back to article Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

I'm a sitting behind a 2010 iMac. You know, it's one with the dodgy Seagate hard drives that Apple is replacing en masse. I must get this sorted soon, but it hasn't died ye—. Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012 Long time no see: Apple's late 2012 21.5in iMac Now I'm sitting behind a very late 2012 iMac. It's the super slim one …

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  1. cyke1

    "Fitted as standard on all new iMacs is 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM - up to 32GB is supported, but it's not an 'end-user serviceable' upgrade"

    I read that as like their laptops solderer on the board. Reason apple does all this gluing is to make you come to them hopefully outta warranty so they can charge ya 2x cost what anyone else would normally charge, case in point iPhone battery replacement being 80$ where most other phones are 30$ or so and can be done by you in 10sec. Apple made this just like everything else they make to be replaced in 2 years.

    1. cyke1

      o another i question is about is heat that thing generates. how hot does the cpu run to?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The aluminium case is like a giant heatsink.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but it's not an 'end-user serviceable' upgrade"

      they should know, they probably spent hours designing brand new security screws. Meh I bet you can already buy the drivers from China

      1. cyke1

        Re: but it's not an 'end-user serviceable' upgrade"

        Ifixit did a complete tear down of it like they do for mostly everything, its a desktop built using laptop hard drive and laptop ram. And need to break out the heat gun.

        http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936/1

    3. bunual
      FAIL

      As soon as I saw I couldn't upgrade the memory I lost any interest I had. I've upgraded the memory in every machine I've owned because it's normally simple, relatively cheap and gives you a decent boost in performance a year or two down the road. To be fair, I've never sat in front of my computer and thought, "if only someone would make this even thinner".

      1. Wyrdness

        I like iMacs and have owned 2 so far. My current one is a 2008 dual core, maxed out at 4GB of memory. I want to update to a newer model, but if the memory's not upgradable, then I'm not buying. I'll probably get the Mac Mini instead and put up with the Intel integrated GPU (which shouldn't be an issue as I don't game on Macs).

        I just wish that one of the second-tier PC manufacturers would catch on and produce a PC that's 100% hardware compatible with a Mac (which, after all, is just a normal PC), and is very easily hackable to run OS X. I'm sure that such a machine would appeal to the hobbyist market who like OS X and don't mind running a Hackintosh. How about it, Acer, Asus etc?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They tried that

          Apple sued them into oblivion

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps they use better batteries as my iPhone 3GS is 4 years old - is recharged every 1-2 days and still holds a charge pretty much like new. A friend just got Apple to replace the battery in a 5+ year old Macbook that was charged / discharged fully (sometimes more than once) almost every day - the battery was not dead but probably only had about 2/3rds of it's original capacity.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is not soldered.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Not very "Green"

    Isn't there some kind of obligation to make things "Green Friendly" ? Most of the dull drab PC boxes can at updated or least be ripped apart quite easily at the end of their lifes.

    Why does Apple feel that this is not a requirement ?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Not very "Green"

      Because Apple wants you to throw away your computer / tablet / phone every few years and therefore they make it extremely expensive to service.

      I'm more surprised that various regions such as the EU put up with this.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: Not very "Green"

        I'm more surprised at EPEAT allowing the new blatantly non-green ideas to get a gold rating (if a failed DIMM can cause the entire motherboard to be scrapped because it's soldered on, that's pretty fragging ungreen. And frankly I wouldn't trust a repair job that involves desoldering a DIMM, then resoldering a new one in its place - chances of knackering the board there are pretty substantial...).

        On the other hand, I bet that the logic was something along the lines of "US government should not be prevented from buying computers from the most profitable US tech company", with EPEAT being suitably leaned on as a result.

        1. Andy 115
          FAIL

          Re: Not Soldered

          Perhaps a quick fact check is in order?

          Not user servicable =/= soldered!

          1. Dana W
            Meh

            Re: Not Soldered

            The ram on this unit is NOT soldered, but the case IS glued together. So its replaceable if you can actually OPEN it first.

      2. Mondo the Magnificent
        Devil

        Re: Not very "Green"

        "I'm more surprised that various regions such as the EU put up with this."

        Yea, just like they don't put up with the new motor vehicles that cannot be fully serviced by the owners on their driveways without the need for any special tools or diagnostic equipment....

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not very "Green"

          Green? Using glue instead of screws actually makes products easier to reduce to their components parts come the end of their life- rather than have a man spend 30 seconds unscrewing each machine, you can put a batch in an oven, and then toss aluminium in one bin, glass in another etc.

          I don't know about the i5 chip in this machine, but my Core2 Duo CPU is rated to 109ºC, and starts throttling itself at around 100ºC. I'm pretty sure that it can be subjected to higher temperatures when turned off without damage. You should be able to use a heat gun (its a heat gun, designed to bring areas to vaguely uniform temperature, not a blow-torch!) to loosen the glue without overheating any components inside the iMac, especially as the aluminium case will do a good job of distributing the heat to the desired areas.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: Not very "Green"

          You mean you don't enjoy the challenge of spending two and a half hours taking your car to bits to change a lightbulb. I don't know - people today .... ;)

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Not very "Green"

        > Because Apple wants you to throw away your computer / tablet / phone every few years and therefore they make it extremely expensive to service.

        Its a bit schizophrenic. ip*d/iphone users replace kit frequently, but Macs tend to have a longer than average lifespan.

        It would have been so easy to add a little door to replace the RAM and disk without altering the shape. Thinness is only at the edges.

  3. Prof Denzil Dexter

    looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

    Looks beautiful. can't beat Apple design here. but not being able to open up my own property to upgrade/ repair/ nose is a deal breaker. That's why i'm always interested in Apple but never enough to buy.

    plus, keyboard without number pad would seriously piss me off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

      It's virtually never mentioned by anyone, but if you go to Apple's website and spec up an iMac, there is an option to choose a full size keyboard (with numpad) instead of the dinky Bluetooth one, albeit for the same price. It's USB, and has two additional USB ports built into it.

