Apple iMac 21.5in 2010
Review While rather overshadowed by the mighty iPhone and iPad in recent months, Apple’s iMac desktop machines are still selling well and the company has just refreshed the entire product line ahead of the Christmas spending spree.
Internal affairs: Apple's iMac range features Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPU options
The new iMac models haven’t been significantly redesigned this time around – the edge-to-edge glass panelling that was introduced in late 2009 remains the same, as do the glossy 21.5in and 27in backlit LED screens. However, the new range does finally phase out Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors altogether, adopting the newer i3 processor in the entry-level models while reserving the i5 and i7 chips for the higher end of the range.
Prices start at a fairly hefty £999 – edging up from the previous £969 – for a model equipped with an 3.06GHz Intel Core i3-540 processor. That’s the same clock speed as the Core 2 Duo in the previous model, although the i3 benefits from hyperthreading, which should improve performance when juggling multiple open applications. The other major change is the inclusion of a Radeon HD 4670 graphics card with 256MB of dedicated VRAM, rather than the integrated GeForce 9400M used in the past.
The rest of the spec sheet is essentially unchanged; 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard disk and the standard complement of four USB 2.0 ports, single Firewire 800, built-in webcam, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. The SD card slot has been tweaked to provide support for the SDXC format, allowing you to use cards up to 2TB in size.
The iLife ’09 software suite is included too. This can be bought for £71 and is definitely worth having, but surely due an update soon. As we’re nearly in 2011, this version is getting a bit long in the tooth now – and I could do with an option for creating rollover buttons in iWeb.
Apart from the upgraded SD card slot, connectivity remains the same as last year's model
The final bits in the box are the tiny, thin Apple Wireless Keyboard – which I’ve never been comfortable with – and the Magic Mouse. However, I was disappointed to see that the near-as-dammit £1000 price tag doesn’t include one of its new Magic TrackPads too – that’s a £59 optional extra.
My problem with Mac's is the repair cost outside of warranty, may as well just throw it away.
My MBP has a dodgy "superdrive", Apple wanted over £250 to repair it. The drive (which they won't sell separate) can be purchased for around £50.
Won't get fooled again.
A little while ago -- before this refresh -- a group of us tried to put together a shopping list for a machine equivalent to the 27" iMac.
It almost came out cheaper.
It's hard enough to find big IPS monitors, it's even harder to find one at a less than eye-popping price.
The conclusion we came to, then, was that if you didn't care about picture quality then you could build a machine more economically. However, once you added in a decent IPS monitor then the price difference pretty much went away and you'd be wondering why you invested all that effort when you could just go into John Lewis and carry one away.
Re: Entry Level
I know. And an entry level Aston Martin costs over 60 grand.
It's an outrage.
Then buy the drive for £50 and fit it yourself for free.You can get spare parts easy - Apple don't actually make the superdrive. Or bring it to an independent Apple service centre and get them to do it. They'll charge less than Apple. I don't see how this is any different to getting an out of warranty repair for a Sony or Dell or anyone else.
Nice bit of kit
I'm not sure that price is an issue here. You can either afford it, or you can't.
There's no doubt that it's a superb machine; the quality of the display is stupendous. But if you're on a budget, look elsewhere.