iMac could have been made without a chin, proves new hack

Posted:
in General Discussion
Some users were disappointed by the 24-inch iMac redesign since it retained the chin -- so one engineer decided to redesign the case.

The iMac with it's chin moved to the rear casing
The iMac with it's chin moved to the rear casing


The 24-inch iMac was released in 2021 with a redesigned chassis, but it still had a small chin on the lower edge of the display. Apple placed the processor and ports in this section of the display to keep it super-thin and uniform.

An engineer called "Technology Hunter" on Chinese social media site Bilibili attempted to redesign the 24-inch iMac with a uniform display bezel. He moved the chin to the rear of the display, enabling a Studio Display-like bezel.

The modification required an all-new case machined to fit the relocated components. While the final result is striking, it isn't practical.

Having a hump on the rear of the iMac like the one in this example would require expensive and complex CNC machining. That is not so much the problem for Apple, but the waste generated from it might be. It would make the iMac much more expensive and time-consuming to manufacture.

The later-model Intel iMac famously had a bubbled-out rear case. This increased the interior volume behind the display for cooling, and accommodated the motherboard, RAM slots, penetration depth required for the ports, and more. Apple's solution for all of this in the new iMac was retaining the chin.

Apple prioritizing a thin unit in the Apple Silicon redesign meant that this bubble had to disappear. Without the chin in the new iMac, or a protrusion like in this hack, there wouldn't be room for the USB-C ports, nor the magnetic charger. And, heat from components would be directly applied to a small spot on the back of the monitor panel, shortening it's life.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    I had long hoped Apple might simply use the chinless Cinema/Thunderbolt monitor design, keeping the magnetic glass for ease of servicing and the elegant tapered convertible (vesa) stand, adding vents if needed, 4K & USB 3.1, and perhaps moving to an external power supply if needed to lighten it up and reduce heat. Perhaps ARM might help the heat considerations ?  I would guess many options were explored...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,494member
    I'd be totally cool with a chin-less design and even more so with a two-piece design with the back hump being removal so the entire processing capability of the machine can either be upgraded while retaining the same display or replaced with a stub module that allows the display to be used strictly as a display. Of course this begs the question of why not just use a Mac mini and a monitor like the Studio Display? Fair enough.

    The only real issues I have with the chinny iMac designs are the subjective ugliness of using it with supplementary monitors and the fact that the standard stand lacks vertical adjustability. Otherwise they are nice enough looking and easy to fit into limited desk space. Personally, I'd like Apple to put the Apple logo back on the chin. I don't know why, but the missing logo makes it look very boring and generic. In my opinion the back side of the 24" M1 iMac looks much better than the front, which seems rather ass-backwards for those of us who have one placed up against a wall.  
    sandyman18mattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,105member
    Oh my god... people have way too much time on their hands.  Amazing the effort people put into lame projects.  I get it, many don't like the "chin".  Thankfully, I'm not one of them.  Get over it already.  That horse has been beaten to death so many times.
    mdwbloggerblogwilliamlondonscstrrfthtpscooter63macxpresskiltedgreenwatto_cobraAlex_V
  • Reply 4 of 49
    As Dewme points out, if you want a chinless design get a Mac mini and a studio display.  A chinless iMac would look like just another monitor sitting on the desk.
    libertyandfreebloggerblogscstrrfMisterKitwatto_cobraAlex_V
  • Reply 5 of 49
    sflocal said:
    Oh my god... people have way too much time on their hands.  Amazing the effort people put into lame projects.  I get it, many don't like the "chin".  Thankfully, I'm not one of them.  Get over it already.  That horse has been beaten to death so many times.
    As a matter of interest, if you were paid staggering amounts of cash, what features would you change in the next generation of iMac?
    williamlondondewmegrandact73pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 49
    I figured out the easy way to get a chinless iMac: make the chin a "forehead." Buy an iMac with a VESA mount, put it on a monitor arm, turn the screen upside down, and use a screen utility to rotate the displayed contents 180 degrees. The only downside is you get the Apple logo upside down at the top. But with a monitor arm, you can bring the screen much closer to the desktop, which is what I really want. I dislike the fixed height of the stand on iMacs, I'd like it to go lower sometimes.
    cg27watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 49
    Shocking!  My preference is for the chin but it's what's on the inside that counts.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 49
    As Dewme points out, if you want a chinless design get a Mac mini and a studio display.  A chinless iMac would look like just another monitor sitting on the desk.
    calling for a chinless iMac is so childish since it will look like a generic display and not identifiable as an iMac.  Those who support this do not understand branding or marketing. 
    williamlondonscstrrfMisterKitpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Look, the iMac has a chin because a new design team couldn’t pull the trigger. They went with what the last iMac looked like and were afraid to lose the resemblance. It had nothing to do with function. The same components are in an iPad and everything is tucked under the screen. 

    If anything, the studio display made us want a chinless iMac really bad. It looks SO much better and would make a killer iMac design. 

    It could be that there is some functional aspect but not in terms of computing function rather in terms of ergonomics and stand aesthetics for the smaller iMac. 

    The presence of the chin allows much of the stand to be hidden (and not looking like a giraffe) while elevating the monitor portion to ergonomically correct levels. 

    The larger iMacs won’t have that issue to deal with, especially at 30-32” sizes as the expanse of the Montoe itself alleviates that issue. 

    Removing the pointless chin also allows the 30-32” sizes to be perfectly feasible on a desk as it keeps all corners of the monitor in ergonomically acceptable places. If it has a chin, it would sit too high. 

