iMac 21" and 27" Late 2016 Wishlist vs. Reality

Discussion in 'iMac' started by agustinbg, Aug 29, 2016.


What's the most necessary upgrade for the iMac Late 2016?

Poll closed Sep 5, 2016.
  1. Design

    6 vote(s)
  2. GPU and Processor

    36 vote(s)
  3. Storage (bigger and better)

    23 vote(s)
  4. Pro Accessories

    4 vote(s)
  5. Customisation (colors)

    3 vote(s)
  6. Better Screen

    5 vote(s)
  7. Upgradable components (from medium to high end)

    19 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. agustinbg macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Many of us are expecting for Apple to announce new iMacs in October. As most of us think, there is a huge probability that the 27' will receive just a minor update (as it's as one of the most up-to-date macs); however, the 21' really needs to catch up.

    It's always entertaining to guess what is Apple planning to do, as well to picture what the perfect update for the iMac would be; so I'll write my list of what I want from the new iMac vs. what I think it's going to happen.

    Note: It's my own wishlist, I know that some people will hate some of my wishes but, hey, it's just for fun (finally, Apple will make whatever they want) ;)


    (1) Power button on the Apple Logo. I really hate to press the button on the back; it's not super hard to do, but given Apple's obsession on usability, it could be a good idea. Reality: I don't think that's gonna happen. Not sure everyone loves the idea and besides it's not a function used frequently (to be honest, I use it once every month, tops).

    (2) Less non-screen space on the front (thinner chin and bezels). I love the iMac design as it's (I even think it's an iconic design); but I'd really love my iMac not to use so much space compared to the screen size. Heck, I don't care if it's not super thin (besides, you end up using a lot of back space because of the stand). Reality: Unless Apple makes a full redesign, they won't change anything that needs a lot of engineering (and a big redesign is unlikely having so many products to update in 2016).

    (3) Glass, acrylic or something more than aluminium. I love aluminium, I really do and I don't want it to go anywhere. But hey, why not to add something else? Remember the Power Mac G4 Cube; it looked amazing with the translucent material. Reality: Jonny Ive and the Apple Design Team are more focused on the iPhone and Apple Watch (understandable as those are products that are mostly sold because of the new design that makes you look trendier than your friends; opposed to a desktop computer which is used mainly to work).

    (4) Colors! The iPhone 6S color options would look amazing on the current design of the iMac! Reality: it's a real possibility as we currently have color MacBooks!


    (5) Bigger and backlit keyboard: It's a desktop keyboard and it feels like a notebook one (not that it's super hard to type in , but come on). I mean, it even looks kinda weird to have such a small keyboard besides a super huge computer (see point 2).

    Why not to offer Pro Keyboard: backlit and bigger. I'd not mind to have it plugged all the time or charge it more often than the regular one. Sometimes I switch to my MacBook Pro in the night to write better. Reality: Backlit keyboard COULD be a possibility if they manage to develop a better battery (because I don't see Apple going back to wired accessories) or maybe they go crazy and release one even if it doesn't last charged for a lot. Crossing my fingers.


    (6) Bigger SSD in Fussion Drive and no more pure HDD. We all know HDD are something from the past (at least as primary working storage); why is Apple holding to that technology (they don't seem to care to drop technologies, eg: 3.5mm jack on the iPhone, optical drive on the iMac, ¡even almost every port on the macbooks). But HDD is still there. Why Apple? Why?

    And Fussion Drive 1TB is just a rip-off. It's a HDD with an SSD so small that almost every USB Flash Drive could beat it. It just makes the startup a little faster, but that's it. Fussion Drive should start at least with a 128GB SSD.

    (Note) GPU and Processor is just meh for me. I'm a web developer and designer (I make motion graphics and video editing occasionally); and from experience I can tell that my macs never feel old nor they underperform or get stupidly slow (besides from the HDD point I mentioned earlier). Most of people use it for tasks that don't require so much power; and let's be honest, if you want to play AAA games, don't buy a mac!

