I can sum this up in 4 words...
Ugly piece of crap!
That is all..
Having given its entire laptop range a thorough overhaul in recent months, Apple has now turned its attention to its desktop machines, starting with the iMac and with the Mac Mini and high-end Mac Pro to follow. Apple iMac 24in Apple's 24in iMac: what's new is largely under the bonnet However, the new iMac is a more modest …
re: "Apple’s designers might want to bear in mind that balancing your iMac on top of a stack of telephone directories – as we do to adjust the height of the screen – doesn’t really help the look of the machine."
I've never understood this desire to raise the monitor. For correct posture your eyes are supposed to be level with the TOP of the monitor, so that you look down at about 30 degrees. That's standard ergonomics. Whenever I've been forced to use a computer for any length of time where the user has raised the monitor on top of the desktop case or even on books, I end up with a crick in my neck.
Oh, and just for balance, I've checked around the office - NONE of the PC LCD monitors in the office can be adjusted in height either.
It's nice (NOT) to see that Apple still think of the UK as an extension of the US.
I bought my P5 iMac some time ago (obviously) and was very annoyed to find that it comes with an American keyboard. No £ sign (I ask you!!), and the # is in the wrong place. This is really not acceptable on a machine costing over £1000 (actually, it's not acceptable, period).
I'm assuming the French get a French keyboard. The Japanese get a Japanese keyboard. Why don't we get a UK keyboard? Yet another example of Apple's arrogance.
There are quite a few points in the article where the price is bemoaned and apple are blamed for putting up the prices across pretty much their whole range.
Has no one thought it might have something to do with the collapse in the value of the pound.
Given that the pound is down something like 30% on average across the board I think we've gotten off lightly with the price increases from apple. We're going to have to get used to paying more for our gadgets from now on.
The keyboard with number pad is available as a NO-COST option when making your purchase at the online AppleStore. It's not necessary to pay £38 for one.
You may not have noticed that the pound is very weak against pretty much every other currency right now, so that's part of the reason for the increase in cost of everything in the UK. (Although Apple aren't quite so quick to lower prices when the pound is strong).
1) The iMac is available with a FREE keyboard with keypad (although to be fair you have to choose this as the default is the one without)
2) Complete over-exaggeration that you can't use Excel or Numbers without a numpad, even if 1) wasn't right, you can work perfectly well without one, as most laptop users know
1 - the full-size numeric keyboard is an option at no extra cost.
2 - the increased prices only reflect the falling £ against the US dollar - see this article.
Lots of other products have gone up in price for the same reason e.g. Ford have increased their car prices which would seem like the last thing they would do in their industry if they could avoid it....
you can swap for the old style wired keyboard (with numeric keypad) *at no additional cost* on the Apple Store.
Desktop space and the convenience of having the same keyboard layout as your MacBook vs. easier number entry in Excel/Numbers: whatever works best for you.
Now if Apple only made a wireless version of the full size keyboard...
Fantastic machine, but the price rise is inexcusable. Generally a £200 price rise across the board - appalling. Better GPUs would welcome and why no high end 20"?
This is just a stop gap update before the i7 iMacs, which may come before the end of the year.
Glad I bought mine in 2007 when prices were respectable.
If you had done your research you would have spotted that you can have the keyboard with numeric keypad for no extra cost by selecting it as an option whilst ordering from the online store.
Also, the cost of Apple products has "crept up" as a result of the falling pound - thank our oh-so-lovely government for that. The price actually compares favourably with the US when you include VAT in the calculation.
Lazy *cough* journalism...
I didn't notice the prices coming down when the pound was really strong.
And prices for powerful desktop PCs seem static or decreasing. So the arguments for buying a desktop apple seem a lot weaker at the moment.
As Alexis says, glad I bought mine in 2007. The price increase is just way too steep right now.
I made the switch to Mac about six months ago, and must say that I absolutely LOVE the slimline keyboard. I'm a programmer by trade, and a good keyboard is important to me. I've never been able to type so fast and accurately as on this keyboard. Downsides are the lack of numeric keypad (for some, I guess -- doesn't bug me), and the key combination to produce the # symbol (use this frequently, and it's a pain).
"I bought my P5 iMac some time ago (obviously) and was very annoyed to find that it comes with an American keyboard. No £ sign (I ask you!!), and the # is in the wrong place. This is really not acceptable on a machine costing over £1000 (actually, it's not acceptable, period).
I'm assuming the French get a French keyboard. The Japanese get a Japanese keyboard. Why don't we get a UK keyboard? Yet another example of Apple's arrogance."
