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back to article Super-thin iMacs WILL be here for Xmas, cram warehouses even NOW

Smooth white boxes carrying super-thin iMacs are already in American distribution centres, 9to5Mac reports, pouring soothing balm on the hearts of fanbois who had previously feared that the hyper-honed desktop may be delayed until 2013. The new iMac launched on 23 October, when Apple made much of its stir-friction welded …

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A super-portable desktop computer.

On the list of "things the world urgently needs" this must be right up there with shoes made of brie and underwear woven from nettles.

I kid, I kid. I'm sure it'll look great in a hundred thousand loft apartments.

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Re: A super-portable desktop computer.

underwear woven from nettles.

Actually, you can get surprisingly good fibre from nettle plants. I just did a quick search for 'nettle fibre' and turned up this amusing page which by chance happens to have a section titled "STUDENT SHOWS OFF NETTLE KNICKERS" (with pic). So not quite in the same class as chocolate teapots and such...

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Re: A super-portable desktop computer.

My laptop spends about 8 hours per YEAR with the lid open. The rest of the time it sits behind my nice 20+ inch monitor. Why would I ever want to use that little screen and cramped keyboard when I can connect a real monitor and keyboard to it? I travel often between my apartment and my cabin so I like the portability of the laptop, even if I just use it as a glorified desktop most of the time.

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Silver badge

Re: A super-portable desktop computer.

Small desks in student accommodation?

But then, students would go for the laptop.

The real use for an imac is to have a pretty computer in a public area (lounge rather than study) without any messy wires. Those areas may be space-constrained.

They'd also benefit from a DVD drive. At least the kids could watch "Barbie's Christmas Carol" on DVD.

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Re: P. Lee

I don't even see those. Precisely how much difference does a computer being an inch or two THINNER help in most space constrained environments> The limiting factor is going to be the larger dimensions, i.e. its width or height.

As for regularly travelling with a desktop, well it's only a couple of years since I completed my doctorate and was flying between Dublin (Uni) and Manchester (home) eight or ten tens a year, invariably with desktop in tow. I had a flat screen telly, keyboard and mouse at both locations so it was just a mini-itx base unit that I could stuff in a relatively small suitcase and stash clothes, paperwork, toiletries etc immediately around and on top of it. I wouldn't even consider chancing that with something like this - even if you treat your baggage with kid gloves it's only a matter of time before Ryanair smash something through the large, vulnerable, expensive screen.

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Coat

Re: A super-portable desktop computer.

@Flatpackhampster

"I kid, I kid. I'm sure it'll look great in a hundred thousand loft apartments."

Surely it'd have to be some sort of quantum Mac Mini if just one can looked good in a 100,000 apartments. A lot of Heisenberg going on, I'm sure. Perhaps that's why it's called the Mini - it'd need to be small or the quantum weirdness wouldn't happen...

Or are Apple going into extreme timeshare on them?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A super-portable desktop computer.

Green is your colour!

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Uh....

Thin matters in smartphones and tablets (to a point), and even in laptops. But desktop computers? The previous-generation iMac with built-in DVD drive was more functional.

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Re: Uh....

The previous-generation iMac with built-in DVD drive was more functional.

It's called progress! The next model won't even need a keyboard.

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Re: Uh....

Running Windows 8?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh....

It's like the Macbooks - I use the DVD drive in mine perhaps 3 times a year (and usually when I'm in the office anyway) yet the extra battery life I get from removing it and having a bigger battery is a benefit almost every day - YMMV.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh....

Yeah guess if they stuck a centronics port, original SCSI ports oh and what else on the back it would be more 'functional' even if it looked like a bag of spanners. With the iMac you can have one cable (power) and that's it for most people - wireless keyboard / mouse, wireless networking and it has everything else built in.

CD / DVDs are going - for many people they have already gone. There is no way I would buy a CD when I can download the track (or tracks) I want in seconds and have them automatically sync'd to all my devices. Why buy a DVD that can get lost, scratched and wont play on my tablet when I can get a digital version that can be played one any of my TVs, or sync'd or streamed to any of my devices.

I'm not saying some people still do not want to buy physical media but as tablets sell more people will want their media to be streamed / digital. I know they need to sort out some of the pricing and services like Netflix could do with more / newer programs but equally it's not had for £6 a month when it can be played on all your devices when something like Sky with let's say 2 x multiroom and HD would be over £50 a month minimum.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh....

