I was curious to see how hot the i3 processor would get inside that slimline frame, but although the vent on the upper rear panel did get quite warm during tests, it never became as worryingly hot as the Core 2 Duo iMac in my office. It’s quiet too, with the only noticeable noise being the occasional whirring of the side-mounted optical drive.
Performance penalty: even an entry-level desktop Mac is a pricey prospect
If you’re feeling flush then another £250 will allow you to increase the processor speed to 3.2GHz, and get you a 1TB hard disk and a Radeon HD5670 graphics card as well. The screen stays at 21.5in, though. So if you want to step up to the luxurious 27in model with its higher-than-HD 2560 x 1440 resolution, then you’ll have to cough up £1399.
At the top-of-the-range there’s the 27in model that costs £1649 with a 2.8GHz Core i5 processor, and which can be further customized with a 2.93GHz Core i7 processor to bring the total up to £1809. You could certainly spec yourself a cheaper system using a conventional tower PC with a separate monitor, but the iMac’s £999 price tag isn’t that bad when compared to rival all-in-one models, such as Sony's Vaio L13, even if it does lack a touchscreen.
The weakness in the iMac range really lies in the models that aren’t available – I still miss the discontinued 24in model, while the lack of a more affordable machine in the £700-£800 range seems to suggest that Apple is simply turning its nose up at anyone that can’t afford its designer label pricing – and, no, I’m not forgetting the Mac Mini. Many people simply won’t need such a powerful machine – and many more won’t be able to afford it either – but at least the new iMac provides performance to match its good looks at last. ®
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Apple iMac 21.5in 2010
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.