Is iMac G4 the best Apple design ever?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iBlazed, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #1
    I got this for $25. It's a 1.25ghz 17" iMac G4. I'm amazed how well most sites still work on it. I think the design is absolutely timeless, it's still beautiful. I almost wish Apple would make a new computer based on this design just updated to modern Apple-like aesthetics.
     

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  2. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    What a great deal! Lucky you!

    I agree there's something "timeless" about it in that it bridged the divide between the old "box" computer and the modern "compact" computer.

    Most of Apple's designs are pretty great... aside from the disaster of the late '80s to mid '90s, it's easier to pick the designs that I don't think are so great, e.g. the G4 Cube.

    Trying to pick a best Apple design ever is really tough. My personal favorites are the original Mac (and its various iterations), the first iMac was a lot of fun, the MBA is almost perfect as far as laptops go, and the current iMac is great. The original iPod (at its various iterations) were really just brilliant.

    But, I actually think the iPhone (and iPad) is Apples greatest design achievements so far. When the iPhone was first presented, it instantly obsoleted every phone on the planet.
     
  3. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #3
    I know, I'm ecstatic.


    When my dad saw it he actually said he doesn't remember seeing it at all back in 2003 when it came out. I attributed this to the fact that Apple at the time was still trying to rebuild its reputation after the disaster that was the 90's.

    I have an original iMac as well. The design is nice but it's not even on the same playing field as the G4, they're just incomparable. I have the 2013 MBA and have to agree it's another one of Apple's best designs to date. Amazing machine.
     
  4. g-7 macrumors 6502

    g-7

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    #4
    "Is iMac G4 the best Apple design ever?"

    Yes. It is.
     
  5. Bodie CI5 macrumors member

    Bodie CI5

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    #5
    $25?? Wow, I thought we got a good-ish deal at 75AUD a couple of weeks back (15")! Well done!

    Yep, the G4 sure is an aesthetically pleasing machine. I, too, wish there was some sort of continuance in this design.

    Last night, my brother and I opened her up to install 2gb RAM (and applied some TIM at the heatsink) - man, the dust! :O

    She seems to be running OK, but will test on Tuesday night with some WC3 just to make sure. Only negative point on ours is that the CD flap (the drive itself??) has a problem opening up. That's a project for next time, though.

    It's a real treat using the iMac G4 - I wish it was my main computer! Makes me regret not having gone the pile route after Amiga's demise.

    I love how it doesn't take up too much space on the desk. Adds an air of elegance to an otherwise sundry PC-centred bedroom...
     
  6. sonicpace macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It was my first mac and to this day is still my favorite design. Congrats on your purchase. The 15" superdrive 800 model was nearly $3000.00 CDN when it launched, if my memory serves me correct.

    Having the freedom to move the screen effortlessly with the touch of your finger, left, right, up, or down, was pretty amazing at the time. The screen appeared to float in the air. It was a solid design overall, but I remember reading that this design was extremely expensive for Apple to manufacture. So I doubt we'll see it reappear anytime soon..
     
  7. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #7
    Which generation of it did you get? If it's the 1ghz model or above you can actually install Leopard on it. Mine is 1.25ghz with 1GB of RAM and leopard runs beautifully.

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    What was $3000 CDN in USD back in 2003? This 17" model cost $1800 USD when it launched.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    $2200.

    Awesome find on a beautiful machine. Congrats.
     
  9. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #9
    Thanks! Now I'm just trying to figure out how a machine from 10 years ago has an even thinner monitor than most computers today. I have a two year old hp monitor that's about 2 inches thick toward the center. Twice the thickness of imac G4..
     
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #10
    Power supply.
     
  11. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #11
    Ahh that makes sense. With the iMac they built the power supply into the base instead.
     
  12. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Timeless design indeed. I owned two of these machines both a 15" and 17" model and I must say they make the current iMac design and aesthetics look bland. The monitor manages to be so thin because it is essentially a laptop monitor attached to a dome shaped Mac mini with a SuperDrive. :)
     
  13. Moonjumper, Aug 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

    Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I got a 15" model for £30 on Friday. I would have preferred a 17", especially at that price, but I'm still happy. My favourite design. I wish there was a current iMac in that format. The ergonomics are fantastic.
     
  14. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

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    #14
    nah, not timeless.. that thing is going to look severely dated in 2050.. it's already looking a bit retro.
     
