Fortune reviews Apple’s new iMac: ‘One of the best desktops the company has ever shipped’

“There’s no question that this is one of the best desktops the company has ever shipped,” JP Mangalindan writes for Fortune.

“Just how thin can a computer get? Arguably not much more than Apple’s new iMac. It is incredibly slim,” Mangalindan writes. “When Apple took the wraps off the new desktop, many thought the iMac a two-dimensional mock-up — not a real product.”

“But real it is. At its thinnest, near the computer’s edge, the iMac measures just 5-millimeters thick,” Mangalindan writes. “A few years ago, this could have been mistaken for a standalone flat-panel display. But the new iMac is a powerful all-in-one that should meet the needs of all but the most demanding of users.”

Apple's all-new iMac (8th gen)
Apple’s all-new iMac (8th gen)


Advertisement: Apple’s New iMac starts at $1,294 with Free Mac Products after rebate & FREE Shipping!

Mangalindan writes, “Something else new to the iMac is what the company calls a “Fusion Drive,” which pairs 128 gigabytes flash memory with a traditional hard drive. Some PCs have offered this hybrid-type feature for a while now, but it’s a first for a Mac.”

MacDailyNews Take: Incorrect. Apple’s Fusion Drive is a patented Apple innovation that is available only on Apple Mac, not run-of-the-mill Windows POS PCs. More info here.

Full review here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
CNET reviews Apple’s new iMac: Serious, fast, an easy recommendation; Editors’ Choice – November 30, 2012
Apple announces new iMac available on Friday, November 30 – November 27, 2012
Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology also works on older Macs – October 31, 2012
Apple’s new patented Fusion Drive is more advanced than you might think – October 24, 2012
The Verge hands on Apple’s new iMac: Extremely thin, stunning – October 23, 2012
Apple unveils jaw-dropping all-new iMac – October 23, 2012


    1. Technically speaking, you’re wrong. Efficiency is by definition “doing more with less”. The new iMac is more powerful (faster) than the previous generation despite having a slower processor and being much thinner.

    2. A smaller computer almost has to be more efficient – less raw materials, less moving parts to waste energy, less resources, every single component has to be reevaluated, rethought, and discarded if unnecessary because space is so limited. It’s also more efficient to transport because more units can fit in a given airplane or truck.

      1. “Your point?”
        (Previous post)
        Tuesday, December 4, 2012 – 12:14 pm · Reply
        So thin it won’t take a DVD, either.

        Can’t you read?

        Last time I checked, DVDs and CDs are still being produced and used. Maybe Buffy and the Girls down at the Sorority House or Biff and the Boys at the Frat house don’t need them, but others do.

        1. My previous model of iMac is fully upgraded and its cd slot looks so sexy. I have had it about a year now. Trouble is I very seldom use it. CD drives are ready for the junk heap. Some people just don’t know it!

          1. Agreed. A lot of people hang on to old tech because its comfortable, not because its necessary. They fear the moment when they need something and don’t have it. But there has existed since Apple manufactured the first MacBook Air, an alternative that allows one to use the optical drive in another computer on the same network to install software, listen to Music and watch movies.

        2. Not sure what Buffy and Biff (your friends?) may or may not need but discs and their plastic cases, “jewel” cases etc. are a waste of resources and land fill fodder.
          Jewel cases suck, as they always have and were a creation of the record industry to be tucked in cardboard boxes set side by side to take up the same space bin space as the vinyl they replaced.

          1. Discs, whether the content is tunes or movies that is on them, are much cheaper than buying digital media on line.

            Now, if you are a thief and you don’t pay for your digital content, you still get a poorer experience than media from a disc. If you are a thief and you rent discs you control your experience when you steal the digital media on that disc.

            So, aside from esthetics, the lack of a disc drive is a loss for many users, especially the thieves among us.

        3. For the people who need an optical drive, they can get one that connects via USB and use it just fine, either from Apple or a third party. And that drive will be more optimal in use, because it can be horizontal, does not need to be slot-loading (allowing use of non-standard discs), and located more conveniently.

          There is no need to make all the people who do not one suffer from the additional expense and a less elegant design. The last time I can remember using my iMac’s optical drive was when I installed Snow Leopard.

            1. So you want Apple to give up on their quest to make hardware thinner and more efficient just so they accomodate legacy technology? How about no?