I'm currently on my sixth Mac in 20 years. Each and every one of them has come with a UK keyboard complete with £ sign. You therefore mistakenly received a US keyboard. Did you even bother asking the retailer to swap it for a UK one?
...to point out that the standard keyboard is available at no extra cost with the iMac- or £28 PC WORLD / John Lewis, my friend bought two 'cos he thinks they work great with his bigger fingers. (The internet was suprisingly quiet about keyboards for chaps with big fingers, I would have thought at least one tech blog would have mentioned the issue in a keyboard review roundup)
However, the little Apple remote (that stick of chewing gum) is now NOT included in the box and will cost you extra.
Why all the upset over the smaller keyboard? It's not as if the keys or layout are shrunk - it's exactly the same as the big keyboard, just without the navigation keys and numeric pad.
I started using the wireless (small) keyboard soon after it came out and I prefer it to the big one - there's less arm movement needed to get to the mouse and the reduced footprint is a boon on my 'active' desk top. I guess if you're typing in loads of numbers the number pad is useful but I do my fair share or spreadsheet and programming work and haven't really missed it.
just wandering, why doesn't the MacBook or the iMac come with a Blu-ray drive?
I'd love to get my hands on the 24in iMac (with the ATI GPU), but the fact that the Blu-ray drive is missing puts me off (yes, I am one of those people that watch hi-def anime alone on my computer screen).
and before someone says that the Macs are made for the internet watching pleasure, let us not forget that their are many who have slow internet connection and many more who can't buy digital movies because there is no one to sale it to them in their region.
"I've never understood this desire to raise the monitor. For correct posture your eyes are supposed to be level with the TOP of the monitor, so that you look down at about 30 degrees. That's standard ergonomics."
Perhaps it is standard ergonimics, but many offices I've been in, especially here in my Uni, are moving towards adjustable monitor heights on the LCD's. All our windows PC's from HP have them. Personally I've got a shorter set of legs for my height, and a taller upper body. When I sit down with people who are 6 foot+ I sit shoulder to shoulder (or higher), and I'm a fair bit under 6 foot. This means that while the desk is the right height for my legs, the 24" iMac I currently use is about 3" too short. A yellow pages and a Thompson local would raise it nicely if I had them to hand. So, I would prefer to be able to raise the monitor height, but can't.
I run into similar issues with bicycles where the assumes standard ratio of legs to torso is quite a bit off for my size.
Please remember that people in the rest of the world do not share your body (a)symmetry, and the need for adjustable height monitors is a real need because one size does (usually) not fit all.
> Why don't we get a UK keyboard? Yet another example of Apple's arrogance.
Er, no... actually its an example of your stupidity.
You DO get a UK keyboard. All Macs sold in the UK come with a UK keyboard including the £ sign (shift-3) and # in the right place.
If yours didn't then why didn't you query it at the time? Clearly it was a mistake or you purchased a grey import from a dodgy dealer.
"I've never understood this desire to raise the monitor. For correct posture your eyes are supposed to be level with the TOP of the monitor, so that you look down at about 30 degrees. That's standard ergonomics. Whenever I've been forced to use a computer for any length of time where the user has raised the monitor on top of the desktop case or even on books, I end up with a crick in my neck.
"Oh, and just for balance, I've checked around the office - NONE of the PC LCD monitors in the office can be adjusted in height either."
Yeah, and I end up with neck ache if I don't raise the monitor by about 9" off the desk. You obviously have a shorter back than me. Some colleagues with 24" screens are able to adjust the height.; the majority of us have to make do with non adjustable screens.
Doesn't this conflict with the DSE regulations?
the new imac is too pricey! that's it...and shut up about the exchange rate, that's got NOTHING to do with the uk price! idiots! apple are a global company, making profits around the globe not just in one country.
simple really, the imac is too pricey, and will 'put-off' potential switchers, which is a massive error by apple. that's why, after 16 years of using macs, i will be buying a dell running xp later this year. i use one at work and it's fine.
apple have back to the old days of style over substance, a real shame.
US prices are without sales tax, UK price includes VAT (our sales tax)
The iMac is £949, take VAT away from that and it's £808.
£808 is the same as $1137, this is the UK price.
$1199 is the US price.
The new iMac is cheaper in the UK than it is in the US. Yes, cheaper.
If you've got a problem with that, blame your friendly local high street banker for giving 125% mortgages to chavs, and also have a good 'ol grumble at badgerface when he puts the VAT up to 20% next year.
The only legitimate bone to pick with Apple as far as price goes is the cost of the upgrades.