    Pretty simple stuff. Apple needs to drop the chin on new larger iMacs. It looks better, allows for larger sizes, and moves the product forward. 
    edited December 2022 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 49
    I for one prefer the chin, it makes it look the role
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 49
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,836member
    sflocal said:
    Oh my god... people have way too much time on their hands.  Amazing the effort people put into lame projects.  I get it, many don't like the "chin".  Thankfully, I'm not one of them.  Get over it already.  That horse has been beaten to death so many times.
    As a matter of interest, if you were paid staggering amounts of cash, what features would you change in the next generation of iMac?
    I’d go for a larger screen, 28-32 inch would be nice. Adjustable height. The ability to open and service it without having to unglue the screen. And if we’re talking about all the money I’d need, how about an upgradeable processor/RAM, at least the SSD, at least space for a second SSD, that they user could install. (You did say staggering amounts of cash).
    To be honest the chin wouldn’t even be on my radar. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 49
    designr said:
    I'm thinking that the "chin" is a little bit of a part of Apple's legacy Macintosh "identity" and design language. I think it's a long shot to go away.

    It was never meant to be part of design language (which of course changes over time). That was born out of two needs: 1) functionality (where to put the actual computing parts as well as space to dissipate heat) and 2) ergonomics. It was basically a mini tower with a monitor built in. The monitor being higher make it easier on the eyes and neck. The reason this feature is no longer sensible is described in my previous post. 

    Neither of the items is a challenge anymore. As design languages evolve to work with new engineering capabilities, it’s time to drop the chin. 

    Keeping stuff around “because that’s they way it’s always been done” is code for holding back progress and innovation. 

    If you polled a thousand people over two pictures, one of the studio display and one of the iMac, they’d pick the studio display. People were vocal about their displeasure when seeing the new iMac. Those same people were enthusiastic when seeing the studio display. It’s time to let obsolete dead weight fall by the wayside. Respect the past and move forward. 
    williamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 49
    Yeah, and it could have been in the shape of a tulip. It could have been a million different ways. Maybe armchair designers could also get past the immense crowd of other applicants, get the job at Apple, go through the endless meetings, and work out production. Finally, with everything signed off, they could reach that nirvana stage of a completed project. It’d be a beautiful experience. The few, the exhausted, the presumedly well paid, the Apple design team. A group of people with one goal, no—not work on your craft, yes—please absolutely everyone. You must accept the delusion of that dream. You must be responsible for each and every customers complete satisfaction and mental health. This is Apple, you must do more than design a product, you must create heaven on earth, and no less. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 49
    I'd think a better way would be to maximize the space in the base of the iMac - couldn't a thicker base include the components in it, instead of being just a piece of aluminum?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 49
    As it is the chin with no logo makes it look like a generic all-in-one. 
    DAalsethdewmewilliamlondon9secondkox2MplsPAKApplewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,494member
    charles1 said:
    I figured out the easy way to get a chinless iMac: make the chin a "forehead." Buy an iMac with a VESA mount, put it on a monitor arm, turn the screen upside down, and use a screen utility to rotate the displayed contents 180 degrees. The only downside is you get the Apple logo upside down at the top. But with a monitor arm, you can bring the screen much closer to the desktop, which is what I really want. I dislike the fixed height of the stand on iMacs, I'd like it to go lower sometimes.
    I’m not eager for a “Max Headroom” iMac layout because it wouldn’t be any more aesthetically compatible with a second side-by-side monitor versus the default “Jay Leno” iMac layout. I’m a huge fan of VESA monitor arms - if you have the space and compatible desk for one. I only recently discovered that you can buy the 24” M1 iMac with a VESA mount. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 49
    I disagree with part of the article here "would require expensive and complex CNC machining". Think of how a lot of metal today is molded with a die press. The same could be done here. I'd be even so ventured to say that is how the backs are currently manufactured. A metal shell that is mold made is nothing new or unique. I think it assuming that this would be more expensive even if the internals have to be reorganized.
    edited December 2022 williamlondon9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 49
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 536member
    I like the chin area. I put my “post it’s” on there. 

    Why is it assumed that people don’t like the chin?

    I mean the border less all
    screen thing Is so  5 years ago 
    edited December 2022 9secondkox2kiltedgreenAKApplewatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 49
    y2any2an Posts: 196member
    Aside from it being a signature look, no-one knows what Apple’s future iterations of this product will bring, and whether the chin plays into them.

    i don’t buy AI’s discussion point about manufacturing costs and waste. It’s a CNC piece and the waste is all recycled.
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 49
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,494member
    sflocal said:
    Oh my god... people have way too much time on their hands.  Amazing the effort people put into lame projects.  I get it, many don't like the "chin".  Thankfully, I'm not one of them.  Get over it already.  That horse has been beaten to death so many times.
    I’m actually glad that some people have or make the time to delve into things that they are curious about and then share their thoughts with others. It’s a healthy brain exercise and is probably not too bad for maintaining mental equilibrium and perspective. Of course, the nature of the topic still matters, but I see nothing wrong with someone’s thought experiment about a chinless iMac being floated. 

    The single most important thing about these “wouldn’t it be cool if …” thought experiments is that they represent an individual or sometimes a group contributing to a conversation as a “producer” rather than just being a “spectator.” In the middle I suppose we have the “responder.”

    Having a good balance between the three groups: producers -> responders -> spectators is always a good thing, and a very healthy thing for keeping curious people engaged in a community that is based a shared interest. I think the producers have the hardest time both in terms of effort and risk. Nobody likes being shot down, i.e., “stupid idea” response, and sometimes obtaining the material and focus to create and launch a topic is difficult. If we didn’t have people who are willing to take on those production challenges everything around here would be rather boring. Of course we’d all be a lot more efficient and industrious with our use of time. However, I’m willing to sacrifice some efficiency to avoid boredom-induced brain rot, but that’s just me.
    macguiwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
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