Friday, October 23, 2009
A Trip to Clarendon
Taken and edited with my iPhone using Best Camera. Click image for larger view.
Yesterday after class, I decided to take a stroll over to Clarendon to do some reading outside, enjoying the wonderful weather. (You can see a photos of my reading spot above.) With good places to read, a coffee shop, a Barnes & Noble, and an Apple Store -- all walking distance from school and home, Clarendon is a locale I frequent often.
While there I had to zip in the Apple Store for a few minutes to check out the new 27-inch iMac and Magic Mouse. I must say I'm quite impressed with the design of both. The new Macs come standard with 4 GB of RAM, a 1 TB hard drive, and a huge 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution screen. The screen is brilliant and the system was blazingly fast. Students can purchase this for $1,599 ($1,699 for non-students), which seems like a reasonable price to me. Compare this to the $1,599 student price for the 30-inch Cinema Display (2,560 x 1,600). Granted, the Cinema Display has color reproduction that is preferred by professionals, but this is still an interesting price comparison -- especially given that the 27-inch iMacs have video inputs that allow them to be used as a monitor for a computer or Blu-Ray DVD player. (Gadget Labs sums it up well: "if you can give up just three diagonal inches... then you can save $100, and Apple will effectively throw in a free computer.")
The Magic Mouse was also very slick. It has no buttons, feels very ergonomic, and has a completely smooth surface on the top. It recognizes right and left mouse clicks as well as allows scrolling by simply dragging your fingers across the top surface. I believe it has a few other features I haven't had a chance yet to explore.
I think Apple has two more winners on their hands.
(The new 21-inch iMac also looks very nice and represents a good value in a desktop. The main difference is a smaller screen, smaller hard drive, and no video input. I'm ashamed to say I completely forgot to take a look at the new MacBook and Mac Mini...)
NOTE: The keyboard and mouse are both wireless, but they are tethered in the store to prevent theft.
Afterward, I also went into Barnes and Noble to peruse the books. Unfortunately, they won't have the Nook in until later next month. I was disappointed to learn that they will have demos units only, but will not sell the device in the store. If this is common for Barnes & Nobles around the country, I think they are missing out on a big opportunity by not keeping units for sale in the store. (Although I can't blame them for wanting to see how popular they are initially before stocking up.) The clerk told me that there should be at least one store in the DC area where the Nook will be on sale.