New iMac is evidently a beast
The first benchmark results for the 5K iMac are coming in, and they're pretty impressive.
I'd been a bit worried about how well the CPU-GPU combo Apple chose would handle all those pixels, though the Apple-designed controller made me optimistic that they'd engineered their way around potential problems. That seems to be the case. In some measures, the i7-based version of the new iMac beats the low-end Mac Pro with its Xeon chip, and the GPU seems to be pulling its weight, based on early reviews. I'll be curious to see how the iMac's internals handle heat dissipation over time-- but so far, not bad, all in all.
$2500 isn't a mass market price point, as I said in the article, but this will be a popular item for its class-- and when Retina Displays trickle down to the smaller iMacs and the MacBook Air, I expect healthy consumer adoption.
Premium Windows 2-in-1s and notebooks will also have very nice screens and ultra-slim designs throughout 2015, so there will be some competition. But it remains to be seen how Windows 10 ultimately compared to OS X, whether Windows OEMs can match Apple on build quality, and whether users decide that touchscreens are worthwhile on PCs. It also remains to be seen if gargantuan iPhone 6 sales lead to increased interest in Macs-- a trend that I think is clearly already at play to some extent, and that could become stronger thanks to new features such as Continuity.
If Apple decides to be really agressive, it will leave the current MacBook Airs on the market at even lower prices when it introduces the new Retina MacBook Air. That would let them push the 11-inch to something like $699 while they burn through remaining inventory. Then again, Apple didn't cut iMac prices when it introduced the new 5K iMac (though it did make iMacs more affordable earlier this year).
Anyhow, Apple wanted to make a statement with the 5K iMac, and it seems to have done so. For every review I've seen today that says "iPads are great but unexciting," I've seen another that says, "The new iMac is amazing."