back to article Apple's skinny new iMac line: Farewell, optical drives

The new 7.85 7.9-inch iPad mini and the upgraded fourth-generation iPad weren't the only bits of kit featured during Apple's "a little more" event this Tuesday in San José, California. Also announced was Apple's new eighth-generation iMac lineup. Sadly, the event also signaled the end of the presence of optical drives built …


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  1. James 100

    Never worked well anyway!

    Having had 3 of my 4 "super"drives die on me, I concluded the name was intended to be ironic (never bothered getting them replaced: under warranty policy at the time, it would have meant leaving the laptop with the Apple store for a week to be repaired!) - not really any great loss. It wasn't until I was weighing up the week of laptop-deprivation against long-term DVD drive loss that it hit me just how little use I had for the slot in the first place; I think I've ripped two audio CDs so far this year, while every single piece of software has come electronically in the first place: ISOs from MSDN, Apple App Store stuff, things on the servers at work - nothing send by disk any more!

    It would have been nice if Apple had switched to non-turkey drives instead, but you really only need one on each network for most use these days - and don't most of us already have a perfectly good USB one around somewhere, without buying an extra to take up space in the machine?

    1. Arctic fox

      Re: "Never worked well anyway!" I do not have a huge quarrel with the trend towards............

      ..........slimmer and more lightweight machines meaning that some equipment that has been traditionally built in now becomes a peripheral. I in fact installed a blue-ray player in our front-room HTPC and any ripping I need to do is done by means of an external drive via a USB port. I do however have a considerable problem with snide gits representing the company concerned saying things like "And for those who are still are stuck in the past" by way of brushing off questions about that design decision.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: "Never worked well anyway!" I do not have a huge quarrel with the trend towards............

        "I do however have a considerable problem with snide gits representing the company concerned saying things like "And for those who are still are stuck in the past" by way of brushing off questions about that design decision."

        Here here. These are desktops - they can afford to be a little more bulky than their portable notebook counterparts. Especially one which is built into a 27" monitor - that's a lot of body, even if it is uber-thin. It's a 27" desktop - it's not going anywhere, it can weigh as much as you like - makes it less nickable if anyone breaks in!

        Aesthetically, I actually don't like the new thin profile so much as the Mid-2010 Generation iMacs (one of which I'm typing on), and it's not like you can actually tell the difference when you're sat in front of it...

        Worse, from a pragmatic and usability viewpoint, given Apple have high penetration in the creative industries (one of the few industries they have any penetration in whatsoever), the inability to either rip media from a CD or DVD or indeed say, burn the media you've generated for a client to a DVD (so they can actually play it without buying a smart TV with USB port or fiddle with the right dongle to make it talk to their laptop) seems more than a little perverse.

        Yes yes, I know, everyone has ipods or smartphones or unholy non-Apple MP3 players, but when you've been in the meeting rooms of Fortune 100 companies and their A/V provision is a steam-driven 25" CRT monitor with the world's first DVD player, having a shiny macbook with a slew of adaptors to DVI/VGA/HDMI is less than helpful. You actually need a spare copy on old optical media sometimes!

        Mine's the one with pockets full of legacy hardware formats.

    2. jai

      Re: Never worked well anyway!

      have to agree. both the intel iMacs i've had have both lost functionality of their optical drive. Oddly enough, the tray-loading drive in the old G4 iLamp iMac is still working perfectly.

      but i don't see why people get so uptight about needing the optical drive inside the machine. USB drives to read/write dvds are cheap as anything these days - far cheaper than Apple would charge you for putting one inside certainly. And that way you get to choose between cheap DVD drive, or splash out of a blu-ray drive if you wish.

      god the new iMacs look nice. I'm desperately trying to find an excuse to get one, but sadly, apart from the optical drive, my current iMac is still working perfectly

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Maliciously Crafted Packet

          Re: Never worked well anyway!

          Taking the piss? I think jai is spot on.

          Unless you prefer that car battery-esque styling often found on PC's and the like these days.

          1. wpjchris

            Re: Never worked well anyway!

            I just wanted to confirm that the sole reason jai wanted to buy one was based on aesthetics.

            Maybe Apple do know what they're doing...

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Never worked well anyway!

        If you can, wait till the mid-2013 iMac comes out, it's rumoured to be inspired from Toshiba's design.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never worked well anyway!

      I had a SuperDrive die on me recently (refused to eject discs), but for 40 quid I bought a replacement and replaced it in 25 minutes flat. The drive that died was 5 years old.

      With iFixit, you don't even need to send it away, you can do it yourself with the right tools. Granted, it involved removing the fascia and the screen and it would probably be daunting for your average person, but it's nonetheless something you can do. :-)

  2. Bad Beaver

    Never again

    iMacs are nice machines overall but I sure as hell will not get another one if I have to pay for it. Too expensive for the single point of failure they have been designed to become. Also, I do live in the past and love to get stuff on shiny little discs. And I am not paying extra so that Apple can promote its own business model.

  3. Chris 171


    These are not computers, they are things. A lamp as an example.

    Do you need extreme thinness from a desktop device? at the cost of losing functionality? Big fat no on both. More functionality in the same size box as before please.

    Can't even rip a CD on a machine over 2 feet across.... that's some 'design' right there.

    1. Aaron Em

      'Appliance' is the word you seek

      And, yeah, if I'm splashing out a zillion bucks on a gigantic desktop iMac, it's really going to be the extha eighty bucks for an external DVD drive that's going to break the bank...right.

      Never minding, of course, that the computer as general-purpose hot shit box paradigm is for us geeks, and that for ordinary human beings, a computer that's as reliable -- and replaceable -- as a lamp, is pretty much the ideal. Means they don't need to put up with us, for one thing; for another, it means we don't need to put up with them. Take those reasons in whichever order you like; they're both good ones either way.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: 'Appliance' is the word you seek


        That's flawed logic on your part ; if people are buying an appliance (and a bloody expensive one at that) then one of the things they expect is that, by virtue of paying for quality they are bypassing the Ryanair sales model. If the Superdrive is so cheap, why isn't it bundled? (I question the assertion that it's cheap, too - I've used several better and cheaper external optical devices in my time, and while many of them didn't come with a shiny looking brushed aluminium chassis that was the only way in which they could be seen as inferior to a Superdrive).

        "Nobody uses DVD or Blu-Ray any more" is a patently bollocks answer, because if it it were true you wouldn't be seeing hugely profitable film releases appearing on disc. A more honest answer is "we want it to be more convenient to use iTunes & the App store than to install from/use discs". Which is a win for Apple, not the user - so why's the user expected to pay for it?

        On a laptop I can grudgingly understand the space constraints making "access to optical media" something to trade off in favour of "lighter, thinner device". On a desktop, it's irrelevant. (Of course, I say this as one to whom the physical appearance of computers is generally irrelevant...if the aesthetics of your home desktop are supremely important, perhaps this move on Apple's part makes more sense).

    2. McBeese

      Re: Incredible...

      "Rip a CD"? People still have music on CDs?

      1. BernieC

        Re: Incredible...

        Yep, 2000 or so of them.