      1. BigAndos

        Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

        Yeah, I bought an iMac in 2009 from the Apple Store and they gave me a wired full-size keyboard with USB hub for free as well as the Bluetooth one. The main thing I didn't like was the "Magic" mouse. It didn't move around on my desk smoothly and the touch surface was unreliable. I also don't think having to charge your mouse every so often is progress, really. Ended up replacing it with a cheap, generic USB mouse.

        1. Steven Gray

          Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

          @BigAndos - I got a magic mouse to go with our new Mac Mini and TBH it's fine, but I agree it's metal construction adds heft and it seems to have more contact with the desk/mousepad than any other mouse I've used, making it literally a drag to move around. The touch surface is fine... but can't replicate 'middle click' without a third party plugin, meaning I've resorted to a cheap Tesco mouse for Sketchup and Blender... progress, eh?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

          Magic mouse charging every day - must have been faulty - mine runs off 2 AA rechargeable batteries and goes at least a month and that's using it all day - 5 days a week at work.

      2. Prof Denzil Dexter

        Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

        so you cant get a full sized bluetooth keyboard then?

        I imagine if you're enough of a style slave to buy this then you wouldn't want a cable ruining the sleek look on your desk.

        1. Volker Hett

          What is it with number pads?

          I haven't used it in over 30 years.

          1. Prof Denzil Dexter

            Re: What is it with number pads?

            er... maybe some people have different requirements to you?

            1. Volker Hett

              Re: What is it with number pads?

              "er... maybe some people have different requirements to you?"

              Probably, but why should I use a keyboard with keypads when I don't need it just because others have different requirements?

          2. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: What is it with number pads?

            @Volker

            Should we presume that you neither use Spreadsheets, do any kind of programming, never enter network addresses, are never required to input numerical data of any kind or that you only type with 1 finger......

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: What is it with number pads?

              The wired model is about £40, the wireless one is about £55. I have a mate with sausage fingers, and he swears by Apple keyboards on his Win PC, though I think I may have been successful in weaning him onto a wireless 'Chiclet-style' Logitech model that cost £12.

            2. Volker Hett

              Re: What is it with number pads?

              I rarely use spreadsheets, haven't programmed in hex codes in decades (and never with a decimal keyboard) and can do the rest with the number keys on the keyboard.

              OTOH I learned touch typing in the late 70s and rarely type with 1 finger only.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What is it with number pads?

              You make out like you can't use a numeric keypad with an Apple - clearly untrue - use a 3rd party one, the full size (USB) Apple keyboard or many 3rd party bluetooth keyboards. At this time Apple do not appear to make a wireless keyboard with numeric keypad but it's not to say there are not simple solutions.

              I've had plenty of Windows machines where I did not like the standard keyboard / mouse as well.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What is it with number pads?

              I've been a professional programmer for 13 years, use spreadsheets regularly, and enter network addresses all the time. I never use the number pad for any of them. I think its down to how people learn to use keyboards to start with. I started with a BBC Micro at school, which had no numberpad, so using one isn't natural to me.

        2. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

          "so you cant get a full sized bluetooth keyboard then?"

          Not from Apple.

          But obviously any old keyboard works. I'm writing this on my Mac Mini using a £25 Logitech PC keyboard.

          You have to remember that Ctrl, Alt and Windows really mean Cmd, Alt and Apple. (Or something like that.)

          But it's not rocket surgery in practice.

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

        Another weird one.

        Wired keyboard, but only usb 1.1 I think. Ok for a mouse, no good for a USB stick. Its hard to get to.

        Worse, because the keyboard is a USB hub, you can't chain it onto another hub, such as you might find on a non-mac screen.

    2. Buzzword

      Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

      I'd like a "delete" key too please. Sure, you can press Fn+Backspace, but it's one of my most commonly-used keys so it should be a single keypress. There's even room for PgUp/PgDn or Home/End keys just above the left/right arrows, as seen on many laptops. I make heavy use of such keys when writing code or working with spreadsheets.

      It's not a major issue for the desktop iMac since you can just plug in a different keyboard, but it's a real obstacle to buying a MacBook where you wouldn't want a second (wired) keyboard.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

      Number pad - get the USB version instead or there are 3rd party keyboards.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. fmanowhereman

      Re: looks lovely. but keyboard is a no no

      You realize that the 27" models have easy, user replaceable RAM and can get a wired kb with number pad as a no cost option right?

  4. The Alpha Klutz
    FAIL

    THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

    I have the thick chunky model and i promise you the power cable will not stay seated in the back of this thing. When you tilt it up and down it works its way out. I use a regular IEC plug from a UPS so not the crappy plug Apple sent me which I cant use. I crash my system once a month simply by tilting the screen. The thin one will be worse, I promise you.

    1. The Alpha Klutz

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      you wonder why every single flat screen monitor in the world has the IEC connector parallel with the unit. Not Apple in their infinite wisdom.

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

        i hope whoever thumbed me down buys this and loses all their files when the power cable comes out. I don't make this shit up for my health.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          NO IT WON'T

          If you plug it in properly.

          I've dealty with hundred of imacs with the same plug and they do not fall out unless they are not plugged in fully.

        2. Lallabalalla
          Mushroom

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          In nearly two years this has never come close to happening on mine. S0, er, NO IT WON'T.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          "i hope whoever thumbed me down buys this and loses all their files when the power cable comes out. I don't make this shit up for my health."

          I think you do, or your health is suffering because you brink bleach due to failing to pay attention, or similar- judging by your posting history.

          This manky old Linux box has a couple of inherited cinema displays on it, and the power cables never come out magically. Nor does this happen with the iMac in the corner, which is used for video editing occasionally. I simply have no idea what you're smoking.

          1. The Alpha Klutz

            Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

            I love how pissed off Apple fans get when their god is called into question.

            1. The Alpha Klutz

              Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

              you cant just admit that the weird way apple do it counter to everyone else, could be wrong. They do it different because they are the only people who are right. hahaha well you would think that if you spent all your money on this crap. but im loaded so my perception isnt so distorted.

