The Apple iMac claims to be “the ultimate all-in-one,” and it truly is. While marketed as Apple’s consumer model, the Apple iMac certainly packs enough power to use for professional graphic design, with a lower cost than the Mac Pro.
Apple iMac Models
The iMac is currently available in four options. Even the least expensive option, at $1,199, includes a 2.0GHz Intel processor, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a built-in 20-inch display. The combination of the 20-inch display and a powerful system makes this option a great value. Those looking for a larger display can go for the 24-inch models, starting at $1,799 with a 2.4GHz processor and a 320GB hard drive. Both display size options are available with a faster processor and larger hard drive as well.
Apple Computers for Graphic Design
Apple’s great font and color handling and bright displays make them ideal for design work. The Mac has long been considered the computer for graphic design, and the systems have historically been known to be the best for going from screen to print, something graphic designer’s need to do for every printed project. There are also many great third-party tools available for the Mac for design and project management.
The iMac fits a lot into a small package, with the entire unit being the size of a flat-panel monitor. One of the great benefits of the iMac is the display, with 20 and 24-inch models available. A 23-inch Apple flat panel display would cost $899 on its own, making a 24-inch iMac for twice the price hard to pass up, if budget allows. Also built into the iMac is an 8x double-layer SuperDrive, for fast CD and DVD burning. Above the display is an integrated iSight camera, great for video-chat meetings with clients using Apple’s iChat software. In the back are the ports, including 2 FireWire and 3 USB. An additional two USB ports are available on the slim Apple keyboard.
Apple iMac Software
The iMac comes bundled with a great selection of software, much of which can help in the organization of a graphic design business. iPhoto, which is part of Apple’s iLife, is a great tool for managing photographs and easily allows for organization by projects, keywording and simple photo editing. iCal, Address Book, and Mail are simple to use tools for managing and organizing multiple calendars, contact groups and email accounts. Font Book helps designer’s view and organize their typeface collection, and the newly introduced Time Machine backup software will keep your files safe.