27" iMac first impressions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GL2, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. GL2 macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    I visited my local Apple Store today and checked out Apple's latest offerings, especially the 27" iMac, which I've got my eye on. Below are some random impressions.

    The 21.5" iMac will fit the bill for many, but the screen of the 27" iMac looks to be about perfect for anyone who does a lot of work with photos, video or graphics. I compared it to Apple's 30" stand-alone monitor. On a side note, the 30" is looking long in the tooth next to the updated 24" monitor and iMacs; it's noticeably thicker and lacks the black frame of the newer screens, which I find more attractive. I mentioned the need for Apple to update the 30" to one of the sales staff, and he just stood there as if he was not allowed to give verbal agreement to anything negative about an Apple product. Anyhoo, the 27" iMac screen holds its own next to the 30" monitor. The 3" difference really isn't much. And given the price of the 30", the 27" iMac looks to be almost a bargain (relatively speaking--this is Apple hardware, after all...).

    The Magic Mouse is certainly sleek and unique, but at the end of the day, it doesn't seem to offer any noticeable performance advantages over a regular mouse. I sort of like how my current Microsoft mouse fills up the palm of my hand better <gasp>. On the plus side, though, the Magic Mouse seemed to work as advertised. It was not a problem scrolling with it. And I like how if you give the surface a quick flick with your finger the screen will continue to scroll a bit, as if with inertia.

    The Magic Mouse's 'clicker' was not what I was expecting. In order to click on something, the mouse doesn't register your tapping on the touch-sensitive surface. Instead, the entire top surface is effectively a giant button hinged at the back of the mouse. When you press down on the top of the mouse, it physically moves (just like a regular mouse button would when you click it). It even makes a tactile and audible 'click' when you do so. It works fine, I was just expecting it to be activated by the touch-sensitive surface.

    Moving the mouse around the screen, it seemed the arrow's movement was a little slow compared to how I have my current PC mouse set up, but I assume that can be adjusted in some sort of control panel (I'm currently a PC owner).

    Then there's the wireless keyboard. Cutting to the chase, it's a disappointment. It's perhaps the worst example of function giving way to form in the entire Apple lineup of products. It looks stylish and elegant just sitting there. Eventually, however, you're gonna wanna, you know, use it. The keyboard just doesn't feel good when typing on it. I can't imagine anyone who does a lot of typing--particularly someone who is a fast typist--would prefer it over a 'regular' keyboard. It's frustrating to think that I will have to shell out more money for something that Apple should have gotten right in the first place.

    To sum up: The 27" iMac looks to be a nice machine. The 27" screen seems to be about the perfect size. The Magic Mouse is a cute novelty whose form doesn't get in the way of its basic function. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the disappointing wireless keyboard.
  2. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    The keyboard has been available for ages. It offers a satisfying click and the edges of keys make it easier to navigate without looking.

    The Magic Mouse can be adjusted for tracking preferences. I was pleased with it's capabilities, especially the scroll with momentum. The two-finger swipes don't work well as they move the mouse too much. I will be replacing my MX Air with the Magic Mouse.
  3. GL2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Regardless of how long Apple has been using it, it's obvious the keyboard was designed with an eye more towards appearances than ergonomics. I've not used an Apple since the original iMac (which had a normal keyboard). I'm now looking to get another iMac, but I will definitely be replacing the keyboard with something better.
  4. Unprocessed1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2008
    Nice impressions. I think the 27" is a bargain for what you get. How do you like the LED screen, is there a noticeable difference from the last generation iMAc?
  5. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    I haven't seen the 27" in person yet, but it does seem nice. But i love my 30" acd and will never leave it! :) I however love the wireless keyboard, it feels great and types very well, and of course it looks great! I only wish that they came out with a keyboard with a trackpad.
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Interesting take on the keyboard. Everyone's different, that's for sure.

