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Apple Businesses

iMac LCD Impostors 366

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the faking-interesting-design dept.
cannonball_D writes "CNet has an article about the first (?) inevitable PC imitation LCD iMac from Gateway. The design is a step in the right direction, but I still think it has all the tell-tale signs of a cheap knock-off. " It really looks like it lacks the elegance of the apple design, but I'm all for the LCD based terminal to be available on x86.
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iMac LCD Impostors

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  • by techmuse (160085) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:18PM (#3138052)
    It has a remarkable resemblance to a cow. Black and white curvy patches over a white body. It fits in with Gateway's image, but lacks any of the beauty of the imac.
    • Quoting from the article.... "The Poway, Calif.-based PC maker got into the all-in-one business with its original Profile computer in June 1999 on the coattails of the first iMac. Gateway, however, did beat Apple to the punch with the first all-in-one computer to feature a flat panel. While Gateway says its current flat panel, Profile 3, is profitable, the Profile line for the most part has experienced only limited success..."

      Ok. How is this copying Apple if, according to the article, Gateway beat them to the punch? Does Gateway have spies, now?

      -Sara
      • Re:It's an I-cow (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xonker (29382)
        Apparently someone's editor decided they had to find a way to mention "iMac" in the story, and the writer had to fit the story around it. Or they decided that since Apple is supposed to be the innovator, someone had to be copying them, not the other way around.

        This story would have gotten a solid "F" in J-school, but apparently it's good enough for C|Net to run and for Slashdot to post. High school newspapers have higher quality standards than this.
        • Re:It's an I-cow (Score:3, Insightful)

          by neuroticia (557805)
          Actually, cannonball_D (the person who submitted the story to Slashdot) was mistaken. The entire take of the article is not focused on how Gateway ripped off the iMac, it's focused on the competing flat panel computers, and how the Gateway wasn't quite selling as many as the iMac (although the Gateway did come out first.)And now Gateway is coming out with the next of their line of flat screen computers and how it will be in the market to compete with the iMac. (Presumably better than the one currently on market.) It's actually a rather good article if you ignore the "lead-in" by cannonball_D.

          -Sara
      • Re:It's an I-cow (Score:5, Informative)

        by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.TraegerNO@SPAMgooglemail.com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:46PM (#3139337) Journal
        Bwahaha.

        Have you ever heard of the 20th Anniversary Mac (aka Spartacus)? Here's a nice picture [madbull.net] and here's The 20th Anniversary Macintosh Web Site [axon.net]. That machine id from May 1997. Tell me about how Gateway beat them to the punch two years later.

  • What's the big deal? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TrebleJunkie (208060) <ezahurak@NOSPam.atlanticbb.net> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:18PM (#3138056) Homepage Journal
    Didn't Monorail (or something like that) do this first, about 4-5 years ago, anyhoo?

    Not that their machine was any good, and wasn't very successful commercially, but it *was* an LCD-screen PC with all the guttiwuts behind the LCD.
  • With his emphasis on HID. I've seen the iMac in person, and I instantly wanted one. The Gateway, on the other hand, is ugly.

    iMac: Fits nicely into the corner of your contemporary flat.

    Profile: Fits nicely into the corner of your cell in the cube farm.
  • i dunno if that qualifies as a punch...the sex factor is not nearly as high, and they're not really competing on price. i normally like the thin clients that dell and gateway put out (even though, as my wife points out, the expandability is less)...but this is a poor knockoff of the iMac, IMO. =)

    of course, i won't be buying either...so WTF...

    • the sex factor is not nearly as high

      What sex factor?
      This thing has as much sex appeal as pantyhose. And anyone turned on by pantyhose is a pervert.
  • Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp.gmail@com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:20PM (#3138065) Homepage
    I think when they talk about competing with the new Imac, they meant that it is aimed at a similar section of the market, not that it's competing through aesthetic design.
    • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jobe_br (27348) <bdruth@@@gmail...com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @01:13PM (#3138300)

      Maybe. I think many of the consumers of the new iMac will be ones that not only want a machine that is capable of getting work done on, but also one that looks good, so aesthetic design will play a large role for consumers of the new iMac.