              If you want the new iMac to read discs then just plug an external disc drive into it. Boom, done. It’s not like it’s a laptop where an external disc drive would compromise its portability. It’s a freakin’ stationary desktop. This seriously isn’t that big of a deal.

            2. Notice they aren’t making the screen smaller or slowing down processor, even when the screen and logic board take up more space than anything else. They are keeping everything important and cutting as much cruft as possible. I can understand you disagreeing with some of their decisions about what’s essential and what’s cruft. But you seem to be against the entire concept of streamlining. That’s thinking like a hoarder.

            3. No, kayan, I’m not against the concept of streamlining, honest. I totally get why they keep streamlining the MacBook Pros — you carry them around, so lighter is better. What I am against is making the new iMac thinner entirely for the aesthetic benefits. The computer sits on your desk and doesn’t move. Buy it, put it on your desk, leave it there. For several years, if you’re lucky. Why on Earth does it have to be super thin? You can’t even SEE how thin it is when you are sitting in front of it. And for that they took out a still-useful technology? If they had cut it in two years, I’d be completely on board. Just not now.

              For the record, I’m not crazy. I’m not switching to Windblows or anything. I actually bought the new 27″ model, fully loaded (including the $100 for the Superdrive that will now sit on my desk). And next to it will be a 27″ Thunderbolt display. Which looks much better next to the old iMac, frankly, so Apple’s super thin obsession will be entirely lost on my desktop. In fact, from the way my office is arranged, you won’t even be able to tell the new iMac is super-thin.

            1. Not having an disk reading laser device in each computer will inevitably lower the cost. But not right after they redesigned the entire thing! I don’t want to have to recite manufacturing 101 – but it costs money whenever you start making something totally new. Breaking the mold requires paying to make new molds. It takes time to get back the initial costs before the price of a new product can get close the cost its of raw materials.

            2. I think the new design is appropriate for such an innovative company such as Apple Inc.
              My MBA is thin but this looks ( in the pics ) awesome. I have seen the 21.5 in the Sydney Apple Store ( the biggest panes of glass in the world…made in France ) and if that size looks good, the 27, which I have on order should preform as good as it looks.
              As to the carping by one reader…..grow up! Thank God Apple don’t think like you!!

          1. I know they are available as I have one for my Mac Mini Sever with dual internal 500GB HDs.

            Most of us do not have Thunderbolt connecting peripherals. Do you suggest that Apple drop Thunderbolt ports as well?

    1. Here’s your DVD support – the iMac still has USB and Apple still sells USB super drives.

      The real test – how many people actually get a DVD drive when it’s optional? I don’t have the stats, but Apple does. I think it’s a very small percentage customers who end up getting the drive when presented with the option.

  1. Less expandable, less repairable, less connectable, less flexible, more locked down than ever.

    Pass. Another great Apple product sacrificed on the altar of fashion.

    1. If I need service to the Apple Store I go …… If the thing needs fixing, see Apple – don’t worry ….. Buy their Extended Warranty if you are a worry wort …..

      One thing everyone is missing with Apple is the service ….. It is rare in today’s world to find a place that actually services what they sell with Big Box Stores like Best Buy and Home Depot ….. Apple is in a niche market that is expanding heads over heels and they are doing it with innovation and service ….

      Pick two of the following three ….. Can’t have all three …..

      Quality ….. Service …… Price

      You only get two of the three ….. I am picking the first two, myself …..

    2. They said Apple was nuts to take out the floppy drive….

      They said Apple was nuts to have no mechanical keyboard on their phones….

      They said Apple was nuts to have a non-changable battery in their phones….

      They said Apple was nuts to have touch typing on glass…

      They said Apple was nuts to sell OS-X software online….

      In all these cases the ones that were nuts were the so called self proclaimed experts.

      Apple are not nuts, they are crazy. Here’s to the crazy ones, the round pegs in square holes!!

    3. fine. like the competition.
      we like our apples.
      if you prefer fake open-source-everything, go ahead.
      we do not suffer from crashes. viruses. instability. headaches. very expensive tech support. constraint or daily problems. our stuff is not perfect but simply works uncryptically and ubiquitously. we do not get as frustrated with the need to jump out Windows. no matter what you naysayers or stockholmed windough-fans say, our stuff is not perfect but the best around.

