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Selasa, 16 Februari 2010

Size does matter

Jakarta   |  Mon, 02/08/2010 12:26 PM  |  Sci-Tech iMac 27"iMac 27"
I learned one important lesson as I read the comments on my articles in The Jakarta Post. Each time I write a review of any product from Apple, I have to be extra careful.

No matter how objective I try to be, there is always someone out there who will disagree with me. The fact that I am not a regular Mac user is no excuse for the oversights I make, of course.

No doubt about it, there is a group of Mac lovers who certainly know more about the products than me. Often they are always so deeply in love with a Mac product they will defend the newly “magical and revolutionary” device despite much disappointment voiced by users and non-users alike.

Nevertheless, comments from JP readers have taught me to look beyond Mac products’ sleek designs. And, like most of them, I also love iMacs and MacBooks (both Pro and Air).

Recently, I was given the opportunity to trial an iMac 27. It was an offer I simply could not refuse.
Too bad the unit was only in my home for one week.

I decided to return it long before my allotted time was finished, as I had to leave for Singapore for a rather urgent medical procedure.

Of course, one week is not enough to explore and find faults to this gorgeous, all-in-one computer. Still, this computer sat on a desk in my home and impressed my guests.

So, for those of you who have not seen it yet, here is the lowdown on the iMac 27.

Like previous iMacs, this one has the CPU in the rear of the monitor. There is unquestionably ample space for the system, as the monitor is 27 inches wide — as well as LED backlit. The generous screen area easily allows us to open two Safari windows side by side without forcing us to squint as we read the text.

The display on my demo unit was pretty stable, unlike many others in the online community who complained about flickering for me and brightness.

There was no flickering and the brightness was uniform from edge to edge. Well, a certain degree of imperfection in a new product is acceptable as long as the manufacturer addresses customer complaints.

The good news is that Apple is working to fix this problem.

The iMac 27 has a screen resolution of 2560 x 1440, which is more than HD video requires.

To give you some perspective, I still use an 18-inch Eizo with a resolution of 1024 x 768 — less than half the number of pixels offered by the Mac 27, to write my articles and surf the web.

But the iMac’s large screen is not its only strong point. The models available here run on Intel Core 2 Duo 9400, one of Intel’s most powerful Core 2 Duo processors, with a speed of 3.06 GHz.
iMac 27"iMac 27"
If you want to upgrade your iMac 27, you can order one configured with Quad Core, Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

But unless you are a video editor, there is not much point in splashing out on those extras.

To handle graphics, this large iMac also incorporates ATI Radeon HD 4670 or HD 4850. A proprietary technology called in-plane switching helps increase the viewing angle.

What else is interesting? Like most Mac products lately, the chassis is wrapped with smooth alumi-nium. The entire screen is also covered with glass, giving it that funky edge. The keyboard has no separate numeric keypad and it is much narrower that the previous iMac I played around with.

Apple throws in a Magic Mouse into the shipping box. I like the idea of not having to push the mouse around to steer its pointer across the screen.

A week was not enough to learn how to use it, including switching on the right button. Both the keyboard and Magic Mouse are wireless, so there is no cable clutter.

Want to put all your video data on the memory for faster editing? You can increase the standard 4 GB memory to 16 GB.

As for connectivity, it has 802.11/n Airport Extreme, Bluetooth 2.1+ Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), FireWire 800 and a port of Gigabit Ethernet.

To connect to your external storage device, it now has a slot for a SD card, a Mini Display port and four USB ports. Like the other late iMac models, it also comes with Snow Leopard and all the standard Mac applications.

If you have been reading my articles, you will notice that I have always felt uncomfortable with the slot-type optical disc drive (ODD). Unfortunately, this is just what the iMac 27 has. In fact, it seems to have become the standard for both desktop and notebook computers.

By the way, when Apple launched its iMac 27 last October, it also introduced a smaller sibling, the iMac 21.5. If you ask me, the smaller iMac feels more manageable as it takes up less space.

The processors are the same as the ones inside its bigger brother, but the graphics are handled by NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or ATI Radeon HD 4670. The resolution of the little brother is 1920 x 1080, just right for HD videos.

Whether the price — ranging from Rp 13 million minus one thousand for the iMac 21.5 to Rp 17,999,000 for the 27-inch model are reasonable, is debatable. We have been reminded that for much less money we can get a decent all-in-one Windows machine with Blu-ray.

However, we also have to admit that for now, the iMac 27 is the largest all-in-one desktop computer available on the market and it is also a powerful computer.

Except for its flickering screen, the iMac 27 is another one of Apple’s product that is a pleasure to use.

But, if you are set to treat yourself with an iMac 27, make sure that it has the latest firmware.

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