      From what I can tell of the picture, the Gateway model is essentially a stationary LCD screen with a motherboard tacked on back. If you check out the various videos on Apple's site [apple.com], you'll hear the designer of the new iMac talk about a design just like that being tossed out the window by Jobs. To me, that's an obvious sign that aesthetics will play a large part in the market targeted by the new iMac.

      Personally, having a screen that is adjustable in height, horizontal and vertical angle is actually quite useful (you can't change the landscape/portrait orientation, though). Depending on how I'm sitting at my desk any particular day (probably depending on how I slept the night before) I might want to adjust the angle of my screen. I find myself adjusting my Dell laptop's screen often, depending on how I'm sitting.

      Don't forget that this new iMac is more than just aesthetics, too. Because of all its connectivity (external video, firewire, usb, gigabit ethernet, 56k modem, etc.) its also meant to coexist peacefully and productively with all your external devices. Same goes for the software installed: iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and iTools (online). Gateway can't counter that and I think that's a very important distinguishing characteristic.

    • Note that the picture in the article is the previous model.
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:20PM (#3138066) Homepage
    The new G4 iMac looks like a supermodel, all curvy and slim and sleek and chic.

    The Gateway looks like a 60-year-old Janitor.

    I know who I'd rather "plug in".
    • Re:Not as sexy. (Score:3, Informative)

      by b_pretender (105284)
      http://www.gateway.com/work/prod/sb_profileb3se-d_ ProdDetail.shtml [gateway.com] for a better product description than the article links.
      • Re:Not as sexy. (Score:3, Informative)

        by b_pretender (105284)
        I hate to reply to my own comment, but this thing is *ugly*! Not to mention that the 360 degree rotation shows that it has about 5 degrees of available tilt for the LCD panel.

        I have to mention how harddrive platters and CD/DVD drives or more efficient and less noisy when mounted horizontally as opposed to slanted as they are in this monstrosity.

        The only thing that might save this monster was if it came with a wireless keyboard and mouse (which is doesn't).

        I forgot to mention that this runs WindowsXP rather than OS X (that's another thing the Gateway machine has going against it.

        • I forgot to mention that this runs WindowsXP rather than OS X (that's another thing the Gateway machine has going against it.

          Look at the website. It doesn't come with WindowsXP, it comes with Windows 98 SE.

          Riding the bleeding edge of crap.

    • Re:Not as sexy. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ElOttoGrande (183478) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:38PM (#3138155)
      >The Gateway looks like a 60-year-old Janitor.

      I agree, and where's the cost savings that PC advocates go on about so much. This thing is retailing for about as much as the most expensive iMac.
      Gateway ($1699) best iMac $1,799
      and it has 128M less ram, 20G smaller HD, no Superdrive, no NVIDIA GeForce2 MX w/32MB DDR graphics...

      I'm just another PC user (ibook drooler;) but in comparison the new iMac looks like a much better deal that this.

    • Frankly, I think both look ugly. When I first saw the new G4 iMac I could only think of the servo robots from Red Dwarf. It's a great TV show but I never thought the servo robots were sexy. This new thing, the Gateway model, looks like a glorified etch-a-sketch. Both look like toys.

      The G4 Cube, now that was sexy. Powerful, practical, with an interesting design that didn't give it the look of merely a toy. It is too bad they didn't sell well enough.

      I have never been a fan of combined monitor and machine. The attempt at effeciency while trying to make it artistic reminds me of the Constructivist movement, and you end up with something that does an okay job at both. If they allowed for the monitor to detach and connect onto other stablizing platforms so that you can A) get a better monitor without replacing the whole computer, and B) have more ability for personal arrangement of the equipment I might have been pleased.

