back to article Apple iMac 27-inch 2013: An extra hundred quid for what exactly?

The original iMac, launched back in 1998, was a breakthrough product that rescued Apple from being sucked into the sort of death spiral that Blackberry is currently speeding down. But now, in 2013, the latest version of the all-in-one desktop computer appears to barely merit a press release from the Apple mothership. In fact, …

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  1. nematoad Silver badge

    "Jobs knows the company can well afford this small generosity."

    Ha. It is to laugh!

    1. jason 7

      Indeed.

      Waiting for the first one to not get the joke in...3...2..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too big

    For me, the whole 27" thing is just too big in an office where you need to work with other people - 24" is at the edge of acceptable if your life doesn't revolve around having every bit of data on the Universe in one spreadsheet or going pixel precise with every palette and toolbox on screen.

    Don't get me wrong I generally like the Apple platform (OSX, but not so in need of designer looks of the box), I just found 27" impractical.

    On the plus side, I guess you save on partitions :)

    1. Jonathan 29

      Re: Too big

      I am surrounded on all sides by people with dual and triple monitor. I am no doubt in the minority again, but I find the ergonomics of one big screen to be preferable to two medium or even two large monitors. I quite fancy one of those ultra wide monitors though.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Too big

        I have a 27" iMac and a Windows PC with dual 24" screens on my desk. The 27" is nicer to work with, although I currently have so much to do, I spend most of my time on the Windows box, because I don't have time to set up the iMac properly...

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Too big

      The 27" isn't too big.

      The sad thing is that you have to special order the iMac if you want to put it on a VESA monitor arm.

      (And yes, you will want to do that to free up some desk top real Estate. )

      BTW, is it just me, but in the article there's a graph of benchmarks that have nothing to do with the article?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too big

        "BTW, is it just me, but in the article there's a graph of benchmarks that have nothing to do with the article?"

        I think the author is using that image to let the readers know that this years i7 model is shittier than last years. Would you expect to pay a 100 more for a weaker machine? Apparently if you buy Apple.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Too big

      I know a few people who have insanely huge huge monitors on their desks as well.

      Yes, it's too big when I have to physically move my head in order to comprehend everything that is on the screen or sit so far back my desk becomes irrelevant.

      As for dual monitors, my work requires looking at huge amounts of information from multiple programs and an even larger menus to be productive. Info one one side, menu on the other or combinations thereof. A large monitor becomes far too cluttered.

      Of course, this is just my preference.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too big

        "Of course, this is just my preference."

        I believe your preference is the majorities. I've been using at least 2 monitors for over a decade. If I use just 1, no matter the size, I feel like I'm being slowed down some how. However, most Mac users I see only use 1 (excluding photoshop users of course).

        Could it be that the majority of people running 2+ monitors don't use Mac.? If that is the case, then I can see why Mac. would focus on 1 big monitor.

        BTW, I wish monitors came with splitters built in. That way for some things I could use 1 monitor with 2 inputs (without using multiple gpu's/capture cards).

        1. Matthew 17

          Re: Too big

          I have two 21" screens on my Mac Pro, two is much better for a workflow POV, however with a big screens I get fatigued quickly even with just one. The 27" screens look lovely but I can't sit in front of one for long and have to turn the brightness right down to avoid my eyes giving up.

          regardless,having two screens is useful regardless of their size, if I had one mahoosive 27" I'd still feel a bit boxed in.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll fall off!

    "...the constant irritation of having all the USB and other ports hidden around the back"

    Stephen, you need to stop constantly plugging and unplugging your dongle, it'll fall off!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USB ports

      "...the constant irritation of having all the USB and other ports hidden around the back"

      Plug a four port USB hub into one of the ports and a multi-card reader into another, with short USB cables. Then Blu-tack the pair of them to the foot of the stand.

      The iMac has a cable management hole in the stand, so cable ties and little blobs of Blu-tack will keep the cables neat.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... because you're worth it.

  5. handle

    No USB3

    ...even though I bet it would cost virtually nothing to include it. But that's not the Apple way - the Apple way is to spend much more on "Thunderbolt" peripherals. Just like micro-SD in mobile phones is not the Google way - the Google way is to spend much more on on-board storage.

    1. Jonathan 29

      Re: No USB3

      I am confused by this. Both iMacs have four usb 3 ports.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No USB3

        Hater's gonna hate ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No USB3

          Don't let silly things like facts get in the way of your hate!

    2. ChrisCabbage

      Re: No USB3

      Just double-checked. It is USB3 according to the Apple store tech. specs.

    3. Fuzz

      Re: No USB3

      I totally agree it's stupid not to include USB 3 ports. Fortunately Apple seem to have included all 4 ports that are available on the Intel chipset.

      1. handle

        Re: No USB3

        Apologies - should have checked. The lack of both the "SS" logo and the blue colour normally associated with USB3 sockets fooled me. Should have realised that the colour blue at least would have been verboten ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No USB3

          Check your facts before you hate next time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Check your facts before you hate next time.

            Which bit of "Apologies - should have checked." didn't you understand?

