Friday, November 20, 2009

The Quest For The Best The All-New Apple 27 inch iMac...

This article originally appeared on Jake's Rolex World Magazine

The Quest For The Best Series on Jake's Rolex Watch Blog seeks to find the absolute best product or service in any category, and share with you, the reader what makes the best the best.

Seek to make things simple, not simpler. –Albert Einstein

The Quest For The Best
The All-New Apple 27 inch iMac
You Need This Computer!!!!!

I pretty much live on the computer–which is by design–and I am not complaining since I really enjoy it. I have however, been frustrated my whole computing life by how slow computers performed and evolved :-((((

My dream has always been to have a computer that could keep up with me, which seems like it should have been possible, but it was simply not reality–not even close. I also noticed, the faster computers became, the faster my skills became, which made me feel like a donkey chasing a carrot on a stick.

I feel like I have been dwelling in a world where computers were designed by the same team that brought us the half-baked-at-best Ford Gremlin and Chrysler Reliant K–just a bunch of thoughtless beige cardboard garbage with plastic seat-covers.

I always felt like I should be living in the Jetson's, but I was stuck in the Flintstones. It seems as if my entire computer experience over the last 4 decades was summed up "Hurry up and wait!?!"

Friction-Free Computing

With the advent of Apple's all-new 27 inch iMac my digital-life just got much, much, much better and easier!!!! Everything is very close to instantaneous on the all-new iMac, which makes it feel like the computer actually understands me or can read my mind!!! My dream to have a friction-free computing experience has arrived and I couldn't be happier!!!

Typically a product review makes you wait until the end before it draws its conclusion, but I am going to take a different approach and begin with the conclusion:

The all-new 27 inch Apple iMac is Off-The-Richter-Scale Unbelievable!!!! Crazy, Stunningly Amazing, Over-The-Top, Beautiful, Off-the-hook, Astounding, Stupefying, Breathtaking, Awesome, Spectacular, Phenomenal, Extraordinary, Jaw-Dropping, Wondrous, Pure, Incredible, Delicious!!!!!!!!

Run out and buy one!!!!!!!! I am just completely blown-away with this Magnificent Masterpiece of Design which is an astonishingly fast piece of Industrial Art!!!!!!!!

The Future Has Arrived

A few weeks ago Apple surprised or should I say "stunned" everybody when they introduced an All-New line of their all-in-one-design desktop computers named iMac and this review covers the stunningly magnificent 27 inch iMac. I purchased one of these beauties over a week ago and have been testing it and I want to share my findings with you!!!

I sincerely believe, future generations, many years from now will look back at the introduction of this bold machine as a seminal event in computer history, where the computing dividend first paid-off.

In other words, 10 years from now, I believe we will look back and wonder how we ever lived with all the janky, junky, jokey-jokey desktop computers that came before the 27 inch iMac. I can literally see how in the future desktop computing will be measured in terms of before and after the 27incher–No Joke!!!

Not only is this the absolute best computer ever made–by a long shot–but it basically makes every desktop computer on earth obsolete!!! I realize I just made a bold declarative statement and I intend to back it up with this article.

Somebody once said "God gave us eyes so we could appreciate beauty" which is perfectly on-point for the all-new 27 inch iMac!!!!!!!!!

As you see in the above photo of the 27 inch iMac it comes with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and built-in 802.11n Wifi.

Not only is it the best performing computer, but it looks like a million bucks. I intentionally put the photo of the all-new Ferrari on the screen because that is essentially what you get when you purchase the new 27 inch iMac!!! The supreme irony with this magnificent machine is that it is extremely inexpensive for what you get.

The unbelievable new 27 inch iMac only cost $1699 and you can purchase it directly from Amazon for $1699 delivered to your doorstep by scrolling to the end of this review. This amazing price includes free shipping and Amazon does not charge sales tax.

Beauty That's A Beast!!!

As you see in the photo below the whole computer is in the screen. That's right...I said the entire computer, including the hard drive, RAM and dual Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz processor is located inside the screen case. Even the power supply is located inside the computer, so you just simply plug it in the wall and you're pretty much done.

This ultra-simple transportable design also makes it very easy to move it around your home or office. There is no reason why you couldn't sit in a comfortable chair in your den and write a book on it, and they move it to your bedroom to watch a movie or TV shows in bed.

The all-in-one design is remarkable because it not only looks like a work-of-art, but you don't have to have some stupid, ugly, noisy tower that sits on the floor or even worse, on your desktop.

