Like his boss Tim Cook, Apple’s head honcho of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller is doing some explaining these days. After the iPad mini arrived and surprised folks who’ve been holding their breath for a $199 iPad, he sat with Reuters to explain that Apple doesn’t know how to make a $199 tablet that isn’t a piece of junk.

Today, he defends the device’s $329 starting price in an interview with TIME. He also explains why Apple ignored netbooks and how the company, after seven generations of the iMac, came about dropping a built-in optical drive on the revamped lineup and what it means for the future of computing…

In an interview with Harry McCracken of TIME, Schiller commented on the iPad mini’s $329 price point:

Our approach at Apple has always been to make products we’re proud to own and use ourselves. We wouldn’t make something cheap or low quality. When the economy is difficult, people care a great deal about the things they spend their money on.

Customers have come to understand that Apple’s products aren’t priced high – they’re priced on the value of what we build into them.

The executive then went on to remind Apple ditched the hard drive with the MacBook Air, having replaced it with all-flash storage to achieve desired thinness and portability:

These old technologies are holding us back. They’re anchors on where we want to go. We find the things that have outlived their useful purpose.

Our competitors are afraid to remove them. We try to find better solutions — our customers have given us a lot of trust.

There you have it: we’ve given Apple a blank cheque to get rid of legacy tech for us.

And this on why Apple passed on netbooks:

There’s something that happened in the industry…that made that topic meaningless. There were these products being created called netbooks.

People said they were the future. We rejected them because we thought they were poor. Even if the market was going there, we weren’t going to chase everybody downhill.

The iPad became our answer to the $500 computer. Time has proved us right on that point. And now 100 million people agree that the iPad is a great computer.

The real surprise came during Tuesday’s presentation when Schiller announced a revamped iMac, its first iMac without the optical drive:

We removed the optical drive and completelt re-engineered all of the internal components to make something amazingly thin.

Great, but what of those who occasionally need to install software on CD/DVDs or transfer some files?

Well, you can always buy an optical drive, Schiller quickly added during the keynote talk.

For those who’re still stuck in the past, yes you can get an optical drive – we offer great SuperDrive that plugs into your USB.

He forgot to mention users can also ‘borrow’ an optical drive from another machine on their local network, which is one of the lesser known but standard OS X features.

Explaining the decision, Schiller told TIME:

It actually comes from similar thinking as with the portables. In general, it’s a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices.

They have inherent issues — they’re mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power.

And Blu-ray is a bag of hurt, he reminds us:

Blu-ray has come with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make [it] a complex and not-great technology. So for a whole plethora of reasons, it makes a lot of sense to get rid of optical discs in desktops and notebooks.

Some people may take issue with paying an additional $99 for an external Superdrive, or less for other USB optical drives, just so Apple could make its all-in-one dramatically thinner.

Are you enraged that the new iMac doesn’t have an optical drive built-in?

  • I don’t Really Care, I love the new iMac.. and why isn’t anyone talking about the fusion drive.. that’s a big deal too

    • ic0dex

      I know right… the fusion drive is an amazing idea. I bet Windows and Samsung are going to come out from under a rock and say we had that idea 5 years ago. As for the optical drive, I haven’t used one in 3 years. I watch movies online, install all of my software online and all of my music is online. I also noticed more and more software companies stopped using CD/DVD’s for their software everything is ON LINE ;). Our internet is so powerful today that downloading 1 Gb takes 8Min. back in 2006 or 2008 it was 30-60Min. In 2 more years a regular consumer is going to be able to download 5Gb in less then 5min. Cant Wait!!!

      • sorry to disappoint you fellow . The tech has been around since 2007 and it was called the Hybrid Drive or H-HDD . A quick wiki search will result in this answer : “In 2007 Seagate and Samsung both introduced hybrid HDDs primarily targeted to OEM notebook computer manufacturers. Although the technology was initially supported by Microsoft, a number of issues. prevented their success over the next year in the market with Windows Vista. ” So yeah Windows endorsed this 5 years AGO . In other words : Don’t be lying to other people sir !