Because there isn't a low-power mobile variant of the i7.
The heat output of a full-blown desktop chip is too hard to remove from a nice thin all-in-one case like that.
Lots of people have commented that this is actually the "hole" in Apple's range. There's a big gulf because the range leaps from iMacs, using essentially laptop-grade parts, and Mac Pros - which are i7 Xeon class (and about as high-end as it gets in current technology).
Nice bits of kit but lacking in oomph and GPUs unfortunately… why not quad core or i7?!
For all the ones pointing out the £/$ conversion rate, did the ever-benevolent Jobs drop the prices when the £ was strong? Or are Apple like all other multinationals and out to gouge the last penny from your cold, dead hands?
When people comment on Apple's UK pricing they often make two fundamental errors:
1. They compare UK prices which include VAT with US prices which do not include local taxes. The VAT component of Apple's UK prices goes to the UK government, not to Apple.
2. They fail to understand the significance of the relationship between sterling and the US dollar. Apple's development, manufacturing and product delivery processes are inevitably almost totally managed in terms of the US dollar. Consider the radical change in the value of the pound against the US dollar and it becomes obvious that UK prices must increase, simply to maintain margins.
Today's exchange rate is around 1.4 US dollars to the pound. It isn't so very long since the pound was worth 2 US dollars. This isn't a technical point but a real change in value.
Some people need a numeric keypad; many make little or no use of one. The presence of a numeric keypad creates a fundamental ergonomic problem:
* The centre of the keyboard's main alphanumeric section should be aligned with the horizontal centre of the monitor and the user's body, to avoid the strain which results from twisting the body to accommodate a keyboard which is positioned off-centre.
* The width of the numeric keypad obliges the user to operate the mouse that much further from the body. The further from the body's centre the hand is used, the greater the load on the postural systems which support the arm and hand. One of the standard strategies for reducing strain for users who experience pain in the hand, arm, shoulder or neck, is to ensure that the mouse or other pointing device is as close to the trunk as possible. One of the potential advantages of a trackball or similar device is that it usually allows the hand to be used closer to the trunk than is the case when one uses a mouse.
* Eliminating the numeric keypad produces a worthwhile reduction in strain. A number of third party manufacturers have offered compact keyboards without numeric keypad and they have often been used by people with strain problems.
Apple's first flat panel display was a 15-inch device with a practical and effective height-adjustable stand. Later monitors were supplied with a much simpler non-adjustable stand. This is a reasonable strategy if monitors are also provided with a standard VESA-compatible bracket which allows them to be used with VESA-compatible arms and stands, though it would be better to acknowledge the need for adjustment and provide it as standard.
The separate monitors do provide the option to purchase an adapter which enables their use with VESA-compatible arms and stands. The option has also been provided for the 24-inch iMac, but not, I think, for the smaller iMacs.
There is a fundamental ergonomic problem with the design of the 24-inch iMac which doesn't apply to the 24-inch or 30-inch monitors: the iMac occupies a significant amount of additional space below the monitor; even if one mounts it on an adjustable arm or stand, it may not be possible to adjust the monitor low enough for comfortable use.
It is always possible to lift a monitor; reducing its height is far more difficult. The only simple solution is a split-level adjustable table of the sort we once used with very large CRT monitors. That solution is expensive, though a good table will outlast several computers.
Before anyone decides to express a preference for looking up at a higher monitor, let me state clearly that:
1. The correct height relationship with a monitor is defined by what works for the eye.
2. What works for the eye depends on the position of the head, which in turn depends on how one sits: someone sitting actively, with the back balanced and self-supporting, will have a completely different experience from that of someone who slouches back in the chair.
3. The eye doesn't cope well with looking upwards: relax your eye and focus on a point which is comfortable; now lift your point of focus without moving the head. Notice the strain involved. One avoids this strain by lifting the head: this transfers the strain to the neck and the trapezius muscle. Strain in the neck and trapezius affects total postural strain; it is especially significant for strain in the shoulders, arms and hands, the strain which leads to "repetitive strain injury" or "upper limb disorder".
Monitor height is important. It would be good to see Apple returning to the values and awareness which informed the design of the first flat panel display and the first flat panel iMac, a design whose adjustable monitor arm made it an outstandingly effective and user-friendly computer.
One can understand why Apple may prefer not to get into the business of supplying adjustable monitor stands and arms, but it could certainly create effective designs which would match the appearance of its monitors. Offering its own solutions would encourage users to be aware of the importance of monitor height and simplify their search for an appropriate solution.