Speaking of noisy computers...the all-new iMac is unbelievably quiet and has built in high-quality stereo speakers that are hidden on the bottom of the machine. It also has a super-high-resolution glossy glass screen that make all graphics look yummy and much more alive and 3Dimensional!!!!!!!

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. –Leonardo da Vinci

We also see in the photo above that the DVD burner and SD card slot are located on the right side of the new iMac. The wireless Bluetooth keyboard and all-new Apple Magic Mouse come stock with it. That's right, for $1699 the all new 27 inch iMac comes standard with the cordless keyboard and mouse which cost $120 if purchased separately. If you think about it, that means the computer and screen only cost $1580.

The Power Of Simplicity

Before we examine more details on what makes this the best computer ever made lets look at the breathtaking screen. As you can see in the photo above and below, the screen is real glass and the seamless black frame goes to the edge. This gives the 27 iMac a super-clean, simple vibe that is extremely elegant at the same time!!!!

The screen on this beast is a whopping 27 inches diagonally and in many ways the all new iMac's design language makes it appear like a huge iPhone. The screen has a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels which allows you to view two full-size application windows side-by-side with zero overlap.

What is so important about being able to see two full-size application windows side by side? We human beings reason by analogy. We constantly compare one frame of reference to another and on the new 27 iMac this is easy. As you can see in the photo above we are seeing two full width 1245 Pixel web-browser windows side by side with zero overlap–Just like a full-sized glossy magazine!!!!

There have been many times when I have spoken with somebody on the phone and they are looking at Jake's Rolex Watch Blog and they ask why the main 800 pixel-wide images are cut-off on their screen? Obviously it is because their screen is too small.

I will share a story with you about a conversation I had on this subject with an old man who will go unmentioned. We were talking on the phone and he was on Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. He asked me why the photos were cut-off and he could see just more than half of the width? After about 15 frustrating minutes with me trying to troubleshoot with him to overcome the challenge we concluded that he was on a 15 inch LCD!?!?

I told him his archaic 15 inch LCD was not displaying the web the way it was meant to be seen. He got really flustered with me and asked why he could not see the whole pictures on his computer? I asked him how long ago he bought his computer and he responded that he had only had it 4-5 years. I recommended he get a new iMac to make his life simple and he said he refused to waste money on a new computer when he had a perfectly good computer.

The challenge is that computer years are very much like dog years. His computer is more like a driving around in a 35 year-old Chrysler Reliant K. I don't mean to appear arrogant, but that is the stone-cold reality. Computers and the web have evolved so much in the last 4-5 years it is truly amazing, and thus it makes sense to invest in a computer that will allow you to completely enjoy yourself and see the web the way it looks best.

Timeless–Future Proof Design

No computer is future-proof per se and that is probably a good thing. I actually prefer my computer to become obsolete as soon as possible because that means that whatever replaces it will be that much better!!! The interesting thing with this all-new iMac is that I argue that it is the most future proof computer ever offered for sale.

With the advent of this all-new 27 inch iMac, I argue computer hardware has hit a crescendo, where for the first time in computer history the hardware is so much faster than what the software requires, that if you invest in this beautiful machine, you will enjoy it for many years to come. In 4-5 years I believe it will still look great and perform well.

Unbelievable Design & Specifications

Let's take a close look under the hood and examine what makes this all-new 27 inch Apple iMac so unusual and powerful.

First is the LED backlit LCD screen technology that Apple incorporated into the machine. LCD screens have historically been backlit with Fluorescent lights that require time to warm up. LED backlights are not only instantly at their brightest, but they are much more energy-efficient and thus consume far less electricity.

LED's also produce a cleaner, whiter light and last much, much, much longer without losing any light power whereas fluorescent backlighting dims and typically yellows with age. LED's also produce very little if any heat.

When Apple originally designed the iPhone, they invested $60 Million in just mechanical and electrical engineering to force the ultimate form-factor into existance. They did so because they realized how important it was to achieve the perfect small, skinny form-factor that had multiple invisible antennas inside; including a Bluetooth antenna, a Wifi antenna as well as a cellular antenna.

With the all new 27 inch iMac Apple once again stepped up and did the same thing, and this time they custom-fabricated their own custom-made LCD panel. This panel uses a state-of-the-art LCD screen technology named In-Plane-Swtiching (IPS) which creates a super-clear, tack-sharp image with excellent off-angle viewing coupled with a wider-color gamut, meaning more visible colors on the screen.