        Won't be buying a Mac any time soon.

        1. jai

          Re: Incredible...

          re: "Won't be buying a Mac any time soon."

          if you still get your music on CDs sounds like you don't buy anything until it's outmoded and old fashioned. I'm surprised you're even on CDs and not listening to vinyls instead.

          1. Swarthy
            Thumb Down

            Re: Incredible...(@ jai)

            ODFO. I love my vinyls. I actually own more big, black CDs than I do the regular kind. They store much better, for one thing.

      2. J 3

        Re: Incredible...

        My wife decided to play one of her games on her iMac today, only to discover the optical drive would not get the disc in (mechanical failure of some type, apparently, since the OS recognizes the drive as being there). She has other, recently bought disc-dwelling software laying around, like language instruction program and data CDs. I'm sure she will be glad to hear it's now all part of the past...

        1. Richard Cartledge

          Re: Incredible...

          £29 is just too much for a USB DVD drive?

          In fact, you can get a caddy on ebay for under £5 and pop in al old one from your spare part pile or some 5 year old Acer.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incredible...

          The reality is fewer and fewer people need CD/DVD drives - especially on laptops but even on desktops. It's almost a 'legacy' format and I'm sure people said the same when hi-fi's stopped coming with a record player as standard and how many have audio tape now?

          CD and DVD is still fairly prevalent but there are external USB drives you can use and face it - streaming / downloading is the future or do you really think you will be buying DVDs in 5-10 years time?

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Incredible...

      Yes but, think how much happier Apple you'll make Apple after you repurchased all those Audio CDs' 'cause you couldn't actually rip them like the filthy Pirate that the like of the RIAA (and Co.), think everyone is.

    4. Wyrdness

      Re: Incredible...

      As a Linux developer and OS X user, I'd say that, far from being toys, they're actually the best desktop *nix machines you can get. OS X still beats Mint and Fedora for usability.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Niche legacy hardware?

    Client: Here Mr Designer, I've got all the files for you to print out on this DVD.

    Mr Designer: Great.... er...

    Client: ...

    Mr Designer: Just bear with me while I get on ebay and buy a cheap DVD rewriter!

    Just one of the many real-world scenarios I'd face every day if I didn't have an optical drive. Another might go like this:

    Mr Designer: Damn, my Mac's hard drive just borked, better boot up off my install DVD to reformat and reinstall.

    Mr Designer: ...

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Niche legacy hardware?

      Hey Mr Designer, here's my USB drive/Dropbox account/etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        That's great thanks, but how does it let me boot from my installer disk to reformat my drive and/or reinstall the system? Oops! ;)

        1. Chad H.

          Re: Niche legacy hardware?

          Bootable USB. Job done. Old tech to the rescue.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Niche legacy hardware?

            Have you tried this? I have recently and it seems to be a no-go. It'll boot from an external USB hard drive if it has a system already installed on it and is properly formatted, but I've had no joy getting it to boot from an installer disk in an external USB optical drive, so how do I get the system installed on there in the first place? Hmmm, now where did I put that ancient Firewire DVD writer? :/

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Niche legacy hardware?

              I swear you people are making this up.

              If I've had a problem with booting from USB, I've been doing it wrong. A quick google to find out how to do it properly has sorted it.

              The Mac USB booting has never failed if I'm honest, much to my chargrin, arf.

              Astroturfers, 13 year old trolls and people who just don't have a fucking clue what their talking about - it's The El Reg Forums Way!

              Steven R

        2. The FunkeyGibbon

          Re: Niche legacy hardware?

          Target Disk Mode anybody?

        3. Snapper

          Re: Niche legacy hardware?

          You'd do it a LOT faster if you installed it from a recent clone on a USB or FireWire drive. Have you SEEN how many updates you have to install with the OS and apps these days!

          If you didn't know this why are you posting on a tech site?

      2. Nanki Poo

        @chad Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        "Hey Mr Designer, here's my USB drive/Dropbox account/etc."

        Try "Hey Mr Client, why don't you turn around, go back to the office, learn how to use the internet, join DropBox, upload your file there, come here, I'll then download it, and we can discuss what you want to do then . . . "

        However you word it, that's what they'll hear. Especially if it delays their project.

        Just saying.


        1. Aaron Em

          And this is why they sell an external optical drive

          Of course, that's only for those of us who'd rather get the job done, than whine about problems which don't actually exist -- and, as I said above, for someone who's dumping gobs of money on a desktop Mac, the relatively tiny additional cost of a $80 external optical drive is a problem which doesn't actually exist.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: And this is why they sell an external optical drive

            It isn't really the cost (though that's annoying).

            Its the fact that the DVD player becomes an ugly beast to have around your beautiful imac and you start thinking that your all-in-one was achieved by taking everything out.

            Lots of people still buy on CD. iMac's sound is not great and if you want music in the Lounge as well as the study, you may not want to buy another computer & screen for there too. Yes you could do BT from your tablet, but that starts being a pain to pair and unpair devices all over the place when you really just want to put a CD in. I might actually wish to share my music collection with the proper hifi in the Lounge.


            Written on my desktop, with over 6TB of internal disk, a very nice Dell 27" screen, a nice 20" screen and an OS where focus follows mouse.

        2. Chad H.

          Re: @chad Niche legacy hardware?

          If your client hasn't figured out email by now, I think you're going to have bigger problems than where your CD rom drive is.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @chad Niche legacy hardware?

            "If your client hasn't figured out email by now, I think you're going to have bigger problems than where your CD rom drive is."

            I think you overestimate your chances of keeping clients in a recession when you start telling them they're idiots for not trying to email those 6Gb of photoshop files for their latest van livery. And if you start telling them they have to now subscribe to a service like dropbox (the free account won't handle that much data), they'll most likely choose the easy option and just use one of your competitors who'll take the disk off them with a smile and say 'no problem'. Welcome to the real world of working for a living.

            1. Chad H.

              @ AC Re: @chad Niche legacy hardware?

              And I think you overestimate the actual amount of people who need an optical drive by stretching to a circumstance that simply does not effect the casual user, and even in your example have viable alternatives to a burned DVD, such as a *Reusable* Flash disk

      3. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        "Hey Mr Designer, here's my USB drive/Dropbox account/etc."

        Hey Mr Designer, I don't want to put my data on a 3rd party website that could be breached. Equally, I don't want you to alter the data I've given you. If you don't like a DVD, I'll find a designer with a Mac Pro or the last generation iMac - or a generic PC.

        1. Michael Thibault

          Re: Niche legacy hardware?

          Equally, I don't want you to alter the data I've given you.

          Come again! Oh, wait! I think I see where the gob got smacked: there's a world of difference between what you want and what you can effectively ensure. Ask the MIAA types. They have some experience with optical media.

          I'll find a designer with a ... generic PC.

          'PC-using designer' verges on the oxymoronic.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            @ Mr Client with the optical disk

            Mr Designer, I'll just drop the DVD-R through your letterbox. Don't bother posting them back (5p ea.)

            Or Mr Designer, I'll just drop the USB stick through your letterbox, please return them. (£5 - £20 ea.)

