Review roundup: New iMac display and redesigned chassis shine, audio a step back

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  • Reply 61 of 168
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tokyojimu wrote: »
    Oh, I doubt that. Only us home theater enthusiasts don't use their TV's built-in speakers.
    I have visited many people who have their TVs hooked up to an external sound system, but almost without fail the receiver is switched off and they are using the (increasingly inferior) internal speakers.
    Oh man I could never do that. And my sound system is by no means high-end, but its better than what comes out of the built in speakers.
  • Reply 62 of 168
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    I had a hunch that sound quality on the new slimmed down iMacs might be worse than previous generations,here that has been confirmed. I was hoping Apple would come up with some technological solution so that wouldn't be the case (they've done some good things with their latest laptops in that department)but I suppose for a desktop that's near impossible. No matter, as already mentioned here by others - want great sound quality, plug in some quality speakers. Almost everything else about this new iMac is fab! Add a Retina display and it would be almost perfect...next year I suppose.
  • Reply 63 of 168
    vaelianvaelian Posts: 446member
    bugsnw wrote: »
    jragosta wrote: »
    Agreed. I haven't used the internal speakers on any of my desktop computers for at least 15 years. On my laptops, I use the internal speakers, but never to listen seriously to music. I don't think it's an unreasonable tradeoff. It's not hard to find inexpensive external speakers that are far better than even the best internal ones.

    I'm fine with the speakers on the iMac. If I was into desktop gaming, I'd probably spring for some Bose speakers. It's funny that even in 2012, reviewers of big screen HDTVs pan them for the small speakers. Does anyone buy a huge 65" LCD and then settle for the built ins? Even a cheap Bose 3-speaker surround system improves the experience tremendously!

    What's wrong with the expectation of reasonably good speakers in a multimedia device? Sure you have the high-end options if you are such an audiophile, but the built-in speakers should be enough to cover mainstream use, especially in an all-in-one. Owning a mid-2011 iMac myself, I find the speakers in it to be just right for me, but my MacBook Pro's speakers are utter crap, which I accept because it's a laptop.

    Why is everyone on this site so apologetic to the crap Apple has been putting out lately?
  • Reply 64 of 168
    > Where will it all end? Soon they'll remove every component and you'll be left with a pane of glass
    > on a stand!

    You mean something like this:

    http://www.detail.de/daily/weniger-geht-nicht-loewe-invisio-auf-der-shortlist-fuer-den-if-concept-award-930/

    I wouldn't mind such a machine... ;)
  • Reply 65 of 168

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    There is no evidence that it's the manufacturing of the device that is resulted in a November and December release.


    Believe whatever you want.  The news stories have been everywhere and where there's smoke, there's fire.  What do you think is the cause of the computers selling out to such a long wait already?  The crazy huge pent-up demand?  Again, believe what you want, but the preponderance of evidence all points one way.



     


    Believe what you want as well. I don't think there was huge pent up demand, but there was some. Also, the new design is so appealing that everyone (seriously, anyone I talk too) I know wants one even if they don't really need it. So while it may have been delayed due to technical problems in the new processes, that doesn't mean that supply is limited for that reason still. I think orders got pushed out so quick due to demand. Many of my friends have already ordered who were waiting for an update. When they release a 27" Thunderbolt display that is like this, I am ordering two. 

  • Reply 66 of 168

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by john_l_uk View Post



    One thing that is both a step backwards and inexplicable on the grounds of cost is abandoning a line-in port. With both headphone and line in ports it's easy to play and record music from an online source using a double ended 3.5 mm jack plug. It may be less cluttered and more streamlined to eliminate inconvenient holes but when it reduces functionality then it really is ''form over function', this is where my current MacBook (single in/out audio port) loses out to my current (line in and headphones out) iMac.


     


    You can get a USB audio device to steal music. But seriously, any online streaming service that you can listen to in a browser can also be captured to a file if you know anything about Javascript, HTML, and using the debug capabilities in Safari. ;) Even YouTube videos via the mobile site can go straight to disk. 

  • Reply 67 of 168
    All these comments about lack of bass is pure nonsense. Who wants to listen music from a computer anyway, without plugging decent externals ? I have B&W MM-1 and that's what I call decent. Same rationale as DVD drive : get external.
  • Reply 68 of 168

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jpadhiyar View Post


    A "zero bass response" is a very strong step backwards if that's the case. I think Apple must stop this fetish with thin design.



    Ridiculous. It's a computer, not a sound system. And that "bass" obsession is ridiculous too. Overloaded bass in sound systems are just for thugs driving around playing  Eminem at full blast, not for musicians. 