      To each his/her own.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:23PM (#3138073)
    The 20th Anniversy mac came out in 96 and was an all in one lcd computer. So gateway was not first.
  • by Milkyman (246513) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:23PM (#3138074)
    THe picture they show is of the profile 3, not the new profile 4.
  • I don't see any resemblance. Am I looking at the right picture? Or is gateway cloneing the idea of a LCD and a computer in one box? That's been around since the iMac and cheap LCD's have existed. Overall, if anything, this is a CRT iMac clone.
  • If anyone bothered to read the article (ie CmdrTaco), you would realise that the picture refers to the Profile 3, Gateways current LCD based computer. The model that Gateway is basing on the new Imac is the Profile 4, which the article does not show.
  • I like to see Apple's beautiful designs and ideas seep into the general PC marketplace, but once again, the copy is only skin deep. Unless I'm looking at the picture wrong, the Gateway pc won't have the most important function of the new Imac design, i.e. the amazing flexibility of the placement and angle of the monitor.
  • by Pyrosophy (259529) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:25PM (#3138089)
    I keep asking myself why they have these one-unit computers, but still use keyboards and mouses with cords... These packages seem like exactly what wireless keyboards and mouses would be ideal for

    Lots of reasons people stash their computers somewhere inaccessible is because of their lack of aesthetic value. But now that Apple has something with aesthetic value, it seems they ruin it by putting cords everywhere. It wouldn't drive up the price too much to put a wireless receiver in the box, would it?
    • Jobs actually talked about that. He said the main reason they didn't have wireless keyboards was because they didn't have a good way of powering them yet. When a wireless keyboard runs out of power, it's definitely not very intuitive, and if you are out of batteries and it's your only keyboard, you have a real problem.
  • by perdida (251676) <thethreatproject AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:26PM (#3138093) Homepage Journal
    are, unfortunately, untenable in a home with children and cats in it. at least my trusty glass screen will not leak goo all over the place when slashed by the claws of an angry monitor-sitting feline.

    Furthermore, where is there room for the cat on a flatscreen anyway? They have to sit in front of the screen, getting static-cling created furballs between you and what you're looking at, or behind the screen, which removes the motivation for the whole computer-cat experience in the first place, pissing off the computer user.

    • by CoolVibe (11466) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @01:05PM (#3138272) Journal
      Another thing is that cats just looove to sleep on top of CRT's because usually it's nice and warm. Also, they also like hanging their tail in front of your screen. This is their way of getting your attention other than sprawling over your keyboard and taking a nap on it.

      A large LCD screen will spoil their fun. My cats would be miffed with me if I took away this source of entertainment from them.

      Oh, I am digressing... Better post without +1 :)


      • tail in front of your screen...
        sprawling over your keyboard and taking a nap on it...


        This is why some of us own chia pets, and not actual animals. (That, and allergies.)
        I wonder if anyone's made a Chia-tux?
  • Giving the customer what they want.

    And if Apple gets pissed and sends in the lawyers, fine.

    But know this: I think Gateway will not be cowed!

    {mmph..snort..ahahahaa}

    .
  • by szcx (81006) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:27PM (#3138097)
    The Profile 3 shown in the article looks nothing like the new iMacs. Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. And people complain about Slashdot editors.

    Hell, this makes me want to subscribe to Slashdot just to maintain the current level of editorial integrity. God forbid a shortage of funds leads them down the road of c|net banality.

    • As some other people have pointed out, and I will point out here.

      The pictures are of the Profile3, and the article is talking about the upcoming Profile4. There are no pictures of the Pofile4 in the article, they just say it will be more iMac-like than the Profile3 (big surprise, a PC company following Apple's lead).

  • Picture wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker@gmDALIail.com minus painter> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:27PM (#3138098) Journal
    The picture on the article is of the profile 3 (which they have been selling for a long time now.) The new profile 4 is going to look like an iMac, but they havn't released any pictures of it yet. And the article has very little details.
  • by suwalski (176418) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:32PM (#3138123)
    Gateway actually had a PC with a monitor with a built in PC about 4 years ago (I don't think it was LCD). Anyhow, same time the iMac was coming ou,t or even before.