I use my DVD / Blu-ray drive a lot; watching DVDs, installing software, burning discs etc.

It took about 5 hours to download the complete GTA IV from Steam the other day, would've probably taken about 30 minutes to install from a disc.

I was abroad last week and internet was £10 for 50meg, I'm not going to be using that in a hurry.

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Re: Uh....

Your iMac desktop computer doesn't run on batteries. Nor is portability a primary issue.

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Windows

yeah, but....

functionality plays second fiddle to form. and really, when was the last time you used your DVD drive for anything?

anyway, they are just iterating through all the motions (cash generating steps), that will lead us to what will effectivly turn the iMac into; an ipad on a stand.

nice. so in 2020, we'll have what we had in 2010, and be told it's the next big thing. and you will all accept it, love it, and once again - you will all pay for it. isn't marketing great.

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FAIL

WIth the power of the mac mini, and the advantage of a seperate monitor, there is now very little reason to get an Imac. Before you had to, as the mini wasn't powerful enough and the pro was a fortune. Now the imac makes no reasl sense.

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Unless you play games in which case the iMac's nVidia GT640M to GTX680M are a MUCH better option than the Intel 4000 on the Mini

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Mushroom

External graphics via thunderbolt? Hmm, still a bit naff.

When Dell can't even put a webcam in their 27" screen, I'm not surprised Apple are walking away with this market.

I know its silly, but a carbuncle on top of your screen with a USB cable hanging off it makes the thing downright ugly *and* means you're even less likely to be looking at the right place for skype.

Let's have a new standard: fibre-optic port in the top of your screen for attaching a webcam out of sight.

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>Let's have a new standard: fibre-optic port in the top of your screen for attaching a webcam out of sight.

Well, I use my webcam less often than some people use their DVD drives, though USB sockets on top of monitors would be good- certainly it wouldn't hurt WiFi and 3G dongles, and might be handy for USB-powered lights.

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the newest iMac isn't thin.....it simply has a rather strange geometry which might look thin from one angle only......you could say that all monitors are infinitely thin when viewed directly from the front, but who would claim that?.........

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Anonymous Coward

How can you say it's not thin when IT IS - check the specs. Take the new one and the old one - which is thinner?

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Can somebody explain to me what the advantage of "super-thin" is? For the user of course.

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The main advantage is that there is no alternative. (Pity. I eventually liked the chunky white ones from a few years ago.)

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Anonymous Coward

It looks good... perhaps one day Windows machines will look this good and yes it does matter to some people. You buy your ugly car, live in an ugly house with your - well you know the rest.

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Thumb Down

"You buy your ugly car, live in an ugly house with your - well you know the rest...."

Whereas you have your beautiful house, beautiful car and lovely spouse. The fact that the house costs a fortune to heat, the car costs a fortune to run and the lovely spouse has the brains of a peanut (and costs a fortune to run) doesn't matter - so long as everything looks good.

God help us when that becomes the world that most people aspire to.

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FAIL

Uh

I still fail to see why 5mm thinner looks better when you spend all your time using it staring at the thing from the front. Unless of course you're trying to put an SD card in the damn thing, then I expect you will be flailing around the back.

(I've got an iMac.)

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Super-thin iMacs...

I'm sure that Jobs once opined that Windows was merely two dimensional and dull. Seems to be back in vogue all round...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Super-thin iMacs...

Yeah and Bill Gates was wrong about how much memory people would ever need and IBM about how many 'personal computers' would sell - so...?

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Re: Super-thin iMacs...

Except it's pretty much guaranteed that Bill Gates didn't say that; apparently if you've been in IT long enough you'd remember when the same quote was attributed to the head of IBM, because they were the big evil company at the time and had to be mocked.

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OMG!

It's THIN!

I must have one!

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Meh

I'm reminded of a comment in Practical Wireless very many years ago.

"... but when it's smaller than the knob to turn it on, what's the point?"

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"cram warehouses even NOW"

You mean they won't run out and give the Graudian lots of "tech" headlines to write?

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FAIL

iPad on a stick

The new iMac, despite all the hype, is a glorified 'iPad on a Stick'.