  • Reply 69 of 168
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any computer with good sound without adding external parts. I think it can be done with the old horizontal desktop form factor that existed before the tower style took over, but that's silly.

    Nope. Even there, music enthusiasts would be complaining about lack of bass. Nothing less than a 12" subwoofer is good enough for some people. Try fitting that into a computer case.

    solipsismx wrote: »
    As soon as you add anything else to make your AIO function properly it ruins the entire point of it¡ Apple should go back to including the keyboard into the case¡
    1000

    I disagree. The point of the AIO is that for most people it operates without adding a bunch of stuff and connecting a lot of cables. That's still true of the iMac - most people don't need ODD or massive bass sound. The fact that it's expandable to allow the few people who need it to add accessories doesn't mean that the entire point is lost.

    solipsismx wrote: »
    I've been using Apple's 13" notebooks as my primary machine since they went Intel. I had a 12" PB before that, and before that various 15" machines going back nearly 15 years. IOW, 21.5" is huge compared to what I am used to for personal use.

    I agree, but note that it's not as big a difference as the numbers indicate because you're likely viewing the iMac at a greater distance than the laptop.
    irnchriz wrote: »
    BOSE..... Hahahahahaha... Seriously......hahahaha..... Never going to improve ANY audio experience.

    I agree. I've listened to Bose (recently and all the way back to the 80s) and can't understand why so many people rave about them. Pure marketing over performance in my experience.

    There are certainly a lot of great speaker systems out there and I realize that personal taste enters into the selection, but Bose never even made the first cut when I was buying speakers. My current setup is a nice set of Infinity towers and subwoofer. Infinity has never disappointed me.
    tokyojimu wrote: »
    Oh, I doubt that. Only us home theater enthusiasts don't use their TV's built-in speakers. .

    Not true. I don't consider myself a home theater enthusiast, but I don't use my TV's speakers (and haven't done so for at least 20 years). I have a very nice sound system for listening to music, so it made sense to connect my TV to that. I know a number of people who bought amps and speakers because their TV wasn't loud enough, as well. they're not home theater enthusiasts, either.

    That said, for people with very low expectations, the speakers in a TV or even the current iMac can be acceptable. If you want good sound, though, it's easy enough to add in either case.
  • Reply 70 of 168
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member


    Audio line in is SRS BSNS, which is why modern professional equipment has a USB interface. If your workflow still depends on analog input, you're not likely to invest in a brand new iMac anyway.



    hmm View Post


    [Thin] design is just a gimmick because of this. Apple has become sort of the poster child for anorexia nervosa.



    I too miss the days of CRT depth, and laptops with the size and weight of a cast-iron briefcase.


     



    TokyoJimu View Post

    Oh, I doubt that. Only us home theater enthusiasts don't use their TV's built-in speakers.

    I have visited many people who have their TVs hooked up to an external sound system, but almost without fail the receiver is switched off and they are using the (increasingly inferior) internal speakers.


    Second.


    We laugh at the idea of people using iPads as drink coasters and cutting boards, just as we did with the classic "CD-ROM cupholder." But it really kills me to see so many people with high-end HDTVs set to stretch analog cable content. Or worse, that funhouse mirror mode.


    It's like buying a comically oversize pickup truck and never taking it out of the city. People have more dollars than sense.


     



    jpadhiyar View Post


    A "zero bass response" is a very strong step backwards if that's the case.



    Yes, because the 2011 iMacs were lauded for their strong bass response.


    But seriously, that's what Airplay is for. I have a wireless printer in my closet, and AppleTV on my surround system. Internal speakers do not concern me, Admiral. I want that thinness, not excuses.

  • Reply 71 of 168
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member


    Tear down of the new iMac shows free space at the top.  I wonder why Apple didn't raise everything out of the chin and eliminate it.  The edges would have had to remain the same thickness as the previous version; however, the iMac would be the same size as the 27" monitor. Much neater than the thin edges.

  • Reply 72 of 168
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jragosta wrote: »
    I disagree. The point of the AIO is that for most people it operates without adding a bunch of stuff and connecting a lot of cables. That's still true of the iMac - most people don't need ODD or massive bass sound. The fact that it's expandable to allow the few people who need it to add accessories doesn't mean that the entire point is lost.

    Note that comment was stated ironically.
    I agree, but note that it's not as big a difference as the numbers indicate because you're likely viewing the iMac at a greater distance than the laptop.

    Good point. I am sure my 13" MBP will kept closer to me than my iMac but the additional pixels (even though larger pixels) will help for the additional UI elements I'll be displaying. Namely, Xcode.
  • Reply 73 of 168
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post



    Decent-sounding speakers need depth. Looks like form wins out over function this time.