      • Well, you’re wrong, hybrid hard drives aren’t the same as the Fusion Driveon the Fusion Drive, the apps and documents are moved from one part to the other while in the Hibrid they’re often duplicated and in rare cases lost, it doesn’t learn your habits and, Apple’s fusion drive is both superior, smarter and faster than the competition.
        As many blogs are saying it, “It’s hybrid done right, it has got some Apple Magic.”

      • ic0dex

        Thank you! @twitter-251336730:disqus for clearing it up for me you are awesome!

      • This technology has existed for some time in storage arrays, known as SANs. EMC, NetApp, Dell, Nimble, and HP all make arrays that intelligently move data based on how active that data is. They move it across tiers of disk consisting of SSD, SAS and SATA. Apple didn’t invent this, they are just utilizing a known technology that has been widely adopted in the enterprise space. Is that stealing? Absolutely not. Is it innovative? Absolutely not.

      • macboy74

        “So yeah Windows endorsed this 5 years AGO”. Yet no one gave a hoot about it just like everything else. Did you every notice that all these companies come out with all these things and nobody adapts to them until Apple does it?

      • That’s because they can.. they can put the technology they want in every mac and use the marketing to make everyone uses it, they also make it easy for everyone, and maybe with a little improvements they come out with a new killing feature.. was it their idea? no!. are they innovating? maybe!. are they making cool stuff? BIG YES!

      • Alvin Ma

        truth is that Fusion Drive might only be a H-HDD with better software algorithms….and there had been lot’s of laptops featuring H-HDD….at least since last year….so yeah..Apple copy/steal the idea, and made it a *possibly better one…

      • One main difference with the fusion drive is that it uses a much larger SSD portion compared to what seagate used in the momentum. I have one of the hybrid momentum drives in my macbook and it works great and boots much faster than the standard factory drive, with only 16gb of SSD. The fusion drives will probably perform quite well!

      • thor_molecules

        You can’t be serious. Hybrid hard drive have been on the market for YEARS. Two, Apple doesn’t make the hard drive (or any other hardware inside the computer) so give the “Apple’s is better” rhetoric a rest.

        I seriously believe that some of you are totally ignorant to anything that doesn’t have an Apple logo slapped on the back.

      • hahah wow your slow if youre downloading 1gb in 8 mins. sad my friend.

    • NopeThatAintRight

      Another glorified name for a realy simple solution. Apple relly on software to decide where it should write the files. In the end its just a computer with ssd and hdd.

  • I think it’s ridiculous that apple felt the need to get rid of the optical drive on a desktop computer. They should focus on making a more powerful machine with all the backwards compatibility possible… That’s what you pay for when you buy a desktop, a computer without the portability, which allows the manufacturer to pack in more power and allows it to be larger.

    • Yeah you’re right, where the f*ck is my floppy drive Apple?! Seriously though optical drives are useless now, if you still want one then just don’t buy new Macs. Optical drives are pretty cheap on ebay or newegg anyways, just get one separately if you absolutely need it.

    • pegger1

      They should be thinking forwards not backwards. That’s why they’ve been an innovator.
      By your arguement they should still have 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppy drives, zip drives, tape drives.
      Packing in more power doesn’t involve dragging along old technologies that only slow the system down.

      • But they don’t sell Floppy Drives and Zip drives commercially anymore. But they STILL sell DVD’s and CD’s. Do you run parallels on your iMac? How will you install Windows without an optical drive? So for the sake of a few mm, you have to have an ugly usb optical drive on your desk, which you will lose or break by shoving it in a drawer. Last time I checked I looked at my iMac from the front… Not the side.

      • Ben Robertson

        Umm… I installed Windows on dads MacBook Air which doesn’t have an optical drive. I just put windows into the family desktop and ripped all the contents off the disk. Then made it into a .ISO file, put it on a bootable USB and used bootcamp to install Windows. Also, now I have a Windows .ISO sitting round on one of our external HDDs. If a 13 year old can do it then I’m sure you probably can. Yes, I still technically used an optical drive but who doesn’t know someone with a PC that has an optical drive built into it?