    Take a look at Eurocom [eurocom.ca]. They've had the LP260 All-in-one LCD PC for over a year now. They beat Apple to it, and I think it's a very cool design.

    Point is, everyone's 'ripping' everyone elses ideas off in today's industry, to the point that you can't really have an original product without hinting other products.
    • Yes, because before then Apple never sold a computer with then screen built in. at least, not before 1982. sheesh.
  • by ackthpt (218170)
    I'm not ready to let go of the boxes yet. CRTs, yes, the NEC 1700+ looks like a winner to replace the bulky monitor which occupies 40% of the desk, but they can take my boxen when they pry them from my cold, dead arms.

    BTW: What's with the redirection of www.slashdot.org to freakydots? I thought there were going to be no pop-under or basically dirty trick ads.

  • SUV's (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitalhermit (113459) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:34PM (#3138130) Homepage
    Anyone remember when SUV's really started taking off? All the auto companies started ripping apart pickup trucks and bolting on a new chassis. The end result was a Frankensteined monstrosity that was easy to tip over, handled poorly, and had the worst traits of cars and trucks. I just took a loot at the new Gateway, and it looks like they took a laptop apart and attached it to a metal fan base. It too has the worst features of a laptop and a desktop PC (difficult/impossible to upgrade, relatively immobile, bad ergonomics, and comparatively high price tag).
    Where's the design? Half the people who buy these things are looking for something that goes well with the Art Deco interior of their social convergence area.
    • Well, what you just saw was gateway's old model which has been around for awhile and is not a hurried-to-market iMac lookalike, but might be a poorly designed all-in-one flat panel PC. But it was a leader, not a follower and they at least deserve credit for that.
  • What sound does this Gateway computer make in place of the Mac "bong"? Moo? Hopefully it's a properly digitised "moo" they recorded, otherwise it might end up saying "moof" instead.

    • by dead_penguin (31325) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @01:15PM (#3138308)
      What sound does this Gateway computer make in place of the Mac "bong"?

      I've never seen a case mod that turned a Mac into something like *that*, but given the alternative image that Apple occasionally tries to follow I wouldn't be surprised if someone went and did this.

      Startup sound in that case? Definitely a gurgle!
  • by qurob (543434) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:36PM (#3138140) Homepage
    Why doesn't someone like Dell or Compaq, with their billions of dollars, hire some designers to come in and create some nice looking systems?

    There's nothing uglier than a giant case full of empty space. Even their laptops are bigger, thicker, and have less features.

    And other than Apple and Sony, does anyone else have integrated FireWire on most/all of their systems? No!
    • Why doesn't someone like Dell or Compaq, with their billions of dollars, hire some designers to come in and create some nice looking systems?

      Dell tried this when the first Imac came out and lost a bunch of money - Dell's core competency is selling cheap boxes made with easily sourced parts. They are the Walmart/Microsoft of computers - high volume,disposible, and cheap, and anything that gets in the way of their message is a waste of time.

      Of course we all know that crappy hardwzare/software has a horrible return on investment - but your average consumer doesen't.

    • does anyone else have integrated FireWire on most/all of their systems? No!

      Who cares? I can get a generic two-port FireWire card [pricewatch.com] (or USB 2.0 [pricewatch.com], or whatever) for $13 from Pricewatch, for my ugly but oh-so-expandable box. Hell, FireWire ports get thrown in as bonuses on video [ati.com] & sound [soundblaster.com] cards these days.

      That's why I won't be buying an iMac (or Profile) anytime soon.

    • And other than Apple and Sony, does anyone else have integrated FireWire on most/all of their systems? No!