"I bought my P5 iMac some time ago (obviously) and was very annoyed to find that it comes with an American keyboard"
Then you bought a grey import; either intentionally or they robbed you. Every Mac or mac keyboard I've bought in the UK has come with a keyboard with a £ (and more recently €) sign on it. They've always had @ and " the wrong way round mind...
Having just gone through an occupational work place assessment as a result of a compressed disk in my lower spine I can very confidentially point out that your advise is tosh. My work monitor at it's maximum height and as you recommend this indeed results in me looking straight ahead at the top of it. This is why, under advise from a professional, I have just ordered a monitor stand to raise it by about 4".
"The iMac is £949, take VAT away from that and it's £808.
£808 is the same as $1137, this is the UK price.
$1199 is the US price.
The new iMac is cheaper in the UK than it is in the US. Yes, cheaper."
Remember you're looking at the low end 20" iMac - the one that used to be £780 inc VAT. Now it's £949.
Apple's main targets are home users and creative media workers.
The all-in-one, non-upgradable design rules out gamers, overclockers and the specs obsessed. What they are aiming for are those for whom their software is appropriate. Those people generally don't need the extra oomph as the OSX apps do quite well on this spec. Sure, Apple sells hardware, but people buy the applications and ease of use. I suspect iLife's "print a calendar" service has done more for them than any increased hardware specs would. This is why Apple aren't targeting general business use - they would have to compete either on hardware price with Dell and Lenovo, or with compatibility with MS Office, which is a fool's errand, as Novell found out. The expensive hardware subsidises the cheap software (and related profitable services) but they can't do that for business apps.
The creative media people obviously get a Mac pro which has all the oomph required.
Apple have nailed their target market and have been admirably single-minded in their pursuit of that market. They haven't been sidetracked by trying to please everyone or by those for whom hardware costs are everything. A Mac isn't for everyone but for Apple, they are very profitable.
Having said that, yes, it is a bit expensive. I'd like to see mac minis with more oomph to take over the "cheap mac" mantle from imac. And I'd like a laser mouse, the lack of which is unforgivable for a desktop system.
No I don't have one. I rather like my linux/kde system which does so much stuff. Maybe a macbook pro would be nice though...
Not that I particularly wish to support Apple, but don't you think that the increase in price might just have something to do with the fact that the exchange rate is no longer $2=£1? I seem to remember the last time this was discussed, the price increases were mostly equivalent to the currency movements. There *is* a trade off for the currency falling through the floor!
Whilst I agree with you that Apple aren’t going for the corporate or the heavy home users out there which is why these specs are what they are, but, when reading the previous AC you are replying to, and your comment “…The creative media people obviously get a Mac pro which has all the oomph required…a macbook pro would be nice…” – I was rather disappointed that the Mac Pro came with only a 9600M GT… for that price I’d definitely expect some more ‘oomph’!!
Apple once offered a solution to which it might usefully return. The Apple Adjustable Keyboard, which certainly dates from the introduction of the first PowerPC computers, if not before, came with a separate numeric keypad unit.
The separate keypad unit offered two advantages:
1. one could choose to use it or not
2. the keypad unit could be connected at either end of the keyboard; even a right-handed user could operate the keypad with the left hand, allowing the mouse or other pointing device to be positioned closer to the user.
The Apple Adjustable Keyboard also allowed the user to choose a conventional configuration or to angle the two halves into a more ergonomically correct configuration. It was an innovative solution which preceded at least most of the "ergonomic keyboard" solutions. It wasn't perfect, because the keys were flat (to minimise strain it is desirable that the two halves of the keyboard slope down from the centre), but it acknowledged basic ergonomics and gave the user choice.
Apple's keyboards are visually elegant. They demonstrate good taste and I regard the decision to offer compact versions as evidence of good judgement. It would be very good, though, to see Apple do some imaginative and radical design work and offer a keyboard which looks good and takes us closer to the ergonomic ideal.
Ergonomics is biomechanical common sense. It acknowledges the way the body actually works and seeks to minimise strain and improve our effectiveness and wellbeing. It should be central to all design work.
I wish UK Macs DID come with US keyboards - I utterly utterly detest the chopped-off left shift key that some boneheaded bozo, I assume at IBM, decided to foist on the non-US world way back when and which has ossified into another crap-by-default standard because nobody can be arsed to challenge it (except for Dell was it with their cunning 'slide the whole ZXCVBNM row along one' gambit).
Maybe it wasn't boneheadedness, maybe someone was actually still nursing a grudge going back to colonial days or something. It's tough to decide which is the more plausible explanation for the thing's f***wittedness.