            Also, never underestimate the bandwidth of a box of DVDs. Even today, posting a few DVDs next-day is often faster than uploading and downloading.

            These days clients tend to bring source data on either DVD-R or external hard disk, depending on the amount.

            Which raises another annoyance - it look like that new iMac doesn't have any front or edge USB ports. So how do you plug in the client's USB stick or USB HDD without looking like a class berk?

            1. Monkeigh

              Re: @ Mr Client with the optical disk

              As far as I know the last two generations only had back mounted USB ports. Unless you had a wired keyboard in which case it has 2 on the back of the keyboard.

              I can confirm that plugging a USB stick into the back of the iMac has always been a pain. Unless you reach around and just stab it at ports in the back until you find the right one then you have to swivel the whole thing round. So every time you want to plug in or unplug anything you have to readjust the tilt of the screen.

              In practice most people buy an external USB hub and use that which is hardly an elegant solution. I really don't see the point of making the iMac smaller if it means you have to have your desk littered with peripherals.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                @ Monkeigh

                Ouch, thanks. I didn't realise that, I thought the previous generation had screen-edge USB ports.

                - I've only got a Mac Mini for test purposes at work.

            2. Richard Cartledge

              Re: @ Mr Client with the optical disk

              Don't do business with someone who can't spend £10.70 inc. P&P on an USB DVD drive.

              Hello, you could even post them the DVD & DVD drive and say don't bother posting it back.

    2. Steven Raith

      Re: Niche legacy hardware?

      USB optical drives, or shock horror, USB drives, which are also bootable.

      And have been on Macs for *years* - same as they have been on all x86 hardware.

      I have recently rebuilt my crummy old 2008 Macbook from scratch with an SSD in it (no recovery partitions on it, natch), with one USB drive. No App Store usage either, other than to verify the Mountain Lion purchase I made whenever I upgraded from Lion.

      Piece of piss.

      Seriously, I haven't used an actual install DVD in anger for many a year - pretty much all my installers (Windows and Mac OS apps) are copied to USB drives - far, far faster for a start, which was my primary justification for it! Linux of course, I just use repos....

      Steven R

      1. Franklin

        Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        "Seriously, I haven't used an actual install DVD in anger for many a year..."

        I just used the DVD drive on my iMac for the first time ever last night, as it turns out. To install Windows 7 in a VM.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Niche legacy hardware?

          "I just used the DVD drive on my iMac for the first time ever last night, as it turns out. To install Windows 7 in a VM."

          What VM software are you using? Just curious as I thought all of them had the ability to mount an iso file as a virtual optical drive. I don't recall ever having to fanny about with actual physical media when it comes to virtual machines.

          Re: the new MACs, seems like not a bad decision. It obviates a pretty onerous failure mode from the machine (multiple moving parts, optics exposed to the elements, fluff ingress, etc). It still has USB ports at least. If they'd only gone for some proprietary bus format that combined PCIe, eSATA, USB and DisplayPort/HDMI into a single connector and charged a hundred bucks per adapter then there would be more of a justification for bitching about it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mount an ISO

            Yeah, sure you can, but you've got to get it into ISO format first. Last I checked Microsoft don't actually sell their operating systems in electronic format.

            1. MCG
              Thumb Down

              Re: Mount an ISO

              In actual fact, all versions of Windows 7 and 8 can be purchased as downloads in ISO format.

              Christ, I hate you anonymous twats.

    3. Aaron Em

      Re: Niche legacy hardware?

      You do, of course, know that OS X install media has been a bootable USB stick for, oh, at least a year or two now...

      1. a_been

        Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        I think they should bring back the 5.25 floopy, when they droped that I swore i would never buy an Apple product. They just want to keep us on the upgrade treadmill. They should follow the example of companies like Tandem and DEC , when was the last time you saw them make a product that wasn't backwards compatible. Im pretty sure you can still connect stuff from the early 90s to Tamdems PC's.

    4. tony

      Re: Niche legacy hardware?

      If "Mr Designer" can afford the £2k+ for the none base model but can't afford the dvd drive knowing that a portion of their client base has in the past brought in optical media for use then maybe they should re-evaluate their spending.

      They've probably spent more on entertaining / advertising to get the client through the door in the first place.

      Unless we want to spend the day designing more and more elaborate scenarios to find reasons why /why not a person would spend less than the cost of a decent bottle of wine during a client jolly to keep in a drawer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Niche legacy hardware?

        "If "Mr Designer" can afford the £2k+ for the none base model but can't afford the dvd drive knowing that a portion of their client base has in the past brought in optical media for use then maybe they should re-evaluate their spending."

        That's not the point. The point is you've paid more - for less. It's not about not affording an additional tax on the same feature set, it's about suddenly having yet more clutter on the already cluttered desk, losing a USB port and the fact that the optical disk is far from a legacy format. I've yet to see anyone suggest an alternative for medium-term (5-10 years) archiving of work. If I need to clear finished artwork from my Mac (or external drives) to archive at the end of every week, what's the genuine alternative? I'm not being combative or facetious, I'm asking a serious question. If there's somebody who's found a reliable and cheap replacement system for DVD job archiving I'm all ears.

        1. Chad H.

          Alternative for achiving

          NAS drive. In the space of about 5 or 6 DVD cases you can have several terrabytes of storage. Since you're on a mac you've got the luxuary of Time Machine's incremental and automatic backups allowing you to go back to earlier versions of documents. If you want to archive the archive, I suppose you can copy that somewhere once every so often.

          Sounds like I just saved you a lot of time from those automatic backups.

  5. Chad H.

    I dunno....

    I deliberatly stepped up the purchase of my 17in Macbook Pro because of the no CD/DVD rom rumours spreaading at that time. However, since then I have to report I have inserted a whole 1 CD in just about 12 months now.

    I think this is pretty much a similar reaction to the loss of the Floppy. Most of us have stopped using them, but we just don't realise it yet. We want an optical drive because its "normal" and we've had one for as long as we can remember.

    Now I know there are some of you out there with bad broadband, or have some specialist thing that is only on disc, and some of you might even still buy stuff in boxes... but I think for most of us, if we actually did an audit of what we use an optical drive for (and what alternatives there are for the few things we still use them for - steam/downloads, NAS drives, etc), I think you'll be suprised as I am about just how much we don't actually need them anymore. They're just a bit of a safety net.

    1. a_been

      Re: I dunno....

      I need a DVD drive due to some IBM software that only comes on DVD and gets upgraded every year, so with my last laptop I decided to get a blue rayplayer. It only because of the blueray that I'v given any thought about how often I use it which has been never, not once apart from the yearly updates from IBM and they still need an internet connection to activate.

      Next upgrade im going to drop the drive, drop the weight and get the cheepest USB drive on the market. That assumes IBM are still doing their retarded security (guessing each of the disc's may have some slightly different code on it). Noticed in Africa and SE Asia disc's arn't being used that much anymore, still for installing software and burning movies but apart from that it's either the internet or the sneeker net with USB devices.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I dunno....

