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Jewish World Review
March 9, 2007
/ 19 Adar, 5767
Found: A (Very Nearly) Perfect Desktop Computer
It's only taken 25 years or thereabouts, from the moment my first
computer, a Sanyo MBC-1000, arrived, but I believe my search for the
"perfect" desktop computer is over.
The device sports a massive 24-inch LCD display, big enough to make
watching a video of the NBC-TV series "Law & Order" enjoyable. There's 2
Gigabytes of memory installed, along with a 500 Gigabyte hard disk drive,
and a drive which will read and write DVD and CD discs. The sound quality
of the built-in speakers is astonishingly good. This computer will run any
of at least three operating systems, although its native OS is plenty
suitable as is. Oh, and did I mention the built-in video camera and
microphone, which makes this computer great for video chats?
By now, savvy readers will have figured it out: this is an Intel-based
Apple iMac . The 24-inch model starts at $1999 retail, although the
additions made to my test unit boost the retail price by $799, to a total
of $2748. At that price, this mother-of-all-iMacs is a hefty unit in the
price department, but, frankly, you get what you pay for.
And what you get in this case is a sleek-looking, super-capable computer,
which does just about everything you'd want from a powerful system, and
does it well and quickly.
There have been large-screen iMacs before, so what elements make this
model my very-nearly-perfect choice? The 2.33 Gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo
processor is one. Intel CPUs, after all, have long run Microsoft's
Windows operating system, and also run several flavors of the "open"
operating system Linux. That means this computer could run those systems
in place of the Mac OS, or flip between Windows and Mac OS X using Apple's
Boot Camp. They can also run either or both in tandem with the Mac OS
(system memory willing), using Parallels Desktop software, reviewed here
Another is the super-large screen. I've said it before: the bigger the
screen, the better, at least for this user. As we boomers age, having a
screen that can display type in super-large sizes isn't a bad thing. For
others, having a screen that offers plenty of "real estate" for displaying
and working with photos, audio or video clips, or graphic design items, is
also a plus. Heck, if Apple came up with a 30-inch iMac, they'd probably
find more than a few takers.
Third is the greater capacity this computer has for both RAM and hard disc
storage. You can go up to 3 Gbytes of RAM on this machine; the 2 Gbytes
installed in this unit make for much faster work and Web browsing. A 500
Gbyte hard disc is tremendous, and you can go up to 750 Gbytes, enough to
hold 90,000 copies of the King James version of the Bible, if my math is
correct. That's a lot of storage for most of us, including moms and dads
who want to track a child's life in HD Video.
Fourth would be Apple's decided edge in multimedia. I bought that "Law &
Order" episode on Apple's iTunes Store, price $1.99, and the playback on
the iMac was great. Once the firm's iTV device arrives, then such
content can stream wirelessly from a Mac to another TV anywhere in the
house. Doing these things with a PC is possible, but more complicated and
Yes, $2,748 is a lot to pay for a desktop computer. Yes, one can "get by"
with less expensive models; even iMacs are available for $999 in a 17-inch
model. For those who need, or just want, something that'll look good and
work great for a good long while, however, it's going to be tough to beat
this 24-inch wonder - or even to come close.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com