I’m a fanboy. Of Apple. But that’s okay! I’m no less qualified to make an unbiased review of the amazingly awesome and uber sexy new iMacs just released last week. On pure impulse I purchased the 27″ 2.7 GHz i5 model, the most “accessible” in my opinion due to price point.
-Hold on a sec, this is a photography blog. Why are you talking about a computer?
Aha! I’ll get to that. First let me say that I was never a huge fan of the unboxing videos. It seemed perverse in some way, but let me tell you as I cut the tape on that snow-white box I wouldn’t have minded someone pointing a camera at the table to relive that moment. As is getting to be the case with Apple products, packaging is getting pretty spartan which is a good thing for me. I hate clutter. There was one box for the wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse, documentation, OS and App disks, (and Apple stickers) and the iMac itself with the power cord tucked neatly into the styrofoam. Set-up, is literally plug and play, and with my time machine backups, I was up and running in 20 minutes with all my applications from my Macbook Pro. The 7000 pictures took a bit longer to transfer (man I need some better storage). The first thing that’s noticeable is how good the screen looks. This is what everyone should be looking at be it for work or for play. Congress should pass a law that outlaws any other screen to be on the market and subsidize these babies. I’m just in awe with how crisp, bright, and representative of the intended quality of photos displayed on it. The second thing that is noticeable is that it is faster than anything I have ever worked on. With the new “Sandy Bridge” processor, it races. Opening Photoshop, Bridge, Lightroom, Photomatix, file importing, surfing, and Skypeing at once are still faster than doing just one on the 2.53 GHz i5 Mackbook Pro I own. As for Thunderbolt? It’s got potential, but until there are some peripherals that support it, it’s just two holes in the back of the display.
So, in the olden days, someone might remark in their photo zine on the architecture of their new darkroom, how the electrical was this and the bench design was that. Same thing here, except with less sawdust and this also plays Portal. I include this computer review here because if you are 1) a photographer and 2) can afford it, this will be second to camera alone in your arsenal for the level of quality it allows you to work. It supports SDXC cards for super fast imports which is great not having to wait 20 minutes for a full 8 GB card of RAW. At times it seems it is built specifically for those who work in the visual medium. Now the downside is that it is a pricey investment, but I believe it is an investment that will pay off in spades. I prefer the trackpad to the mouse (years of laptop use) but there is no option in store to opt for one or the other, so buy online if you just want a trackpad.