Apple still has a few Mac models MIA. Missing in action. The latest to get an upgrade or iterative update, is the desktop iMac line. Think evolution, not revolution, but if you want the latest and greatest the new iMacs are, well, uh, um– improved.
While the iPhone gets an upgrade every year to keep up with competition and the Samsung Joneses, the Mac doesn’t need a refresh as often because not much is going on in the personal computer world other than always on ARM-based notebooks with LTE, PCs with almost no bezel, and SSDs everywhere.
What about the iMac?
Apple’s website headline says it all. OK. maybe not all. Some of it, OK?
Pretty. Freaking powerful.
Yes, it’s pretty. Yes, it’s powerful. The new iMac just isn’t as pretty or as powerful as the iMac Pro, but let’s take what we can get. Cupertino is more evolutionary than revolutionary these days.
While the iMac Pro remains mostly unchanged, the Retina-based 21-inch and 27-inch iMac models received needed upgrades to Intel Inside. The 21-inch entry-level iMac starts at $1,099 and for that you get an old anemic Intel dual-core 7th generation Inside, a 1TB hard disk drive, not the SSD, a couple of Thunderbolt 3 ports, and graphics sufficient to make you wish you’d upgraded to any other iMac.
The latest iMac models still come in 4K Retina and 5K Retina displays, a few Thunderbolt 3 ports, among others, and options to scoot all the way up to the latest 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 inside. Max it out and the iMac can weigh in at $4,849. $150 less than the entry-level iMac Pro.
So, what’s missing in the new iMacs?
Missing. In. Action.
First, same old same old design. Big ugly chin. Big ugly bezels. No way to adjust the display’s height up and down (tilt only).
Second, entry-level and all the new iMacs still come with Fusion hard disk drive hybrids. A little bit of SSD mixed with plenty of spinning hard disk drive platters. Could Apple afford to drop a noteworthy SSD into each iMac? Yes. If you want an SSD you’ll pay for the privilege.
Third, no modern security enhancements. Not one. No W2 chip like you find in the new MacBook Air. No Touch ID, either. No Face ID like you find in the iPad Pro.
Fortunately, all the 27-inch iMacs come with the Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display which is one of the best you can find anywhere. Apple seems to have learned a lesson from the past and equipped iMacs with enough ports to make some Windows PC users happy. A real true blue headphone jack. An SDXC card slot. Four USB 3 connectors. Two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connectors. And, Gigabit Ethernet.
I checked on Amazon and a standalone Retina 5K display can be had for just under $1,000. Refurbished. Apple’s iMac gets you such a display for $800 more with a Mac thrown in. How is that not a bargain?
Again, what’s missing is the future. New iMacs do not come with anything really new except new Intel Inside. No SSD only. No W2 chip. No Touch ID. No Face ID. No new design with thinner bezel and smaller chin. No space gray color. But it does come with enough new hardware to scoot the price tag up to almost iMac Pro levels.