Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
Many many ways. I'm with you on this score, the IMac really needs an overhaul that addresses many of the more common concerns.
I know if flies in the face of common wisdom but I'm still hoping for an XMac type machine. That is something midrange between the Mini and the Pro. The thought of Ivy Bridge being compact enough to make such a machine impressive is a driving force here.
Oh? Such as? Apple have 'X-Mac' type machines. The 'Pro' waaaay too much. The 'Mini' wayyyyy too little. (Though the Ivy Bridge is set to make the little guy even more 'impressive.' Perhaps you'll buy one of them. You can swap the ram...and uhm...bit tricky to get to the HDs...I hear.) But yes. No 'Cube'/tower/smaller Pro' model in the middle. That's where the iMac is camped. Which offers mid to high range power with a screen included...good value to me.
Some see it as a good value but I don't. The problem is if I wanted an integrated all in one on the desktop I'd buy a laptop. The reality is I did buy a laptop and part of the reason was that Apple offered nothing in the way of a desktop that was acceptable. You accept certain limitation when buying a laptop in trade for portability, that is understood. The problem is many of us don't find such limitations acceptable in a desktop.
Better so than the Mini or Pro.
Even then the concept sucks more than an overhaul could ever completely correct.
AIO concepts 'suck.' (No more so than the original Mac? The iMac's spiritual precursor) How so?
I spent many years in front of a Mac Plus and learned the hard way that yep all in ones suck for desktop machines. It was a hard learned lesson because the Mac Plus want cheap at the time. I like to think I learn from my mistakes, so the current iMac gets rejected immediately as a desktop machine.
The iPad is a great AIO.
Yes it is!!! Best computer I own. However it is seen as a portable device that is also almost disposable. Like a laptop you settle for limitations that you wouldn't settle for on a desktop machine.
(Looks like Apple didn't have to make a 'net book' with 'keyboard' afterall. Oh. They did. It was the Air.
Apple...bless 'em. Always doing what they 'think' and not what we 'think.' :D (Most of the machines Apple makes are AIO. Aka. They sell millions of those beloved laptops of yours...and no small amount of iMacs.
I'm not dead set against all in ones. The problem with the iMac is that it gives up to much to be passable for what I consider to be a reasonable desktop.
So, having actually owned an AIO I can testify that it doesn't suck unless you have a rigid view of what it takes to actually get some work done vs swapping out HDs all the time.)
Some of us would like to use Mac in more situations where flexibility and configurability is important.
As to swapping out hard drive I'm glad to hear that you never have had the need to change one. The problem with the iMac is that these sort of service activities are far more difficult than they should be. Frankly the iMac looks pretty pathetic in this regards when judged against Apples MBPs. Frankly the machine just displays a contempt for competent users.
I know if flies in the face of common wisdom but I'm still hoping for an XMac type machine.
Nothing wrong with hoping. (But you've been hoping for that machine for the last ten years. Where is it?) But your 'wisdom' certainly isn't Apples. And it's been that way since the iMac and the 'Blue and White' tower 'moved on up....and they tried to put the Cube in it's place. And, sure enough, it backfired. Badly implemented perhaps.
Back in the days of the Cube I was running Linux boxes and no Apple hardware at all. At the time everything Apple had was price grossly out of line. We aren't talking a modest Apple tax but rather a royal fleecing.
When the Cube debuted I couldnt grasp how they could justify the price on that little box. Sadly I kinda liked the overall idea though it suffered from a couple of common Steve Jobs flaws, sometimes ones vision can be too narrow. The Cube was screwed up in the same way the first AIRs were, to much design over function combined with an extremely high price considering the functionality delivered. It is interesting that they could save the AIRs but not the Cube.
Maybe the AIRs are a sign that Apple can combine good design and functionality into a really useful box.
But years later the power between laptops and 'desktops' has narrowed. Revolutionary(?) makeovers to the desktop line have stalled (though, you could argue, where do they go from a little box with alot of power, the best AIO and the out of date honking 12 core beast with a timeless but 'irrelevant' to the average consumer design?) and Apple are chasing down miniaturisation in it's iOS devices. Apple appear to be going with the greater numbers. 'Money isn't everything.' Steve Jobs. (Hmmm. Quite. But the huge premiums, the expensive smart covers, giving 45 Billion to shareholders and charging £2045 for a quad core suggest that isn't entirely true. Still, the iPad entry model is very affordable.)
Apple is a different company now then back when Steve rescued it from bankruptcy. They can afford to go in different directions with hardware. More so the need to maximize profits on every little piece of hardware isn't as strong as it once was. Thus we have really dandy and cost effective things like the iPad. If you look at the new AIRs I'm beginning to believe that Apple has the ability to deliver more cost effective hardware. More importantly I believe they can deliver new technology in ways that no other company can.
Believing that there is no reason for people not to have high expectations from Apple when it comes to desktop hardware. They have the capability, it is the will that is in question. on the desktop all I'm really asking for is a Mini, Middi and Maxi line up. The iMac is none of these by the way. Apple has the Mini covered. The Middi is in reality the XMac, that is a desktop box with Midrange performance. The Maxi is currently the Pro though that will likely be replaced.