This custom LCD panel also has many unique characteristics. To begin with, it has the highest Pixel Per Inch (PPI) count of any monitor Apple has ever made. The screen also has a 16:9 aspect ratio which is also a first for Apple.

A 16:9 Aspect Ratio refers to the ratio between the Width (16) and the Height (9). Standard, old-fashioned TV's have an aspect ratio of 3:4 (meaning 3 High by 4 Wide) and most wide-screen computer monitors are 16:10 which means that if you watch a standard High-Defenition (HD) movie you would get black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, but this is not the case with the all-new 16:9 Aspect Ratio iMac!!!

Convergence Achieved

This is of significant consideration because I recall 10 years ago there was a big debate about whether we would see Computer-On-A-TV or TV-On-A-Computer?

The obvious answer is TV-On-A-Computer won out, and now we have a screen on a Mac that is the same aspect ratio as a Plasma or LCD TV. What does this all mean? You can now use your iMac for watching widescreen 16:9 movies or widescreen TV shows and they will both take up the whole screen.

Also, many of the new state-of-the-art point-and-shoot-digital cameras can shoot photos that are 16:9 so everything is uniform and looks great on this Apple masterpiece.

As we see, on the back of the machine (pictured below) the all-new 27 iMac has a vent on top of the all-aluminum case-back with the exception of the Apple logo which is high-end plastic that has the Wifi and Bluetooth antennas behind it to achieve superb reception. The 27 inch iMac is also VESA mountable which means you can remove the existing stand and wall mount it.
The all-new iMac has all its connection ports and power button on the back. As we see in the image below (from left to right) we see
  • Audio Out (Digital Toslink & Analog)
  • Audio In (Digital Toslink & Analog)
  • 4 USB 2.0 Ports
  • Firewire 800 Port
  • Mini-Display Port (for hooking-up an additional monitor if you wish)
  • Gigabit Ethernet Port
There is also a Kensington compatible security slot which would stop anybody from walking away with your computer in an office, gym or trade-show environment.

In the photo below we see a side-profile shot of the all-new iMac and it is hard to believe that the machine has a world-class professional workstation-class computer inside the screen enclosure, but it does. It comes standard with a 1 Terrabyte hard drive that spins at 7200 RPM–so it is really Fast!!!!!!!

It is hard to see, which is by design, but the all-new iMac also has an iSight video camera (pictured below: located top in the middle) which allows you to video conference over iChat or Skype for free with up to 3 other people in the world so long as they have an internet connection.

Is A Mac Really Better Than A PC?

In a word, Yes!!!!!!! When I was 16 years old, more than 25 years ago, I bought the first Apple Mac the first day it was available (January 24, 1984). I actually cut fifth-period and went to the Compuland in Mill Valley in Marin County, California and waited for the UPS man to show up!!! Pictured below is the original brochure for the first Mac I purchased:

Original 1984 Apple Macintosh 128Kb Brochure

It is fascinating to note the all-in-one design of 27 iMac is almost identical to the original Mac from 1984 even though the 27 looks a million times better. You've come a long way baby!!!

That same years I also purchased my first Rolex which was a stainless steel Submariner. (By the way the new iMac perfectly matches a Submariner ;-)

Here is the original 1984 won't be like 1984 Apple Commercial:

I actually took my first computer lab class when I was 11 years old and I have been using computers for more than 3 decades.

Even Bill Gates will tell you the Mac is better than any other computer:

So what makes the Mac so much better than a PC? A zillion things. I will enumerate what I consider to be the most compelling reasons:

