The New iMac: Futurism Is So Passé

The new iMac may not be the fastest desktop machine on the block, but it's a real good dancer.

The New iMac: Futurism Is So Passé

The year 2001 has come and gone, but the high tech design that's turning heads in the new year looks like something that walked out of A Space Odyssey.

After weeks of secrecy and anticipation, the new iMac was unveiled on January 7 at the MacWorld convention in Las Vegas. Leading up to the event, the marketing folks over at Apple were even more hyperbolic than usual: "Count the days. Count the minutes. Count on being blown away." And, apparently, people were. Bannered by the words "Flat Out Cool!," the new computer was on the cover of TIME magazine's Jan. 14 issue (in addition to being revealed 12 hours before its official unveiling by, causing some "kerfuffle," in the words of TIME Toronto Bureau Chief Steven Frank). Enthusiasts have dubbed it the "iWant." And analysts predict that sales will reach as high as 12 million.

True, it's not the fastest desktop machine on the block, and the screen is too small for some users, but who really needs a gigahertz microprocessor anyway? The $1,800 version of the iMac has a DVD burner, firewire ports, and comes loaded with Macintosh software like iMovie and the brand-new iPhoto.

Even the PC faithful get a lustful look in their eye when conversation turns to the iMac, and it ain't because of the DVD burner, hon. It's the way she looks. Gone are the days when personal computers looked like, well, computers. The new iMac's flat screen, adjustable neck, and pod-like base make it seem more like a well-trained desktop pet, a friend you can really grow to love, than a glorified adding machine. And, it can dance: A forthcoming TV commercial features an animated iMac shakin' what its mama gave it. The only question that remains: How will it go with your Ikea furniture?

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