Let The Backpedaling Commence

Jul 3, 2021 | OpEd | 0 comments

After the conclusion of Apple’s April event, many You Tubers and bloggers (myself included) began our assault on the new M1 iMac. Personally, I likened the design to a 5th grader who used the iPad software feature where you can make a perfect square, circle, rectangle, what-have-you by merely drawing the shape then holding the Pencil in place when finished which then to signals the tablet to snap the shape into looking professional.

The three main complaints where the chin, the two-color aesthetic, and the sacrificing of ports for thinness. And we tore Apple apart for days for releasing such an abomination. It seemed the main objection was that the iPadPro HAD to be thin (looking at you Jony). We were back in the land of form dictates function.

Now that we have all had time to stare at it and learn all about the internals, a fair number are now pumping out rationalizations as quickly as possible. Most seem to appreciate the colors but wish they wrapped around the matte finish onto the front chin. Alright, I can go with that.

THE CHIN. I steadfastly believe the chin should be history. The iMac’s back will be seen by no one as it’s going to sit on my desk against the wall. There’s no rationale to hold it to the standards of a portable. Although my late 2015 iMac with (con)Fusion Drive is about to become a portable when I toss it out my third floor window. The sacrifices made to achieve thinness of the iMac is of no import in this case as it merely makes it look like a third-party knock off.

COLORS. Even more backpedaling seems to deal with the colors. Many are not in agreement with the two-tone effect of a solid color on the background (which contrary to Tim’s belief that that’s the first thing people will see, when actually it’s the first thing your wall will see) and the anodized version of the color on the chin. I’ve seen several You Tubes where they have come to forgive Apple as this iMac is meant for the entry-level market. (I find it interesting their definition of an entry-level market when you think of the power this device possesses.)

Even stranger, I believe one wag referred to it as the ‘Zoom iMac’., meant to appeal ‘to a female demographic’. Personally I don’t like the matte finish but then again I may be prejudiced because I remember the introduction of the ‘jelly bean’ and its glossy case. I actually like that they’re bringing color back. It makes the iMac seem more fun to work at and it tickles my eyes.

But they’re still finding fault with the anodized chin. With that I’m in agreement.

THE THICKNESS. I for one am never reneging on this primary disappointment. I believe if they could place the 3.5mm port on the side, there is no reason they couldn’t have placed card readers on the side, as well. Yet to keep it thin, they placed all of the internals directly behind the chin in order to achieve the iPad aesthetic.

It simply could have been made nominally thicker to accommodate the interiors, the card reader, and the audio components as Apple has brilliant engineers and designers. No one would have been upset, or even noticed for that matter, if it had been a wee thicker. Users would have rejoiced at the return of necessary I/O. And there’s no need for a desktop computer to weigh ten pounds. It’s non-sensical.

I heard one reviewer who went as far to say as they were going to place an Apple sticker on the chin to make it feel more normal. Huh?

Now, an interesting wrench has been thrown into all of this I can purchase a M1 MacMini, a sizable and inexpensive 4K monitor, and external SSDs for roughly the same price as a tricked out iMac 24”.So now I have to wonder, what is my incentive to bother with an entry level iMac?

For starters you have to see it person. It doesn’t resonate with you like it does it photographs or You Tubes vids. It’s actually (with the possible exception of the silver one) is a stunning piece of kit. Now my M1 options are three-fold – the iPadPro 12.9″. the Mac mini, or the iMac?

Time to carry out my least favorite computer task – a MindNode.

iPadPro– small real estate, Surprisingly expensive when peripherals are added. Granted you could hook a hub to your Thunderbolt 4 port. Plus the heart-crushing loss of using special apps like Setapp and the suite of Rogue Amoeba apps.

Mac mini. No real estate. I have to find something stunning as the iMac’s screen (that’s coming up) at a reasonable price. Regarding the stand. Do you use a desk stand, a stand clamp, or a VESA mount? A serviceable amount of ports on the back including the rare headphone jack so there’s one advantage. A headphone jack makes that two.

iMac. 24″ Plenty of screen real estate (in a reality, a smidge less) in stunning P3 Retina at 500 nits. Comes with color matching keyboard, mouse, Gigabit Ethernet, and track pad (extra if any of these options are wanted on the entry level). Reasonable sound (better on any previous iMac). And some customization.

Stinker is I had finally settled on going completely iPadPro-centric. Then I entered the holy cathedral. My preconceptions were shattered.

iPad Pro real estate looks REALLY small. And the new screen isn’t very impressive if you’re not looking at HDR content. I have an articulated iPad stand that will hold your device at eye level but already using it at eye level, I could see the 12.9″ isn’t gonna cut it for me, no matter how much of our wishlist is being found in the recent iPados betas.

The Mac mini seems a good option. Till you add the price of the screen. Then you’re actually looking at what could be the most pricey option of the choices.

Finally, there’s the iMac. I already have a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad but I can sell them off as I will be getting colored matching ones and my long, lustered after Touch ID key, as well as two Thunderbolt4 ports, two USB-C ports, an ethernet port, and other options. I’ll probably get 16GB internal RAM and 512GB internal SSD. (Yes, I’m aiming at the center of the iMac models).

And earlier I mentioned the screen. You’re getting a brilliant looking screen at an amazing price. Yes, you can buy inexpensive monitors but to get this kind of resolution, you’re going have to spend in the neighborhood of $1K! And I did look at some discontinued Apple/LG monitors.

Plus I get to use my current iMac for trade-in. Yes, yes, I could do that with the mini, though I could trade-in the iPadPro for a gift certificate and apply it to a new iPad Pro. But still too itty-bitty real estate for my liking.

Decisions, decisions. But at least first world decisions.

©2021 Frank Petrie


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