Apple quietly cut the price of its LCD monitors. If there is a headless iMac, the 20 incher is still pricey at $999. I think the monitor of choice for a $499 Mac may end up being the Plasma Display that is already hanging on the wall in the media room!
The best thing about the new iMac design is that it is more compact and easier to transport than the previous version. Think of the luxo-lamp G4 iMac as a desktop computer, squeezed into a half sphere with a mighty arm holding up the screen. The latest iMac is more like a laptop computer with the screen welded in place facing outward like a tablet PC. It is then simply mounted on an aluminum support that matches the recently introduced aluminum monitors.
In terms of performance, the big difference is the G5 processor cooled by three fans that pull air from the bottom of the enclosure and out through the top. It also comes with NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 graphics processor.
So, what’s not to like? Priced at US$1,299 the base model surely represents a better value than the previous G4 iMac, but Apple desperately needs to fight back against the continuing erosion in market share. When compared to the cost and performance of a G4 17″ PowerBook, price looks fantastic, but there is a need at the low end for something other than the eMac. The iMac remains a high priced, design oriented product. Until the G5 makes it into a laptop enclosure, it has a solid place in the lineup because of its superior performance.
The call for a “headless” iMac has not been heard by Apple – yet. It would be nice to see a G5 headless box priced $100 less than an eMac. The time for a Mac with a built-in CRT has passed and the eMac should evolve into a more powerful mainstream solution. One that a lot of people have been asking for.