    Well, all I can say is that Apple is making a computer, not an audio system.  If you want good audio, look to a company who's core competency is audio reproduction.  Personally, there are so many AirPlay audio products on the market, I think the average person is going to buy better sounding speakers ANYWAY, rather than just relying on the internal computer speakers, if audio reproduction is important.


     


    What cracks me up is that people might bitch and complain about the not-so-great audio integrated within computers (AIO, laptops), yet those same people will go out and buy some seriously bad sounding audio speakers to add to their systems.


     


    You want good audio?  That costs money.  In the audio world, the best sounding audio systems cost far more than these iMacs cost.

     


    You want some insane audio system to go along with your computer system? One has to spend at LEAST $600 to get anything worth a darnn.  At least that is coming from someone with a background in audio systems.

  • Reply 74 of 168
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    sequitur wrote: »
    Tear down of the new iMac shows free space at the top.  I wonder why Apple didn't raise everything out of the chin and eliminate it.  The edges would have had to remain the same thickness as the previous version; however, the iMac would be the same size as the 27" monitor. Much neater than the thin edges.

    1) Perhaps they like the chin. I certainly like the chin. It does hose the one area that has the Apple logo which also houses a window for the IR and maybe a radio antenna. Not that the iconic look even needs a logo on the front but I think it works.

    2) The chin allows for the glass (and now display) to rest upon the structure.

    3) Making the back more curved allows for less material to be used in the structure while still getting the same rigidity and strength from a flatter back.

    4) It looks more stunning to have thinner edges than to have thick edges without a chin. It's one thing to say that aesthetics aren't as important as performance but when the complaint is that "the chin is ugly" then it's no longer an argument about performance.

    5) Let's remember this is an AIO. By design it's a feat of compromise. Engineering balance. Whether we like their goal and execution is moot. People seem to hate notebook for a long time after I adopted them as my primary machine, and yet they are more common than desktop PCs in the market. There are things I'd change about the iMac (there are things I'd change about nearly every product) but I still think it's the most remarkable iMac Apple has ever created and I look forward to jumping back into the desktop PC after 1.5 decades.
  • Reply 75 of 168
    "Special deals are also available through Apple-authorized reseller MacMall, which is offering all four standard iMac models along with CONFIGURATION OPTIONS. Customers will receive a free copy of Parallels, a $79.99 value, and MacMall also offers financing with an extra $20 off and no payments or interest for six months."

    It's very IMPORTANT to realize that when one orders a Mac from MacMall that not all components may be covered under Apple's warranty. If you get a hard drive or RAM upgrade on a unit you order from MacMall MacMall will be PUTTING THIRD PARTY COMPONENTS into your computer. These components will NOT BE COVERED UNDER APPLE'S WARRANTY. If your hard drive fails or your RAM causes issues/fails you will have to go through an unauthorized third party to have your unit repaired. Apple authorized repair centers are bound not to repair components under warranty that are not covered under the warranty - ie someone else's stuff installed into your computer by a third party (in this case, MacMall). They won't be able to cover them under Apple's warranty at all. Maybe one can get them covered under the OEM's warranty but that's a huge hassle. Just an FYI.
  • Reply 76 of 168
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post



    Pity they designed it to be so hard to duplicate that it's super-hard for Apple themselves to make, effectively missing the holiday season apparently.


     


    If you order either of them online my guess is you'll get it before the holidays. So no missing the holiday season.

  • Reply 77 of 168
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post



    Decent-sounding speakers need depth. Looks like form wins out over function this time.


     


    If they reengineered the speakers in the next version, they could use the vertical depth, more perhaps? Better speakers and a retina display and this would be the perfect desktop computer IMO.

  • Reply 78 of 168
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,834moderator
    Here's a full teardown video:


    [VIDEO]


    Looks like they've glued the screen on now. I was wondering if they'd hold the entire panel in with magnets. I suppose it's a screwless design but y'know a lot of problems in life can be solved with a good screw now and again.

    The best place for the screws is at the base where you don't see them but with the chin they can't really do that. Now customers have little choice but to take the machine back to Apple for a hard drive failure or RAM upgrade. The RAM upgrade requires taking out the motherboard. I suppose that's one way of getting people to spend $200 on 16GB of RAM.

