Point – Counterpoint with Tera Jean Patricks (Mac user) and Jack D. Miller (Mac user from the Windows world). Topic? Jack says the new iMac is a crippled and weak computer toy, not worthy of the G5 reputation for power. Tera says the new iMac is an absolute computer bargain.
Bargain Power or Crippled and Weak Computer Toy?
Point: This iMac is a big disappointment (Jack D. Miller).
Apple has done it again. There’s no expandability to speak of, it’s overpriced, underpowered, and the flat panel pizza box is thick and hideous. What was Apple thinking? It was a chance to offer a breakthrough machine and all we get is a crippled and weak computer toy.
Counterpoint: The new iMac is an Absolute Bargain Computer (Tera Jean Patricks).
Apple has done it again. This time there’s more power than ever in a Mac consumer machine, a smaller footprint, easier connectivity, all combined in a remarkably low priced and attractive package.
Point: The iMac is crippled and hindered.
It could have been powerful if IBM had the chips. They don’t. Intel does. A 1.6 ghz CPU doesn’t cut it except in a laptop and no PowerBook even has that much power. Let’s face it. The G5 chip has a heat problem that’s not been solved. The top of the line iMac is only 1.8 ghz and costs nearly $2,000. Where’s the “bargain?”
That hot G5 chip looks snug against the screen. I hope you like your LCDs “well done.” And 64 megbytes of video RAM? Puh-leeeze.
Counterpoint: It’s a bargain package.
Think of it this way, Jack. You’ve already agreed that Apple’s new Cinema displays are drop dead gorgeous, right? The 20” Cinema display costs $1,295. For that same price Apple gives you a computer, too. You’ve complained for years that Apple needs a base computer for about $600. That’s what you get in the iMac. A 20” display ($1,295) and a 1.8 ghz G5 CPU for an extra $600. You can’t have it both ways, you know.
Point: No one but Apple likes All-in-One Designs.
Expandability is anemic. RAM. Hard drive. Wireless. That’s it. It’s not for gamers. It’s not for anyone who wants a computer with power. It’s not for schools (too expensive). It’s a pretty paper weight brochure that’s designed to show off Mac OS X. It’s NOT a serious computer. Even the frontside bus (FSB) is reduced from other G5s.
Counterpoint: The Best Consumer Mac Ever. Period.
You love that 20” Cinema display. How can this not be considered a great consumer bargain when you get a whole computer—1.8 ghz G5, 64 megs video RAM, 256 megs RAM, 160 gig hard drive (SATA no less), and a SuperDrive, for only $600 more.
That walks like a bargain, talks like a bargain, smells like a bargain. Something tells me the new iMac is a bargain.
Point: Bargain? Not at $3,200 for a souped up consumer machine?
Come on, Tera. Do your homework. Check the Apple store. Soup up your little toy. Pump it up to 250 gig hard drive. It’s got a SuperDrive so it needs the space. Pump it up to a mere gig of RAM. Add the Airport Extreme card and the Bluetooth module and this “bargain” is now $2,300. Add Apple’s notoriously expensive RAM to 2 gigs total, and it becomes a $3,200 paper weight.
Counterpoint: Stick to the Basics. It’s Bargain Power.
The average Mac user buys a computer, plugs it in and runs it for a decade. Added RAM, larger hard drive are great upgrades; when necessary. Most users will be fine with the full-on out-of-the-box iMac experience. The 17” iMac at $1,299 is a fabulous bargain and much more of a deal than the first flat panel iMac less than three years ago. At the same price. More power. More screen. More expandability. More functionality.
Yes, Apple did it again. The iMac gets immediate kudos on the balance between design, functionality, cool factor, power and useability. No other consumer computer comes close. Add a display and RAM to the PowerMac G5 1.8 ghz machine and see what you get. More cost, huge footprint.
Apple knows how to generate media buzz although the iMac’s announcement at the Paris Macworld Expo is curious. However, it’s obvious that Apple wanted this machine ready for the 2004 San Francisco Macworld Expo and IBM couldn’t get the chips out the door.
Still, the new aluminum iMac has great style and capability. The 17” model is $1,299; the same price as Apple’s highly touted 20” Cinema display. The high end iMac is only $600 more than the 20” Cinema display, comes with a similar sized display AND the rest of the computer.
Even more interesting is the fact that the new iMac resembles a very large iPod; a “Chiclet” some say. Simple. Elegant. Works. What effect will that have on the millions of Windows computer users who also own iPods? Will they be interested in a Mac now?
What do you think? Bargain or crippled chic?
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Jack: I will agree with Tera on one point. The $799 eMac is a great bargain. Hey, it can even be used as a very durable web server with Mac OS X. Click Here to see the details.
Tera: Frankly, Jack, I think you’re more of a former Windows user (a Microsoft apologist) and not much of a Mac user. Yet. There’s hope. But not much. For example, the position you took on Microsoft’s Music Store vs. iPod, iTunes, iTunes Music Store was ridiculous. Click Here to see Jack’s silly position.