            1. handle

              Phew!

              Thanks, AC 11:50. Amazing the hate expressed by those who accuse others of being "haters"!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another comparison

    The latest Dell XPS 27 inch all in one.

    Overlooking for the sake of argument, and to avoid starting ones, that it's touch screen with Windows 1 more than 7.

    i7 3.9 processor, 16Gb RAM, 2TB HDD + 32Gb SSD, GeForce GT 750M

    Blu-ray drive, some of the ports on the side of the screen

    £1800 with 1 yr warranty

    Apple have been more generous with the SSD options, Dell offer no customization.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another comparison

      And no OS X and no Apple service and I'm not sure I'd actually buy Dell at the moment as their future seems pretty unknown. There is no point comparing things like this - you may as well compare a Mercedes against a Vauxhall on the basis that they both have 4 wheels, 5 seats and headlamps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another comparison

        But the article compares the Apple to a Lenovo, also no OS X and no Apple service, so either both comparisons are pointless (in which case you've already decided to buy Apple and no amount of logical argument will change that) or both are pointy. It's generally good practice for reviews to compare to other, similar specced machines, it allows you to judge whether the price of the device is reasonable.

        And anyway, why not compare a Vauxhall to a Mercedes? If "what people think when I drive past them" is a massive factor in your purchase then why are you reading a technical review? If you genuinely want purchasing advice then knowing that the mercedes is overpriced compared to a similar car of a different marque could save you a lot of money....

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Another comparison

        Vauxhall <-> Mercedes comparison is entirely fair.

        Since both are limited to the same 30/40/50/60/70mph depending on the road they actually provide the same function.

        You're paying how many more tens of thousands of pounds for a badge with three spikes...

        You're paying how much more for a badge with a bite taken out of it...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another comparison

          "You're paying how much more for a badge with a bite taken out of it..."

          Or we're paying for a product we can actually buy, that actually works.

          We've been moving over to Mac for a while now in certain areas.

          It all started three years ago when the boss's Dell laptop died. Being our database specialist he needed a decent spec unit for development, but also wanted to take it over to the US to our office there, so desktops were out. He also needed a local demo platform to show to prospective, clients many of whom are not only cagey about non-employees jacking into their corporate network, but also (despite being Fortune 500) still haven't got around to implementing a visitor's internet-only guest network so we can get outside connectivity...

          At the time there were 3 models offering the spec we needed - a Dell, a Sony and a MacBook Pro. Which meant there were two options "because Apples are overpriced" and we were a Windows house.

          - Dell

          So on the phone to Dell for a new one. After an hour on the phone confirming billing details they tell us that delivery is scheduled at some stage in the next 6 weeks.

          WTF? A standard build model on the website, on a business account? 6 WEEKS? Okay, what's available NOW? Nothing even close to what we need. Core 2 Duo consumer grade stuff.

          I shouldn't be surprised. My brother tried to buy a custom Dell as a consumer. Specced it up on the website, had a phone conversation to confirm the delivery details. Two weeks later gets an email telling him one of the specified components is out of stock "for the foreseeable future". For feck's sake. Nothing like wasting your customer's time eh? He bought a Mac.

          - Sony

          We go and buy it. Hurrah, available immediately. Feels like an awful pile of plastic crap but hey ho, the spec's right. Fired up... whhiiiiiRRRRRRRRR WWWHuuurrrrrr whiiirrrrrRRRRRRRRR.

          Not only is it the noisiest laptop any of us had ever come across, it wasn't even uniformly annoying - constantly cycling the fan up and down and up and down, which probably also means the fan would have failed stupidly fast as well. Even when we get into the fan controls and locked it to full power (noisy but at least we could tune it out) it ran unbelievably hot under idle loads (at low RPM the thermal protection made it shut itself down).

          So that went back.

          So what now? Apple? Really?

          So we took the leap. In 3 hours (having never touched OSX in our lives) we'd booted it, installed parallels, got the Windows-only software running, along with the stuff that could run in OSX. It ran quiet, it ran stable, and the boss has never looked back (apart from blinding and swearing at how fecking horrible he thinks iOS7 is but that's another story). And now I'm working on a 27" iMac, and the screen is GORGEOUS compared to the twin Dell monitors I had before :D

          Am I a convert? Yes.

          Was I wrong to ridicule my brothers when they bought Macbooks? Maybe, my Toshiba did what I needed.

          Why do I love it? Because the Mac gear does what it says on the tin. It does it well, it does it quietly, and in 3 years none of the Macs we've bought have crashed once. Not once. I mean, it's so good I'll be out of a job soon... :/

          1. Captain Underpants

            Re: Another comparison

            @AC 13:31

            The shine wears off when you realise how shoddy Apple's hardware warranty service is compared to any vendor who actually offers business-class machines and support. (In particular, Apple don't do what other vendors do when eg you have the same unit fail 5 times in less than a year...)