    Obviously when the computer is working fine, this design is no big deal and for most customers this will be the case but for the few where it does go wrong, it's now a major problem. This is where a laptop + display is a far better setup because not only is the laptop more easily carted into the Apple Store, it can be opened very easily. Same with a Mini in fact.
  • Reply 79 of 168
    vaelianvaelian Posts: 446member
    So, let us begin with the dissection of nonsense.
    philboogie wrote: »
    Then again, since you already knew this your expectation for the build-in speakers were low to begin with. As should be with anyone, so yes, separate, external speakers is the best config if you want to listen to music or play a video. For incoming mail et cetera sounds the build-in speakers will suffice. That's what they're designed for.

    A $2000 computer is only designed to read E-mail?

    bcode wrote: »
    Firstly, if you're using the built-in speakers on an AIO and expecting awesome results then you're in for a big disappointment...

    Nope, I'm only expecting average results, and apparently it can't even provide that. Would you be making the same comment had Apple included a crappy TN display rather than an IPS? You can connect an external monitor to an iMac,. too, so this shouldn't be a problem, right?

    I completely agree!!! No ODD, no firewire, no USB 2.0 (only USB 3.0), no HDMI, no SVGA, no RS232, no 3.5" floppy, no 5.25" floppy, no reel-to-reel backup. Why can't Apple simply live in the past so we can have all these things in our computers forever!!!!?

    Joke's on you; your reduction to absurdity didn't even address the point of the poster you're quoting...

    ltcompuser wrote: »
    Whether it's a TV or AIO, I've found that if you want decent sound, you need  external speakers. My M-Audio AV40 speakers more than make up for any deficiency in the built in speakers. :-)

    Yes, but when you only want average sound, the built-in speakers should suffice; otherwise it defeats the point of an all-in-one.

    elroth wrote: »
    No all-in-one sounds good enough - add external speakers.

    That is no excuse to actually make the built-in audio worse. The mid-2011 iMac does actually sound good enough for me, but the late-2011 MacBook Pro doesn't.

    solipsismx wrote: »
    What relevance does that have to anything since DVD is more commonly played via an appliance or console in an HEC, not on a notebook or desktop PC. If you really want to play 720x480 MPEG-2 files on a 2560x1440 display then you certainly can but don't imply that is why people are buying Macs or how they prefer to watch their DVDs.

    I don't think that was the implication; you may be committing a straw man fallacy there. I think what the person you replied to was trying to say is that optical media is far from being dead or irrelevant.

    solipsismx wrote: »
    As for actual views streaming video far exceeds DVD video views. There is a reason Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu and iTunes Store are all thriving while Hollywood Video and Blockbuster are out of business.

    Only in the US, so moot point.

    jragosta wrote: »
    An external drive is available if you need it. If you absolutely need an internal drive, buy last year's model or buy something else. If you're right and most people need ODD, then Apple will lose most of their iMac business and will have to backtrack. I'm not holding my breath, though.

    I have to question the intelligence of someone who feels happy about paying the same or more for less...

    rogifan wrote: »
    This is true but people like creating "gates" with Apple so now we get speaker gate.

    Apple prides themselves for quality and make us pay for it; it is thus perfectly reasonable to see complaints and complain when quality falters.

    sflocal wrote: »
    Besides the visual attraction to style, there are other more "practical" reasons.

    To whom?

    sflocal wrote: »
    A lighter product.  Why should you care?  Lighter means less fuel resources, and less costs to ship product from factory to your door.

    Why should I care? In case you haven't noticed, the new iMacs are actually more expensive than the previous generation.

    sflocal wrote: »
    A smaller package.  Meaning more can be squeezed into a given space.  One can ship more product in the same space.  Again, less shipping, less fuel, less costs.

    Most of the package is either filled with foam or air...

    sflocal wrote: »
    Less materials.  Thinner means less metal.  Less metal means less resources used.

    Aluminum is the third most common element on Earth after oxygen and silicon, there's plenty of it to go around, and it can be recycled, so you're concerned with a virtually unlimited resource.

    sflocal wrote: »
    Or is it all supposed to be only about you??

    Of course, I'm the one paying for everything, am I not?

    sflocal wrote: »
    Exactly! You're buying a computer not a sound system! Since when were built-in speakers supposed to be anything more than adequate for people that don't need or want decent sounding audio? You can't go past the B&W MM-1s in my opinion! They look and sound amazing for their size and price.

    There's a huge distance between zero-bass response and decent sounding audio that you seem to be ignoring.

    jeffdm wrote: »
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find any computer with good sound without adding external parts. I think it can be done with the old horizontal desktop form factor that existed before the tower style took over, but that's silly.

    I'm perfectly fine with the speakers in the mid-2011 iMac, which do have bass response.