      How do we cope with medium-term archiving of work? Shelves full of hard drives and USB sticks? DVDs are a cheap (pence rather than pounds) means of passing copies of large amounts of data to others or backing them up into an archive for several years. I use optical drives daily for both. 'The cloud' is not a safe place to store your stuff as the Megaupload debacle has proven.

      1. Chad H.

        Re: I dunno....

        NAS Drive. mac backs up automatically every hour, and you're able to access old versions of the file too, you don't even have to think about backing up, it just happens.. Job done.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I dunno....

          That'd have to be one hefty NAS drive to handle the output of the whole studio. Maybe a server farm. ;)

          1. Chad H.

            Re: I dunno....

            A Mac Mini with 2Tb of Storage has got to be smaller than the equivalent space in DVDs. Its also reusable.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And thinness matters in this space WHY?

    OK, I can understand why you want your phone to be thin (although past a certain point what does it matter? - width and height become what controls which pocket it can fit in, and you cannot change those values too much without it becoming unusable as it has to span the distance from ear to mouth and be wide enough to display a usable amount of information. I'd rather have thicker with more battery.)

    I can understand why you want your tablet to be thin (although the arguments above come into play again).

    I can understand why you want you laptop to be thin (although the arguments above come into play).

    But WHY do you care how thick your desktop is?

    1. GBE

      Re: And thinness matters in this space WHY?


      Once it's thinner that maybe 5cm, who cares?

      I guess if you're buying merely it as room decoration, maybe it matters. But, compared to the amount of clutter and garbage on an actual working desktop,

      a display thats 1cm thick instead of 5cm thick just doesn't matter.

      IMO, the same thing goes for TVs. I'd much rather my "thin" TV were an inch or two thicker and had speakers that didn't make you want to push sharp objects into your brain through your earholes.

    2. McBeese

      Re: And thinness matters in this space WHY?

      You forgot to mention my girlfriend.

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: And thinness matters in this space WHY?

      But WHY do you care how thick your desktop is?

      You're missing the logical progression. The next thing that will happen is that the screen will become touch sensitive. It will be at this point you realise why Apple put the launch pad in OSX - lie the thing flat on its back and you'll have a 27" iPad..

      Personally I don't care about thickness. I want Apple to make those cool see-through glass sheets like every SF movie is showing..

      1. Aaron Em

        I don't

        If you think glare is bad...

        Great point about the 27" iPad, though! All they need to do at that point is mount it on a sufficiently clever stand, and the Microsoft Surface can go and whistle --

        1. Monkeigh

          Re: I don't

          It will have to be a much better engineered stand than it has at the moment. A single touch of an iMac screen will tilt the whole thing. I'm just not sold on the idea of desktop touch screens for normal computer use, unless you keep a squidgee next to your keyboard the screen is going to be smudgy and annoying to view very quickly.

          As well as the key reason why this tech won't catch on which is that operating a computer by touching all over a 27" screen is a lot more effort than making tiny movements of a mouse.

          We already have large touch screens like the Wacom Cintiq which have been around for years but their use is limited to fields who actually benefit from accurate touch.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    I don't think I'll get one

    ... as a Mac developer a MacBook or Mini is OK... but they are damn nice to look at. Design IS important.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think I'll get one

      Design may be important, but when you're looking at one you're looking at the fat bit - the front - not the side. 'Thinness' is irrelevant - the desktop footprint hasn't changed.

  8. banjomike

    Ve are Apple!!

    You vill obey!!

  9. Nya


    So, the side is too thin for a SD card that must mean it's too thin for USB, so where the hell have they put the USB ports? also inaccessible round the back somewhere?

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Question...

      They've been round the back for donkeys years!

      Steven R

      1. J 3

        Re: Question...

        Yes, it's been horrible for years already.

        1. Aaron Em

          Horrible, yes

          So much worse than the front-mounted USB ports you find on PC towers -- which, in my experience, are wonderfully placed for any careless foot to kick to death anything one incautiously plugs into them. It is also, of course, a delightful and not at all undignified exercise to lean down out of one's chair to plug something into them.

          So I figure, what the hell. If you're buying a USB hub anyway -- which almost everyone is, who uses USB ports on more than a monthly basis -- what difference where it plugs into the PC?

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: Horrible, yes

            Assume we add the iHub on to the iDVD drive as peripherals it turned out we needed because the 'amazing design' had dispensed with them.

            There do seem to be an awful lot of people saying "I wouldn't use a machine like that, so nobody would." That is very much Apple's style, though - the "you're holding it wrong" attitude to design.

  10. Fuzz

    optical drives

    I don't use my optical drive for installing software any more as it comes downloaded from the Internet these days. I also don't use it for burning discs, it's much easier to use online storage or a USB drive.

    I do however use my drive all the time for ripping CDs, DVDs and BluRays.

    Now the number of CDs I'm buying is decreasing as mp3 prices fall but I think we're a way off having DRM free downloadable films so my desktop computer will have a bluray drive for the foreseeable future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: optical drives

      You can buy a USB-powered Bluray writer for roughly 80 quid (Samsung SE-506). If you're spending big money on an iMac (and you are, 'cos they aren't cheap after all...) you're not going to give up the whole idea for the sake of an extra few quid. Especially if it then means you can use the same drive if you have other kit like a netbook for example.

      Really, there are things to moan about from the show (the price of the iPad mini is bordering on lunacy) but dropping the optical drive from the one remaining model that still had it (yes, yes, Mac pro. Like they give a crap about the mac pro any more) is really not it. That boat sailed ages ago.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5400 RPM drives... kit that costs more than $1000 is insane. Completely, absofuckinglutely insane.

    1. FutureShock999

      Re: 5400 RPM drives...

      Have you ever felt the heat difference between 5400 rpm drives and 7200 rpm drives? It isn't a cost excersize, it is a heat management decision. Apple would rather have it take a fraction of a second longer to load something if that lets them avoid the use of fans, and all of the aural irritation they present. I have a Sony Vaio 17" i7/7200 drive/16Gigs which I replaced with a MacBookPro /Retina, and while I LOVED my Sony, the difference in radiated noise is so stark that I wonder at times how I actually concentrated with the Sony turned on. The MBP is so quiet it might as well be a prop. I concentrate better, have less problems on phone calls, and avoid a hot blast on my left hand. That is thermal efficient design, and THAT is why they use 5400 rpm drives... Of course, I use SSDs now and store all my archive files on my Synology 1812+.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 5400 RPM drives...

        Given that Apple sell upgrades to 7200 RPM drives, I am inclined to believe it's a money decision.

        Regarding the hard drive heat characteristics, yours isn't a valid comparison. The iMac uses 3.5" drives, not 2.5" drives, where power draw (and thus heat) is similar between the 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM varieties (5-10W). Next, to compare the Sony Vaio's noise to that of the MacBook Pro and come to the conclusion that it must be the fans is anecdotal and specious logic. I write this on an 2009 iMac with a 7200 RPM hard drive operating currently at 59.0C and the iMac is basically silent. I hear the drive's platters spinning, but the computer's fans are very quiet. Next to me is a Dell Latitude with an SSD whose CPU fan is quite noisy and the heat from the Intel i7 CPU is substantial.