      • so basically youd run to someone elses to make a sandwich instead of just making one at your own house… why go through all the bs to get it somewhere when you can just include it. or make the option of having either or.

  • mervynraj

    its good idea to get rid of optical drives… who uses those big external hard drives these days? there are pocket sized hard discs with enough GBs to carry around and its perfect!!! i wish microsoft approached their surface this way!!

    • boscotherock

      you are totally confused here fella. optical drive = cd/dvd drive. either that or you have ADD to totally switch topics in the middle of the comment…

  • I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I used my optical drive for a practical computer purpose. CD’s are starting to become technology of the past and I think Apple should continue to phase the optical drive out of their computers. If it really bothers someone it’s not like they can’t purchase an external one.

    • Precisely! The last time I used it was to , hhahah, I don’t remember !

    • Dan

      I always use my DVD-RW drive, I burn at least two blue ray disks every week. Stupid thinking like that is the reason I will never switch from PC to Mac

      • I guess u still use tape players for ur music too

      • Dan

        How witty. I have a pretty big home movie collection (1000+). I also have a media player on my TV that’s hooked up to my PC.

        I have 4 TB of space on my PC, but even then, 50gig iso’s fill it up pretty quick (that’s roughly 80 movies if you can count). Obviously I have to burn them on disks or I would run out of space.

      • if you have a big home movie collection, aren’t they are already on discs? I am confused.

      • Dan

        Use your imagination. Also it’s not relevant to the subject at hand.

      • no i use records still hahahah and piratebay shhhh you didnt see that

      • Jim Mc

        Not a good analogy. The switch to digital from tape was (IMHO) a giant leap forward on so many levels. Leaving the consumer with less and less options on a product already perceived as ‘overpriced’ (Macs aren’t, IMHO, they are worth every red cent) will make it a more difficult choice for those thinking about making the switch.

      • Jim Mc

        I’m a rabid Mac user and usually am quick to defend statements like that but I must admit it’s going to be more of a challenge to sell a potential Mac switcher on a $1300 computer without an optical drive versus that crappy $799 HP desktop running Windows that has more features an usability out of the box. I will NEVER be a Windows user again but I can understand from the perspective of someone hell bent on hating Apple that this kind of gives the haters some fodder.

      • Dan

        I’m no apple hater, but the price and decisions like these make it hard for me to switch 🙂

    • MagicDrumSticks

      You must not play pc games or watch bluray movies then.

      And I’m talking about buying those things the legal way.

      • You must not have heard of things like Steam or watched movies with a home theater

      • MagicDrumSticks

        I don’t want steam. I want the box and the disk. I like buying it for that reason and I think many people agree.

        Steam doesn’t have every game I want either.

        Streaming bluray, uncompressed hd video online is not possible yet. It’s all compressed

      • For someone who plays PC games and watches blue ray movies (on their computer) then they obviously wouldn’t buy this a non-optical drive computer or purchase an external one. It’s like when Apple removed the YouTube app from iOS 6, the minority of people acted like they where offended personally by Apple. Then as soon as Google released the 3rd party one they shut up. People need to stop getting so worked up and think logically about stuff before they start complaining.

    • Jim Mc

      So, ok, you don’t use your optical drive. So then just because you don’t does that mean other’s hands should be forced to go that route? I don’t use my cruise control on my car but wouldn’t expect it to not be an option for those who do.

  • I don’t have an optical drive in my Retina Macbook and don’t miss it. In the beginning I had a couple of softwares to install from disks, but for $30 you can get an optical drive for those instances… I agree, thing of the past, move on without taking up the space.

  • He has a point. I’m only using Blu-rays when I’m playing games on my PS3. Otherwise I just download movies, music and other stuff.

  • hey i got my new iphone 5 but when i take pics with flash it shows the light but the picture come with no light

    • Take it back to the Apple Store and show them. Maybe they’ll fix it or just give you a new one.