              1. Steve Todd
                FAIL

                Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

                And YOU can't admit that if you'd used the perfectly good cable that came in the box, with some small amount of adaptation to allow it to connect to a UPS power socket (like the old fashioned through power connector used by monitors) then you wouldn't have an issue at all. This is definitely self inflicted.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

              If someone called you a transvestite when you obviously weren't, you'd be a little irked too.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

              Face it you prob dont even own an Apple you just like making things up - yeah I don't like aluminium i'd rather cheap plastic.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

            Yeah Alpha and guess what if you knock it off your desk it will not just bounce back with no damage - face it - it's your issue.

    2. frank ly

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      Just push the connector in firmly, then run some hot-melt glue around the edges. It's the Apple way. :)

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

        Looks like I'll have to get the glue gun out.

        And The USB connectors suffer from the same problem. They are mounted vertically so the connectors just slide about when you tilt the screen. My 2.5" backup drive that I rubber banded to the back of the unit, also disconnects on a regular basis. It really is crappily designed in a lot of ways.

        1. Gerhard den Hollander

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          Not sure about this apple, but I've got 2 Dell screens that have USB connectors at the bottom, and nothing has ever fallen out of them. If I connect a USB drive to those sockets, I use an extension core (or a USB drive with a long enough cable :) ) so that the disk can lie flat on the desk, with enough manouvring spce so that I can move the monitor without the cables getting unstuck.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          Have you not thought that it could be the cables trapped behind your desk?

          Your making a mountain out of a molehill here.

          I've never seen this happening. Seriously - and I'm not making it up for my health either.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

            User error. Yeah and my car is not un-crashable - disgrace.

        3. Julz Silver badge

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          I'm intrigued as to why you need to tilt the screen so much. I've been using iMacs for a number of years and hardly ever tilt the screen. Are you playing pinball a lot?

    3. Steve Williams

      Promise me as much as you like...

      ...after 18 months use my power cable still remains firmly in place.

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        Re: Promise me as much as you like...

        you are using the crap non standard apple connector that looks like a shoe string compared to the genuine article. I'm sorry, but re-read my post where I said I use a UPS. You are wrong.

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Kind of self inflicted isn't it

          Rather than using the official Apple connector with a UPS compatible connector on the end, or a UPS to single mains socket cable that you could have plugged the standard Apple cable into, you plugged a standard cable into the Apple socket and haven't got a very snug fit. Rocking the cable up and down causes this to come loose. Well DUR!

    4. Steven Gray

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      Nonsense. When we got out first iMac - a 2005 G5 - my wife had the thing set up and running before I got home from work. It was two years later I discovered the lead was simply an IEC plug with a flange and not 'tethered' to the unit. The thought that it was removable hadn't even occurred to me. It even stayed in during a house move.

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        Re: It was two years later I discovered the lead was simply an IEC plug with a flange

        Well there you go you see, the flange confused you for two full years. No other computer has a power flange.

        WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

        1. The Alpha Klutz

          Re:WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

          Probably: oh look the connector comes out because we designed the unit wrong, what should we do? Put a last minute flange on there.

        2. Steven Gray

          Re: It was two years later I discovered the lead was simply an IEC plug with a flange

          It's not as if all other consumer electronics comes with a removable power lead - I've seen plenty DVD players, amplifiers, set-top boxes etc. with tethered mains leads. Why should a computer be any different?

          But, yes, it was there was a bit of a 'oh... it's just a kettle lead' moment when it fell ou... er, I mean, when I came to shift it to another room.

    5. Chris 3

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      Something going wrong here; I'm using a 2006 iMac and move the screen regularly and haven't had the power lead come loose once. In fact I've never heard of that problem with anyone before.

      1. Marvin the Martian
        FAIL

        Nomen est omen.

        More failure: here a 2009 iMac that's moved left/right and tilted up/down a few times a day --- desktop working machine by day, DVD viewer every night --- and never a cable has fallen out.

        I'll return it to Apple, "does not perform as promised by Alpha Klutz".

    6. Khaptain Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      This is why Alpha has a mac and not a PC,LinuxBox. He couldn't evben be trusted with inserting the power cable correctly so they had to provide him with soemthing that even granny could use.

      I don't really understand the USB problem either, usually you have to apply a little effort to get them out , the USB pins are "spring loaded" which helps retain the connecter. ( I don't know if Spring Loaded is the correct.term).

      Alpha you are not supposed to "suspend" usb device from a USB port !!!!! 300 grams or so of 2.5" disk hanging on the end of a cable is a bit too much.

      You did RTFM didn't you..

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

        >loses all their files when the power cable comes out

        What have you got, a RAM disk? I believe OSX has an integrated back-up utility. If you're talking about loosing your open files, then it's good practice to save them regularly, or place a bead of Blu-tack around your plug, or whatever. Last time I kicked the kettle plug out the back of a computer, I was pleased to discover this then-new Office feature called AutoSave...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

          steve jobs was shooting a lot of blanks. For example, where are his kids? No one even knows....

    7. the-it-slayer
      Angel

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      That's where you're going wrong - using a standard IEC. That's why the original plug has the round thing on it to keep it in place. Either go back to that cable or don't tilt the damn thing or you have the plug too tight and stretching so tilts will wriggle it out (same on any machine).

      Don't blame Apple for your own silliness.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      i have the first edition of the thick chunky model which gets tilted and swivelled daily and have never had the lead come out. YMMV. Could you support the cable in some way?

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

      Klutz by name... Klutz by nature? Never, ever seen that happen.

  5. ElsieEffsee
    Paris Hilton

    Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

    There are loads of unboxing videos on You Tube. Loads of written reviews. Yet no one goes into any detail to say if the new iMac range can be used for occassional gaming. I get the feeling that because no one talks about it or shows it on a video it doesn't work as a gaming machine.

    Paris. As she like the occasional game of TF2 or F1 2011 racing too.

    1. cyke1

      Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

      TF2 shouldn't be a problem at high settings F1 2011 most likely have to sacrifice a few options to medium , its a Nvidia 640m aka Laptop gpu.