    I'm a fairly fast typist (probably still around 60wpm, though it's been a loooong time since I've measured it) and I like the feel of the keyboard. I'll have to even say it's better than my ubMBP (which I find a bit "heavy"). Maybe it's 'cause I usually have it sitting on a pillow on my lap, and not at a desk?? ;) )

    Good to hear some further positive comments on the Magic Mouse. It's about what I was expecting. (I ordered one a few days ago, so it should be here mid-week.)

    edit: just for fun, and mostly off-topic, I did some random on-line typing test on both keyboards. For me, I can type faster on the BT keyboard. I'll chalk it up to the lighter action. It just takes less effort, and, without going into detail, that's an advantage physically for me. As they say "your mileage will vary" ;) I hit 75wpm @ 100% with the BT, and was in the mid 60's on the MBP, though I only ran through a few iterations of the tests. Anyway, not scorchingly fast, but plenty good for the forums. :)

    btw - this is the previous model, with 3 AA cells. I doubt they've changed the action, though.
  7. GL2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    @Unprocessed1: It was difficult for me to evaluate the quality of the iMac's monitor under the circumstances. I was just looking at the sample pictures in iPhoto and some sample video in iMovie. The images looked fine and didn't give me any cause for concern, for whatever that's worth.

    @gr8tfly: I wasn't so much impressed with the Mighty Mouse as I was satisfied that it works as advertised. It seemed to be responsive to finger gestures when scrolling. As I mentioned above, given the 'inertia'/'momentum' feature, it is possible to scroll faster than with a standard mouse, which I like. But at the end of the day, it's just a mouse. There may be applications for which it would work better than a standard mouse, but that remains to be seen.

    Not trying to rain on Apple's parade, just trying to look past the cool factor and give an objective evaluation. I really like the 27" i7 iMac's overall specs and screen size. I think the Mighty Mouse looks neat and may prove to be an evolution in mouse design but for now just appears to be a capable mouse. I'm a pretty fast typist when I'm on a roll (65 to 80 wpm), and I dislike the keyboard's feel. Your mileage may vary.
  8. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    I find the apple keyboards one of the best I have ever typed on, and really easy to learn the layout of. Have you tried typing for an extended amount of time on one?

    The only thing that would make it better is a number pad as I deal with a lot of numbers.
  9. GL2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    It's not the amount of pressure it takes to press the keys (they're certainly light enough), it's the actual shape of the keys and perhaps the way they are angled. The Apple's keys are flat, like typing on a calculator. I'm used to keys that are slightly concave, which assists in my being able to 'feel' where my fingers are in relation to the keys without ever having to look at them. There may also be a slight difference in the way the keys are angled on the Apple keyboard, but I really didn't examine it that closely. It certainly works, but it's one of the worst I've ever used for 'feel.' As stated above, your mileage may vary. It's not a deal-breaker for me, just a disappointment that I'll have to buy a replacement.
  10. ditzy macrumors 68000


    Sep 28, 2007
    When I first used the apple keyboard I thought the same as you, however after using it for a week I could not imagine choosing anything else. I've had it for over a year now and when I have to use other keyboards I make a lot more mistakes. If you do get an iMac try using the keyboard for a little before replacing it, it might surprise you.
  11. GL2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I plan on getting the i7 next month, and I'll give the keyboard another try when it arrives.
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    Totally disagree about the keyboard. I have one at home and one at work, and they're easier tittle on than anything else I've used. The low profile keys take much less effort to push than normal keys, and when you do a lot of typing, it makes a huge difference in hand fatigue.
  13. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    I would not mind it, however I hate any keyboard which requires pressing more keys just to use an function. In other words, why not have eject and sound as separate buttons? Oh, because yet again form over function.
  14. GL2 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Well, I placed an order today for an i7 iMac. The estimated delivery date is just "November." I also opted for the remote, which has an estimated delivery date of December 1, so I assume I won't be seeing the iMac any time soon.

    I'll try out the wireless keyboard some more when it arrives, but I've already picked out a replacement if it doesn't win me over (and I don't expect it will). For any interested, it's the Logitech diNovo Edge. I think it even beats the Apple keyboard aesthetically (for you form-over-function types). ;)

    You can check it out at this link:

  15. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2009
  16. MBPro825 macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I love the look of the new iMacs. I would get one if I didn't need a laptop
  17. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    We've got that keyboard at work and I can't imagine using it over the aluminum Apple keyboard. It's really the best keyboard I (and many others I know) have ever used.
  18. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, I love my apple keyboard. Like others, I was hesitant when I got my iMac, but it really is great.

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