Currently Being ModeratedFeb 3, 2013 2:47 PM (in response to PotzyNoodle)
The 21.5" model does not have user-upgradeable Ram, the 27" does.
Office 2011 will read and write Office 2010 files, minor formatting changes are to be expected. Outlook 2011 is not compatible with Apple's iCloud services.
I use a Magic Mouse and a trackpad and find them both useful.
The sound system is very ordinary, if you are looking for production monitoring (especially near field) use an external system.
I'll take a pass on the wired keybard, and I don't think that external Blu Ray drives work, but may be wrong on that one.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 3, 2013 3:03 PM (in response to PotzyNoodle)
I can't address all of your questions, as I've never used FCP or Logic Pro, and don't have a 5:1 sound system.
I can say that, for what you want to use the iMac for, and especially if you're trying to "future proof" it as much as possible, you would want as much CPU and Graphics horsepower as possible. Video and sound editing use a lot of computing power. So, if you can upgrade to the i7 processor and bump up the graphics, you'll be happy for a longer period of time. You're right in that you can buy third party RAM for far less than what Apple charges, so you're better to go that route. (You've already said you're looking at the 27" model, so I don't need to point out that the 21.5" model doesn't have user upgradeable RAM).
I don't think you'll gain much functionality with the wired keyboard over the Bluetooth model, but you will have the "safety net" of having an operational keyboard should Bluetooth problems crop up. As far as the mouse is concerned, I love the Magic Trackpad, and couldn't go back to using a mouse. You might even consider a Wacom tablet later on for video editing.
There are external Blu-Ray DVD drives available for the Mac (I think one is an LG model) if you need that. You would also need software to play back the Blue-Ray content, and that's also available for the Mac. (Bottom line on this subject is that Apple doesn't support Blu-Ray, while Microsoft has support built in to Windows).
I think the iMac height is listed on the spec pages, but if you need me to, I can measure mine for you.
Office For Mac 2011 is highly compatible with Office 2010 for PCs...in fact, it's the best means of ensuring compatibility. If you share documents with PCs, I highly recommend it, as the formatting changes would be, as Csound mentioned, minimal. (Normally, the formatting changes people see are due to font differences...if you stick to "common" fonts, you probably won't see any formatting issues).
I hope this helps.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 4, 2013 3:28 PM (in response to PotzyNoodle)
As an additional thought to one of Mike Osborn's suggestions, do consider purchasing a ( wacom ) touch tablet ( I use their Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch ) in preference to the magic touchpad anyway. Wacom tablets vary in price but mine suits my needs perfectly and don't think it cost too excessively more than a m/trackpad,and you'll be getting more versatility. My magic mouse now sits in a drawer!
I bought my 3rd party RAM from Crucial as they have a very good name and been recommended here.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 4, 2013 5:08 PM (in response to Mike Osborn)
Mike Osborn wrote:
I don't think you'll gain much functionality with the wired keyboard over the Bluetooth model, but you will have the "safety net" of having an operational keyboard should Bluetooth problems crop up.
I hope this helps.
2 advantages with a wired keyboard, 1 you mentioned, the number pad is the other. Oh, and no battery expenditure, so 3.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 4, 2013 5:53 PM (in response to Csound1)
The wired keyboard has another advantage I'm surprised Csound didn't mention....it's got two USB 2.0 ports on either end. Handy for plugging a mouse or card reader into.
But...it's also bigger than the Bluetooth keyboard, so if desk space is at a premium, you'll want to consider that.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 5, 2013 6:24 AM (in response to Mike Osborn)
But wait there's more! Under certain conditions the BlueTooth keyboard can fail to connect (like when it dies) and bringing in a different BT keyboard fails to make the connection too. The wired keyboard doesn't have this problem. Call me ancient but I prefer a wired keyboard.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 5, 2013 6:47 AM (in response to PotzyNoodle)
I have a wired keyboard with the numeric keypad. I love it. It makes working with numbers a breeze because you don't have to bother moving around at the top of the regular keyboard to enter the numbers you want. You just use the number pad like you would a hand calculator.iMAC 3.06 Core 2 Duo, 27" Screen, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 8GB RAM, Wired Keyboard, LaCie "Rugged" External Hard Drive