I’ve been a long term Windows PC user, from time to time using Macs for various reasons.  I bought my wife an iMac a couple of years ago, and “borrow” her machine when I want to do video editing or any of the music work I need to do as part of my hobby – it just seems so much easier to use and more effective on the Mac.  In my recent semi-retirement state, I felt I had earned to right to a more capable and enjoyable desktop machine than I’d had in a while, so after a relatively short evaluation I bought the latest iMac.  What a great machine, and, as importantly, what a fabulous shopping experience!

The Apple Store  – An Exceptional Customer Experience!

I’ve taken advantage of Apple Stores before (I’ve also taken advantage of Apple’s online store.)  Both channels are clearly superior to those offered by competitors.  I decided to take advantage of Apple’s Personal Shopping service – you book an appointment with an Apple expert for an hour of time in the store.  Booking the appointment was a breeze, handled over the web.

My personal shopper greeted me at the designated time and was knowledgeable, courteous and pretty much everything I had hoped for and expected.  No selling pressure – this was more about determining my needs, and helping me understand what was available.  Given the crowds that typically gather in Apple stores, this is definitely my recommended way to go!  Within the hour I was ready to make my purchase, and 10 minutes later was headed to my car with a very large box!

27 Inch iMac – Be Still, My Heart!

Compared with what I’m used to (16 inch Lenovo laptop), this is one, big mother!  The screen is spectacular!  The machine set up and everything associated with it is exceptional.  The way the pieces are packed and protected, the ease of getting the packing open, the simplicity of getting things set up is superb!  I LOVE the new wireless Magic Mouse – no scroll bar or wheel – it has a multi-touch surface so that you can scroll, swipe and click (yes, both left and right click!) with ease!

Just for chuckles (and to pass some time on a very cold Atlanta Sunday afternoon) I went to my Netflix account and chose a movie for “instant viewing.”  (The 35th Anniversary concert DVD by the progressive rock band Yes.  As an aside, if you are a prog rock fan, this is a superb disk – filmed in Boston, MA in 2004.)

In full screen mode, this proved to be a highly viable way of watching (and renting) a movie.  (In the interests of full disclosure, I do have a relatively high end sound system hooked up, so I did not put the internal speakers to the test.)

Anyway, apart from proving to myself that I can take advantage of Netflix Instant Movies, I’m loving the speed, screen size and quality and all the characteristics of the iMac.  Any I think just about any business can learn from Apple’s approach to design and retailing.  I paid a huge premium for going Apple – and I don’t resent one cent of it!

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