            As for Dell: I've no idea why your account was only getting you 6 week turnarounds - I've been dealing with 'em for years and it's more like a 2-week turnaround on most laptops. They don't do shiny as well as other vendors, but they do damn reliable systems and bulletproof hardware support. The key is "don't buy the consumer stuff". But you really should already know this if you're paid to support and buy IT stuff...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Another comparison

              @Captain Underpants

              Happily we haven't had to test Apple's hardware support as it's all been faultless. Maybe we were lucky, but whatever, it's worked for us. We're a small company, so supporting IT isn't my only job - in fact we all have about 3 roles. However, yeah, for whatever reason, Dell were unable to get an off-the-shelf business laptop to us in less than 6 weeks which frankly is piss poor. It should have been a matter of pulling a box out of a warehouse and writing our address on it. And also, you know, do a stock check as point 1 instead of wasting your customer's time before telling them you actually can't fulfil that order very soon, and then offering you a choice of stuff that will run Office and not much else. Similarly Sony's best attempt needed restraining in it's efforts to vibrate out the door to freedom.

              Our hosting is all on Dell servers, and credit where due, they've been superb. Their datacentre stuff is good, but certainly their office stuff was cack. They may have improved but we haven't looked recently as we've been so happy with the Apple kit. They don't crash, they've done everything we've asked of them and people like working on them. At the end of the day, productivity is about providing people with reliable tools to get their jobs done and on that score I simply can't fault the Apple kit. Other people's experience's may vary but that's the nature of the game. If I want to tinker with something unstable I'll do that on my project box at home.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Another comparison

              My 2010 iMac failed and I took it into an Apple store 2 weeks ago. Turns out the PSU had failed and taken out the logic board.

              They've agreed to replaced both for free.

              Obviously it's poor for a £1200 machine to completely die, but I've been impressed with Apple's customer service. They rang me twice to keep me up to speed with progress and I collect it tomorrow.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Another comparison

              "Apple don't do what other vendors do when eg you have the same unit fail 5 times in less than a year...)"

              No, They've generally done it after 3 times.

              In my experience.

              1. Captain Underpants

                Re: Another comparison

                @AC 7/10/2013 17:36

                Yeah, after 3 times is my experience too. Problem is, when the 4th failure happens, they insist on treating it as a new case (unlike every other vendor I've dealt with, where the normal approach is to take the system history into account and provide actual useful service).

                My experience of Apple gear is that it's pretty shiny when it's working and you don't need to change the out-of-box config. If it breaks, or you need to tinker with hardware, it's a substantially crappier experience than many other vendors provide. (I'm also uninterested in OS X, on the basis that I'll go either whole-hog Windows when that's what I need or RHEL/Fedora if I want Linux.)

                @AC 08/10/2013 10:43

                Apple changed iPhone support policies a while back in pursuit of higher margins, and massively clamped down on on-the-spot replacements (especially for accidental damage, unless you've got AppleCare+ which is basically Accidental Damage For Apple iOS Devices). So your stories are clearly not current.

                Also, other vendors being slow and shit to carry out repairs doesn't make Apple magically not shit. If you need to get into the store for a repair, you need an appointment. Anywhere busy (eg ALL the London stores) will mean you can only get an appointment a week in advance. So then you're immediately 1 week down - and that assumes that they can do next-day repair, which is not guaranteed. (The alternative is send it to a 3rd party approved repair centre, which still involves 1-2 weeks wait time because they generally don't have the parts on a shelf and have to order them in after verifying the fault...) Compare that to the NBD onsite service that business-class kit from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba and others can be supplied with and it starts to look crap. I've used consumer support from various vendors and it's generally sucky - Apple do reasonably well there. But for business-class support they suck the arse off a dead donkey.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another comparison

            Was I wrong to ridicule my brothers when they bought Macbooks?

            It's always right to ridicule brothers - who needs a reason? :)

            For the rest, this is pretty much what I went through and how I become a convert. I didn't buy a MacBook because I wanted to "go Mac" - I bought a MacBook as an extra machine for research. I gave myself 3 months to get familiar with the OS, but it didn't take a month to start liking OSX for quite simply working when I need it to, resulting in the other machines either being thrown out or converted to Linux Mint - the only Windows I have left lives in a VM (not even Parallels, it's a simple VirtualBox) and gets to play once a month because it otherwise takes to long to patch itself.

            Is it perfect? Show me a platform that is, and I'll show you haven't worked with it long enough, but in general OSX is a revelation after both Windows and Linux. I can run commercial software (which is cheap if you avoid MS and Adobe), upgrades are easy and it's FreeBSD in the background which means I have a terminal window that is actually of some use. I'm sold - and it didn't take a fanboi..

            About the only thing I took with me from the Windows world was the Logitech Anywhere MX mouse. I can't get on with the Apple mouse..

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: AC 14:32 this is pretty much what I went through

              That would be because you made both posts up yourself?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC 13:31

            All that typing only to sign it AC and render it virtually worthless.... You are the official anonymous apple shill and I claim my 20 quid!

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: AC 15:22

              AC15:22 "All that typing only to sign it AC and render it virtually worthless.... You are the official anonymous apple shill and I claim my 20 quid!"

              Bad luck.

