"The Best I've Ever Used"5.0 starson by LiquidDrummer
Pros: Big screen,
Nice mouse/keyboard pckge,
Fast i7 2.93 processor
1g vid card
Great cam and sound
Cons: A bit pricey
Summary: This is my own opinion and not that of anyone I know. First, I'm not getting into the Mac vs. Windows war. I have 3 Windows boxes (built myself) and 2 Macs for the home/office. In the real world you need both, however, after 12+ years of building and using Microsoft products I've had enough. I needed stability for web/graphics design, video production, and photo work. I use CS5 Master, Lightroom, Aperture, Final Cut, and Logic Pro.
I bought the iMac 27" i7 2.93 system from Apple directly. I opted for the bluetooth keyboard over the corded keyboard with numeric pad. So yes, you can get a numeric keyboard despite some complaints. It's free, but it's corded. It has 1TB HD, 4 USB ports, a mini display port, ethernet port, Firewire 800 port, mini jacks for headphones and line in. The DVD/CD slot and the SDXC slot is on the right side of the display.
I have a 1TB external connected for extra room. I use my Airport Extreme as my router and hub for our back up drives. The iMac can be wired or wireless. I'm wired for direct speed. i have too much drawing off the wireless.
It gets hot on the top back, but overall the computer stays within normal temp range at 51C and 56C under my type of computing load. It's an all-in-one enclosed in aluminum. it's its nature to be hot.
Networking was a breeze. I found and connected to my Windows boxes quickly via "cmd-k", but they didn't find me.
I got it with 4G of RAM, but I upgraded to 12G. I saved money by buying elsewhere to upgrade. Apple is expensive with their RAM. Adding RAM was literally a 5 minute operation and it's in their little manual.
Setting up was simple and I added an extra monitor. I use a USB hub for ease and it booted up fast. A few questions and I was ready to start installing programs. Within a weekend I had filled up half the HD with all needed files and programs. No issues or slow downs occurred at all during the process. Stability was there 100%. It can be overwhelming if you've never used a Mac, but over time it will be easier.
No antivirus is cool in itself, but that doesn't mean I'm 100% safe. Smart surfing and emailing is still important, but the thought of no antivirus program sucking computer resources is a good feeling.
I noticed no screen/tint issues. All photos/wallpaper/screen saver were crisp and clean. There can be a glare because of a glass screen, but it's so bright it's not noticeable unless you have a window right behind you. Viewing from all angles still provided a clean view of the screen.
I am able to finally charge my iPad with my computer. On my Windows boxes I couldn't.
The bluetooth keyboard is small and takes some getting used to coming from a bulky board. The "magic" mouse is great and easy to configure. Both items were already paired when I got the computer.
The webcam is crisp, but lacks software to control brightness. An app called iGlasses can help with that. Apple should think about integrating that in the future. FaceTime was easy to use and the other person said I came across perfectly.
The built in speakers are pretty good actually. Better than I expected. I use a powered speaker system by Creative so adding a line to it from the mini jack was simple enough. The sound off the analog cord is great in itself, but I am waiting on a mini optical cord to see if that provides crisper sound.
It's a Mac and it's expensive, but worth it if you need stability for any serious work. All hardware is Apple tested and assembled in California. Building a computer from scratch myself relies on the hardware to work well with Windows. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. That's where reliability of Windows operating systems fall short. I don't think hardware manufacturers test hardware deep enough for all computing situations and configurations. That's my opinion anyway.
Bottom line, in the short time I've had this, I've had NO issues. None. I just installed Windows 7 on my wife's computer and the event viewer is still riddled with errors and her reliability could be in jeopardy because of the errors. I just don't want to deal with the mismatch of hardware and Windows operating systems anymore.
I'm glad for the switch and know that I'll be using this computer for several years while hopefully keeping my blood pressure down. I don't regret it and won't look back....