The iMac, that's the May 2011 revision, was a barnstorming AIO with plenty of bells and whistles - I should know as purchased two of the 27in BTO models - instead of waiting for intel Haswell chips, Ive and co decided to re-imagine the iMac as a iOS device minus the touch interface - so while it may be aesthetically pleasing to those who actually just utilise it to show off to friends and colleagues, for your average day to day users its basically crippled, i.e., no optics, lack of user upgrades - RAM is soldered into 21in models - and basically it loses the utilitarian functionality it once had, at a higher price point.

Have said it before, but will say it again, why upgrade the look now, basically all it required was a upgrade to USB3, Ivy Bridge Processors and latest AMD or NVIDEA GPU.

So, here's the crack, in December you get a new 27in iMac based on a CPU that's been out six months already and that will be upgraded in May next year - Intel Haswell launch timeframe, you also don't get the latest wifi, its old 'N' stock - so come May/June next year, you'll have to upgrade again in all probability - this is known as customer price gouging - a sane business would have made big changes with Haswell, particularly given heat dissipation issues.

Still, I suppose if you like a 'iPad on a Stick', the new iMac is great, if you much prefer an OSX device that does not require you to add ad-dons such as a DVD drive, it sucks - I for one will not be upgrading, rather wait until second release with better CPU and better wifi options, i.e., future proofed more than the newly released and presently unavailable newer, thinner and more expensive iMac.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: iPad on a stick

Yes I was going to buy a new 27" iMac with ivyBridge - but when I saw how thin it was I just bought the mid-range Mac mini and a great Dell IPS display, saved thousands and have it all working now - not vaporware like the theoretically 'available soon' iPad on a stick 2013 iMac!

Seriously, I guess the vapourware iMac release delay might be related to the pull of the OS X 10.8.2 upgrade for the 13" rMBP and my new Mac mini (plus I'm informed that 10.8.3 is taking rather a lot longer to bake than was originally planned) The only quote on this IvyBridge kext related OS upgrade pull via Cupertino was that 'something was wrong with Keychain' - but who knows?

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Not for me, thanks

I've had an iMac (late 2009 21 inch) which has served me pretty faithfully for the last three years. However, various things are starting to break and Apple want a LOT of money to fix things out of warranty. For example my SuperDrive has failed and I was told I'd have to pay a £35 "diagnosis fee" before they would even think about replacing it. Looking at about £200 in total, in a PC I could buy a cheap DVD drive for £20 and swap it out. I have now bought a cheap USB drive to get around it.

Also, unlike some of the other commenters here, I do use my DVD drive a lot so this is somewhat opf an inconvenience! There are some design irritations too (no front or side USB ports). I do like Mac OS but I just can't justify buying another iMac. I think I'll build a PC next, I can significantly improve on specification and hey - maybe I can hackintosh it.

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Re: Not for me, thanks

I'm with you there brother.

If they actually put a decent discrete GPU into the Mac Mini it would be a great little machine - much better than the 'iPad on a Stick'.

Seems like they are having major issues with their October releases, seems the revised Mac Mini has HDMI problems - I could never understand why they dropped the optics from this, the 2010 model being a good little machine with crap CPU.

Anyway, as I advise anyone who purchases Apple products, best to buy AppleCare, this can be purchased at a discount on eBay - further, the new iMac really does seem compromised and basically behind the Intel Road map curve.

The reality is this, as with the late 2009 all aluminium move, this new iMac is bound to have loads of issues and will no doubt be upgraded by June/July, by which time I may have an interest in purchasing a 27in model, although, the full-out BTO price seems to be huge compared to the 2011 revision - which is a shame really as this was a cracking piece of kit at a reasonable price point if you are not based in Europe or Australia/New Zealand.

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Re: Not for me, thanks

Yeah - user upgradeable parts would definitely make iMac, or even Mac Mini, a "no-brainer" desktop purchase. Until bits started breaking, the iMac was the best piece of kit I've ever owned.

Mac OS is simply a joy to use. I consider myself a "power user" as I know Windows inside out, and I've even built a Linux kernel from scratch but I still know almost nothing about the innards of Mac OS as in three years I've never needed to.

However, I just can't bear to pay over the odds for a poorly specified machine that I'll have to throw away in a few years. Also, I noticed that Lion now defaults to only letting you install App Store or signed apps. I know you can change this in system settings but seems a bit ominous to me....

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