              In my experience you get what you pay for - and that first MBP is still going strong as opposed to the standard plastic laptop which you expect to replace every 3 years or so because the screen/hinge/battery has worn/broken.

              I'm using a hand-me-down 2008 Macbook as my couch-surfing machine at home now. It's going a lot stronger at 6 years old than my trusty Toshiba was! Fan bearings haven't gone, battery still holds charge, aluminium unibody means it's not missing plastic bits that have snapped off.

              All I'm saying is people whine and bitch about "you're paying for a badge". Well, that badge hasn't missed a beat in 3 years.

              And for that matter, neither has the Dell badge on our servers. But their office products are a whole other matter.

          4. WhoaWhoa

            Re: Another comparison

            "I mean, it's so good I'll be out of a job soon... :/"

            So you're a sort of fashion model?

            Blonde?

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Another comparison

          For a Mercedes you pay for extra luxuries and performance you can use when allowed.

          For Apple you pay to have less stuff... on a desktop!

          I have a 2009 24" iMac which I like, but this is daft. Its still essentially a "productivity" device, since, Batman notwithstanding, mobile graphics and hi-res 27" screens do not a games-capable machine make. You may as well get a mini and separate screen.

          Haswell is nice for laptops, but for a desktop, I don't really care about power saving that much. How about something innovative like a full-size Bluetooth keyboard with both backspace and delete keys?

          Removing floppies and replacing them with USB was visionary. Removing DVD and hiding the USB ports is dumb. My parents have a hundred DVDs or so and I have to use my non-Mac laptop to rip them rather than the shiny new DVD-less Macbook pro. Their kit is obviously less useful than it was, which annoys me enough to not buy another iMac.

          My guess is that the extra $100 is to make up for the sales lost due to the economic downturn.

      3. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Another comparison

        We get next day on site support with our Dell kit, Apple we have to send off to Apple - the nearest Apple store is a 4 hour drive away.

        The same with smartphones, Samsung, htc etc. are switched out for a new phone if you have a problem, the iPhones have to be sent back to Telekom / Apple for 2 weeks (without a replacement). Für an additional 99€, you can get the same replacement service as the other manufacturers provide for free...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another comparison

          You are flipping kidding - at least in the UK it was 3 weeks to get a fix on a Samsung with no advance replacement / swap out with Apple it was either get it fixed / swapped there and then in a store or send it back - they received it the next day - sent it back the same day and it was received the day after.

          I dropped my iPhone (hard) - camera / lens got slightly dislodged - popped into an Apple store and walked out with it fixed 20 minutes later. Friend had to take their iPhone back - Apple just swapped it out and helped out restoring it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another comparison

            pointless anonymous apple shill, change the record and stop pretending to be loads of different people. It really isn't working....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Another comparison

              pointless anonymous apple shill, change the record and stop pretending to be loads of different people. It really isn't working....

              What's the matter Steve? Is that what you'll be doing after Microsoft? Trying to troll and accuse those posting factual experience that they're shills? Sad, really.

      4. Piro

        Re: Another comparison

        Yeah, I'd buy the Vauxhall and spend the money saved on something that would actually give me a tangible benefit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another comparison

          Yeah, I'd buy the Vauxhall and spend the money saved on something that would actually give me a tangible benefit.

          Depends on your aim. If you drive long distances for a living you'll be better off with the Merc, and it also holds its value better. But that doesn't mean I'd deride anyone in a Vauxhall (Opel for EU people). A Lada, maybe, but AFAIK they have all rusted to death by now. On a slight tangent, I actually saw someone with a restored 2CV, which is probably the most peculiar car I've ever come across. Quite fun to see it again.

      5. Chris 171

        Re: Another comparison

        In fairness the Merc still comes with a CD player I'd imagine.

        As to the key point, this device is the equivalent of a 'designer' desk lamp.

      6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

        Re: Another comparison

        "There is no point comparing things like this - you may as well compare a Mercedes against a Vauxhall on the basis that they both have 4 wheels, 5 seats and headlamps."

        Spoken like a true Apple fanboi. Comparing CPU, chipset, video card, RAM, hard disk... these are not some incidental like headlights. THAT IS THE COMPUTER. Computers are not cars, so car comparisons are invalid anyway... but, unlike with the cars (where they'll have a lot of different components), the Apple will have an off-the-shelf chipset, CPU, video card, RAM, hard disk, and so on just as you will find in any PC, with just a custom motherboard (adding TPM for OSX but otherwise *bone stock* compared to a normal motherboard), custom case, and usually custom power supply. I agree with ditching Windows but rather than OSX, I just run Linux on whatever I'd like.

    2. Robert Sneddon

      A bit different

      The 3.9GHz-boost i7 Haswell CPU costs a bit more than the 3.4GHz-boost i5 CPU in the standard iMac -- upgrading to that i7 on a build-to-order iMac is another 190 quid. Adding another 8GB to take it up to 16Gb as you specify in the Dell XPS is another 160 quid. Third-party external Blu-ray drives run to about 50 quid or more, I don't know if Apple offer an external drive. The Apple build-to-order page doesn't offer a 2TB internal drive, just 1TB standard and 3TB as a 120 quid upgrade. The Dell warranty includes on-site service, no need to carry the unit into an Apple store under your arm.