      Dell already has one. Check out the Inspiron 8200. I just placed an order for one of these earlier this week. I think it'd be a safe bet that all their new lines will have 1394 built in.
  • by petard (117521) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:39PM (#3138160) Homepage
    As others have noted, first off, the only similarity here appears to be that they both are all-in-ones with an LCD. The gateway doesn't appear to have any of the "bringing content-creation to the masses" focus that apple does. Moreover, though, the article states that

    The Poway, Calif.-based PC maker got into the all-in-one business with its original Profile computer in June 1999 on the coattails of the first iMac. Gateway, however, did beat Apple to the punch with the first all-in-one computer to feature a flat panel.


    Apple introduced the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh [lowendmac.com], which was an all-in-one with an LCD, in May 1997. Oh well... I certainly don't read C|Net for the intelligent reporting. Actually, I'm not sure why I ever click an article that's linked there :-)
    • And I don't possibly see how C|Net could have known about the Monorail 7000 [com.com] computer that came out at the end of 1997 (at $999 vs. the mac at $7,499)
    • There have been plenty of all-in-one LCD computers prior to that--they are called "laptops". And there have also been non-laptop all-in-one computers prior to the Mac; they were used in many industrial applications.

      The 20th Anniversary Macintosh also resembles the Compaq Concerto. The Concerto not only had a smaller footprint while providing the same functionality, but also could be used as a laptop and as a pen computer.

      While the Concerto is really old now and was too heavy as a pen computer, as a laptop and as a desktop machine, it was an elegant, unpretentious, and practical. I would find an iMac with that form factor much more appealing than what Apple actually came up with.

      • Nowhere did I claim that Apple was the first to offer an all-in-one LCD computer (I thought desktop was implied given the subject matter of the article)... I only disputed C|Net's claim that Gateway did it before Apple.
    • I really wouldn't classify Apple as beating Gateway to the punch with the 20th anniversary mac. With a $7,500 price tag and a limited release, the anniversary mac is more of a concept machine than a mass market box.
  • As far as PCs-that-look-like-CRT-iMacs go, there are lots of machines being sold under different labels that're all based on the bare-bones Palladine LCDpc, which I review here [dansdata.com]. It's a pretty nifty piece of gear, actually, provided you can get a bare-bones one for a decent price and don't mind lacerating yourself when you install hardware in it.
  • by zealot (14660) <xzealot54x&yahoo,com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:43PM (#3138183)
    This thing has nothing to do with the IMac. Gateway isn't, and wasn't, the first to use the "profile pc" design.

    When I entered college in the fall of '97, my roommate has a machine like this from Compaq... it featured a Pentium 166 MMX processor, and a fairly crappy LCD.

    I'm not sure that Compaq was the first to develop and sell one of these, but they've been around for a while.

    I hate getting told that x has been made to copy y because y is popular, when x was really around for a long, long time before y gained any popularity. It reminds me of fashion trends in junior high...
  • by kazzuya (135293) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:44PM (#3138188) Homepage
    Forget this stuff. Check out the Vaio PCV-W101 [sony.co.jp]. It has TV tuner, DVD, 1280x768 LCD, 2 PCMCIA ports, i.Link, USB and what else.
    Japan is filled with those products.
  • Knock off????? (Score:4, Informative)

    by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:48PM (#3138206) Homepage
    How the heck is this a knock off of the LCD iMac? The Profile 3 is an all-in-one LCD machine. The profile 4 is an all-in-one LCD machine with a slimer design. The Profile 3 was out long before the LCD iMac. If the Profile 4 is keeping the Profile 3's physical layout of having all the components housed in the same housing as the LCD, unlike the iMac's housing of everything in a separate base.

    Calling this a knock off is just stupid.

    • Yeah, but Apple does every thing first. And as any Apple zealot will tell you, if it isn't an apple it just isn't good enough...