    • Reboot it. Mine was doing that.

  • Damian W

    i love the fact the iMac is thin and it makes sense to leave out the optic drive. I use optic drive once every two months so yeah. No use for it most of the time.

  • The iPad is a great computer? really? As of now, I don’t think an iPad could replace my laptop. iPads are not capable enough to be at the level of a computer yet.

    • Kurt

      I laughed at that too

      • notewar

        How can the iPad replace a laptop when u still need laptop to sync your personal music or other personal content

      • True…. But the point was that the iPad is as good as notebook… Maybe some features were dropped but… Atleast we can play games on the iPad u can’t play games on a NetBook!

      • Kurt

        but the iPad is not as good as a notebook. you can’t create documents with such fluidity as you can in a notebook. you can do far more in a notebook. they are slow but hell, a jailbroken ipad is slow and will also crash like crazy

      • Kurt

        iPad is a toy. a fun toy. but its not a computer by any stretch of the imagination. it can’t be a computer when iOS is just an app launcher

    • Damian W

      ipad is good for a very basic things. Nothing Fancy. That is.

    • They can reffer even to their watches as computers and they would’t be wrong, they’re not saying that an ipad can replace a laptop or desktop type of computer for everyone but it certainly is doing it for a lot of people

  • Kevin

    Have Schiller explain why memory on the MBA and new MBP are glued on and can’t be upgraded? Customers would love to upgrade their laptops so make it easy for us Phil. It was a pretty jerk move IMO.

    • Obsidian71

      They explained that with the Macbook Air years ago. The memory is soldered because that saves space so that the laptop can be made thinner. There’s no conspiracy here.

      • thor_molecules

        Yea, I’m sure pushing customers towards Apple Care has NOTHING to do with it.

        Nope, nothing whatsoever.

      • Obsidian71

        Nope..that doesn’t make logical sense. Apple’s going to sell Apple Care regardless of whether they solder or not. There is no conspiracy here. RAM slots at 45 degree angles take up more space. Anyone that has installed them knows this.

      • thor_molecules

        I was being a bit facetious, but it does make sense.

        Whereas before if a RAM module went bad, you could replace it yourself for around $30. Now, you HAVE to go through Apple simply because you don’t have another choice.

        I get that they regard thinness as a feature and seek to slim their products down at all costs. But it’s a bit naive to think that they didn’t consider the support implications and the additional revenue “slimming it down” would generate.

        These people aren’t stupid.

        They’re the richest company in the world for a reason.

  • Yesterday, when I was about to import a new CD I got to iTunes, I found a disk in mine from 2.5 years ago! I won’t miss the optical drive at all..

  • madmaxmedia

    I think a $99 (or cheaper 3rd party) optional external is just fine, especially since this is for a desktop that doesn’t generally need to be moved. Actual usage of optical disks is going down (not just to downloadable movies but to USB sticks for general storage), at some inevitable point it is not worth it to build into the unit- the only disagreement is whether that time is now.

    • dd0723

      I totally agree with you Madmaxmedia. I personally stopped purchasing movies on DVD a long time ago. Now I just rent them or buy them online, through the different legal means out there.

      Now and then we’ll rent a DVD from redbox to watch at my girlfriend’s house because she still uses her DVD player on her TV.

      A few years ago I cataloged my DVD’s and they are all on 2 2TB harddrives. I can watch my movies whenever I want even when not at home.

      Isn’t technology wonderful?

  • Ron McLaughlin

    I am glad I got the last Macbook Pro that has the superdrive. I Video Weddings and need it to burn DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s. So yes for some people the superdrive is still needed.

    • dd0723

      Ron, there’s no possible way that you do weddings professionally if you burn the DVD’s on a macbook pro. First of all, Macbook Pros NEVER came with a superdrive that burns Blu-ray DVD’s. As a matter of fact, NONE of the apple machines come with it.