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239755"]As for the whiners, your comments are irrelevant and don't really matter. Apple is selling all that they can make, so your whining will change nothing and has zero effect upon anything. Apple is not interested in making computers for cavemen and dinosaurs who need optical drives anymore. I can't even remember the last time that I touched a physical disc. Get with the program, it's almost 2013.

    Our opinions are so irrelevant that we only got 2 executives fired and an apology letter in the space of 2 months...

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239755"]As for the lack of bass, that is hardly an important issue, because anybody who claims to demand good audio quality is not using any internal speakers on any all in one machine or on any TV. You hook up your machine to quality external speakers and monitors if you need great quality audio and full sound reproduction, including earth shattering bass, or you plug in a pair of expensive headphones if you care about sound quality. That goes for the previous iMacs also, that were thicker.

    There's a huge distance between zero bass response and great quality audio. Why are you ignoring that distance? And how does your comment justify actually degrading the quality of the speakers?

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239765"]I have line in ports on most, if not all of my older Macs, but I wonder how many people actually ever used them?

    I use them to record calls from my iPhone because I can't intercept the audio using an app. Headphones with mic connected to the headphone jack, iPhone's headphone jack connected to line-in jack, both sources aggregated as mono channels in a single virtual stereo audio device, sound from the left is one side of the call, sound from the right is the other side, and if I want them merged I can simply record or playback in mono without any loss of information.

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239755"]I don't know what the stats are, but I'd venture to guess that the number is extremely low. Why include a port that maybe 1% of customers use?

    You've answered your own question, because of the 1%... I think that a different and more interesting question would be: Why not include the port? It's not like you're gonna pay less for a device that doesn't include the port...

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239755"] What about the other 99%?

    Yeah, what about the 99%? What do they lose for having an extra port?

    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/154718/review-roundup-new-imac-display-and-redesigned-chassis-shine-audio-a-step-back/40#post_2239755"]I would say that anybody recording anything into their Macs, and is serious about it, are using external interfaces. And if somebody is not serious about it, then they probably fall into the category of people who have never even used that port ever.

    Yes, because people only use their general purpose computers for one thing, right?

    quantz wrote: »
    All these comments about lack of bass is pure nonsense. Who wants to listen music from a computer anyway, without plugging decent externals ? I have B&W MM-1 and that's what I call decent. Same rationale as DVD drive : get external.

    I do, and play games too. My requirements are perfectly met by the mid-2011 iMacs, which DO have bass response.

    quantz wrote: »
    Ridiculous. It's a computer, not a sound system. And that "bass" obsession is ridiculous too. Overloaded bass in sound systems are just for thugs driving around playing  Eminem at full blast, not for musicians.

    The mid-2011 iMacs have bass response. Does it make them sound systems? I also have to question how expecting some bass from built-in speakers could be classified as ridiculous, especially when the classifications come from people defending thinner desktop designs...

    jragosta wrote: »
    Nope. Even there, music enthusiasts would be complaining about lack of bass. Nothing less than a 12" subwoofer is good enough for some people. Try fitting that into a computer case.

    That's no excuse to degrade the experience...

    jragosta wrote: »
    I disagree. The point of the AIO is that for most people it operates without adding a bunch of stuff and connecting a lot of cables. That's still true of the iMac - most people don't need ODD or massive bass sound. The fact that it's expandable to allow the few people who need it to add accessories doesn't mean that the entire point is lost.

    There's a huge difference between zero bass response to bass and massive bass sound.

    jragosta wrote: »
    That said, for people with very low expectations, the speakers in a TV or even the current iMac can be acceptable. If you want good sound, though, it's easy enough to add in either case.

    The old iMacs had speakers which quality was comparable to that of mainstream TVs. If these are even worse and have zero bass response, as the reviewers stated, that puts them right there at the bottom along with mainstream laptop speakers, which are really really bad and useless.

    vorsos wrote: »
    Yes, because the 2011 iMacs were lauded for their strong bass response.

    Who made that claim?

    jragosta wrote: »
    But seriously, that's what Airplay is for. I have a wireless printer in my closet, and AppleTV on my surround system. Internal speakers do not concern me, Admiral. I want that thinness, not excuses.

    I assume you would be OK if the display was crap, too, right? Because, well, you have AirPlay and an Apple TV, and the point of an all-in-one is completely lost in you...
  • Reply 80 of 168
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Tear down of the new iMac shows free space at the top.  I wonder why Apple didn't raise everything out of the chin and eliminate it.  The edges would have had to remain the same thickness as the previous version; however, the iMac would be the same size as the 27" monitor. Much neater than the thin edges.



    I've said it many times in this forum: the chin looks good.

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