  1. System Integration: Apple designs and manufactures all their own hardware as well as writing their Snow Leopard Operating System (OS X). This results in much more predictable and reliable behavior.
  2. Free World-Class Software: All apple computers including the all-new 27 inch iMac come with the iLife suite of world-class, easy to learn software which includes iPhoto for managing your digital photos; iMovie, for editing your video and Garage Band for editing sound recordings. As a matter of fact, I edit Jake's Rolex Watch Blog Podcasts in Garage Band.
  3. Apple Stores: If you ever have any challenges with your Apple computer you can take it to any Apple store to the Genius Bar and they will fix it for you or answer any questions you have. If you have ever had a challenge with a DELL computer, you know what a nightmare it can be to get it fixed.
  4. Zero Viruses: There are over 120,000 PC viruses that can also make your life a nightmare. To add insult to injury, you have to pay a third-party $40 a year to help protect your computer from viruses. This would be like having to pay a bodyguard to protect you from your husband or wife, which is absurd. The Apple Macs have ZERO Viruses. So not only do you not have to waste $40 per years, but you can't get a virus because they simply don't exist.
  5. One-On-One Training: If you invest in an Apple and you want to learn how to use any piece of software, you can sign up for a program that allows you go to any Apple store in the world and take a 1 hour class up to once a week and it only costs $100 per year!!! The will teach you anything and it is a very, very impressive program and value. If you currently own a PC and you want to transfer all your data over to the Mac, they include this service for free if you sign-up for the One-On-One service.
  6. Ease Of Use: Widows Vista was such a nightmare to upgrade to from Windows XP, that many people and businesses stuck with XP. Microsoft just came out with Windows 7 which is much better than XP or Vista, but in many ways it is a copy of the Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
  7. It Just Works: Macs are not perfect by any means but everything works well together in symphony.
  8. Zero Demoware: Macs don't come with unnecessary crapware and demoware installed.
  9. People: Mac users are typically like people who wear Rolex watches. They are passionate, friendly, curious and enjoy helping each other.
  10. Plug & Play Predictability: On a Mac you plug and play, there is no Plug & Prey like on a PC with goofy drivers for everything. USB drives and SD cards plug in and do what you expect them to.
  11. Simplicity: If you wanted to upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard you had one choice and it was $29. Windows 7 comes in 9 different versions which range from $119 to $320. Microsoft Windows 7 comes in Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Home Premium Upgrade, Professional, Professional Upgrade, Windows Enterprise, Windows Ultimate & Ultimate Upgrade. This is completely absurd!!!
I could go on forever talking about how in my opinion, Mac is so much better than a PC, but guess what the best PC is? That's right, the 27 inch iMac!!!! If you want, you can purchase a 27 inch Mac and load Windows 7 on it and run it under Boot Camp as a full blown PC. This way, your PC will match your really cool iPhone ;-)

Another option, if you are crazy like me, you can run Windows side by side on the Mac using a program like Parallels 5 or VMWare Fusion 3 which allows you to run a PC side by side on your Mac simultaneously. You can also configure Parallels or VMWare so PC applications appear to run as Mac applications.

So if the Mac is so much better than the PC then why would you want to run a program that would allow you to run PC applications on your Apple Mac?

There are many reasons. For instance, Quickbooks, for some bizzare reason, has a different user interface for their Mac version and most accountants and CPA's would prefer you use the PC version. Also, if there is an application or two written for the PC you want or need to run for you business, you can on a Mac.


The all-new Apple 27 inch iMac is a complete game-changer. It comes in 3 versions with the least expensive version being $1699 which is the one I recommend for 99+% of the population. I wrote this review on the new $1699 27inch Mac which I have had for a week and I can say it completely boggles my mind!!!! Did I mention it is FAAAASSTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can imagine, I spend at least 8 hours a day in front of the computer writing and researching stories for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog as well as all the graphics and html.

I basically live on the computer and the new iMac is so fast and everything is fluid, friction-free and almost instantaneous. I literally can't believe how fast it is and I certainly wonder how I ever lived without it!?!?!?

On all the computers I have ever owned, even surfing the web was a pain and always kind of slow, but with the new 27 iMac almost everything is instantaneous!!! Don't forget that if you have a lightning fast internet connection with a slow computer, you go slow. If you have a lightning fast computer like the 27 inch iMac and a so, so connection, it will still be very fast.

The all-new 27 iMac is the new ideal and the way a desktop computer should be!!!! That is really the point I wish to pass along to you...the new iMac is the way computers should have always been.

Superb Value with Rocket Performance!!!!!

How great of a value is the all-new 27 inch iMac? I can tell you that if Apple introduced it for twice the amount of money, I would still have gladly purchased it–seriously–and been equally ecstatic.

Why is Apple making such a powerful and great looking machine so inexpensively? Probably because they want to achieve the same ubiquity they have with the iPhone.

Apple also came out with an all-new 21.5 inch iMac that is also available (link below on left) but I don't recommend it because you can only comfortably view one window at a time without significant overlapping. I would only recommend the 21.5 for people who have limited eyesight and need to zoom everything way up on the screen.

As I mentioned, I recommend you save your money and purchase the least expensive all-new 27 inch iMac which you can have delivered to your doorstep for $1694.

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