      OTOH the Dell tops out at 16GB which is a joke for an i7 workstation-class machine these days. It uses laptop SoDIMMs for some reason.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    All that money

    And yet - no numeric pad?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All that money

      Or spec the USB keyboard and get your num pad (or there are 3rd party num pads if you really need one).

      1. Def Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: All that money

        And the USB keyboard also comes with (wait for it...) extra USB ports.

        Paris, because she knows all about dicking around the back end trying to find where to stick it.

        1. Darryl

          Re: All that money

          And it doesn't quit due to dead batteries in the middle of typing up your extremely time-sensitive report

          1. Frankee Llonnygog

            Re: All that money

            If you have a wireless mouse or kbd (of whatever sort) grab a couple of sets of Eneloop batteries. When the ones you're reusing run out, swap them with charged up batteries, and get in the habit of immediately charging up the depleted batteries so they're ready for next time.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: All that money

      "And yet - no numeric pad?"

      By thankful that the design gurus at Apple have not yet taken the ultimate step in minimalism and given you a keyboard with only one key.

      Hey, it worked for the mouse didn't it?

      1. Sealand
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: All that money

        You haven't seen the MacTini, then:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noe3kR8KqJc

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how many other all-on-one PCs like this have this spec - i.e. 802.11ac, PCIe flash (not just basic SSDs on a SATA interface)? As for ports around the back - let's face it if they had stuck them on the front, sides or anywhere that would have been wrong as well (for someone). Get a USB extender for a couple of quid to move one to the front if you need to swap stuff that often.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      So you advocate cluttering your nice and neat desk with USB extenders because you think that removable media should be hidden away in the most awkward place to reach (with the possible exception of bundling it into the mains plug somehow). That these hidden ports also includes SD, not just USB, which is even more dumb as SD is generally only removable media while USB can attach to other devices where you might want to hide the cables.

  9. Robert Sneddon

    I'd reckon the extra 100 quid jump over the previous model is justified by all of the upgrades together rather than any individual improvement (Haswell, CPU speed hike, graphics upgrade etc.).

    It might have been worth mentioning the build-to-order page at Apple says the new 27" iMac supports up to 32GB of RAM although the Apple price for the upgrade is hilarious as usual. Running firebreathing graphics programs on the 8GB supplied as stock is not going to be a pleasant experience, and even maxing it out to 32GB is going to put a crimp on performance for 4k video editing, 3-D modelling and the like.

    1. Jonathan 29

      time for the pro

      I have been a bit critical of the Mac Pro, but as time has passed I have come to accept some of the wisdom behind their decisions. Hopefully we will find out how hilarious the price of this will be this month.

  10. jason 7

    Never keen on all in ones.

    Whether PC or Apple.

    Fiddly (often laptop spec) parts, difficult to repair. If you send it back you cant get the HDD out so do you send it off with your data or wipe it first and copy the data back later. What if you cant wipe it?

    Too much like hard work. I like to know I can swap out a HDD or Graphics card in three minutes.

    Function over style for me everytime.

    1. NogginTheNog

      Re: Never keen on all in ones.

      Agreed to a point: the lack of trailing wires, and one on-off button, can make up for the loss of flexibility.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never keen on all in ones.

      I don't feel the need to service my car / washing machine etc. either - if my iMac breaks Apple fixes it - if you don't like it buy a Mac Mini and separate display - sorted.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Never keen on all in ones.

        You kind of missed my point but nevermind.

  11. PJL500

    DVDs? No big deal. £10 - £20- for a small standalone usb DVD drive on eBay to store with your old discs should you need to access any of them.

    1. Darryl

      Once again - back to the Mac II's of the 90's. A computer on the desk with a pile of externals plugged into it. Didn't like it then, don't like it now.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        If you need a computer with DVD plugged in the whole time, just buy something else then. Hardly difficult is it?

  12. Matthew 3

    Noting the absence of a power lead in the pic it occurred to me that Apple are missing a trick. For the extra hundred quid they should have put an inductive plate on the base so that you could power it through your desk. The one remaining unavoidable wire gets hidden away and the aesthetics go uncompromised by even so much as a solitary piece of cable.

    1. JaimieV

      Although a great idea at first sight (I'd get one), it would be more than entertaining when used through a metal desk...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No problem. You'd just have to use the specified iDesk available only from Apple. A lovely 24" wide desk crafted from aluminum, glass, and light pine, for only $3999. Add $1000 for the 32" model

  13. Buzzword

    Ethernet

    At least this one has an Ethernet socket, unlike the late-2012 onward MacBooks. In many respects the mid-2012 MacBook was the last decent one, being equipped with a DVD drive, a proper hard drive, and an Ethernet port.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ethernet

      BS - most people do not need ethernet ports and it's a £20 adapter if you do need one - really not a big deal. Not having a DVD drive could be an issue for some people but again £20-50 will solve that with a USB external drive. You miss out the flip side of having a thinner device with a much improved battery life which is probably more important to most users.