    So, for me; minor upgrades in this department are fine. BUT... if Apple doesn't want to lose its PRO USERS (animators, hardcore video editing, scientists who make complex simulations and, eventually, any user who wants to have the last in technology), they should keep on pair with the edge tech (even if it's as upgradable components).

    Those were my wishes; and yours?

  2. mpe macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    I would have a very different wish lists for 21.5" and 27" models.

    In general I think storage options (HDD in entry level configs) cry most for the upgrade.
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    No iMac should ship without at least a Fusion drive.
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    What's most necessary in order: Fusion drive as standard, USB-C/TB 3 ports, new GPUs, DDR4 RAM, new design. I value performance over design as the current one is ok despite looking a little dated.
  5. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    Finally, some iMac news "also in the works".

    My savings can be thrown towards Apple. I really hope an exciting update is waiting for me to buy in November/December.
  6. agustinbg, Aug 29, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016

    agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Yeah, I'm also waiting for the new iMac to replace my current one. I don't think it's going to be huge leap from the Late 2015 iMac but I think that waiting for 2-3 months for the next one is completely worth it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2016 ---
    Watching at the rumor of the Touchscreen Strip on the MBP; it'd be amazing for the new Magic Keyboard to have this feature. :D Unfortunately, if we don't have backlit keyboards because of the battery life; having a OLED screen seems almost impossible. :(
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd love to vote for "Upgradable components (from medium to high end)" but realistically that will never happen

    Btw, what is a "pro accessory?"
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    An oled screen will use far less power than backlighting.
  9. Strider64 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2015
    Suburb of Detroit
  10. vapourtrails macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2016
    For storage I would like see:

    1T Fusion drive on top 21" and base 27"
    2T Fusion on mid tier 27"
    1T flash on the top tier 27"
  11. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    I was thinking about the products offered by other companies that most of the times don't look as cool as the mac. For example: drawing tablets, microphones, gaming keyboards, trackball mouses, etc.

    Of course there is another consideration beyond design: it's a niche market, and the brands that sell those products have a good reputation among the professionals that use them (for example: Drawing Tables = Wacom; microphones = Audio-Technica) and it would be a lot of work for Apple to market them, sell them and generate brand loyalty because of the high quality of the product.

    The three reasons why I would love to see more Apple accessories are: (1) Amazing design. (2) Apple Ecosystem (3) Ease of use. But I know that will never happen (because it's the most reasonable thing not-to-do).
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2016 ---
    A better 1T Fusion Drive, because the current one has a 24GB SSD; so it's only useful for booting; your regular work would be as slow as with a regular HDD. (And, who restarts his computer anymore? At least on a regular basis) :(
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2016 ---
    Oh, I didn't know! What a time to be alive!

    Anyway, I've seen a lot of people complaining about the OLED strip in the MBP; so probably my idea would not be so welcomed (they will hate it for the functionality and for the battery drain [even if it's minimum, it's something]).
  12. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    This is the one that probably won't happen anytime soon. Aluminum is pretty ideal for casing consumer electronics as long as you don't mind the higher cost over plastics and acrylics, and you have flexibility with it via alloys, similar to plastics. You can't do translucent aluminum, sure, but its high yields when you recycle it along with Apple's processes to do unibody casings with it make it really hard to improve on outside of more niche needs. I think this is a case of materials engineering and design working together to come to a pretty good place.

    Plus, there's a good use for the aluminum chin: you can use it to adjust the display angle without smudging the screen or getting in the way of it. The rest of the front of the iMac is a giant smudge magnet.
  13. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Good points!

    And I know that Apple bets for simplicity (and personally, I love that philosophy); and adding more materials would be against that. Of course it would be cool, at least for me, to see what the Design team would accomplish using more materials; but there are other considerations (as the ones you pointed out) that will keep Apple going full aluminium.