      1. Thomas 4
        Meh

        Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

        Hmmm. If I was coughing for such a grandiose desktop as this, I'd want a proper graphics card in it, not a half assed "Mobility" version. I find support in terms of drivers, etc for laptop versions of graphics cards to be extremely lacking.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

          well all games I tried so far - on mac, on all our macs (imac, pro, air) they ran perfectly (diablo3, older win games with parallels from gog.com, civ5, bioshock2) . i never actually realised it, but they just worked without any tweaking of the drivers or whatever (what I used to do on a windows pc). the fans were spinning like crazy though.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

            >I find support in terms of drivers, etc for laptop versions of graphics cards to be extremely lacking.

            That's because nVidia usually tell you to contact your laptop vendor... ho hum. You should be alright, but it might be worth checking what the latest BootCamp drivers are like.

            If I indulged my paranoid side, I might install a CPU-temperature utility but it isn't necessary- if it does overheat, it will throttle itself (the game will go slow and jerky for a few seconds, before running smoothly for ten seconds, repeat).

            1. Pet Peeve
              Boffin

              Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

              The first thing I install on any mac is smcFanControl. On most machines, I end up using it to make the fans run faster just so that I can hear that they're running and not locked up.

              The only exception is my original macbook air, which I always have set to maximum fan speed because it's hot even when not doing much.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

            For the last 15 years i have gamed heavily on pc - i have also never tweaked or had the need to tweak a driver. I did however seize every opportunity to upgrade individual components to keep the rigs current...

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

              >i have also never tweaked or had the need to tweak a driver.

              I've never tweaked a driver for better performance, but have updated them in efforts to improve system stability. My laptop came from a well-known vendor, but it wasn't a mainstream model and the drivers weren't great. YMMV.

    2. AceRimmer
      Devil

      Re: Gaming! All I wanna know is if you can game on this thing!

      Gaming, along with productive work is discouraged as it distracts you from the real business of drooling over the equipment.

  6. FlossyThePig
    Headmaster

    Grammar

    The style of "English" irritated me so much I stopped reading before the end of the first page.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grammar

      Use Google Translate to a more acceptable language. Esperanto maybe.

    2. mrfill
      Headmaster

      Re: Grammar

      Did the loose style of English make you lose the will to live?

      If anyone does find they are loosing files, the solution is to tighten them up.

  7. John Riddoch
    FAIL

    Er, what???

    So, if your hard drive fails (which they're known to do...), you now have a very pretty (but very expensive) 21.5" paperweight/doorstop because you can't swap out the drive? That's bloody moronic, even for Apple.

    I've never liked the all in one design anyway, I've got a monitor I've had for many years and has been passed between various PC's & laptops over time rather than having to be chucked out because the CPU is too old or a hard drive failed.

    1. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: Er, what???

      No, it means that you need to give it to a professional repair shop (not nesseserrily Apple) to fix it. It's rather like you complaining that if your car's gearbox fails then you've got an expensive piece of scrap.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Er, what???

      You can replace it yourself but like the vast majority of PC users you would take it to an Apple store / 3rd party repair company and they would replace it.

      Friend has a drive fail on a 4 year old macbook - they charged him about £100 which was about £20 more than the cheapest I could even buy the bare drive for - they fitted it, reinstalled the OS and explained how to recover the data using TimeMachine.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Er, what???

      Simple - just buy a monitor and a mac mini. If you want an iMac you buy an iMac - if you have a monitor or want to upgrade more easily it's Mac Mini. This is why we have choice and why people with 3 kids don't buy 2 seater sports cars.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    On ejecting discs

    Here's another eject bug still not fixed in Mountain Lion...

    1. Insert USB memory stick.

    2. Put computer to sleep.

    3. Remove USB memory stick.

    4. Wake up computer.

    5. Dialog box saying OMG you didn't eject the USB stick you could have lost data (what, you didn't sync it before sleeping?).

  9. Piro

    When are they going to stop?

    When the thing is like a giant razor blade?

    Making it this thin is stupid - it's much thicker in the middle anyway, surely it'd be a more attractive design if it was uniformly thick.

    Also, the fact they've made it so thin they couldn't fit a DVD writer in is a fine example of form over function.

    Although I think it goes back being about form and comes back to bad design, pure and simple.

    If anyone thinks "oh nobody uses optical media, just a get a USB drive if you need it" is completely missing the point. This is a tiny, maybe £10 part that clearly IS useful to a lot of people, and looks like crap cluttering up the desk instead of being integrated into the machine. Also, the position you have it in the picture on the stand means you'll have to move the keyboard out of the way every time you want to deal with the disc drive.

    Absolute nonsense from the "style" brigade.

    I have an iMac here that's barely a few months old, has a dead DVD drive (from day one, I believe), but their support is so bloody awful that I would need to physically take it to a reseller's store, and come back in a week or so to pick it up. I've never heard of such bad support in >10 years of working in IT, really.

    1. Captain Underpants

      Re: When are they going to stop?

      The stupid thing about the whole "OMG IT R SOO SEXY AND THIN" is that the desk footprint is unchanged, since you still have a whopping great stand underneath it to hold it up. The insistence on treating optical media as backwards and having all the ports hidden at the back where you can't get at them does make me wonder who they got to test this - one of the better things Dell monitors have had in recent years is a pair of USB ports on the side of the monitor, so that you can easily get at them. In an AIO system I expect that to be the usability logic for the optical drive, USB ports and SD card if it's present.

    2. James Thomas
      Facepalm

      Re: When are they going to stop?

      You have just answered your own question. The DVD drive by virtue (or sin) of being mechanical is highly prone to failure and infrequently used so moving it outside the case makes a lot of sense from a servicing perspective. I'm no Apple fan, far from it, but on this they are right and the PC I'm building at the moment won't have an internal DVD drive either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When are they going to stop? (DVD drives)

        We have a late-2007 iMac (thankfully still going strong), and the only real problem we've had with it was with (drum roll) the DVD drive. About two years ago, it started failing to eject discs - Google it, this is apparently a fairly common problem with iMacs - and not long afterwards the drive failed completely with a disc stuck inside.