      I reckon I use a DVD drive about twice a month now - of course everyone is different but they are pretty cheap and to be honest it's probably the least reliable part of the machine - so if it failed it's no hassle to replace.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ethernet

        No, I do think that a full Ethernet port is justified and many people need them. I live in a small terraced street in the centre of Reading, we have something like 30 WiFi access points visible to us at any one time. If we need to do anything that requires any reasonable bandwidth, we have to plug in. Asking £20 for a device which is just a port of a cable, is also extortionate.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: Ethernet

          Agreed. A computer that lacks a network port is broken by design, or a toy.

          And I'm not that happy about computers supplied without compilers, too...

          1. JaimieV

            Re: Ethernet

            All phones and almost all pads are toys then? Good to know, despite some of them being only five years behind desktop PCs in computation ability.

            OSX automatically asks if you want to download+install the command-line compiler tools if you try to use make, cc or pretty much anything else in the toolchain, btw. The free GUI IDE etc download is about five gig, so I'm happy to not have that included in the base install.

        2. O RLY

          Re: Ethernet

          Completely agreed. Going from a laptop with built-in 1GbE (last pre-Retina MBP for example)to having to use a USB port adapter that only supports 10/100BASE T is truly irritating. The 20 quid is salt in the wound.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ethernet

            USB? Most sensible people would use a thunderbolt adapter and get gigabit Ethernet.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ethernet

          Asking £20 for a device which is just a port of a cable, is also extortionate.

          It's actually a bit more than that - like the display adaptors, the adaptor has its own circuitry built in.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ethernet

        I have an external DVD drive from the 'netbook' days (when everyone seemed to want their quick Linux internet enabled distro replaced by Windows).

        As for USB, I have a drawer full of USB extenders / hubs.

      3. Captain Underpants

        Re: Ethernet

        @AC12:08

        If it's "not a big deal if you need one" then it shouldn't be a big deal for Apple to provide one with every unit in the box?

        Oh, wait, that'd be cutting £30 out of every sold unit, and since we're still living in a world where end-to-end data transfers over wired connections are appreciably faster than over wireless connections (unless you're the poor sucker who believed Apple when they said that Gigabit Ethernet was going to work just as well through a shared-bus USB2 adapter...) then the dongles pretty much sell themselves for anyone who knows of what they speak.

        Of course, Apple also tried to claim that the move away from optical media was because "nobody uses optical media any more". Which explains why every new film release comes out on Blu-Ray. And of course in no way would Apple be trying to push customers toward buying stuff on the store where it's made a habit of getting a 30% cut of purchase cost....

        Seriously, at least acknowledge you've drunk the koolaid. If it works for you and you're happy with it, then well and good - that's the point of a diverse marketplace. But your usage patterns (or mine) are not universal, so what you consider minor may not be minor for others. The main point is that for lots of people, not having a practical option for this kind of storage or network access is a silly oversight driven by design rather than functionality.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ethernet

          "buying stuff on the store where it's made a habit of getting a 30% cut of purchase cost...."

          And buying from another outlet doesn't give the outlet a 30% cut of the purchase cost?

          1. swissrobin

            Re: Ethernet

            I think the point about the 30% is that by not providing an optical drive they might be driving people towards online purchase of movies, box sets, etc. Apple would make zero out of a doovde/blurry sale (Amazon, OTOH ...) whilst they make some % of any download from iTunes, which is probably the download place of choice for iMac owners.

            Whether or not it's true, I don't know, but that is the point that was being made.

            As for leaving out ethernet, it's debatable. For an office environment full of creatives copying around big files you have the think WiFi bandwidth, which is inherently shared between everyone on the same channel whether or not they happen to be in your office/company, is going to be a squeeze.

            A cabled Gigabit ethernet connection will have much higher limits.

            I would certainly want an ethernet connection for a desktop office machine.

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: Ethernet

              I don't think lack of DVD pushes people to iTunes any more than it does Netflix - streaming video is where the world is going.

              I prefer ethernet for my main PC but other than gaming, WiFi works great. More and more people are buying laptops as their only PC these days and they generally do not use cabled networking unless they have to.

              In an office, I think wired is still a requirement but that's not Apple's target market for laptops.

      4. defiler Silver badge

        @AC - 12:08 Re: Ethernet

        I am that person who had to drive to a client's site at the drop of a hat because the boss' new Macbook Air couldn't connect to the correct wireless network, was pretending to connect to the wrong wireless network, and didn't have a nice reliable ethernet port for me to remote in through.

        If it doesn't have an ethernet port, it's a toy.

        If it's a tablet, and doesn't have an ethernet port, it's a toy. And in that I count my Asus Transformer which has become my go-to portable device for work. Still a toy, just an impressive one.