      1. The point you’re making was first made over twenty years ago. It’s no more valid now than it was then. You might living in the past, the rest of us are more than happy.

        Thanks for the laugh, though.


  2. “One of the best desktops the company has ever shipped”

    One of the stupidest ways to describe a computer that was ever used. I mean, seriously, does this guy claim that any prior desktop from Apple was about as good as this one? Was not it at least significantly slower, so it automatically makes it also not nearly as good as the new computer?

  3. The Fusion drive is not a hybrid drive. It is a tiered method.

    In the old days tiered data meant:
    RAM Drive
    Direct Attached Disk
    Shared Disks/Tapes
    Off Line Tapes (archive)

    Today its
    Time Machine (backup)
    Optical Backup

    Apple has just merged the SSD & HDD into a single, logical unit.

    It is not a hybrid drive.

    1. … this is similarly incorrect: “Some PCs have offered this hybrid-type feature for a while now, but it’s a first for a Mac.”
      The fact is, despite what MDN says, this new variation on drive architecture is quite similar to other, earlier, designs used on Windows machines. While I’m willing to give Apple’s claim of “better” due credence, I’m not willing to claim this is an All New Concept. Just a better version.

  4. This post has nothing to do with regards to the accuracy of the story regarding how the writer uses adjectives to describe Apple’s current iMac.

    But I sometimes wonder, just as so called “Journalists” or Hollywood film critics seem to have a common grab bag of said adjectives that they use to slap on a news story or movie review?

    Like the main street losers reporting the news there is always that one key word used in every major story on every news channel. Of all groups, shouldn’t these idiots own a Thesaurus?

    “One of the Best” “Jaw Dropping” “Stunning” “Editor’s Choice” How many times have we heard that affixed to an Apple product?

    Kind of like a movie being described as “Brilliant” “Excellent” “A Barrel Of Laughs” “Profound” “Oscar Material” Yada, Yada, Yada…

    When I see a movie labeled as “Brilliant”, I usually think to myself, it’s probably not as brilliant as one might suggest.

  5. But I have stacks and stacks if punch cards to feed into it to program it. How do you expect to program a computer that can’t take standard punch cards… Next thing they will tell me is that my investment in vacuum tubes was silly due to the use of microprocessors. I expect the legions if micro computer users will come flooding back to the giant room-sized units once they realize how many things they can change themselves without bringing it into a store at all.

  6. Interesting dialogue regarding dropping the optical drive in the latest iMac. I can see why Apple would choose to offer an external disc drive, but i think it’s rather premature to consider optical discs obsolete. Every supermarket has a redbox in front, every library has audiobooks by the score, and Netflix & Amazon sell or loan discs by the millions. Somebody uses all these platters!

    While I admire Apple’s minimalist design philosophy, it does constrain consumers. The intentional decision to screw the consumer over on RAM and internal hard drive configurability is totally unnecessary on a desktop machine.

    Also, you great fans of extreme minimalism, you who claim the new iMac is better without a CD/DVD drive — do you also drive a simple, elegant, manual transmission automobile? It is, after all, lighter & smaller & cheaper & more reliable, & much more flexible, allowing driver to predictively shift into appropriate gear for either performance or for economy as needed.

    … but seemingly most affluent customers look down on that elegant solution, choosing instead the decidedly unelegant slushbox automatic.


  7. C’mon, SuperDrives are obsolete. The only thing that I’ve ever had to repair, in over ten macs over the years, back to a Mac Plus, was an internal SuperDrive. I might get an external one now that my Air, and my new 27″ that I just ordered, will not have one. But It will be a Blue Ray/DVD drive, which can be shared by all my existing and new macs in the future. Much more practical than having all my computers dragging the weight of the drive when there is no good reason to do so. And should I ever need to use a sneaker net, I carry a tiny little $9 – 16 GB thumb drive in my key chain all the time.

    It ‘s all about mobile now, where lightness and portability rule, but also keeping the big truck (my new 27″ i7 with fusion drive and 32 GB of RAM), which can run over anything that comes accross, safely parked at home. That’s where I am headed in about a month, with an iPad and iPhone to booth. Wow! That’s a long way from a Mac Plus with 1 MB of RAM, 9″ b&w screen, and no hard disk. It did have a floppy though.

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