        In the event, we had to cough up a not-at-all-small amount to have a replacement DVD drive fitted (and the prisoner disc freed), and after about a year and a half... yup, discs started getting stuck in the new drive too. Not quite as badly, but you can see why I get a cold-sweat feeling every time an optical disc is required...

        Our iMac is generally fine, and we hope it'll keep going for a long time to come, but if we had to invest in a new model, I wouldn't miss the optical drive, and would shell out for an external drive if we needed one. Not a slot-load, though :-(

      2. Mark 65

        Re: When are they going to stop?

        @JT: Using the rationale of moving parts making devices more prone to failure it would be nice if they offered the SSD upgrades for a lower price or even made them standard. It's a £200 upgrade to a fusion drive only available on the £150 more expensive model. No SSD only option. Pfft.

      3. lemmac

        Re: When are they going to stop?

        You are 'building' your own pc but won't put a dvd drive in it in case it breaks? You are confused...

      4. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: When are they going to stop?

        @The DVD drive by virtue (or sin) of being mechanical is highly prone to failure

        That really was a satirical remark wasn't it. Or are you one of those people that have had 26 DVD drivers fail on you.

        Cmon on the last 10 years or so I have never had a DVD drive fail, hard disks on the other hand....and evenit it did fail there are so damned cheap that replacing one really wouldn't be a problem ( except on a 21" inch Mac that has been welded shut)

      5. Captain Underpants
        Thumb Down

        Re: When are they going to stop?

        @James Thomas

        That sounds unconvincing to me. Personally, I have a probelm with the Apple insistence on using slot-loading skinny optical drives. On a bloody desktop of all things. Stick to a tray-loading drive and at least I can get the bugger open if it decides to die with a disc in it. But I suppose that doesn't fit the sexy paradigm.

        I might believe Apple's rationale was down to the failure rate of optical drives if they'd mentioned it, rather than coming out with some condescending shite about how nobody uses DVDs or Blu-rays any more (even though every new film from American entertainment studios gets released on both physical formats within ~3 months of the theatrical release...). Don't mind me, I've just got a faulty RDF...

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When are they going to stop?

        I use a DVD drive perhaps half a dozen times a year so it's no biggie to use an external one - especially as my Macbook Air also has no internal drive. I'm still surprised people buy physical media when you can just download it in seconds / stream it.

    3. the-it-slayer
      Thumb Down

      Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

      Slot-loading CD/DVD drives are notoriously bad in general in any computer I've owned one. I had a business Dell laptop a year back in my last job and it was extremely unreliable for reads/writes or anything you chucked at it.

      Fortunately, Apple at least have the sense to deliver what the customer wants. A computer that's damn reliable and will sustain the needs of the average customer (not fanboi/not fandroid/not geek) for several years with minimal issues. OS X plus these hardware evolutions are perfect. Most people don't need more than 8GB memory now and storage is going portable/cloud now more so than ever.

      1. Captain Underpants
        FAIL

        Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

        @the-it-slayer

        "Apple at least have the sense to deliver what the customer wants. "

        What, you mean I can add a tray-loading optical drive to my new shiny if the 21.5" iMac is what I think I want? Great!.

        ...

        Oh, wait.

        Everyone I know who works in illustration or visual arts uses DVD as well as external hard drives for storing files. So yeah, this "oh, you don't need it, just use one of our wonderful USB superdrives (at about 5 times the cost of any other USB optical drive)" excuse is a bit weak.

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

          You're not forced to use Apple branded USB drives, nor are you limited to DVD. It will quite happily talk to Samsung USB BlueRay drives for example (though you need third party software to play BD videos).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

          Why oh why would anyone use a DVD disk these days when USB keys are typically faster and dirt cheap / quicker - or use one of the Dropbox style services - some people want to step forwards others are just stuck in the past. If we said to a client that we would 'post' it to them on a CD / DVD they would probably laugh / it could cost us business.

          1. Captain Underpants

            Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

            @AC

            I dunno, maybe because for a lot of things the cost and bandwidth of a couple of dozen DVDs through next-day-delivery post is faster than most broadband connections (and certainly so when you talk about USB 2 external media).

            I'm asking for one very widespread and commonly used contemporary medium to be considered as standard, and you're telling me that because a couple of other different media (with different pros and cons) exist I should just lump it.

            If I didn't believe that Apple have deprecated optical media to try and drive more traffic to their media content stores, I might be prepared to accept that the Horrendous Cost (oh, wait) of providing optical drives in their desktops was unreasonable. But trayloading optical drives cost the consumer about £10 at this point, so they'll cost Apple far less at volume purchasing rates. This whole "look at the sexy thin desktop" nonsense is a poor excuse for doing so, and I'd rather they at least be honest about why they want to get rid of the optical media interface on their machines even though most new releases across all popular entertainment media still see release on optical discs.

        3. Steveo119
          Happy

          Re: Slot-loading drives = worst invention ever?

          Hang on a minute, Yeap you can actually buy another USB optical drive rather than pay over the odds for an apple superdrive... or spend the same amount and buy a bluray writer instead.

  10. Steve Williams

    Memory upgrades.

    I read a review on one of the US Mac sites last week which said that on the 21.5" model there is a button or press stud in the recessed area by the power socket. Pressing this was supposed to allow access to the memory DIMMs. Sorry, don't remember which site.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Memory upgrades.

      That's on the 27" model. The 21" model doesn't have that though.

    2. cyke1

      Re: Memory upgrades.

      Comparing outside to inside of the machine, the ram is located about right about where the Apple logo is. SO what i can tell there is no easy way without tearing the whole machine apart. if you picked up the main logic board and put it straight in machine where that silver cover plate is, just to right is where ram would be.

      http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/5g1FpUitd2c5USTg.huge

  11. Derk
    Megaphone

    Not impressed with your review.

