the Mac user.
The iMac comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a one-year limited warranty. To extend the warranty users may want to consider purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan.
Apple has loaded the iMac with some impressive power features. The iMac, when deployed in a thoughtful manner, could be the perfect machine for the average business user. New Mac users may experience a short learning curve when migrating from a PC. Clearly, the cost of the base machine is much higher than it is for a comparable PC, however, many are finding that the time and cost spent is well worth the effort.
Display is ideal for viewing HD Content. Colors are vibrant and displayed accurately.
Display screen lacks an anti-reflective coating. In some reported instances, especially under fluorescent lights, the screen acts as a mirror and reflects its surroundings, making the completion of tasks difficult at best.
The iMac, when deployed in a thoughtful manner, could be the perfect machine for the average business user.