Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, writer, speaker, and author, currently serving as the Creative Director of ClearScore, and the Co-editor and Creative Director of lifestyle magazine Lagom. Previously, he was the Creative Director of coffee roaster Colonna, the founder of typography magazine-turned-book 8 Faces, and the Creative Director of Typekit (now Adobe Fonts). He’s also an electronic musician, recording as Other Form and releasing on the Berlin-based label Unterwegs.

Apple’s new iMac & keyboard

Posted on 08 August 2007

Article illustration for Apple's new iMac & keyboard

So, the Mac’s out of the bag (heh heh) and looking rather lovely indeed. More sleek and slender than previous iterations, this iMac definitely sports a more ‘pro’ look, even if those words are straight from The Jobsmeister’s mouth. And look at that glossy black Apple logo – phwoar!

More than anything, I think this is a perfect example of realigning, not redesigning; or, to you non-designers out there, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This model sees fewer changes than any previous version of the iMac (if you exclude those disgusting patterned ones from back in the day) and the subtle refinements have taken something good and made it great.

While the aluminium is a great look and a step in the right direction in terms of across-the-board consistency, a part of me thinks it’s strange because – as of Leopard – the Mac OSX GUI will finally lose the brushed aluminium look across all native applications. I support Apple’s decision to do this – it was getting very old – but it’s a shame about that horrible dull grey they’re replacing it with. At least it doesn’t look like they’re going that way with the hardware.

Ah, and there’s the new keyboard! Without having tried one it’s hard to say whether the new design addresses or creates usability issues, but the almost flush, MacBook-style keys can only be a good thing in terms of dirt collecting, or rather the lack thereof. But what a shame that the wireless version ditches the full key set. The decision to do this is logical – the wireless version is better suited for lap usage – but with very few people using a mac as an entertainment / media centre, I can’t help but feel forgotten by ol’ Stevie J; because I – like many of you, I expect – like a wireless keyboard because it removes desk clutter… and because it looks cool! Given that a very large part of Apple’s products’ appeal is that they look cool, it’s a shame to be forced into buying one or the other rather than having a more open choice.

What do you guys think?

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