Yet one of the most irritating aspects is Mac OS X Mountain Lion’s compulsion to access to your Contacts for just about every application that’s installed. As I was setting up the machine for a friend, I spent a lot of time being hassled to grant permission when I just wanted to be able to say no to all. Apparently, this is an improvement on earlier OS X versions which would allow apps Contacts access regardless. So now you can choose which apps have permission and can tweak this in the Security and Privacy control panel. In a somewhat frustrating way, this appears to be progress.
Geekbench 2.0 Results
Longer bars are better
Tests with Geekbench reveal this entry level iMac sits between the Mac Mini and the MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display. No doubt the SSD keeps the MacBook Pro in the lead, along with its superior Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU. It has been argued that Apple’s choice of the GT 640M on the new iMac is one way of tackling power consumption issues which would also reduce the heat it produces. Still, it’s passable for gaming and you can even attach a 30in, 2560 x 1600 screen to it.
Having become accustomed to have an SSD installed in my own ageing MacBook Pro 17, I’d say this is where the new iMac suffers. Its quad-core CPU may well be a thoroughly decent number cruncher, but that HDD introduces a measure of lag that, from an everyday user perspective, shows itself compared to an SSD-equipped machine.
Even repairing a handful of permissions on an HDD takes an age compared with SSD models
Even checking the drive's Disk Permissions had the iMac mulling over a handful of tasks for around three minutes, when an SSD model would have completed in seconds. This does make the case for the Fusion option and, given the design of this new model, you may want to think long and hard about the storage choices you opt for.
Memory ditto since, as I say, this is not a box you can get into without first removing the display, a process that involves softening screen adhesive with a heat gun. Apple clearly doesn't want anyone messing with this thing's innards once the machine has left the factory. I hope it's reliable, or Apple is going to take a big hit on repair costs. I see no reason at all why it doesn't simply hang the back of the iMac on a couple of latches.
Two mics to accommodate noise cancellation during FaceTime or Dictation sessions
As a seasoned Mac user, it’s easy to overlook features that have been introduced recently that are unique to the platform. This review model replaced an older iMac that had been stolen from a family home. Its light weight and looks aside, the new owner loved the Magic mouse with its gestures and was relieved to see all her iTunes purchase restored.
There’s FaceTime too, and having a chat on my iPhone 4S over a 3G network was surprisingly good, with the audio from the iMac’s dual mics sounding loud and clear with perfectly acceptable video coming through too. Dictation – Mountain Lion's speech-to-text feature – was also an instant hit, being surprisingly adept even with more esoteric words and phrases.
The first iMac G4 flat panel (right) is 11 years old and, due in no small part to it being upgradeable, this one is still going strong
The Reg Verdict
In some respects, the new iMac is too clever by half. When working on it, you’ll never know how slim it is, but it does impact in other ways, as it’s incredibly light to move around. Apple has been listening too, as the screen really is less reflective by an impressive margin. It even manages to pump out a decent sound while remaining deathly quiet in operation.
The only real issue is the way the HDD storage impedes performance. It's just not as snappy as it could be, and swapping out the hard drive for an SSD is, at best, bloody difficult, at worst impossible. Indeed, if you’re looking for a growth industry in 2013, I’d look to heat guns and don’t be surprised to see hair dressing salons offering Genius Bar repair services. They could even wash your keyboard while you wait. ®
Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012
As soon as I saw I couldn't upgrade the memory I lost any interest I had. I've upgraded the memory in every machine I've owned because it's normally simple, relatively cheap and gives you a decent boost in performance a year or two down the road. To be fair, I've never sat in front of my computer and thought, "if only someone would make this even thinner".
Promise me as much as you like...
...after 18 months use my power cable still remains firmly in place.
Re: What is it with number pads?
er... maybe some people have different requirements to you?
Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY
Just push the connector in firmly, then run some hot-melt glue around the edges. It's the Apple way. :)
When are they going to stop?
When the thing is like a giant razor blade?
Making it this thin is stupid - it's much thicker in the middle anyway, surely it'd be a more attractive design if it was uniformly thick.
Also, the fact they've made it so thin they couldn't fit a DVD writer in is a fine example of form over function.
Although I think it goes back being about form and comes back to bad design, pure and simple.
If anyone thinks "oh nobody uses optical media, just a get a USB drive if you need it" is completely missing the point. This is a tiny, maybe £10 part that clearly IS useful to a lot of people, and looks like crap cluttering up the desk instead of being integrated into the machine. Also, the position you have it in the picture on the stand means you'll have to move the keyboard out of the way every time you want to deal with the disc drive.
Absolute nonsense from the "style" brigade.
I have an iMac here that's barely a few months old, has a dead DVD drive (from day one, I believe), but their support is so bloody awful that I would need to physically take it to a reseller's store, and come back in a week or so to pick it up. I've never heard of such bad support in >10 years of working in IT, really.