Apple – iMac G5: Well, as much as I dislike the all-in-one computer concept, I imagine that one of these new iMacs will become the household computer in a couple of months. Apple squarely plugged the hole in their product line that I mentioned a few months ago, and these new iMacs certainly seem to have just about everything you need for modern media tasks.
I have a couple of gripes with the design. The bezel on the front of the monitor is huge. If putting the power supply in a seperate brick meant that they could reduce the size of that, it would have been a good idea. I look at the screen a lot more than I look at the floor behind my desk. Secondly, putting all of the I/O ports in a neat line on the back looks nice in pictures, but it seems like it would be a hassle to use. I use Firewire for sucking video off of a DV video camera, which is one of those use cases where you want to plug it in, do your work, then unplug. Putting the ports on the back makes that more difficult, and since they’re all in a line on a smooth surface, there really no tactile cues as to which port is which. It would have been smarter to have placed at least one USB2.0 and one Firewire port on the front, or place the whole I/O port section on some kind of hinge that could swing around the side of the monitor, so that you could plug in your wires and swing it back. The current design seems like a case where form was chosen over function.
I also don’t know about the graphics. NVidia lost me on their product identities when they switched to the ‘FX’ moniker and started naming their low-end cards just like their performance parts. So is a Geforce FX 5200 Ultra 64 a good part? Or one of the value cards? Maybe someone can enlighten me. Apple says on their web site that it’ll play Doom 3 and UT 2004, but they don’t say how well. Future reviews of the iMac will also have to let us know if the graphics chip is built in and impossible to upgrade, or if they’ve put it on some kind of replacable module.
All in all, a very tempting offer, but I’ll wait for a few reviews to roll out before biting.