Friday, August 10, 2007

iMac '07

Apple released a new line of iMacs on Tuesday and ain't they pretty! Gone are the 17" models - the new ones only come with 20" or 24" screens. You also won't find a Combo drive in sight - the new design only has DVD recording Superdrives. The casing is thinner and made from a single sheet of aluminium with a glass screen - no more plastic. They've updated the keyboard with an anodised aluminium finish to complete the package.

A new iLife suite was launched with the new design and is shipping with new Macs now. I just finished watching the iLife '08 Guided Tour and I'm extremely impressed with what they've done with it. The CEO of Google is on the Apple Board of Directors and the integration of Apple software with Google services is becoming a big thing in the world of Mac. Google now make a PicasaWeb plugin for iPhoto and iMovie can upload directly to YouTube.

The entry level iMac with a very respectable 20" screen costs AU$1,698.00 and has a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1Gig of RAM, 250Gb Hard Drive, 8x Dual Layer DVD Burner (Superdrive) and a 128Mb Radeon HD 2400 XT.

The 24" iMacs start at AU$2,599.00 but look what happens when you go to customize it with maximum everything!

24" iMac with 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme CPU
1TB SATA Hard Drive (yup, thats 1000 Gigabytes)
ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256MB

It wasn't that long ago that you'd pay that for a 24" LCD monitor by itself!

I will tell you that I don't think much of Apple's keyboard or the Mighty Mouse. I don't know about this new aluminium one but the previous model Apple keyboard wasn't that great. They've cut down the si
ze of the wireless version for their new keyboard, cutting off the keypad and extra function keys to make it more portable. For a desktop computer, I can't see the point in using wireless peripherals.

The Apple Mighty Mouse, while it looks the part, only has one button. It has touch sensitive areas that detect if you are pressing on the left or right side of the mouse but only has one little micro-switch making it impossible to push left and right mouse buttons together. While this doesn't sound like a big issue and probably isn't for most people, gamers will need a real two button mouse. Doesn't really matter. Gamers are rarely going to stick with the keyboard and mouse that came with their computer, no matter what they get. I don't know anyone who bought a HP and still used the original HP keyboard and mouse.
Enter Logitech. The keyboard above is a Logitech S530 keyboard and comes with a optical cordless mouse. This is a good product. I know because I have a PC version that is identical to this one, only the colour has changed. Mine is black and silver like any brand name PC you buy now. But apart from the colour, it's identical.

So there you go. Macs are cheap, powerful, great lookin, easy to use and you can buy some good Logitech peripherals for it. And if you really have to, you can run Windows on them.

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