    2. Kebablog

      Re: Ethernet

      Think your getting Macbook Pro and Retina Macbook confused - ethernet is still alive and well on the full fat Macbook Pro

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not a machine for everyone - what next - whinge that it's go no battery and is not portable. If you want a desktop that is not integrated like this buy a Mac Mini and Apple (or non-Apple) screen. If you are a mobile user get a Macbook and plug into a screen when at your desk. If you are desk based and want no-clutter and are willing to accept you can't repair it yourself (but how many people not on here genuinely do) it's a good option. Thin, good looking, quiet - ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people compared to chunky desktop (with fans wailing) and separate monitors.

  15. alann2

    just purchased a 27"

    works, great, the service in the store was personable and efficient, hate to say it, but the machine itself is fantastic to operate, quick, easy to finish the setup and does exactly what it was bought for, and yes it does work better than any PC equivalent I've had

    1. Flawless101

      Re: just purchased a 27"

      Holy shit. This reads like one of those fake reviews you see dotted around the net.

      1. alann2

        Re: just purchased a 27"

        Probably does, i really don't care, I tend to be hardware agnostic, nto a fan of any manufacturer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just purchased a 27"

      I doubt it's a fake review - If you've just spent £1800 or whatever on a computer, you're going to sing its praises, it'd have to be pretty poor for you not to.

      I own and operate Win/Lin and Mac. My Macbook pro is great, my old G5 iMac has had the poorest service from Apple I'd care to receive. I've lost count of the times the phrase "That's not covered by Applecare" came up in our discussions about it. As it happens that Macbook was a free cast off (lucky me), and is excellent, it has persuaded me to seriously consider Apple again for my next machine, should I not have to deal with the "geniuses" in support again...

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: just purchased a 27"

        @AC14:46

        I've got a 15" MacBook Pro that was essentially free -I rescued an ancient PowerBook from a skip, it got nicked from my house when I got burgled, and the insurance company eventually replaced it under the new-for-old clause (I paid for a screen upgrade and AppleCare to get the 3 year warranty). When I found that out, I spent quite a lot of the day quoting a particular episode of The IT Crowd :D

        It's nice, but there's nothing about it that would make me give money to Apple over Toshiba, not least because the Toshiba option would include NBD onsite support for hardware issues at the same prices as AppleCare would expect me to make a genius bar appointment for a week today, then shlep into the store myself, then leave it with them until the repair was complete...

  16. The Original Steve

    "However, the iMac could be criticised for valuing form over function."

    From Apple?! No way!

    /s

  17. JDX Gold badge

    "the company should include one of its external SuperDrives for free"

    I can see where you're coming from but think this is a stupid idea. It wouldn't really be "free", it would merely mean the 90% of people who don't want an optical drive are subsidising the minority who do.

    Personally, I would absolutely love a 27" iMac, but they're just so damn pricey. I was seriously considering it as I do iOS development, but then I looked at the Mac Mini spec/pricing... the only way an iMac could be justified for me is if it replaced my existing Mac AND Windows PC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "the company should include one of its external SuperDrives for free"

      the only way an iMac could be justified for me is if it replaced my existing Mac AND Windows PC.

      It depends on what code you write, of course, but I found Windows perfectly usable under Parallels (and that may be a very good argument for a large screen, although I personally prefer multiple screens - each to their own). I only switched to VirtualBox because I use Windows so little it wasn't worth the upgrade (this is +2 years ago). I may get it again now, though - the integration with a Mac is better under Parallels.

      Oh, and a DVD drive? I'm re-using one I bought from my Windows days :)

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: "the company should include one of its external SuperDrives for free"

        Yeah, it's certainly possible to run Windows on a Mac. I run mainly in Windows so would go the bootcamp route if it ever came about. My Desktop PC and MacBook are both getting quite old...

  18. Mage Silver badge

    Keep taking the tablets?

    What do you get if you make a 27" tablet, stick it on a stand and forget to add the touch screen?

    An iMac. This is design style gone mad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep taking the tablets?

      Or maybe it's the future?

      Why do we need DVD drives when most of the media is digital / streamed (or will be) - why do we need huge ugly boxes taking up desk space. Sure you can wax on all you like about upgrading and servicing but these are becoming 'computing units' for most people - basically a screen, keyboard and mouse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep taking the tablets?

      It's just not the machine FOR YOU - it's called choice.

    3. Colin Ritchie
      Windows

      Re: Keep taking the tablets?

      The very idea of folk touching a 27" IPS with their grubby little digits makes me come over all Sheldon.

      Set phasers to Righteous Indignation!

      I abandoned iMac format Macs in 2008 when I calculated I would have to replace with a newer model every 3-4 years due to the lack of upgrades. 2013 I am still using the 2008 Mac Pro octo 2.8 I bought with all the upgraded bits in it running very smoothly.

      I added an i7 Hackintosh to my arsenal this year but both machines are used equally tbh.

      The Macinnacan Pro out next will knacker upgrading anything Apple made when it is released. :(

  19. nanchatte

    I've been an Apple user for eight or nine years or so

    ... When the first G4 Mac lunchbox for $499 was announced.

    But I have found myself more and more turned off by their PC hardware ever since.

    It's getting harder and harder to service with each generation.