Apple's only 'easy access' machine is something that costs over £2000. (It wasn't always this way...that price used to be just over £1000 for the old 'Blue and White.') Now? If you can add some ram and add a HD with a 'plug' count yourself lucky. 'Tinker fetish' boxes look like going the way of the dinosaurs.
You do realize that you make yourself look like an idiot when you refer to these machines as "tinker fetish boxes"! People look to boxes like the long for XMac and the Mac Pro because they solve real problems and are often the economical path.
I'd say look for Macs to become more 'iPad' like as we move forward. (Not meeting your needs five years later? Give it your gran and buy a new one...)
The problem isn't five year down the road. Rather the problem is an immediate one at purchase times. It is a huge problem if I have to spend a couple of grand to have a box from Apple I can stick a couple of disk drives into. And before you even say anything, NO buying external drives is not the answer.
That is something midrange between the Mini and the Pro.
That used to be the battle ground held by the old 'Blue and White' tower. Now it's the iMac. That's Apple's 'middle ground.' You don't have to like it of course. Which it seems you don't.
Nope don't like it at all!!!
The current iMac is wayyyy more powerful than the old 'Blue and White' tower.
You keep saying that almost like a broken record (remember those) but it depends upon how you measure power. An iMac is a terrible platform if power means multiple drives, your choice of monitors, I/O slots or simply an accessible platform.
Sometimes I think you must be an Apple employee the way you try to sell the iMac. Especially to people that find the platform to be a bad value.
Odd to say such a thing? Not really, the iMac design merely foretells the design direction Apple is going with their machines in general. And as you've previously mentioned, expect computer power to become 'more' SoC based over time.
Yep, integrated technology certainly enables smaller boxes. This is one of the reasons I beleive that an XMac would be very doable. A great deal of performance can be put in a small box these days. Unfortunately the Mini is just to small to realize the performance we want to see out of a desktop box.
How long before an SSD drive is standard
Actually I'm hoping to see SSDs standard across the desktop line up. In each model they would function as boot and app drives.
...and Apple drops the optical...and puts in a retina screen....a touch screen (as hinted at in some patents...) further iOS amalgamation...and...whatcha got? A giant iPad.
I don't really think Apple wants to give up on the Mac market. However all OS's evolve over time. Te fact that some want to turn the evolution of an OS into a negative is perplexing. Such evolution is only a problem if Useful features go missing.
The iMac is only going to get more powerful going forwards. Despite a luke warm performance bump with Ivy Bridge, the 7790m GPU (if Apple has it in the top end iMac) only makes the iMac middle to top end even more appealing.
So? Really what difference does a more powerful IMac make. By definition it is a very limited machine and always will be. Think about it the Mini gets more powerful every year but it hardly holds a candle to the performance of a top end machine.
If Apple go 'Retina' (HiDPI) in the next year or so and include SSD drives as standard the iMac only becomes a more appealing viewpoint. Less desktop clutter, more power vs a nest of wires. Not power absolute at any cost. But who'd have thought we'd have the power in the iPad ten years ago? Anyone?
I'm sitting here with my iPad responding to this very post and I'm more pleased with my iPad 3 every day. It is not however a Mac nor can I use it in the way I use my Mac. More so my MBP is by no means powerful enough for the things I do with it. Even before the bugs in Lion it was succumbing to they way I wanted to use it. Personally I have to reject the idea that computers will be fast enough anytime soon. IPad is great when relaxing and single tasking but on a Mac it is still easy to multitask a machine into molasses.
The thought of Ivy Bridge being compact enough to make such a machine impressive is a driving force here.
*shrugs. There's more likelihood of an ARM processor to make some thing like the ATV a powerful little box that you can...wait a second... (The ATV, the 'mini' Mac Mini...)
Sometimes I see AppleTV as a perfect example that Apple can still be stupid at times. Why they haven't opened up that platform to apps is beyond me. There are so many applications for such a little box that it boggles the mind that no one at Apple grasps this.
Being less obtuse (or merely reading from Apple's current line up...) the one chance of the 'Cube' headless 'Blue and White' Tower cross hybrid swap out access box you're after...is a mere shrinkage of the Pro. Given the opportunity to create a paradigm shift, Apple gave us the Atv little black box. Wayyyy smaller than the previous Atv.
If we're lucky, such a 'Pro' or Mac (as I like to think of it...) will have access to ram, HDs and Gpus. ...ram, check. We can buy that. HDs. Check. We can buy those. GPUs? Er.....no third party market. Oh...
Xeon Cube 'workstations.' Or a 'slim line' tower. Or an iMac 'Z'. Or a mere continuation as we are. Place yer bets.
Lemon Bon Bon.
Actually the idea of a Zeno Cube workstation isn't a bad idea if Apple can control pricing. the main reason I'm hot for XMac, a midrange Mac, is to have a package with reasonable capability at less than $2000. Actually a fair bit less.
The idea here is affordable capability at a reasonable price. To that end I wouldn't object to an AMD Trimty or Bulldozer based box either. It isn't anyone feature I'm after but rather a collection of features that more advanced users can leverage.