Why the 20" iMac Is Perfect for Home or School
It's a computer.
It's a television
Actually, it's both!
I have been using a new (to me) iMac as my desktop at work, and it is an impressive computer. It has the 20" screen, 2 gigabytes of RAM, and a 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Wow! Talk about your screen real estate! I can easily run two applications side by side on the 1680 x 1050 display. Videos are amazing, and my eyes (which are not the eyes that they used to be) have little trouble reading web pages and such.
It's really hard to call this thing a desktop computer, because you can easily throw it into a bag (I've seen iMac bags on the Internet), move it to another location, and set it up. Apple calls it an All-in-One computer, and I suppose that makes sense.
Perfect for Schools
What is very good from an education viewpoint is the complete lack of protrusions on the unit. I have mentioned the old adage "idle hands are the devil's workshop", and it is true. Not to generalize, but PC computers always have some sort of fiddly bit or tiny door that my rambunctious students pry off or vandalize. I have noticed a lot less damage on this model of computer (as well as the "old" white 17" iMacs).
The fact that the iMac is an "All-in-One" unit makes it a favorite in terms of moving it. (If I have to disconnect a CPU and monitor one more time!) Things are just "cleaner" in terms of wiring.
From a system standpoint, Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" is easy to network. I also have Apple Remote Desktop installed and can monitor each screen in both labs. (This is not popular feature among our students.) I can't help but feel that Apple has established the lead in desktop computers in the K-12 environment and shows no sign of letting up.
I'm Lovin' It
I am personally enjoying the 20" brushed aluminum iMac. It's fast, it's furious, and I would recommend it to anyone just starting out who is in the market for a desktop. In fact, the 24" model would be an excellent television substitute as well as a powerful computer.
Imagine returning to your humble abode and firing up the iMac. I imagine it would be mounted to one of those pivoting arms that you can get for widescreen TVs. You could check your email, visit a few blogsites, buy that Steve Marriott T-shirt you've always wanted, pop in a DVD, listen to your iTunes collection, or watch some network news. The center of your life!
You will have to go out to work and buy food, but that's pretty much it. I am assuming that your social life is a) nonexistent; b) not that important.
I do have some bones to pick about the brushed aluminum iMacs. The "L" shaped display stand does not adjust enough for me, and Apple has started to ship "small" keyboards with them. I know how to touch type on a number pad, and not having one on the keyboard is very disturbing. [Editor's note: Apple does sell the iMac with its extended keyboard, but the small keyboard is what you get if you don't specify the full sized keyboard. dk]
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