New Apple iMac 2012 Meta Hands-On: People Are Psyched

One of the happy surprises from Apple's event today was the new iMac. Now that the dust has settled people are putting their grubby blogger-paws all over that shiny, pristine monolith. Guess what, it's like, suuuuper thin!


It's hard to overstate just how phenomenal this machine looks in the flesh. It's also unbelievably thin -- we'd be impressed if it were simply a new Cinema Display, but the fact that a computer is in there really takes it over the top. At $US1,299, you'll be hard-pressed to find a sexier all-in-one (assuming you don't need an inbuilt optical drive, of course).

The Verge

Apple's using a ridiculously aggressive rounded back to make the sides appear almost impossibly thin until you come around fully to the back, at which point the true depth of the machine is apparent. It's a trick, but it works incredibly well... the laminated front glass and anti-glare treatments make images look like they're lying right on top of the screen... Overall it looks stunning - the first real reason to replace an iMac in years.


What you may not have seen from watching the presentation is that it still is fairly thick at its thickest point, but that doesn't detract from the overall impression, which makes the machine appear surreal at first glance... Performance with Mountain Lion and Aperture seemed silky smooth on both versions, but that's not surprising giving their specifications. And using the new Fusion Drive, which combines the speed advantages of flash memory with the capacity of platter hard disk drives definitely seems to speed things up compared to my 2011 27-inch iMac with a 1TB standard hard drive.


What's changed is the way the screens are layered together, and even without Retina that's impressive. Optical lamination, just as we've seen used on the iPhone 5, brings the LCD IPS and cover glass together into a single pane, for what Apple says is 75-percent less reflection. To our eyes, though, it's the colors and detail that really stand out.


...after 10 minutes, I knew I wanted one. First, the display screen, while not eligible for Apple's Retina label, is drop-dead gorgeous. The color and the contrast is amazing. The dreaded reflections are almost nonexistent... nothing prepares you for the hybrid Fusion Drive Apple is using in this device. Apple's iTunes by far is the worst application on my old iMac and that is why I clicked on it first. And it open almost instantly - it felt faster than the iTunes on my flash-drive based Macbook Air.


...the IPS display itself is now 5mm thinner than before, and it is now laminated to the front glass in order to eliminate an air gap that was there before. The result is a very crisp screen that you'll enjoy whether you've opted for the 27-inch or 21.5-inch models.

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    I'm all for optical drive less laptops.

    But man, I don't think it's the right move for a desktop machine....

      Yeah that's what they were saying about floppy disks. I can't remember the last time I used a cd or DVD for anything

        " I can't remember the last time I used a cd or DVD for anything"
        I guess you don't play any of the main-stream games....
        Sorry, my mistake, niether do iMacs ;-)

          To be fair, I play quite a lot on a Windows PC and all of the games I've bought in the last one or two years have been via some kind of digital distribution. Given I can also do OS installs via USB these days, I've got barely any reason to have the drive.

          Are you living in 2004? I have not bought a game on CD/DVD for about 4 years now(except PS3) Everything is downloadable now.

            I've been given 4 new boxed games for my birthday. Non come on USB drives nor are they downloaded, so WTF am I to do with them with no DVD drive in my iMac - please enlighten me oh great one.

              You can always buy an external device.

        I use my Disc drives on an daily basis.

          I brought a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive about 3 years ago. Except for Doom 3 (which i have only played twice in 2 years) i have had no need to use it.

          Im sure some people still need it. But i think it is going the way of the Floppy, in that its use is being less and less a necessary every day component and more a sometimes used part. A USB attached DVD drive would suffice for my needs.

          I like the idea of it being slimmer, lighter. Its easier for people who rent and move regularly, will got down on its carbon footprint with shipping and looks nicer (lets face it, aesthetic are a factor. It may not be the biggest, but it does matter to some point)

            Though, an disc will outlast an HDD for longterm storage, and an disc is "sealed" in Rom. Also, an BD-R takes up less physical space than an HDD, and doesn't need charge to exist.

              A DVD drive does have its use. I'm not doubting that. Most people are not looking for a long term storage device. A HDD would be good enough for them. In saying that its not that expensive to buy their external super drive for those who need it.

    I think it's technically impressive what they've done. But completely unnecessarily thin and light. This is a desktop people, not a laptop. No one would say that a desktop LCD screen takes up a huge amount of space. By doing this they're just limiting what they can put in because of the smaller thermal envelope they'd have to work with.

    Personally for the extra $100 they've added to the price take I would have preferred to keep the depth and gain some beefier graphics and easier access to storage options.

      All-in-one's are an intended compromise when you require desktop power with space of laptop on desk.

      I agree - the original iMac was sufficient. But they may as well advance design.
      The iMac is one massive heatsink in itself. This design hasn't changed that positive.

      One benefit over the old model is considerable improved memory configuration (they no longer fill all banks with 8GB config), and the graphics card chosen is a significant leap over the previous model (2-3x faster).

    I have had an iMac for the past 6 years and use my optical drive daily. Removing it has made me think twice about getting a new one. They may seem obsolete but some of us still use them. Hence why blank media shops still do a thriving trade. Buying an external unit is not the same!! Not happy at all!!!

      I've got both an older iMac (2009) and a Cinema display hooked up to a Macbook Air with its external DVD drive connected.

      To have purchased an iMac you are in need of convenience and desk space.

      I can guarantee you it *is* the same. The drive works the same way, same specs.
      You gain two advantages over the iMac: 1. You can put it back in its box and on the shelf for even more desk space and 2. If the drive breaks, the iMac can stay put on the desk at home while you take just the drive to a replacement.

      Lookwise, it's a sweet unit that is identical in size and look to the trackpad.

      Excellent product!

    Oh and the base specs are lower than that of the current iMac range.. Yet the price has increased.. How is that right?

      The base specs are actually higher.

      Old: Sandy Bridge
      New: Ivy Bridge

      New Base: 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
      Old Base 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5

      New Graphics Base: NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 512MB GDDR5
      Old Graphics Base: AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512MB GDDR5

      Particularly handy is the change to the 27" RAM upgrades. They used to fill all 4 slots when choosing 16GB. Now they intentionally only configure 2 x 8GB to ensure you can self upgrade to 32GB.

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