    IDKAY, but I think I have upgraded the RAM and HDD ON EVERY SINGLE PC I have ever bought, be it laptop or desktop. Theoretically on windows PCs (and the 2005 OTA vintage white Intel iMacs and minis), the CPU was supposedly upgradable but usually it turned out that only a couple of hundred MHz more was available before a change of pin out meant a new motherboard was needed. So I was happy with just the disk and RAM or a new GFX card. in one case I swapped in a superior GFX card into a 27" iMac.

    But this is changing. First it was soldered CPUs, then soldered or firmware "tweaked" graphics cards. Now it's got to the point of soldered RAM. Oh yes, and Apple, the 80s are calling, they want their NON STANDARD hard drives back.

    We've now got to he point where to even open the machine you need a heat gun. WTF? This goes against everything I've learnt as a consumer: Buy what you need today, upgrade later... Apple want me to "Buy what you think you will need over the next three years or you'll be buggered later. Not only that, but the base model prices are actually increasing!

    So, in the inimitable words of Rowan Atkinson as a drunken father-in-law at a wedding, I said "you can all Sod Off!" And just bought myself a bargain final gen 17" macbook (Matte screen! Yay) and bargain final generation i7 27" with optical, because the new stuff has nothing compelling and the old stuff can be opened with a single readily available tool.

    To be honest, I'm worried where to go from here on in... I've climbed so far up Apple's butt in recent years that even my feet are all warm and moist...

    1. Spoonsinger
      Pint

      Re: I've climbed so far up Apple's butt in recent years, etc..

      Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery. (or is that beer - can't remember).

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Amorous Cowherder

    It was nice to have a Mac but when it got too long the tooth after 5 years use I went back to Windows and I must say I am actually enjoying Windows again now using Windows 7. Sure the clean design of OSX and the gorgeous screen on my iMac are nice to have but I simply can't afford the silly premiums Apple want on their kit, so Dabs and Billy Gates got my money.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Two views on the lack of DVD drive

      Quote

      It ensures everyone has to buy an external DVD drive to plug into it, and you know Apple won’t allow any third party crap, so its more money for them.

      What a load of Shite. I use a Samsung USB DVD drive on my MacBook Air and MacMini regularly.

      So

      Citation Please?

      1. Maharg

        Re: Two views on the lack of DVD drive

        Sorry, I assumed they would do this, I guess the same way you are assuming they don’t, unless of course you have one of the new iMacs this article is about, in which case I was mistaken.

  23. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Headphone socket

    I'd just like a headphone socket that was easy to get to rather than hidden somewhere in the acres of brushed aluminium round the back.

    The one upside of losing the optical drive is that there's no longer a DVD slot for me to idly push an SD card into and spend the next few minutes swearing.

  24. Vociferous

    Ah the original iMacs...

    That brings back memories. So horribly slow and unstable, so horribly overpriced - and yet they sold so horribly well.

    1. Joe Gurman

      Re: Ah the original iMacs...

      Erm, when did you borrow one? Obviously you never used one for much time. They were reliable, sturdy, virtually never crashed or hung. They banished serial ports and introduced USB and digital movie making to the masses. The only thing bad one could justifiably say about them was that replacing the CD drive was worse than pulling apart a 2013 model.

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Ah the original iMacs...

        Oh I used the ifuckers plenty, back in the early nineties. They were horribly, HORRIBLY, slow and unstable. The MacOS of the day didn't have dynamic memory allocation, which not only meant that you had to manually assign RAM to apps (and if you got it wrong they'd crash), but that you frequently got hilarious situations like that you were typing in Word, then the computer ran out of RAM, and you a) could not save your work because there was not enough RAM, and b) could not close programs because there was not enough RAM.

        Oh how we laughed.

        And the hockeypuck mouse! And the keyboard which, if you typed too fast, just drped chrcters! And of course it was ridiculously overpriced to boot.

        But hey, it was pastel colored and in one piece and didn't confuse users with choice or options, and that was apparently all that mattered.

  25. dougal83

    Clearly not for doing any work...

    If I got one of these (for free, as I would not buy one) I'd install windows and replace the unergonomic keyboard and mouse. Surely you'd go insane with that keyboard if you did a weeks work on it?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fluctuating value

    A discussion that came up with a friend surrounded when the best time is to buy new Apple hardware, and the answer seems to be as soon as it is released.

    Apple very rarely drops its prices between refreshes. The £1599 27in iMac will be £1599 11 months from now, when Intel has a new generation of CPU, Nvidia has a new generation of mobile GPU, and the rest of the AIO market has started including 802.11ac and PCI-E SSDs as standard, in many cases for less money.

    There's another related point too. Memory (and to a lesser extend, storage) prices fluctuate. If 8GB of memory costs twice as much in 8 months as it does now then the iMac is better relative value. And the opposite is true of course.

    I first thought this back when the hard disk factory flood was causing mechanical disk prices to skyrocket. Apple's intransigence over its prices was actually hurting the company.

    Not sure what relevance any of this has, but it's not a point people often make.

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