The new iMac has arrived, as expected. It’s thinner and, in my opinion, much better looking.
I always felt the white frame around the screen was a bit of a distraction, but now the chassis is aluminum, and there’s a beautiful black border around the screen. This not only looks great but also hides the built-in camera and microphone for an even smoother, cleaner finish.
So I ordered the 24″ with the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme.
For those of you who’ve paid attention to my blog, you know that I currently have no Macs in the house (well, the iPhone). There are two laptops with XP Pro and XP Home. I know XP well, Vista doesn’t even remotely interest me, so I’m going back to the Mac after an absence.
I’ve held off ordering to see what the iMac upgrade would bring, and am glad I did. The prices have fallen considerably. It’s not just the base price of the 24″ being $1,799 to the old model’s $1,999. That initial $200 savings gets even larger when you start adding on items.
Consider that the old 24″ iMac had no “upscale” model to start with, so if you wanted it “maxed out” you had to:
- upgrade the processor to 2.33 GHz,
- upgrade memory from 1 to 2GB,
- upgrade the hard drive from 250 to, in my case, 750GB,
- upgrade the graphics card from a 128MB model to to a 256MB model, and
- add a wireless keyboard and mouse for $59 each.
Starting from that $1,999 base model, the resulting machine was close to $2,900, and included no additional software, tax, or shipping.
By comparison, the new iMac has an upscale model for $2,299 that already includes:
- the max processor (2.8GHz),
- 2GB memory,
- a 500GB drive (so the upgrade to 750GB is less expensive),
- the max graphics card, and
- the wireless mouse is just $20, the keyboard just $30.
My entire package, including iWork ’08, a year’s subscription to .Mac, tax and expedited shipping, is less than $2,900. We’re talking many hundreds of dollars saved on a system that’s dramatically improved in all areas, with software (iLife ’08) that’s dramatically improved as well.
Yes, this is the “transition” Tim Cook spoke of on the 3Q analysts call a couple weeks ago. No question these will not bring in the margins of the old models. On the other hand, they ought to sell a ton of them, and I’m one of the first buyers.
The only bad news is the Extreme models have a five-week delay; my ship date is slated for 9/12.
I have no doubt there will be some Mac fans unimpressed by today’s announcements. Maybe you should run my XP boxes for a while. 🙂 Seriously, as I monitored the presentation today I was hopeful for another hard drive bay or maybe a replaceable graphics card in the iMac. However, with up to 1TB of storage available, and a respectable graphics card already in place, one has to wonder just how much is supposed to be available for a “consumer” machine? When you consider all the improvements for hundreds of dollars less, at some point you just need to STFU and enjoy it.
[UPDATE:] From playing around on the Apple Store website I found the cause for delay is the wireless keyboard. If I remove that from an order then the estimated ship date is 3-5 days instead of weeks. I need a wireless keyboard, but not necessarily immediately. I’ll have to dwell on this and maybe call Apple tomorrow to change the order, getting the regular keyboard initially and ordering the wireless separately.