    Dear Bob,

    Your review was painful to read. Please take a few minutes to actually read what you write. Don't like the wireless keyboard without the numeric pad, then don't select one when you order. The target market for this product is not the average Reg reader or computer geek. Their target market is none technical people who will select what they want upon ordering, and most likely stick with it until the machine needs replacing. But don't let that get in the way of a good snigger at the design. To those posters who question its green credentials, you really should read up on RoHS, and WEEE. It is not about how easy it is to take apart. It is all about the materials in it, and the reduction or elimination of dangerous chemicals and compounds.

    For Apple these products are not the products that they want you modifying. The are just appliances, tools to do a job. Just in the same way you don't take your freezer to bits to "Upgrade" it. You buy it, use it and get a new one, when it not longer does what you think it should.

    1. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Down

      Re: Not impressed with your review.

      @DERK

      If you're going to try and talk about "green credentials" and how green Apple are, perhaps you could explain how the Retina Display can be recycled when it's a display fused to a gorilla glass panel?

      Thus far the only comments I've seen from other industry parties suggest that recycling such fused components is going to be a ballache. Same thing with repairing a motherboard with a faulty soldered-on DIMM - it may be doable, but it's not straightforward and the risk of nobbling the entire motherboard in the process is non-trivial.

      I get that some people want to buy an appliance computer, and that's fair enough - you buy the tool for the job you want to do. However, Apple have been making some bad decisions lately, apparently in the pursuit of frontloaded consumer spending and built-in obsolescence to drive future sales, so I'm curious to see how the rest of the world responds to these issues.

      That being said, I agree that Bob could've done more to check the grammar in his peice - I spotted several sentences where 1 or more words were missing, which is always frustrating.

      1. mccp

        Re: Not impressed with your review. @ Captain Underpants

        That's the second comment where you have mentioned soldered on DIMMs.

        To avoid any possibility of FUD there is no iMac with soldered on DIMMs. Look at the iFixit teardown (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936/3).

        1. Captain Underpants

          Re: Not impressed with your review. @ Captain Underpants

          @Mccp

          Sorry, should've been clearer on that one - the soldered-on DIMMs are the first thing that come to mind when I think of Apple's overall lifecycle planning and resultant greenness (things like the non-user-replaceable battery for specious reasons, non-replaceable DIMMs, moving towards gorillaglass screens with fused-on displays) rather than the specifics of this iMac. At least this one doesn't have soldered on memory, but having to remove the entire display to get at the DIMM slots is still pretty bloody stupid.

          This device is far from their worst offender in the current lineup but it's also a notable move away from previous designs which made it straightforward to perform upgrades to user-replaceable parts...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not impressed with your review.

        "I agree that Bob could've done more to check the grammar in his peice"

        And you could do the same with your spelling It's PIECE not peice.

        1. Derk
          FAIL

          Re: Not impressed with your review.

          "And you could do the same with your spelling It's PIECE not peice."

          Yeah....about that. One person is pretending to be a journalist, and the other isn't, is he?

      3. Derk

        Re: Not impressed with your review.

        @ Captain Underpants.

        For a product to be classed as "Green" in the electronics industry, then it does not have to be fully recyclable. It must not contain 8 very nasty chemicals, and must have minimal quantities of a whole raft of others. The idea is stop some very toxic substances leaking out in landfill sites, and getting into the water supply. That is the RoHS directive, and the WEEE directive builds upon this.

        I too am not enamoured with a glued together design, as repairs are certainly not easy or strait forward. But not impossible either. But as many have pointed out, Apple seem to have disregarded the service aspect in favour of stock turnover and greed.

        The tone of Bobs "review" was quite honestly very immature and sounded like he'd made his mind up before he even started. I have no respect for such articles. I expect a review to be much more technical, and to list the pros and cons of a product. I could get a review like Bobs from any "Computer expert" in PC World on a Saturday afternoon.

      4. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Not impressed with your review.

        >perhaps you could explain how the Retina Display can be recycled when it's a display fused to a gorilla glass panel?

        Probably mechanically- there are a fair few companies and universities boasting of having developed tools to separate the screen layers from each other, and there is no reason to think that separating parts from the glass is any harder than they from each other.

        This isn't actually the chief problem for companies that recycle flat screen monitors- many monitors and TV that use cold cathode fluorescent lamps have yet to reach the end of their life, and the mercury present in the CCFLs is costly to make safe- it requires costly labour (wearing bulky protective suits) to remove the CCFLs.

        If you want to separate components from batches of old products, it is actually preferable to have them glued rather than screwed- you can heat the whole batch, rather than pay someone to wield a screwdriver. Since the EU had been putting the onus on end-of-life disposal on manufactuers for over a decade, it isn't in their interests to make it difficult. Like any industrial process, it becomes more efficient if you are dealing with large quanitites of the same product- since Apple sell something in the region of 2 million iMacs a year, a sufficient quantity that dissembly lines and tools can be optimised for them, or at least an operative will have familiarity with them.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not impressed with your review.

        Yeah make it out of bamboo or whatever...

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Not impressed with your review.

      I quite liked the review, it went into the downsides of owning an iMac.

      Following your criteria the review should read 'oooh, shiny' and receive 95%. And of course green credentials include how easy it is to take a computer apart into component pieces. The greenest computer of all is one which you can reuse and repair before recycling, it's not at all green to throw it away four years down the line so you can get the next iAppliance when you've realised that your new interest in Photoshop renders the 4Gb of onboard RAM worthless.

      When it does finally comes to recycling computers then don't expect them to have the Official iAppliance (Late 2012) manual at hand so they know they need to get the Official iHeatGun to disassemble it as it's going down a conveyor belt in the back end of some developing country.

      1. Philip Lewis
        Coat

        Re: Not impressed with your review.

        I have just checked. Here is the short list of consumer devices I own which I have never dismantled to either upgrade or repair.

        MacAir

        iPod

        Samsung Mobile phone

        iPhone

        Samsung Television

        "NoName" DVD player

        VCR player

        Sony media player

        Sony picture frame

        A whole shelf of HiFi equipment

        refrigerator

        freezer

        oven

        .... bored now .. that's what I can see from the sofa.