  15. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I suppose it depends on what we mean by "timeless".

    If we're going by "you can't tell what year/decade it was designed in", then yeah, with a few exceptions, almost all technology eventually looks dated.

    Maybe "classic" is a more accurate term?
     
  16. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #16
    Honestly if you do one of those TV experiments and present random people on the street with an imac G4 and pass it off as apple's newest imac, how many average people would know it's actually from 2003? It's not like these things were commonly seen by most people even back then, and this computer is unknown to more people than you would think. I can see plenty of people falling for it.

    ----------

    Honestly I think I got it so cheap because it was one of those situations where the seller didn't really care much. They just needed to clear out quickly.
     
  17. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #17
    I have one too! :D A machine that is still perfectly capable if you throw it the right older versions of software. I even shoehorned Aperture 2 to run on it.
     
  18. Bodie CI5 macrumors member

    Bodie CI5

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    #18


    Hmm, I still have 10.4.11. It is the 1GHz version. I might explore that option however.



    I can back that up re the some people thinking it is a new Mac. I showed someone recently a picture on my phone (kind of close up) of my new purchase - you know, being proud and all :D. Anyhow, they have been a Mac user for over a decade - however, they thought the picture was of a newly released iMac.. :O
     
  19. numlock macrumors 68000

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    #19
    i think its the best looking and functioning (adjusting display height etc) imac model.

    its up there with the 12" g4 powerbook imo.

    the new mba is also beautiful and the original mini has a place in my heart but i think those two stand out and i would love to have those in prime condition
     
  20. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #20
    If you have 2GB RAM like you said then it should run like butter. Mine only has 1GB RAM and it runs great. Granted, it's a 1.25ghz, but I'm not sure how much real world difference the 250mhz actually makes in real world use.


    Yep, most average people are pretty uninformed/uninterested in technology.
     
  21. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

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    #21
    Although I wasn't into Macs when it came out, I liked the Cube and still remember it on magazine covers and such at its release. Unfortunately, its poor performance in the marketplace and early demise is probably the single most likely reason why we don't have the oft-wished for "headless" iMac, or XMac.
     
  22. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    The iMac G4 design went away when the G5 iMac was introduced mainly because of cooling issues as it was not possible to fit the G5 chip and keep it cool in the dome shaped housing. We still have the same general iMac design since the G5 yet intel chips keep getting cooler and more energy efficient.

    I think the iMac form factor is getting dated it has essentially been the same slab on a pedestal format since the G5. Sure things went from plastic to aluminum, monitors got bigger, and the frame gets thinner but other than that the form factor is the same. I would prefer if apple went back to something like the g4 iMac design or something even more radical. The technology of today should allow for something more interesting than we have now.
     
  23. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #23
    It always seemed to me that the G5 design was a bit forced and not completely ready for prime time yet. If I were in the market for a Mac at that time and I was waiting for the iMac G5 to be released, I would have been EXTREMELY disappointed with the new design. It seriously looks like crap compared to the G4. And it took years to shrink down that big chin to an acceptable level.

    Completely agreed. I think the iMac has had this design for so many years because that's what Apple originally wanted for the iMac even when the G3 was released, the technology just wasn't there yet in 1998. When the technology finally got there they released the G5 and kept that same damn design for 9 straight years and counting. Time to replace it.
     
  24. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Well if that is the case, it's a real shame, and not the right lesson learned.

    I like the concept of the G4 Cube, and the infamous xMac is exactly the computer I really want (I was "forced" into the Mac Pro lineup).

    This is just my design opinion of course, but I just don't think the case design is aesthetically pleasing... it feels forced and inelegant. I think the plexiglass is tacky, the vents on top are a clumsy compromise, and having to access the ports on the bottom is awkward. And it just looks really dated.

    And to top it all off, the "cracks" that developed in the plexiglass and overheating problems didn't make for great execution either.
     
  25. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #25
    Personally I think it is a toss up between the IIsi, LC, IIgs and Quadra 700 (IIcx on the side).

    I love the designs from the mid 80's to mid 90's. I'd also mention the Mac II, Quadra 660AV with AV Monitor, Quadra 900, Quadra 840AV, Apple Adjustable Keyboard and IIvx. I also like the Apple II line and Apple III. I really just didn't like the all in ones such as the Color Classic.

    I think Apple's look was ruined with the G3 iMac and onward.
     

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