Thursday, December 14

Product Review: Imac

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Three years ago, my wife and I purchased a laptop PC from Dell.  We got a great price since this PC was made around the time that Dell started using AMD Athlon processors in its computers.  This was the biggest computer purchase mistake I have ever made.  Six months after we bought our PC, we were already planning our next computer purchase, but knew that our budget wouldn’t support it for a while.  Based on conversations we had with friends (such as:  once you go Mac, you’ll never go back, and the day Microsoft makes a product that doesn’t suck is the day they start making vacuum cleaners), we decided to make the leap from PC to Mac.

Are we glad that we did!  I made the decision to buy a refurbished Mac (more bang for the buck, in our opinion, since it’s guaranteed), and was able to tool around the Apple Store a couple of times before I bought online.  I bought a 27” iMac (huge screen) with more than enough processing speed, ram, memory, storage, and everything we needed (our biggest desire was to be able to play Netflix & store lots of photos on our Mac).  To be honest, it seems that all you need to know is how much you want to pay, and how much “more” ram, storage, memory, speed, etc. that you want.  You don’t have to worry about “options” like a camera—they just come with it.  Wireless keyboard-check.  Imbedded camera-check.  Magic mouse-check.  Easy.  There was a promotion for $100 off a printer (so we got an Epson for $99), and we got the Apple protection plan (so we didn’t get burned again), which covers the iMac for 3 years from purchase. 

We received our iMac in record time (printer arrived the next day, computer the day after), so I was glad I didn’t pay extra for expedited shipping.  However, when I went to start the computer, there was a loud, annoying noise that sounded like static.  I took it to the Apple Store, and the technician ran a diagnostic.  He found out that there was a problem with a heat sensor, causing the computer to keep shutting down, and a problem with the fan, which explained the loud noise.  The technician gave me three options.  One, I could give it to the Apple store for repair, which would take about a week.  Two, I could send it back myself and get another similar model.  Three, I could trade it immediately for a new model of equal or better value.  I was overwhelmed by this customer service—two sucky choices and one overwhelmingly awesome one.  Bonus—the model I had was not available, so I got one with an upgraded media card.  I was out of the store with a new, better computer (for the price of my refurbished one), in less than 15 minutes. 

Installation was easy, and I love my iMac.  I don’t know how things work, but if I want to find out, it’s pretty easy to.  While Apple creates a nice little (read: closed to anything not Apple) ecosystem for the computing environment, I don’t mind.  I don’t mind paying a little more for Apple’s products, because I know that it just works.  My one computer (one piece, with one cord for the outlet, one wireless keyboard & wireless mouse without associated hardware) just works.  This iMac is exactly what I needed, and the customer service is outstanding.  I used to be a Dell guy (and Dell investor), but not any more.  If you’re a PC user, you’ll probably be wary until you put a Mac in your house.  Then you’ll never want to go back.

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