        People, these are electronics devices and while you all are quick to be appalled at lack of user serviceability and ascribe it to Apple's nefarious motives, it is more likely a question of streamlining/optimizing the production process than anything else. Spending money to increase serviceability for products that almost never fail is money wasted. It is far cheaper for Apple (or any other company) to just replace the unit should it fail with a reconditioned unit, and/or bear the slightly increased cost for the few repairs that occur. This is product engineering, and trust me, someone has done the numbers. OK, hard disks fail but unless they get a really bad batch from the supplier, the failure rates of modern HDDs is pretty low. Last time I looked SSDs weren't that much more reliable despite lack of moving parts, though this may have changed now.

        But of course all you geeks know and understand sooooo much more than the world's most profitable company, a company that sells a gajillion devices every year and which has the most enviable customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. Right. Your collective insights are pearls before the swine that Apple's engineers are.

        You people are geeks. the real world of ordinary people (Apple's customers) think you are all somewhat demented - and "they" are right.

        1. Captain Underpants
          Facepalm

          Re: Not impressed with your review.

          @Philip Lewis

          As a sysadmin in a platform agnostic environment, I take issue with your assertion that Mac Airs or any mobile phone "almost never fail". That's pre-eminently bollocks. Portable computing devices (which at this point includes smartphones) may not have high failure rates, but they do fail - and while the highly portable kit may have design constraints which make user serviceability functionally impossible to deliver, there is nothing about the 12" laptop form factor that requires a non-user-replaceable battery or non-removable DIMMs. Or a proprietary SSD interface, for that matter. Those things emerge from the aesthetic decision to make the thing really really thin (it's possible to achieve comparable weight with slightly thicker, but more easily serviced and better-equipped systems). So, well, bollocks to 'em.

          And yes, I'm still bitter about Apple's ridiculous decision to deprecate Gig-E wired networking because wireless is Teh Fuchar. Might be fine if all you do on your computer is dick around on the internet, but if you deal with transferring tens of gigs a day of data, or remote deployment of software packages that cumulatively are about 20GB in size, then half-assed 802.11g/n wireless doesn't cut it, not least because without huge investment in access points you end up with badly contended connections (in comparison with what you can achieve with existing wired-ethernet switch infrastructure).

          I get the appeal for some users of the Computer As Appliance. I don't think it's a good idea, especially not at the prices and starting configurations that they're offering. (We're at best 12 months away of 8 GB RAM being the de facto minimum recommended memory in a system to have it run well for a 3 year lifespan).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    mechanical harddrive???

    regardless of what brand your pc is, i fail to see why anybody would order one with a mechanical harddrive. you can always get a small ssd for main (== fast and quiet) and an external mechanical harddrive for data you don't need to always carry with you. mechanical harddrives are only for slow data, like mp3s, movies, photos and maybe big games one doesn't play often.

    1. JC_

      Re: mechanical harddrive???

      regardless of what brand your pc is, i fail to see why anybody would order one with a mechanical harddrive.

      Because an SSD is a very expensive upgrade from the manufacturer. That's why.

      1. nichomach
        Thumb Up

        Re: mechanical harddrive???

        Well said, JC_ ; when one can buy 256GB branded hard drives for a £110-£120, the well over £200 that OEMs charge for upgrading from a mechanical one - if they even offer the option! - is simply mick extraction.

      2. Mark 65

        Re: mechanical harddrive???

        People order these with a mechanical drive because Apple, in their infinite wisdom, don't offer a solid state only option.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Mark 65 Re: mechanical harddrive???

          I didn't know that - i checked you're right. Wow, how can they not offer the ssd for the small imac? that's stupid.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: @Mark 65 mechanical harddrive???

            Apple's combination of SSD plus mechanical HDD uses a Logical Volume Manager in OSX, so most of the speed benefits of a large SSD are seen in small SSD + HDD combo- the OS decides which files are present on the SSD, and which on the HDD, all invisible to the user.

            Still, having a mechanical HDD drive that is difficult to access isn't ideal.

    2. Captain Underpants

      Re: mechanical harddrive???

      @loan

      For other vendors you'd have a point, but methinks you haven't seen the ludicrous margins Apple are including in the uplift pricing from a mechanical drive to an SSD - and since being convinced about the merits of an SSD involves seeing one in action first, someone has to bite the bullet and pay for it before you'd be convinced.

      (Personally I think they're great if you can afford them, and I will at some point pick one up for my desktop. But with Apple you pay waaaaaaay over the odds for an SSD, so I can see why many folks would view the cheaper mechanical drive as "good enough".)

  13. Kevin7
    Stop

    Looks gorgeous and Mountain Lion is a delight as OS X generally is. However the price of entry is becoming eye-watering and I say that even as a user of Mac computers. Nearly all the functionality I want these days I can find with Linux on a Intel-based PC for a about a third of the price. I'll admit I'll miss some things in Linux but I'm being priced out the market. I think though not being able to replace the hard drive is the real deal breaker as these things do fail within the lifetime of the product and I'd prefer to replace it at home in about 5 minutes as have to return it to Apple.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      You can get an ugly grey box with the same grunt but no-name components for 1/3 of the price. For many of us, that's the same as saying you can build the same for 1/3 the price... but for many others it definitely is not.

      1. Darryl
        Gimp

        So many of you can't live without a fashion statement case and Apple logos everywhere? That's how you justify spending so much more?

        1. Dana W
          Meh

          Fashion, really?

          The "fashion statement" thing is getting old. Nobody even SEES my desktop except my partner and she has her own Mac.

          Its functionality, ease of use, lifespan and resale value. Nothing more, nothing less. The once a year virus scan that always comes up clean is nice too.

          If I wanted a DIG ME machine it would be one of those enormous laptop GAMING PCs. Now those people are the fashion victims who have to see and be seen! They even leave all the stickers on the case so you don't miss how cool they are to have all that crunch in a laptop the size of an end table that gets hot enough to toast bread.

