Macintosh buying guide 2010

By Roman Loyola, Macworld |  Hardware, Mac Pro, MacBook

Read our complete review of the Mac mini

iMac

Apple's all-in-one computer was updated in July with new processors and graphics chips. The iMacs are available with widescreen 16:9 displays at 21.5 and 27 inches.

The iMac comes with Apple's Wireless Keyboard and the Magic Mouse, but if you order online from the Apple Store, you can switch the keyboard to a wired version with a numeric keypad and switch the mouse to an Apple Mouse, both for no extra fee. You can also add Apple's new Magic Trackpad for $69.

All iMacs come standard with 4GB of RAM, a SuperDrive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an iSight camera, four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, an SD Card slot, and built-in speakers.

Configurations: There are two 21.5-inch iMacs. The first 21.5-inch iMac has a 3.06GHz Core i3 processor, a 500GB hard drive, and a 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card for $1199. (Get best current price.) The second 21.5-inch iMac has a 3.2GHz Core i3 processor, a 1TB hard drive, and a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics card for $1499. (Get best current price.)

There are two 27-inch iMacs. The 27-inch with a 3.2GHz Core i3 processor has a 1TB hard drive and a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics card for $1699. (Get best current price.) Then there's a 27-inch iMac with a quad-core 2.8GHz Core i5 processor, a 1TB hard drive, and a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics card. It costs $1999. (Get best current price.)

Performance: Our benchmarks show that the three new iMacs with the Core i3 processors are very close in performance. The speed difference between the three Core i3 iMacs and the 27-inch quad-core 2.8GHz Core i5 iMac is significant, however. In fact, the Core i5 iMac isn't that far behind the entry-level Mac Pro in terms of performance.

Macworld's buying advice: Since their performance is similar, choosing between the two 21.5-inch iMacs comes down to the hard-drive capacity. The 27-inch quad-core 2.8GHz Core i5 iMac is obviously the one to get if speed is your top concern. In all, the iMac continues to be an attractive all-in-one computer for the family, home offices, and business. If you're looking for a new Mac or you're thinking about upgrading a desktop Mac that's at least a couple of years old, you'll be satisfied with the features and performance.


Originally published on Macworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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