        I won't definitively say that your Sony has no hard drive fan that pumps hot air on your left hand, but it is far more likely that is the CPU since the CPU draws ten times as much power as your 2.5" hard drive (35W vs ~3W).

  12. LaeMing


    They were slot-load anyway - not like you could even use them as a cup holder!

  13. McBeese
    Thumb Up

    Good Riddance!

    Haven't used an optical DVD drive in years. Glad to see it go. I think they were the most failure-prone component on every computer I've owned. Actually, not true. I guess the original 5.25" floppy drives were worse.

    In a world with App Stores, cloud services like Dropbox, and non-spinning hard media options like SD Cards and USB flash drives, who needs or wants an optical DVD drive? If you're thinking "I do", then I have a tar pit I'd like to show you.

    1. proto-robbie

      Re: Good Riddance!

      You never used a Sinclair ZX MicroDrive then? Newbie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good Riddance!

        You never used an Exatron Stringy Floppy then? N00b.

      2. Sobakus

        Re: Good Riddance!

        You say they are removing the MicroDrive from the new models?

        Oh man! First the tape recorder and now the MicroDrive, whats next? The RF output??

        I will never buy any Sinclair product again, ever!!

  14. R Cox

    Who uses DVD?

    Honestly I have not installed anything from a DVD for a long time. For instance, I just installed MS Office, it was purchased and installed directly from MS. Every piece of software is available for download, often at a reduced price. Even software that is not for download is often now shipped on USB. For instance Autodesk is on USB.

    There is no reason why lack of a DVD drive means anything other than the inability to play DVDs. Even this does not infer Apple homogeny. One is just as likely to get free videos from Amazon or Netflix, or even rent or buy them from Amazon or even Blockbuster. There is competition, and not much of it is in physical media.

    Anyway, if one is going to include a physical media player in a high end machine it is going to be a blu ray player. I, for one, even though will pay for Apple equipment, would not pay the markup for a Bluray player that I will likely never use.

    1. McBeese

      Re: Who uses DVD?

      I agree completely. I do have an external USB 3.0 Blu-Ray drive in case I need it, but I haven't used it since I backed up the last of my DVDs and I don't purchase content on hard media any more.

  15. Michael Thibault


    About the excision of the optical drive from the iMacs:

    Optical drives are likely already to be on hand in a computer-using household, and they're going to be accessible freely. DVD/CD Sharing has been around on the Mac for years. It's a very long stretch to suggest that even a measurable percentage of the computer-using public don't already have an alternate means to get data from 'there' to 'here' e.g. USB keys, the network, Target Disk Mode, email, etc.. And that they need to resort to those with any frequency. Optical drives are also available cheaply, if you strictly must... In general, though, built-in optical drives are a waste: they sit idle on a bus in your box for years on end, and eventually die a heat-death--all for the benefit of burning a few discs, installing some legacy game/software, and making a coaster or two.

    Take a muscle relaxant--preferably orally--if you can't shut up.

  16. Big Willy

    Will you listen to yourselves, fretting and bleating in panic, bolstering your tiny minds against the shock.I've had four iMacs and none of them went wrong,EVER In fact I've had a lot more Macs than that over the years and none of them went wrong. EVER. I've PC's. They did go wrong. A lot. Guess I'm lucky,huh? Me and my Lottery-lucky Mac mates.

    Seriously, listen to yourselves. I've had both PC and Mac, and PC's are awful, ugly (and I mean Steve Ballmer ugly ) unreliable, impenetrable lumps of midden ( both hardware and software). Windows will always be a pathetic copy of Mac OS, and don't listen to anyone who thinks it has the monopoly on customisation.WRONG. Anyone who complains about the lack of an optical drive is, at worst, an idiot, or,at best, ill-informed. Apple made it clear that external optical drives can be connected. So. So much for the control freak theory. You're so paranoid. Doesn't this remind you of the control-criticism leveled at Gates and Windows?!

    Seriously, the anti- thin brigade really don't get it. It's nothing to do with art, even though it looks great. Would you prefer a Ford, which performs merely OK, and looks like mammoth's shit, or a Mercedes, that will pulverize it, in every department? The future is about portability, speed, ergonomics and Maybe you flat-world clowns ( or is it clones? ) can't see that.

    Did it ever occur to you that the future is going to surprise, alarm and generally give you retarded dinosaurs a hard time in every aspect of your sorry, three-dimensional existence, until you catch up? Then it's too late: things will have moved on again ,as you dumbly look up and wonder what that big bright thing in the sky was that WIPED YOU OUT.

    Never mind. Sit down, have a nice mug of cocoa, and eventually the shock will wear off. The shock that the world is just moving too quickly for your lone brain cell to comprehend,as it bounces around that empty, collective skull of yours. It's called shock of the new, geddit?

    Still, no-one likes that kid who knows all the answers, do they? No-one likes a smart ass. That's why Apple gets so much flack from the meat-head techno-bullies.

    Having said that, I'm going to get real jumpy when we get to the point when technology is so elegantly and physically,er, discreet, that you buy your new iMac iMperceptible , open the nice big box, and find that it's....empty. Time to buy the Emperor some new clothes....

    1. WashingUp

      I must say, I think it's sad when people become so devoted to any brand that they resort to calling anyone who disagrees with them "retarded dinosaurs".

      "The future is about portability, speed, ergonomics and Maybe you flat-world clowns ( or is it clones? )"

      Disregarding your immature attempt at insults, I don't think anyone doubts that speed is important. But ergonomics? I don't see how desktop PCs can move in a more ergonomic direction - your only physical interaction with the actual physical PC is to turn it on and plug things into it occasionally. I don't want my desktop to be portable either - it sits in one position on my desk in the same position for 5+ years until it's moved elsewhere and replaced. It makes no difference to me if it's 3 inches thick or 5mm thick. And 'vision' doesn't mean anything - it's just a buzzword.

      The problem with the obsession with thinness is that it seems to come at the expense of features and specifications. 5400 RPM drives in the 21" version to keep down heat, and yes the removal of the disk drive. I'm happy to be branded an "idiot" by you for my concern about the removal of the disk drive. I still use disks fairly regularly. I buy music on CDs and I want to be able to rip them to my computer; I buy films on DVD, If I've got a high-resolution 27" screen, I'm going to use it to watch those films. I've been waiting for the new iMac to be released for a considerable amount of time to decide whether I want to make the jump from Windows to Mac, but I'm simply not willing to pay the same cost for features that have been removed.

      Just relax and accept that some people disagree with you. You don't need to resort to personal attacks. Just take a look at the personal attacks you chose to use in your comment - it's embarrassing.

    2. Toothpick

      @ Big Willy

      Steady on. Who took the jam out of your doughnut?

    3. Chris D Rogers


      Big Willie,

      All I can say is you must be one of the lucky owners of the iMac.

      FWIW, since the 2009 October Aluminium was launched, I've now owned 7 of them ranging from the low end C2D 3.09Ghz, i3,15 and i7 BTO 27in from 2011 - of these seven iMac's, 4 have had the LCD panel replaced and one is presently having its Seagate HDD replaced after a Apple recall. Further, of the two i5 27in iMac's I ordered in June 2011, both had to be replaced within 14 days because of screen yellow tint issues - and no, as Apple maintain, it was not the adhesive drying.