    I always adjust the screen by grabbing the sides with both hands and pushing down while tilting the screen... but hey, you're right. It's easier and cleaner to do it that way. That was an accidental good piece of advice. ;)
  14. danckwerts macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2008
    Richmond upon Thames
    I voted for improved processor and GPU but I really would like to see a new look as well, not to mention the return of some upgradability. I really can't see the last-named happening.
  15. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    128GB Flash/1TB HDD Fusion or 256GB Flash should be standard on the $1499 21.5" 4K and $1799 27" 5K model, plain and simple.
  16. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Yeah, unfortunately, Apple's direction on upgradability is quite clear: "users better not even dare to change a thing!"

    I'm even crossing my fingers for the new iMac 27'' to keep having upgradable RAM... otherwise... arhgg.
  17. danckwerts macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2008
    Richmond upon Thames
    If Apple were a little less obsessed with thinness, they could (I'm not saying would) make iMacs easy to access, as they used to be. It would be good to be able to replace a hard disk without any specialist equipment and a large manual.
  18. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Yeah, I wouldn't even mind (that much) to pay the "Apple Tax" so they could upgrade the components. But lately, once you buy a computer, you are stuck with the same specs until you decide to change the whole computer. And, we all know it isn't that easy on the pockets to change Apple products.
  19. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    512 GB SSD drive standard. Thunderbolt 3 ports along with USB 3.1.

    No more spinning HD.
  20. calderini macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2004
    If there were only some way we can make it thinner.
    It's almost perfect the way it is, except that it is FAR too fat.
    Looking at from the side almost makes me sick.
    Possibly lose all permanent storage and make it all cloud based? (Hard drives are HUGE)
    Give up all connections except for a single tiny lightning port at the bottom for power?
    (Too many silly holes mess up the back aesthetics of the imac, it's FORM, not function dang it)
    If we lose the lit LED screen we could probably shave a few more millimeters for the backlight.
    (Of course you would always have to use it with a direct light source pointed towards the screen but we could sell it as a design enhancement)

    And the wireless keyboard. Still FAR too many keys. They should cut all the function and number keys. We don't need
    numbers. It's redundant. We can SPELL whatever numbers we need.

    Remember the ultimate goal.
    Thin is in.


    (with a heavy dose of sarcasm)
  21. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Jony Ive, is that you? ;)
  22. Jack Burton macrumors 6502a

    Jack Burton

    Feb 27, 2015
    My never will come true but I torture myself anyway wish list:
    • I sure would love a 6 core as a top tier BTO option
    • nVidia GPU BTO option
    • multiple internal drives option (isn't there room if they use an M.2 slot for the main system drive?)
    What we'll probably get: refreshed AMD GPUs and not much else.
  23. PowerGala macrumors regular


    Aug 26, 2016
    I'd consider a mechanical keyboard a "pro" accessory and to me pretty essential. The mechanical keyboard I have on my PC puts my wired Apple keyboard to shame. I'd also love a higher end wired mouse like the one I have for my PC.

    As far as a new iMac is concerned, I'd like a thicker iMac with better a better cooling system. I'd like it to use screws as opposed to adhesive so I can open it up and repair / replace components. I'd like the option for dual 2.5 inch drives with a standard SSD boot drive. I'd also like to see a complete redesign since the look hasn't really changed all the much for a very long time. New colors would be nice too and I'd love one in either Rose Gold or one with a classic Mac color scheme.
  24. agustinbg thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2012
    Exactly, my biggest problem is with the keyboard. It's super small for a computer like the 27''. "Mouse"-wise, I love the trackpad but I know a lot of folks who can't stand trackpads and the Magic Mouse feels unergonomic and limited (not to mention the so-discussed weirdness of charging).

    The cooling has somehow improved lately (at least they don't get super hot by just using Pages like a few years ago); but it would certainly improve the components longevity.

    The use of adhesive is a shame! No decent product designer or engineer would use it for any product but Apple does!

    Colors would be amazing! And fortunately that's one of the things in my list that might actually happen!
  25. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2014
    I glued over 300 different cladding panels onto my house over 10 years ago now and not one has ever failed. I would regard Apples designers and Engineers at the top level and cannot see why the use of adhesives is in any way an issue. Maybe they should sack Jonny Ive for not being a good product designer........

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