For a desktop machine it's easy to fix - just buy a new keyboard (I have) - but my Macbook is stuck with it unless I want to replace the whole case top along with it, and for what? To fit in a key with two symbols on one of which I hardly ever use but when I do I can easily get from the keyboard viewer thing and the other of which whose NAME I DON'T EVEN KNOW let alone ever having cause to use it. I'm talking about plusminus and the backwards S thing with the circle in the middle. # doesn't get its own key but these two weirdos need one? W T F ? ?
Alright, I'll have to explain a bit more.
Yes, the UK price went up from £780 to £949.
The US price remained the same, at $1199.
Last year, that $1199 would have been worth somewhere around £780 (post-tax).
$1199 = 780-ish 2008 pounds = 949-ish 2009 pounds.
£949 of today's money is exactly the same as £780 of last year's money. Apple is making exactly the same amount of profit and receiving the same amount of US dollars (roughly) from it's UK customers.
Only difference is that this year, the government numpty tokens called pounds that us Brits like to play with are seen as worth less by other countries due to a lack of confidence in our soggy little island's ability to actually create the goods and services that match the perceived value of the notes. Our only real money-maker was the banks, and they've gone bust due to us, as a country, doped up on the musty scent of Kirsty Allsop's jockstrap, deciding that it would be cool if our soggy little houses cost 3 times the amount that the average family could actually afford.
To anyone who still doesn't get it, consider that this iMac would probably cost $6bn Zimbabwe dollars this week, and would rise in price to $60bn next week. Apple wouldn't be making any more money out of it because Zimbabwe's currency is a steaming pile of tapir skids, much like our pound at the moment.
Get used to a lot of things rising in £, especially with computer hardware. This is only just the beginning, the recession has only just started. As soon as the effect of the current government money-printing spree kicks in (printing more money means the £10 in your wallet is now £9) expect the currency to really go to the dogs.
Historically, the £ has settled at an average of around $1.5. The last few years of ever-cheaper computer hardware has been the exception, not the rule.
Other hardware manufacturers are likely to follow Apple (Sony already has), so my advice to anyone thinking about a big hardware upgrade would be to do it sooner rather than later. All this is before you factor in VAT going right back up later this year.
Alternatively, buy British, buy Amstrad (Elonex), for quality and value. :P
WTF is it with Apple and their ridiculous memory upgrade fees? Same with their authorised sales outlets too (not talking Apple stores). I know users are welcome to get their own and install it, as I did with my Macbook, but some machines like the mini are warranty voiders. It really does take the piss when they've had the premium on the original sales. I know there will be responses regarding "you made the choice etc etc" and "single vendor ecosystem" but are Mac users really so fucking gullible? Maybe that's self-answering as the dweeb in the mac outlet really thought I'd be going for the memory upgrade from them at 2.5x the price of DIY.
Side Note: When upgrading your own mac memory make sure you buy memory (for last years crop of macbooks anyhow) that has CAS 5 timings. I bought memory from a well-known major player that said it was compatible but it used CAS 4 timings. It'd get detected when paired with one of Apple's CAS 5 units but not as 2xCAS 4 sticks. Apparently this is hit and miss so be warned.
I think I am detecting that Apple maybe less trustworthy than MS in it's behaviour as it already seems to be moving to a customer rape-and-pillage model after it's recent increase in popularity when it's still a very minor player. Surely you leave that shit to when you've cornered a bigger slice of the market, no? That said my system stability and lack of constant maintenance keep me happy for now and my data is only entrusted to the penguin for safe-keeping.
"personally I was hoping for a 30" iMac ..."
Personally, I was hoping for a 24" iMac with 2TB HD 36GB RAM, backlit LED display, autographed by St Steve, et alii aliorum ...
not what I expected!
Oh ... and then I awoke to find Alice had not gone down the rabbit hole and the Court was just a bunch of playing cards all along.
I'm writing this on one.
And how pissed off would you be if Apple produced a Quad-core iMac only for you to find out there's no real speed increase . PC users can always run speed tests and benchmark systems to convince themselves they've made the right decision but us Mac users need real results from our technology so we'll happily wait 'til 10.6 is released and have a faster, more productive machine rather than higher figures on a spec sheet.
Only when you have no idea what they are!! Jobs is a twat.
I tried Mac's a few years ago and still have two - both overpriced and both using bootcamp more often than not. A great OS if you don't want to run 99% of available software and when you do find something worth having - you pay twice the price.
Will run them until the die but never again.
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