      In the real world of iMac users, the 2009 -2011 revision iMac's suffered huge issues with greying/dusting screens - if you listened to the presentation, they spoke about laminating the glass panel with the LCD panel - this being one of the causes, the other being to do with thermals and airflow - a design blunder Apple failed to remedy.

      So, whilst the new iMac may look aesthetically pleasing, at least to the much vaunted 1%er's, Apple's obsession with form over substance is getting beyond a joke - I actually do utilise the SuperDrive, don't utilise cloud storage due to the fact that my broadband connection is crap and i don't trust placing my data on other persons drives and certainly have never used the iTunes store to purchase anything - what I need I download and as a Xbox user, it will be bloody hard to rip/burn DVD's without cluttering up my desktop.

      Given the AIO concept is to avoid clutter, basically with the new iMac you get more clutter, external DVD, USB Hub, Cameral card readers etc. etc.

      And the cost of the latest BTO 27in, don't make me laugh - God you can't even swap out RAM in the 21.5in anymore, nevermind swap out a SSD/HDD.

      A big Fail!!!!!!!

  17. oregonensis

    Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet with all the shiny/design fetishisation going on but has no one considered how UGLY it is to have an external drive plugged in? (Or on a laptop, having adapters to plug in a wired network or a monitor?) It's ugly.

    1. Big Willy

      Ummmm, why do you need such a device at all in the modern world?! Now THAT's ugly....

      But Apple are compassionate.

  18. Michael Habel Silver badge

    $80.00(USD) For a USB DVD Burner? Normally I'd be asking WTF R they crazy?!

    Then again this is Crapple, and it's not like their Fanboiz;

    a) Haven't got Moneyz to burn

    b) Are terribly likely to complain.

    1. Aaron Em

      Ah, the Velcro-slipper brigade weighs in. Delightful.

  19. Eddy Ito

    "Today I heard about plasma deposition"

    Sorry Phil, I've been getting shit coated with plasma deposition for over a decade along with other surface treatments trying to get various surfaces to be hydro/oleo/lipo-phobic/philic along with inhibiting scaling of numerous compounds at a variety of temperatures. Recently got a really nice low drag treatment that, given the current geometry, seems to enhance the thermal energy transfer between two oil based working fluids using natural convection, remind me to tell you all about it once the due diligence is done and the patent application published or you could just wait and read it.

    1. Big Willy

      Re: "Today I heard about plasma deposition"

      Yeah, well, that all sounds like you know what you're talking about,doesn't it. But you DON'T.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: "Today I heard about plasma deposition"

        Well, that certainly puts me in my place doesn't it. After all with such an accurate name like Big Willy and so many knowledgeable posts it's clear that you're an expert in these matters and a lowly physicist such as myself is just another clueless troll. Mea culpa, oh great and powerful Big Willy, mea maxima culpa.

  20. Oengus

    Why I want my optical drive

    I have just boarded a plane with the latest release Blu-ray (missed the movie in the cinemas) that I purchased in the airport that I am transiting through. I purchased it here because the slack and idle media companies haven't released it at home yet. I don't have time to download it from the internet (and can't do that at home because the media company says it is not available in my region at this date) and will want to watch it on my home theatre when I get home.

    I want to watch it on the plane/train/ferry/(whatever mode of transport you like to substitute) and I am now expected to not only balance the laptop on my knees to watch it I also have to balance the external Blu-ray player somewhere as well.

    Moe than once I have decided against a particular hardware purchase because the devices I needed to use had to be external when other brands/models offered the feature I needed internally.

    As to the image projected by the "cutesy" design... It is totally ruined by having to plug in the external player. As to the idea of having to go around the back of the damn thing to plug in the SD card or USB stick... That is totally tacky and to have yet another box (or 2) hanging off the screen to accomodate the card reader and USB hub - more design fail.


      Re: Why I want my optical drive

      Erm... are you talking about the same product here? This is the iMac - might be a bit tricky to balance on your knees on a plane/train/ferry.

      Oh - and if a Blu-Ray drive is important for you, then buy a product that includes a Blu-Ray player. Simples.

    2. Chris D Rogers

      Re: Why I want my optical drive

      Hate to break it to you, but Apple have never utilised BluRay in any of its products - not knocking your sentiment though as many a Apple Fanbois has been 'pissed' about this decision by Steve Job's.

      However, and living in the real World, whilst I do utilise optical media, the majority of my music and movie collection is now in digital format on my external storage - currently using 11T - would invest in a Drobo5 FW or Thunderbolt, but can't afford to spend as much on a storage solution as it costs for the iMac itself.

      Anyway, even though broadband speeds slow to a crawl where I live, I still now download 99% of my media consumption via Bittorrent, however HD rips can be substantial even in Xvid - a few HD movies I've got are 20G - nearly as big as the HD original copy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Either way

    It's either crazy or a brilliant marketing technique. Either way it's crazy.

  22. kevinganpasen

    where's my optical drive

    I still don't get it. Why do we need a thin thin thin desktop after all?

    I know it's the trend that everyone just keeps everything in the cloud, but what am I gonna do with all my old CDs. ( and to be honest with you, I still buy new CD albums til now. I know it's old fashion. )

    and this is my first reaction to this thin new model...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Past Tense


  23. Joe Gurman

    I began to think....

    ....the end of the optical drive was coming three or four years ago when I tried to get a two-year-old Mac to accept a DVD but the drive, never used since purchase, had to be dusted (using compressed air) to clean off the laser or read head.

    This is really old news, Apple's just dropping the other shoe.

    And those 2,000 CDs fit nicely on a single hard drive, leaving some space in your living room for, I don't know, air? House plants?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can still remember the same discussion on the floppy drive, that Apple eliminated.

    Everybody needed his 3.5 inch floppy. Then all the manufacturors shed the floppy and nothing was heard of it anymore.

    Get yourself a decent, fast 16Gb usb drive if you want, or better, if you need the optical, get one for about 25 quid.

    1. El Andy

      Indeed. I actually remember having to buy USB floppy drives for the users we had of some of the first floppy-less Macs at work, who insisted they'd never cope without one. And they were never, ever, used.

  25. marksmith85

    Where's you DVD Drive?

    My girlfriend and I bought a 27" iMac in July as she works in animation have to say love the product can cant deny it looks good.

    Not at all jealous of the new iMac line I can she why you want to remove the optical drive from a laptop as you want to reduce the weight but on a desktop based machine that's never going to move I think they would have been better including a drive rather than making something pretty.

    Some people do still RIP cd's I make a quiet a few MP3 CD's since I cant use an AUX out in my car CD player.

  26. Spoonsinger

    "And for those who are still are stuck in the past"....

    and f**k you too very much sir.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple are a salesmans wet dream

    I don't know how they do it, charge so much for products that are missing so much functionality compared to other offerings it's laughable. Apples (and fanboys) response is to spend yet more money to make it work as you need. This might be a reasonable stance if they said £300 quid for a basic model and then allowed you to add what you wanted for a price but these start at nearly a grand!