      Of course I'd do the same if I was constantly ripped off by a company charging a premium for sub-standard harware, that looks soooo pretty...
    • NJOt that you'll bother to look, but for apples 20th anniversery, they had an all in one LCD computer. Not that an LCD screen is much of a jump past any all in one computer....*coughMACcough*
      no I don't own a mac.
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @12:55PM (#3138230) Homepage Journal
    Actually this looks a lot more like Apple's 20th Anniversary Mac [eis.net.au]; essentially a laptop opened up with lots of built-in goodies.

    Integrated custom Bose sound system with woofer/power suppply, integrated TV & FM radio system, S-Video input, and of course the little leather pads on the keyboard. Oh, and the high tech metal bracket holding it up that reportedly cost over a hundred bucks each to manufacture. Originially sold for around $10,000 then as low as $2,000. Of course for 10k it arrived a limo and was set up for you by a tech in a tux (kid you not!) A review from when it first came out is on MacWorld [macworld.com]

    Bet Gateway doesn't offer a tech in a cow suit to set theirs up...

    • Bet Gateway doesn't offer a tech in a cow suit to set theirs up...

      I'd settle for Ted Waitt, so I could pin him on the floor face-down and cut off that stupid, ponytail of his. Nothing more pathetic, IMHO, than a severely balding man with a ponytail.
    • Don't forget that it also had a remote control for the TV tuner (with a leather slip case), and (my favorite) a pen and pencil set.

      People who see mine still ooh and ahh over it. I'm wondering at what point do I stop using it and pack it up as a collector's item. It would be a shame to put it away though.
  • If you're talking about LCD terminals, IBM was really the first with their NetVista series. While it may have been lacking in power, it's simply ignorant to call Apple pioneers in that area.
  • A friend I lived with for a while had an older Gateway Profile 2 or 3 (where he got it from was unknown).

    A few comments, having used it a bit:

    1) The LCD quality was not very good. Colors were completely off. Off-axis views were not good at all (worse than most LCDs I have seen)
    2) The vertically mounted CD-ROM was a frequent problem. I am not sure if the new Profile 4 is going to have the same problem.
    3) Celeron-based. Enough said.
    4) The LCD eventually crapped out on it for no reason. It was more expensive to replace than the computer was worth at the time.

    I have played with the new iMac in a local Apple store and it seemed like a much better machine.
  • IBM has had an all-in-one for ages: Netvista [ibm.com]
  • OSX (Score:2, Funny)

    by archen (447353)
    A quote from Apple's website:

    Mac OS X is a super-modern operating system...

    See, now the Gateway might be trying to improve it's looks, but does it have a SUPER-MODERN operating system?
  • NetVistas while still retaining the old style case were advertised for quite sometime with a LCD mounted on an arm.

    The only thing Apple did was make it into a form of art, a mostly unexpandable proprietary form of art at that.
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Sunday March 10, 2002 @01:26PM (#3138341) Homepage Journal
    The coolest thing about the new iMac isn't that it's an LCD, its how it's mounted. Not on a big box but a smallish base, at eye height, with an infinitely flexible yet stable arm, surrounded by a nice frame.

    Let Jonathan Ive (its designer) go on about how "we wanted the user to violate the sacred plane of the monitor [independent.co.uk]": Better put is it works. Around that high quality (though only 1024x768) perfectly poised LCD display is a frame that lets you casually reach out, grab it, adjust it, swing it about to share with someone else, nudge when you change position.

    Just plain flat out unconsciously interact with the Display without needing to fight it or worry about smudging or getting any thing wrong.

    That's AWESOME. You don't know how incredible until you've use it; afterwards everything else just sux. A display that fits folks, not the other way around, something Apple gets and the rest of the industry hasn't (nor likely will Gateway if their past is any guide.)

    Sure it may look like a "Sunflower", or more like a desk lamp or a face mirror. On the other hand those two are great examples of good design - they're popular because they work and just like they the new iMac screen is adept at putting light right where you want it, in your eyes, from whatever angle you're comfortable with. And if that kinda brilliant design isn't nerdly or butch enough for ya then go back to chipping with rocks 'cause once again Apple has raised the bar for PC design and once folks get a taste they're not going to accept the 2nd rate layouts, hear that Gateway?

