Viewing page 1 of 4 pages. 1 2 3 4 Next
November 20, 2006 by Devon
|Apple 24" iMac
|~US$2,000 from the Apple
Apple's integrated laptop-parts-built-into-a-screen approach to their recent
iMacs has done much to bring quiet computing to the masses. We know. We
looked at a 17" iMac last April that was one of the coolest, quietest,
most efficient computers that we've ever laid eyes on.
Time has rolled on since then, and Apple has made the inevitable iMac upgrade
to Intel's Core 2 Duo chips. They have also introduced a new 24" iMac model
that seems poised to push the iMac into the higher end. Judged only on the basis
of the hardware inside, the 24" iMac is still a midrange machine. Core
2 Duo may be cutting edge, but 1 GB of RAM is standard these days, and the 250
GB hard drive and the GeForce 7300GT are far from high end.
Then again, Apple's criteria for what constitutes "high end" are
closer to those used by the automotive industry than the tech industry. Luxury
cars are sold mostly on image, not performance, and that is exactly what
the 24" iMac is selling. A 24" screen looks impressive, no
matter what hardware is running on it. And, given how little difference there
is in user experience between a fast Core 2 Duo and a lowly Sempron, the larger
monitor may be a better investment.
Obviously, the tiny minority of users who actually have a use for a high clocked
CPU will not find their needs met by an iMac. Ditto the larger minority who
play enough games to notice the difference between a high end GeForce 8800GTX
and nVidia's entry level GeForce 7300GT. Those who equate the high end with
raw performance will probably be not be interested in an iMac.
But, given what most people use their computers for internet and e-mail,
business applications, watching movies and listening to music, occasional gaming
building a high end machine around performance doesn't make sense.
There just isn't enough difference in usability, so why not spend the money
on features that will be noticed. The iMac offers some unique and unusual features
that help create a high end feel that is easily noticed without running
benchmarks. Among them:
- A large, built-in 24" LCD screen
- A fully integrated design with no separation between the screen and the
rest of the computer
- Fewer cables to connect
- OS X and its impressive number of integrated applications
- Apple's elegant image and style
Of course, that list is missing two features that are very important to readers
of this site: Noise and power efficiency. These are the things that make a system
high end for SPCR. Is the 24" iMac high end? Our experiences with the 17"
and 20" iMacs have made us hopeful, but can the 24" model live up
to the tough standard that was set by it's smaller brothers?
Flat panel or not, a 24" screen occupies a lot of desk real estate.
|Help support this site, buy the Apple iMac Intel Core 2 Duo 24\\\" Desktop from one of our affiliate retailers!|