The new iMac certainly has at least one thing going for it — it’s a beautiful thing to look at. The incredibly thin computer has just launched and reviews are starting to come in. While the new iMac is certainly easy on the eyes, it’s been criticized for being unnecessarily thin for a desktop and for making too many compromises in reaching its supermodel physique.
Andrew Cunningham’s 21-inch iMac review for Ars Technica goes into detail on the problems caused by the new computer’s thinness. The speakers are smaller and less powerful than they once were and upgrading the system’s RAM is no longer possible. Apple also switched the hard drives over from desktop-sized 3.5-inch drives to laptop-sized 2.5-inch ones and switched the default hard drive in the machine from a 7200RPM to a 5400RPM drive. The disc drive is another feature dropped in favor of thinness.
There aren’t too many benefits for a desktop to be as thin as the new iMacs. While it does provide a nicer looking device to have in your room, once you set up your desktop, you’re unlikely to move it again. The drastic decrease in weight by eight pounds is also a welcome improvement, however, one that will mostly go unappreciated. Even though the new computer is much thinner around the edges, it does still bulk out in the middle where all the components are stored. This makes it so that even though it is overall a much thinner and lighter device, it will still take up just as much space as the old iMac.
While none of these are major issues, it sucks to see Apple have to make compromises in order to reach the iMac’s new thinness. Perhaps these decisions are just helping Apple create a larger market for their new upcoming Mac Pro update.