    • Not on a big box but a smallish base, at eye height, with an infinitely flexible yet stable arm, surrounded by a nice frame.

      "Infinitely flexible" is probably going a bit too far, don't you think? It goes up and down, left and right, and it tilts. Big whoop. Have you seen the fully articulated, counter-weighted arms that are used in medical lasers and other equipment? Now I'm not saying Apple's display needs that kind of flexibility, but they stopped just one tiny step short of what I believe would have been a perfect monitor mount. It needs to PIVOT.

      Back around 1987-1989 Radius made a pivoting monochrome CRT for the Macintosh. It was absolutely brilliant. Wanna work on a full page Word document, turn it to portrait. Switch over to Dark Castle and turn it landscape. IIRC, you didn't even have to restart or change any settings, it would just resize the display automatically when you turned it.

      I'm sure this idea must have come up when they were designing the iMac. Why on earth did they leave it out??
      • Infinitely flexible" is probably going a bit too far, don't you think?
        OK, infinitely flexible within the bounds of reason for a consumer LCD.
        It needs to PIVOT
        AGREED. Its a pity that this wasn't included though I imagine with all of the other nifty engineering that went on this was just one step too far. The additionial range of motion would have likely complicated the cabling as well as required lots of fine-tuning (to prevent folks from regularly spinning their displays when they only wanted to shify them x/y.)

        Vertical-orientation monitors are a boon for anyone who reads and writes long stretches of material. Between the ever-increasing number of toolbars and the dead-space most web-pages leave (reasonably and rightly) vertical orientation is much more efficient. Indeed at one time Apple shipped a line of vertical orientation b/w displays; I used to manage in a university computer lab.

        Back around 1987-1989 Radius made a pivoting monochrome CRT for the Macintosh
        Yep, got one in storage. Can't recall if it needs a custom card or if was custom drivers. In either case they were top-end products that while popular in their time ended up without a market; Portrait Displays got their heritage.

        On the PC side I believe Cornerstone Monitors also once shipped pivoting displays though they're only doing oversize monitors now. Indeed I'm not sure if theirs ever shipped as a co-worker was testing a beta of theirs.

        But yeah; it would have been great if Apple had reintroduced to the public this feature. Perhaps it will appear in the next rev of the hardware along with a higher resolution display. Nonetheless I'm deeply impressed with the current "floating" display and feel it has really shown what Apple does best: Good engineering melded to great design.

        Imagine a MacOS X desktop as the display pivots, elements drifting to appropriate relative locations, no 45 degree sudden jump but an orderly progression. Very Jobs, possible under Aqua.

    • I agree, but I own't buy one until the arm has a proven track record.
      Its a great design, but it could easily be fowled up by poor manufacturing.
      • I agree, but I own't [sic] buy one until the arm has a proven track record. Its [sic] a great design, but it could easily be fowled [sic] up by poor manufacturing.
        Certainly some mechanical engineer would have noticed any basic flaw and publicly pointed it out by now. So far none of the reviewers have noted any problems (they've had them longest) nor have the ones in stores begun to show any problems for all of their rough and heavy wear. If the arms were to begin to droop that would be an obvious design defect and Apple has an excellent record of remediation for those.

        Personally I'm waiting for the first revision on general principal (as noted in another thread pivoting would be great) but so far there seems no cause for concern.

  • IBM's X-series NetVista [ibm.com] machines have integrated LCD screen on a nice arm thing that attaches to the back of a desk. They look pretty sexy too, in black. Also one of my housemates has a machine (possibly a Gateway) with a flatscreen with the computer integrated into the back of the screen. This sounds to me like Apple's markedroids are pestering the tech press to run "now they're all copying us" stories in the hope that they will flog a few of theirs by appearing to be "the original"

  • by markj02 (544487)
    The article talks about how Gateway will want to compete with the iMac. There is no indication that Gateway will clone the design. In fact, it rather looks like Gateway will simply come out with a cleaner-looking, thinner version of the Gateway 3: no floating screen, but a screen with the CPU integrated into it. If they make it look nice and sell it at a reasonable price, that could be a great machine. And, unlike Apple, Gateway seems like they are smart enough to offer a 17" screen on a $2000 machine.