    The salesmen must love it:

    Salesman: Here is our new model it's only £1000

    Customer: Does it do x, y and z

    Salesman: No but you can make it do x and y for only £££ more. It will never do z

    Customer: But <rival company> products can do all that and they only charge £500

    Salesman: But they aren't Apple

    Customer: Great I'll take it, If you can think of any more unnecessary ways for me to give you yet more money just let me know

    Salesman: Thanks very much and I get great commission as the margins on these products are the highest in the industry, but honestly, trust me, you aren't being ripped off.

    Customer: I know, it's Apple and they're just better. See you next year to empty my wallet again

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple are a salesmans wet dream

      Spot on AC!

      It may look nice (if that's one's definition of 'nice'), but it has a lower spec than my laptop and costs more. It's basically overpriced tat wrapped in a skinny dress. Looks maybe OK, but that's about all it has going for it. What type of fool would rush waste their money on this I wonder?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It's basically overpriced tat wrapped in a skinny dress."

        Paris... Because...

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Apple are a salesmans wet dream

      I'm sorry, how are you figuring its overpriced.

      Lets compare a couple of machines. The 2.9Ghz i5 21in iMac is £1249 with 8Gb Ram and Nvidia 650M with half a giv VRAM. The Spectre One all in one HP machine is £1199, is slightly larger and has 1Gb on an Nvidia 610M, but half the ram. Looks pretty comparable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chad

        The lenovo B520 is also an all in one available for between £700 and £1100 depending where you shop. For that you get a blu-ray optical drive, a 23" multi touch screen, core i7 2600 cpu @ 3.4Ghz, 8Gb RAM, TV tuner, 2TB HDD.

        Here is a link just to prove the point but you can get it a lot cheaper if you shop around:

        Now do you see why getting nothing from Apple for your £1000 really is a huge rip-off

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple are a salesmans wet dream

      Sure, please be my guest to avoid Apple if that is your opinion. Anyone who actually knows how to add up things will soon discover the overall, Macs are actually substantial cheaper overall - the reason is software.

      If you avoid Microsoft and Adobe, you'll find that practically everything else you can buy for OSX isn't just cheaper, it tends to be more usable too. In addition, typically the products are licensed per USER, not per system so you can buy software and then legally have it on all the machines you own. Only Microsoft Office is 1 user, 1 Mac (and 4x as expensive as anything else) - I guess Adobe Photoshop will have the same problem (don't know, for my limited use I'm OK with Pixelmator). And you can make *much* nicer Visio diagrams much quicker in Omnigraffle Pro than Microsoft Visio (especially now they butchered the UI as well by giving it the %ç& ribbon treatment).

      Sure, there are expensive packages too for Mac, but they have the equivalent price on the PC. But in general, kitting out an office PC is cheaper on Mac, yet more usable and better looking. What's not to like?

      Ah, I forgot. Some people buy into this US cult thing and are therefore "against" Apple. See, even there they offer benefits. If it wasn't for Apple, what else would you have to focus your ignorance on?

  28. mike_ackee

    Apple can't do optical drives

    I have an iMac and a Macbook. The optical drive in the iMac died within a year, then the replacement drive died 2 years later. The optical drive in my MacBook died within 3 years. I now have a second hand HP external USB drive that just keeps working. It's a shame because internal optical drives (particularly in a laptop) are very useful to me. Perhaps this is just an admission of defeat from Apple.

    1. El Andy

      Re: Apple can't do optical drives

      You're probably closer to the truth than the conspiracy theories about iTunes or whatever. The simple fact is that very few people really need optical drives, so companies are increasingly cutting costs by using cheap components for them, which ups the failure rate significantly. Removing yet another moving part from the machine will probably save Apple a fortune in repairs. It's probably only cost that stops them going the whole hog and ditching the mechanical disk in favour of SSD to (and that can only be a few years away).

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Apple can't do optical drives

      I think this is actually a more generic issue with lens degradation. Apple seems to buy the cheaper drives with plastic lenses too - the ones that last have glass lenses but those parts are more expensive.

  29. Matt_payne666

    Laptop - no optical drive, the space is better taken up with an extra battery.

    Desktop - Optical drive - true, its hardly used, but its a nice resource to have.

    Sods law dictates that the time that you need to copy something from a optical disc, you will be in a hurry, you will have to dig out your external, then find the power and usb cables, that will be the day you remember that you lent it to someone else that had to burn a presentation dvd, or some such other obsolete task... its almost 5PM and everywhere is shut, time limits your ability or order a drive online..... all for the sake of 5.5mm of thickness...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The speakers in this thing must be rubbish.

    1. Chris D Rogers

      Re: Speakers

      The speakers in the 27in 2011 iMac and the 27in Apple Display are not that bad - I actually utilise a Mac Mini as a HTPC and plug HDMI into my AV Receiver so sound has never been an issue unless I want very latest HD sound formats.

      That said, and as you have quite rightly pointed out, they actually have lower the quality of the speakers in the iMac this time around it would seem - indeed, and inline with LCD TV manufacturers things are so slim that you need to invest in a decent sound bar at the minimum - one of the reasons I liked Philip's high end LCD TV's was due to the decent speakers they used - decent for a TV that is, up to 40W output - now your lucky to get 10W output.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speakers

        It's not "utilise", just "use"..

        I's been a while since I bothered with in-device speakers. When I travel I use headsets, and at home I have a Bose Companion 5 jacked in. I'm normally not a massive fan of Bose, but those little PC speakers they make actually deliver quite a decent output, provided you turn the base unit all the way down. I didn't feel like long lining it to my stereo..

  31. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The plan continues apace

    After removing the DVD drive from iMacs, Apple's R&D are busily working on removing that pesky third option from Gatekeeper in 10.9.

    The SD card slot's in a completely impractical place, that seems to have gone uncommented. Perhaps so that user testing can show that very few users use it so it can be removed from next year's model.

  32. Lord Zedd

    Old tech

    In December, Ivy Bridge will be 9 months old.

    The 768GB SSD will be a $1300 option. Along with the CPU and GPU options, are you ready to pay $3700 for 9 month old tech?

    Why does it still have a chin? If they are looking to improve the design, making it a bit thicker and deleting the chin would be a FAR better choice!

    The Mini was a downgrade by deleting the GPU.

    The 13" MBP is a poor deal with only dual-core options and no GPU. Might as well save $400 and get the Air.

    The iPad Mini is a joke with it's low-res screen. The iPhone 5 has more pixel height in it's 4" screen.

    No news on the 2.5 year old MacPro.

    Overall an extremely disappointing event with no hardware I'd consider buying.

  33. You have not yet created a handle
    Paris Hilton

    "An SDXC card slot remains, but it's now on the back of the all-in-one, and not on the more easily accessible side"

    It's not that difficult to reach around the back fiddle about and find the hole..

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Have you been talking to my doctor about prostate exams? She used those exact words!

  34. Matthew 17

    I think I'll get one

    My 2008 8-core Mac Pro is getting a little long in the tooth now, the quad 3.4 i7 would knock spots off it.

