David Pierce, The Verge:
The IPS panels are the same as in last yearâ€™s iMacs, but theyâ€™re better integrated now â€” Apple says that by laminating the display to the glass it reduced reflections up to 70 percent, and indeed the glare problems that beset so many displays are much less present here, though there’s still some reflection and glare. The improved manufacturing also makes whateverâ€™s on the screen feel closer to you, almost like things are jumping out of the panel.
I’m glad to see Apple has come full circle and considers glare a nuisance rather than a feature on the iMac.
Update 2012.12.01: According to iFixit the 21.5-inch iMac sports a LG Display LM215WF3 (SD)(D1) LCD panel that’s 5 mm thinner than the previous LM215WF3.
In a desktop computer, though, the pursuit of thinness at the cost of features makes less sense. The vast majority of the time, itâ€™s going to be sitting on your desk, and users will be interacting with a separate keyboard and mouse, pausing only occasionally to plug something in or adjust the screenâ€™s angle. Giving up desirable features like user-upgradeable RAM just to make a thinner desktop seems like the wrong move, even if itâ€™s one that only IT people and power users will notice or care about.
I disagree. Apple doesn’t consider user-upgradeable RAM to be a feature important enough to keep if that means the iMac can’t be as thin. Same goes for 3.5-inch hard drives. If I didn’t have to open up a computer to upgrade an internal component I’d be very happy. I believe Apple is building the iMac to be a computer you buy and use for a good long while without having to upgrade the hardware. When it comes to thin, think TVs: Why are TVs that will mostly end up sitting on top of tables as thick as the thinnest A/V component getting so thin? I’ll tell you why: Thin sells. We like thin.
But thin needs to be truly thin. Arment makes a good point about the thick bulge on the back, which I dislike:
And I canâ€™t help but feel like Appleâ€™s cheating by promoting the thinness so aggressively. Take a look around Appleâ€™s iMac pages â€” how long does it take you to find a picture that shows the thick bulge in the back accurately?
Maybe Apple also realizes the bulge in the back is ugly and is trying to hide it. The bulge looks thick, much thicker than previous iMacs, because the edges are so thin. It seems Apple is trying to fool us into thinking the entire iMac is as thin as those razor sharp edges.
I’m no fan of thin edges when elsewhere it’s thick. I prefer symmetry: equal thickness all throughout. The symmetric MacBook Pro is a much truthful design than the slanted MacBook Air. The MacBook Air isn’t 0.3 cm thick and neither is the iMac 5 mm thick. But the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display? 1.8 cm thick. Make the iMac like the MacBook Pro, with symmetry.