          1. Captain Underpants

            Re: Fashion, really?

            @Dana

            If you're going to mock people's for having computers with stickers left on them, defending Apple (who supply FruitMachine logo stickers with their computers) is not necessarily the best position to take ;)

            (I tend not to think about resale value when buying computers, because I will more often than not run them into the ground, upgrading as I go along, and repurpose them once they get replaced as a main machine, rather than sell them on. Having said that, resale value is a reasonable consideration for some usage patterns, and it's demonstrably the case that second hand Apple gear sells for higher prices than most other brands unless it's very obviously stolen gear...)

  14. Spiracle

    Light and easier to carry?

    Nice to know that it'll be slightly less challenging for whoever took the first one to leg it over the fence with it under their arm come their next visit..

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Ooh, they let a non-fanboi review a Mac for once :)

    I think it looks bloody lovely, and it's nice you get the fancy keyboard, fancy mouse AND fancy trackpad in the box.

    I'm sure normal users don't care they can't upgrade it, BUT if there's a fault it'll be way more trouble even for an Apple Store to fix.

    I'd use it if someone bought me one, but I won't be buying one.

  16. Mike Glendinning
    Thumb Up

    Less fuss than a vacuum cleaner?

    You should work for Apple's marketing department!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks horrible.

    1. Dana W
      Trollface

      Then step back from the mirror. Oh you mean the computer.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USB Eject

    There's a pretty good reason why you have to eject USB drives, it's called buffering.

    When you write to a device it simply isn't efficient to write 1 byte at a time to it. It is better to store this data in a memory buffer and commit it later on when the buffer is full.

    Ejecting a USB drive flushes this buffer and writes it to the device.

    I'm guessing you never used Linux for writing floppies? you would write to the disk and marvel at the high speed, only to realise nothing at all had been written to the disk. All of the changes were done when you "umount"-ed the floppy.

    Honestly, it's a non-issue caused by a lack of understanding of what an OS does underneath. What is needed is an eject button next to the USB port and a light to indicate "okay to remove".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: USB Eject

      The point was that the word 'eject' is an anachronism on an computer which has no means of reading removable media.

      1. Steve I
        Go

        Re: USB Eject

        "the word 'eject' is an anachronism on an computer which has no means of reading removable media."

        100% correct except for the bit about USB sticks not being removable media.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: USB Eject

          Debatable as the media is incorporated in the device itself, the device is removable from the computer but the media is not removable from the device. Messages should detect the type of device and substitute the string 'eject' (Floppy/CD/DVD) for 'safely remove' (USB) or something similar.

          As a more general reply on this theme, not just to your post...

          On connecting the device, when the icon appears on the desktop then something should indicate if 'eject'/'safely remove' is required or if it can be unplugged (e.g. MTP), e.g. via a bubble popping up next to the icon or a smaller icon overlayed on top in the corner. That would probably have to be an eject icon since I've got no idea what a safely remove icon should look like.

          And it's not that easy to do now the default in Mountain Lion is not to show storage devices on the desktop.

          Attention to detail is what we expect from Apple, then the reviewer gets criticised when he does just that...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: USB Eject

        Currently my less-tech savvy mate is getting confused between devices connected as Mass Storage - which on PCs still require 'safely remove' because of the buffering, and Media Player mode, which can be just yanked out.

    2. Zot
      FAIL

      Re: USB Eject

      It's a terrible review in that respect, it's like saying the computer is crap because it turns off when you pull the plug out!

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: USB Eject

      >>There's a pretty good reason why you have to eject USB drives, it's called buffering.

      So how come Windows dropped this requirement in XP (it was XP?)

  19. Mike Richards

    One thing I've never worked out

    Why do Apple put headphone sockets (and now the bloody SD card slot) on the back? Couldn't they go in the side of the shell if Apple couldn't bear to disfigure the front of the iMac?

    I suppose one upside of the new design is that I can no longer absent-mindedly push SD cards into the optical drive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One thing I've never worked out

      3.5mm male > 3.5mm female, 0.25 M length. £1.50

      Okay, you shouldn't have to work around it, but it isn't a big workaround. The amazing thing is that Dell, after much thought and effort, succeeded in making front-mounted ports difficult to use:

      http://www.pctechoutlet.com/images/Dell/dell-gx-270.jpg

    2. Darryl

      Re: One thing I've never worked out

      But then it couldn't have razor-sharp edges, whatever use those are. And I do enjoy all of the 'easy workarounds' for all of the annoying decisions Apple made... Soon, you have your expensive all-in-one sitting on your desk with an optical drive plugged in here, a bunch of USB/Firewire/Thunder extension leads plugged in there.

  20. Zot
    Thumb Down

    British keyboard fail

    Come on Jonathan Ive, the quotes are meant to be above the 2, I thought were supposed to be British!

    The enter key is tiny as well, it looks and feels like there's not enough space for all the keys.

  21. What? Me worry?
    Headmaster

    16GB or 32GB max for 21.5-inch model?

    @ Bob: "Fitted as standard on all new iMacs is 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM - up to 32GB is supported," Might want to clarify this statement. Looking at Apple's configure page, I can order up to 16GB for the 21.5-inch model. the 27-inch will take 32GB.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >a process called plasma deposition that Apple has scaled up for its displays

    Really did they? - they must have I guess as every review mentions it. Doesn't seem to gel with the fact that far more enormous TVs, solar panels and etc are available which are thus coated.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Note bevelled power button – a minor change but significant improvement"

    This SHITE could only come from a FANNYBOI!

    What a load of bloated puffery. It looks rubbish, but for the plebs, its new shiny shiny!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Plebs?

      Is your last name Mitchell?

      1. the-it-slayer
        Happy

        Re: Plebs?

        Obviously! needs to change his name to "id-like-to-kick-steve-jobs-in-the-balls-everyday". Would be much more entertaining how much comes out of that little bum cheek of his. Smile!

        1. Toothpick

          Re: Plebs?

          I see Obviously! has broken up from school early.

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