    I'd still need an optical drive for the foreseeable future as most of my software (music making with Logic) is still distributed this way and far too big for a download which is also unlikely to change any time soon (The software and libraries from the likes of NI or East/West often weigh in at a few 100GB's each). I usually make images of these discs when I buy them to save hassle during a re-install but my current library is over 2TB of software, the idea of having to download all of that even on a commercial connection would fill me with dread.

    But as I produce music I still do a lot of CD mastering as it's the preferred format of many a punter.

    I also need a lot of low latency storage and disc access so a single drive would be far too small and slow (unless SSD, then just too small) to be usable so I'd need a TB RAID storage box to plug in as well as I'd be concerned that a USB would be still too slow to be usable.

    So with these additional items I'd need which would sully the lovely appearance of the new iMac I'm not sure whether a new(er) Mac Pro would be more sensible as it has the optical drive and loads of room for internally attached storage.


    1. Chris D Rogers

      Re: I think I'll get one

      If the promised revision to the much vaunted Mac Pro in 2013 is anything like to design changes and revisions announced Yesterday by Apple, you may be lucky to get a i7 top end quad core Haswell with Intel HD5000 in a new box the size of the present Mac Mini which you'll be asked to part with £5000 for - obviously it will be special in the design stakes and probably painted a 'gold' colour to differentiate it from all the glorious under spec'd consumer iToy's.

      Shame really, Apple used to at least try and do its best for the prosumer - looks like we are all just consumers now willing to pay huge prices for pretty things that need disposing once Apple launches each new revision - no wonder they were keen on highlighting 'Green' credentials at yesterday's launch.

      1. Matthew 17

        Re: I think I'll get one

        I doubt Apple will turn their backs on the pro / designer market so will offer suitable tin.

        It is a shame that there is a growing perception by Apple and Microsoft that no-one does anything on a computer any more other than look at pictures of cats, write a blog or tweet, but there is still a very large industry for creative types who make music or film and a lot of nice hardware and software that is associated with.

        Whilst Microsoft never really seemed to care too much about this as it wasn't ever their core focus it was always the original association with the Mac. Apple cultivated this creative image so that using Apple gear somehow associated you with being a creative person.

        This is obviously nonsense but there's nothing in the way Microsoft is going that makes it attractive as a platform to attempt to do a professional production on (the sound engineering forums I visit are currently up in arms about the poor performance W8 is bringing despite it's advertised optimisations), so for the time being OSX is still the preferred option despite their insistence of being less pro and more consumer I hope that they'll continue to remember the pro.

        Finally, the Mac Pro, whilst a niece and expensive piece of equipment, is reasonably competitively priced as it's server grade hardware, the Intel Xeon CPU's alone run into 4 fingers but they do have crazy memory bandwidth. Price up a similarly spec'ed Xeon-based machine from HP, Dell or IBM and they're all priced on the wrong side of loony.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an iMac - I've probably used the CD/DVD twice in the last year - I'm not saying everyones usage is the same but if I was offered a cheaper / thinner iMac without one I'd see it as little loss. Seems they are also one of the items more likely to fail - so the idea of moving toward solid state drives and external CD/DVD drives seems a good one.

    1. Andy 115

      Same here…

      …exactly twice in 12 months:

      Last November to rip Elton John's "Rocket Man" to use on an iMovie featuring a firework show (I was too lazy to find the hard drive containing my iTunes library after a re-org)

      A couple of months ago to install some Elgato tv software (the enclosed card said "download the latest software from but I missed that in my excitement)

      So, 12 months and 2 uses, both of which could have been easily avoided.

      Having just installed an SSD in my early 2008 iMac (doubled the speed, TYVM!) I can't actually see me upgrading any time soon, but when I do, I'm quite sure everyone else will have followed apples lead so it just won't be a consideration anymore.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forget about the optical drive, it's the ram

    Sure looks like the 21.5 does not have upgradable ram. soldered onto the logic board. hey, at least you can buy an external dvd drive if you want it, but you can't upgrade the ram! 1299.00 for a desktop with ram soldered onto the bard. that's the real sham!

    1. Andy 115

      Has the "solder-ment" been confirmed…

      Or are people just assuming that because it isn't user-replaceable (read, behind an easily removed cover) it is bonded to the motherboard?

  37. Daniel Barnes

    I'm a huge Apple fan, have been for many years (before they were 'cool' even). I love my macbook pro, iPhone, mini, iMac. I also love my windows gaming rig.

    But I think removing the optical drive on a desktop machine is just daft when it doesn't change the footprint of the machine. It takes up the same amount of space whether it is 2 inches or 2 centimeters thick! It would have been nice for them to have included a blu-ray drive.

  38. maccy

    thin? why?

    I just don't get why thin is such a huge selling point for a desktop. Makes sense for a laptop or a tablet, but the desktop just sits there. You don't have to lift it. Smallish is good, but obsessing about thin suggests they're distracting you from the fact that its FUCKING EXPENSIVE and they could, if they cared, give you the same performance for a whole lot less, if they'd just let it get a few mm thicker.

  39. coatesy

    optical drive

    in my opinion optical disks are going to be about for a long time to come weather it be cd, dvd blu-ray or something new, no software company are going to replace disks which cost penny's with sd which cost £££ and for people who say digital downloads well a lot of people still get crap internet speeds and some don't even have the internet and the ones that do have a download limit and finally there's the quality, I dont think download movies can ever equal blu ray in quality because of the compression.

    Apple might be right about CD/DVD being on the way out but blu-ray isn't yea you can by an external optical drive but that makes your imac look shit and image is what apple are about

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DVD drives

    This is a "me too" I know, but I have five machines in and around my desk at work, all with unused DVD drives that the corporate policy seems to think are vital. If I want to install an OS on one of these machines I either boot it over the network, use a USB stick or the Zalman caddy that emulates a DVD for the one braindead OS that refuses to entertain a USB or network installation.

    At home I used to use DVDs for home movies until the new TV made them obsolete; I now play them over the net and have verified backup procedures in place.

    The remaining use for my portable CD drive is ripping audio CDs and as soon as I can buy lossless downloads, that'll stop as well.

    I'm not going to mourn the loss of a slow, unreliable medium at all.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another reason optical drives went: speed

    I'm not sorry to see them go - I'll happily plug an external one in for the odd occasion I'd need one.

    What has always annoyed me about DVDs is the exceptionally long time they need before you have access to them. You insert them and then it spends several seconds thinking about it before anything happens. I've also done installs from DVDs and the same data from a USB - I know which one I prefer (hint: losing the optical drive is not going to matter much to me in that context).

    As for such gear cluttering my desk: nope. An external optical drive is temporary, so it doesn't matter much, but all the other stuff is nicely integrated. I actually have a transparent (glass) desk which you can see through, yet you won't see cables. That's just a matter of intelligent use of black plastic industrial cable trays - a technique I developed when I was still using PCs. Oh, and I use a Logitech Anywhere MX mouse. The Logitech works on glass surfaces too and I never really got on with the Apple mouse..

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



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