While Apple's top of the range G5 iMac offers a 1.8GHz processor, 20-inch wide screen, 600MHz frontside bus, 256MB RAM, and an 160GB hard drive – crammed into a two-inch thick monitor – all Macworld Online Readers really wanted was for it to be more affordable, according to this week's poll.
Before Apple unveiled the new iMac during the Apple Expo Keynote, 43 per cent of readers said the most important feature Apple should deliver with the new iMac was Affordability.
These people seem to have got their wish. The starting price of the new iMac is £919, £80 less than it was previously, while the top of the range model is £1,349 – it was £1,749.
One reader explained that while its good to see the technology move forward, the cost is what is important. "I agree that a decent processor speed and graphics capability are necessary, but by far the most important aspect is the cost. If it's too expensive people won't buy it."
But for another reader the price is not such a key factor. He explains: "As far as cost is concerned, the cheap and cheerful iMac is the eMac. So unless there are plans to scrap that, cost isn't going to be the major issue."
The next most significant feature, for 19 per cent of readers, was technical innovation, something the new iMac can certainly claim. While the all-in-one design takes its influence from earlier Mac models, compacting everything into a monitor barely thicker than other firms display units, is an innovation unlikely to be seen in the Windows PC world for some time.
Another 12 per cent of the 1,113 voters opted for speed. The previous highest specs for the top of the range machine were 1.25GHz PowerPC G4, 256MB RAM, and a 80GB hard drive at. The new model offers a 1.8GHz PowerPC G5 processor, 256MB RAM, and a 160GB hard drive.
One reader predicted: "Good looks will be standard with the new iMac". Design is of utmost importance to Apple, and Apple's head of design, UK-born Jonathan Ive, has become a bit of a style icon. However, good looks was the feature on the wish-list of just 10 per cent of Macworld voters.
This may have been because readers take for granted the fact that an Apple computer will ooze style. Alternatively, some may have wished the iMac to keep the style of its predecessor. As one reader explained: "There is nothing wrong with the current iMac design, I can't see how they can improve too much on that."
Apple's failure to offer a Wireless keyboard and mouse as standard may have disappointed some readers. Wireless Everything was the feature that 6 per cent of readers wanted the most. Another 4 per cent would have liked to hear that the mouse featured two-buttons.
Just 2 per cent were after a Giant screen – Apple offers 20-inches as the limit, no larger than previous models. Only 1 per cent wanted a massive hard disk and only 1 per cent thought that multiple models, with differing specs should be available. A final 2 per cent thought the most important feature of the iMac should be something else, and told us what in the forum.
One more thing
One reader suggested that it would be good to see the iMac "in the current aluminium style". Unfortunately his wish was not granted, the iMac remains in the white finish of the second-generation model.
He went on to offer his wish-list of specifications for the new model: "A 2Ghz or 2.5Ghz processor, at least 160GB hard drive, at least 512Mb of Ram, and a 128Mb video card". Apple deemed to grant him the 160GB hard drive.
Another reader predicted: "I think the new iMac will be a removable, self contained, aluminium tablet screen, with stylus for writing on the screen. The base and stand would be a dock, airport transmitter, recharger and mount for desktop use. All this for £999."
Parallels may perhaps be drawn between Apple's iMac screen and a tablet computer.
Finally, one reader noted that when Apple designs a new product no feature is the main focus. "Anybody can design a computer that is either fast, or cheap or with a big screen. What takes skill is balancing every element so that it combines all of those features simultaneously. Apple can usually be relied upon to get every element at least 95 per cent right. Most PC manufacturers get some things very right and others things way off."