The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 08 August 2007]

iMac (Mid 2007) first impressions

Nic buys a 24" iMac and tells you about it.

The old Mac that’s been my daughter’s computer for the last year or so finally gave up the ghost.† Which meant it was time to give her the Mini and get a new rig for myself as Aperture really brought the Mini to its knees, performance-wise.

So it was with baited breath I waited for the announcement on August 7th, and when the new iMacs were announced I started calling to harass the Apple Store where I used to toil. Yep, they had boxes; no, they didn’t know what was in them, as the iMac hadn’t been officially announced yet. Blah blah. After a while the green light came on: yes, they had iMacs. Time to sail down to Ye Olde Fruitstand.

So, long story short, I was iMaced. Got the 24“ model with an extra gig of RAM and a mini-DVI to DVI adapter to drive my existing 20” monitor.

iMac Mid 2007

The new new thing. Source: Apple.

This is not a review, per se, just some impressions after a few hours of usage:

  • If you’re used to a 20“ monitor, the 24” is huge. It dominates your desk.

  • The new keyboard looks gorgeous, but basically it’s a laptop keyboard. I’m more of a clickety-click guy and like the tactile feedback. We’ll see how it feels after a few days, but right now it’s a downgrade, if a gorgeous one. One thing that’s kind of odd about the new keyboard is the color scheme—the iMac is black on aluminum, and the keyboard is white on aluminum. You’d think they would offer a choice of black or white keys and ship the iMacs with black keys.

  • The iMac is a sprightly bugger. I’m not obsessive enough to run benchmarks on it, and lord knows the Internet will be full of those in a few days anyway, but it feels plenty fast. Aperture runs like butter.

  • What will probably be a deal-breaker for some people is the glossy monitor. Yes, it reflects like crazy. On the plus side, colors are incredibly vivid and deep. It makes the 20“ Cinema Monitor sitting next to it look washed out and dreary.

  • It’s bright. I’m running the monitor with the brightness setting at a quarter, and it’s still giving me a sunburn.

  • Like its predecessors, it’s whisper quiet. Nice.

  • Oddly enough, the iMac is missing the throbbing sleep light. Put it to sleep, and you can’t really tell it’s not powered down. Not sure what’s up with that. I miss the softly throbbing light to tell me my little friend in cyberspace is patiently waiting. We’ll see if the sadness goes away with time.

All in all, the Mid 2007 iMac revision was worth waiting for. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, but it sure seems like Apple hit another one out the park with this model.

†In typical Wind Tunnel fashion it was powered down and then refused to come back to life—pressing the power button made it light up, but no fan or hard drive spinup. Resetting the Power Management Unit did nothing.

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