Apple’s 20-inch iMac ‘a sci-fi preview of what a computer will be in the decades ahead’

“Apple always has been known for its forward-thinking computer design, and the 20-inch iMac may be the most striking example yet of computer as style statement. The 20-inch iMac is a sci-fi preview of what a computer will be in the decades ahead — at least on the surface. The actual CPU is another story,’ James Maguire writes for NewsFactor Network.

“A single, cool-white pod forms its base, and an adjustable chrome arm tilts the monitor in any direction. The design is all simplicity, no appendages and no rectangular box like the computers of yesteryear. The thing looks like it may respond to voice commands, or perhaps mental telepathy,” Maguire writes. “The 20-inch’s CPU is powered by a 1.25 GHz G4, which at this point is last year’s processor . The iMac is not available with this year’s G5 chip.”

“Given that the 20-inch sets you back about US$2,100 and change, that’s a weakness. For a few hundred dollars less, you can get a PowerMac with a G5, with a much longer shelf life than the G4. Granted, after buying a monitor (smaller than 20-inch) and a mouse, you’d still spend around $2,100 or more for an entry-level G5,” Maguire writes. “But with the 20-inch, Apple is pricing what is essentially a backward-looking CPU at a forward-looking price. Not that the 20-inch is a slouch. The 1.25 GHz is the fastest of the G4 chips and should keep pace for the next few years.”

“This machine is a victory of form over substance, of wide-screen real estate over actual performance,” Maguire writes. “Whatever its limitations, it looks great on your desk.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the 1.25 GHz G4 chip in the iMac “should keep pace for the next few years,” according to Maguire, then how can that be a “limitation” given that the average Wintel PC purchased today would be hard pressed to do the same?

14 Comments

  1. This guy is not a confused idiot as claimed. I think he is right about the CPU. Because everyone wants a G5 and I’m sure that for those who own a G5, a return to a G4 would be painful.
    Limitations are a true factor, the iMac is not upgradable thus in a few years there would be much faster computers.
    Lets not lose commonsense and be too fanatics about true facts.
    Peace

    P.S. MDN example in another topic comparing an iPod to a computer is not a very smart thing to do. An iPod is not a computer and MDN presumable statistics are narrow minded.

  2. I disagree with this guy that the iMac is a victory of form over substance. It’s definitely got both. But he has a point about performance. If they won’t make an iMac upgradeable, then it better have a G5 in it as well as a Radeon 9800 or equivalent before I’ll buy it. The iMac is in the prosumer space and should be treated as such.

  3. G4 at 1.25 is pathetic, put in a G5 and ill buy one. keep it sorry stagarola cpu in it and forget it. needs a real video card , and give it a pci slot while your at it. might as well remove that monitor hell just build a all new one because the current one is a P.O.S. unless you are a grandma or grandpa. please no gaming allowed. Emac is way better value and it to suffers from a P.O.S video chip. beam me up Scotty no intelligent life at Apple.

  4. The iMac is mediocre computer permanently grafted to a great display.

    It is a bimbo with great legs and boobs and cotton candy between the ears.

    Face it–at this point price/performance wise you are better off with a $999 eMac.

  5. After our long struggle against the Mhz-Myth, I am very surprised to see so many Mac-usin’ speed freaks still alive. Given the primary focus of the iMac market, it already holds much more power than necessary. I just recently spent the morning creating on Poser 5 and exporting the figures to Bryce 5 for rendering in custom scenes; I was very happy with the render speeds for this “consumer-level” computer. For those that really do need the speed, then they probably already have a G5 by their desk.

    I fail to see the urgency to slap a Porsche engine into the family’s mini-van at this time.

    On the topic of price, the author didn’t make any sort of valid comparison. Let’s go back to the old Apple commercial of a kid (& dog) with a new iMac vs a computer tech with a new HP, and let’s see who can get it from box to internet in the least amount of time. I have no problem paying for simplicity and peace of mind. In many ways, the iMac is a luxury computer. As such, with all of the extraordinary engineering behind it, I have no qualms about paying a premium for it.

    It isn’t a just matter of going from point A to point B; life is the journey in between. What quality do you want in your journey?

  6. the new G5 will be out when IBM gets the CPUs out.
    and as a desktop pc my iMac800/17″ rox only comp that can beat it in an office is the 20″ version :o)

  7. Gayguy: you ever think about what you are writing? You so no inherent conflict in:

    >I fail to see the urgency to slap a Porsche engine into the family’s mini-van at this time.

    and

    >In many ways, the iMac is a luxury computer.

    You finally got it, goofus–the iMac is a luxury computer; the iMac isn’t a minivan, dumbass. In most product groups, luxury means the highest performance components. You ever see BMW advertise, “Our cars have great seats and consoles–we better, because they have the same engine as a Dodge Neon.”

    The computer part of the 20′ iMac is, at this point, a ripoff–charging $2100 for a machine with the same capabilities as a below $1,000 machine sold to frigging middle schools is pathetic.

    Tell me this–the 20″ Cineme Display is $1299. The 20″ iMac is $2199. So when you buy the iMac you are paying $900 for the half-dome computer part of the package.

    If Apple sold just the dome for $900, would you buy it? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  8. having such a great machine and then putting the slowest oldest hardware in it makes no sense. do i love the imac ? yes. would i ever buy one? no way powermacs are just such a better deal. its to bad it has such stale innards .5 year old G4 and poor video. its perfect for grandmas but not young pod carrying folks. cant game so it has no use to the young crowd. they are buying pods but not Apples stale line up that are poor gamers. All G4 machines are poor poor gaming machines.

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