Nov 30, 2012 -
There's this great video on YouTube of a guy in Starbucks, playing a game on his iMac. It takes him forever to pack everything up when he's leaving — the mouse, the keyboard, the hulking desktop PC — but apparently the guy needed to play World of Warcraft on his iMac, and he needed his coffee too. Having used the new iMac, I don't in any way endorse using the machine as a laptop replacement, but I kind of get it — it's light and thin enough to almost be movable, and the screen is so good I'd never want to game on anything else if I could avoid it.
The display is really the only unequivocated improvement in the new model, and it’s a big one. The sleeker, slimmer design is great, but it causes a couple of problems and forces a few unfortunate compromises. Yes, it’s faster, but only enough to keep up with the Joneses — equal performance can definitely be had elsewhere. There’s no question this is the best iMac yet, but of course it is; Apple doesn’t have a habit of making its good products worse. If you weren’t in the market for a new all-in-one desktop, the iMac’s not suddenly so much more appealing that you absolutely have to have one now, but if you’re looking for a desktop PC there’s still no better option.
For now, anyway. I can't help but think Apple's left the door open here for Windows 8. Microsoft's new OS works beautifully on a big screen, and if a manufacturer can build an all-in-one with an equally gorgeous screen and svelte design, some of the media-friendly features the iMac lacks, and even throw in a touchscreen, I'd take a long, hard look before buying an iMac. HP's Spectre One does the design well largely by aping the iMac, and Dell's XPS 27 offers all the features I want — but I have yet to see the combination of design, features, and horsepower the iMac offers. I hope someone gets it all right soon, whether it's Apple or not.