I have received many emails and messages from listeners and Labs members wanting to get a large iMac and asking how long they will have to wait. Based on this reporting, my answer will be, “Don’t wait; it’s not coming.”
I used to be a large iMac guy. I owned several of them over the years. If they released one today, I would not be interested. I’ve found I prefer the new world of separate computers and displays. My current display (a Pro Display XDR) has now worked with three different Macs. While there’s a higher cost going in, I think the math works out over time. Moreover, you can avoid that higher cost if you buy a non-Apple display.
My second Mac ever was a 20-inch iMac purchased in 2008. I loved it. And since then I’ve convinced two family members to purchase iMacs as well. But today, I wouldn’t recommend them. They just don’t have the versatility long-term when compared to the alternatives.
My recommendation for almost anyone that wants a desktop Mac now is to get a Mac Mini and an external display. You could get a Mac Studio or a Mac Pro, but if you’re the kind of person that needs the additional performance or connectivity, you already know that the Mac Mini isn’t enough for you.
In terms of displays, the Studio Display is an excellent option, but I think it’s far too expensive for most users. And I’m the oddball that doesn’t think larger displays are all they’re cracked up to be. My first thought would be to look at Dell’s offerings for displays. They tend to have decent specs for the price and generally rank well in reviews. But I’d have to do a bit more research to know for sure if that’s still a safe bet.
The beauty of a setup like this, though, is that you can continue to use the display for many years longer than Apple would support the iMac. When it’s time to upgrade you can just buy another Mac Mini and drop it into your existing setup.
And on the other side you’ll have a Mac Mini that you can use as a home server, hand down to a family member, or resell. It can be connected to a TV, used as a headless computer, or just about anything you can think of. Mac Minis take up almost no room and can be used in environments where an iMac just wouldn’t work.