    Apple isn't the first company to come up with a computer with a floating screen and the CPU in the base--IBM (and perhaps others) did that a few years ago [ibm.com] (IBM's earlier designs actually were nicer looking than the current X series).

    Personally, I find this kind of design gimmicky anyway. With the Graphite iMac, Apple hit a design sweet spot, but the new iMacs don't do it for me--they atttract too much attention. To me, something like a high-end Sony LCD with a computer the size of an Espresso PC (about the footprint of a CD case) looks much nicer. Sorry, Apple.

  • IBM has had a ripoff like this for a while now. Atleast 2 years ago our school got a lab full of IBMs that look exactly the same as the Gateway version.

    Check it out [ibm.com]
  • Well, this is almost news...I've only been using a Gateway Profile at work [ou.edu] for the past two years, and it was there before I was. Yes, they've upgraded it a couple of times, and now they're upgrading it again, but it's the same concept, and it was out long before the current iMac. Actually, they're not bad little systems, at least not for our purposes (public web terminal).
  • Why does only Apple manage to produce really good-lookin, stylish PC cases? It shouldn't be very hard to do, should it?
    But somehow no Windows-PC maker offers a computer that looks as good as an apple.
    Well, time to case-mod that ugly beige box myself, I guess...
  • not an imitation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Servo (9177)
    Folks, read the article. This unit was not an imitation of the iMac. They simply released an updated version of the unit to compete against and use the momentum of the iMac. Gateway's unit is now on its fourth generation.

    That being said, you are all right about one thing, it does not have the class and elegance of Apple's design.
  • actually... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by linuxpng (314861) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @02:36PM (#3138676)
    I believe IBM did this first with the Netvista line. The netvista predated the imac almost a whole year but was very pricey. I guess it's more in who makes it popular.
  • Gateway, however, did beat Apple to the punch with the first all-in-one computer to feature a flat panel.

    We've had these deployed at work for well over a year now.

    How exactly is this a knock-off? And how exactly can you justify trying to charge for this sort of "editing"?

    --saint
  • by inkswamp (233692) on Sunday March 10, 2002 @04:00PM (#3139098)
    I just saw someone ask this: Why doesn't someone like Dell or Compaq, with their billions of dollars, hire some designers to come in and create some nice looking systems?

    This is exactly where we Mac users get to sit back and laugh and say "we told you so." We've taken a pummelling over the years because Macs weren't standard, weren't cutted-edge enough, couldn't lay claim to the buzzword-du-jour, but Apple has always done interface and design like nobody else.

    Why don't Dell or Compaq create something "nice looking"? They do create "nice looking" but they don't create "nice using." Unlike Apple, their users just don't (apparently) demand that. Design isn't just how something looks, but how something works and how something fits into the workflow of whatever you're doing. The look is the least of it.

    But Compaq and Dell and other box makers will continue to try to do "nice looking" because they don't get the whole human user interface concept the way Apple does. They don't get design on the multiple levels that Apple and most of its users do. It's something that we long-time Mac users have argued ad nauseam about in countless discussion forums (and will no doubt continue to do so) for ages and have been written off as pathetic Apple apologists.

    --Rick
  • some LCD VAIOs I saw in CompUSA a few years back. Very nice sleek case design, with the CPU and such built into the back of the display, kinda like this Gateway unit, only cooler. :)
  • From what I've read, you can't (without going at your expensive new monitor with a hacksaw) rotate these monitors into portrait orientation. That seems a terrible shame. A lot of the time you want landscape, but on those occasions you want portrait (DTP, playing "1942" in MAME, etc.) it would be a terribly nice thing to be able to do.

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