      Second of all, no professional video producer/editor would use the internal superdrive of ANY mac. Any decent professional video editor as myself knows that the internal matsushita drives of macs are crappy and VERY slow. So, for my burning needs, I have a multiple CD/DVD burner/duplicatior hooked up directly to my Mac because my customers usually purchase more than just one copy.

      For my much lesser needs, I always, ALWAYS use an external burner which is faster and allows me to burn Blu-ray DVD’s when I need to. My external unit allows me to unplug it from my main Mac and take it with me on the road and use it on my Macbook pro.

      Not being an ass, just stating facts. So I call bullshit on your statement, and will add mine. The super drive is NOT needed and will NOT be missed.

  • It makes some sense but then again: Apple might be (too?) obsessed with thinness, weight and design in general. With the ultraportables of today’s market I can totally understand to ditch any part of a portable Mac that isn’t essential and reduces weight and size. But a desktop that isn’t being moved? Why so obsessed with the thinness there too. And the 5 mm edges are touted with proud but if you look closely you will soon notice it’s an optical illusion for the most part. There is quite a noticeable bulge on the back. Most photo’s and even during the presentation Apple tries to show the iMac from such angles so it looks ultra thin. But in reality it isn’t.

    • I agree completely. From where I am sitting my iMac could be 2 mm thin or 10 cm thick, I wouldn’t know the difference. I am not moving it all the time like my chunky 2008 Macbook Pro.

      They are also pushing the professionals towards the ultra expensive Mac Pro’s. I am a designer, I use the CD/DVD drive to send stuff to clients all the time. If I wanted to get 4 GB of data to a printer in less than 1 hour I would burn it off and drive/courier it to them. Sure USB’s are getting cheaper too, but they are not disposable yet. And Australia’s internet isn’t fast enough for me to send heaps of data that fast.

      Also my 2010 iMac gets hot enough with a few Adobe programs running, I hope they haven’t cut corners on the cooling for the sake of a few mm.

      • Well one of the really good reasons they took out the optical drive was because of cooling 🙂

  • Johnathan Jennings

    iPad.. A computer? I call bull shit on that. My iPad is just another iOS device.

    • Exactly… Its a peripheral. Sure you can use a bluetooth KB and mouse. But it can’t replace a computer for everyone.

  • Howard Ellacott

    Will they make next years Mac Pro thinner and lighter?

  • NinjaCEO

    I’ve been using my macbook air for 2 years now connected to cinema display. I have not had to use a cd-drive for anything. Everything is digital in my life. I don’t even watch DVD’s anymore. So I think apple was right by predicting where consumer behaviour was/is moving towards.

  • iUser2012

    As I still prefer windows as my desktop OS and wouldn’t buy any Mac. I don’t really care about Apple’s obsession about getting desktops thinner and thinner.

    I have iPad 3. It is a very nice device but I wouldn’t call any iDevice as a computer that would be comparable to desktops or notebooks.

  • I can’t tell the last time I’ve used the DVD drive on my Mac book and I’ve owned it since 2008 in fact I don’t own any software on CD/DVD I download everything from software to games to drivers so losing an optical drive is no big deal to me as long as the software is available through the Internet.. I’d rathe use a USB stick than a DVD

    • Well – from ergonomics – it is easier to lay back on my chair, reach down, push a button, a tray comes out, place disc on tray, shove on the tray, wallah, movie/music starts!

      No reaching across the desk to the side of the computer screen.

      Just my convenience. Couch potato kind.

  • It is all about Apple promoting Apple products and eliminate the competitors, thereby declaring astronomical profits every 3 months. No optical drive means use the Cloud for storage…income for Apple. Want to watch movies or listen to music, then go to iTunes….income for Apple. Still crazy for Apple products, then buy their just released iPad mini and dump it in 6 months time when they re-release it with retina display.

    True, they make useful products and have influenced/changed the way we live our lives now. Does it mean that we should be fleeced in the same way Microsoft has done in the past, e.g. Vista? I mean Microsoft should have refunded everybody who purchased Vista!

    With Apple adopting similar business strategies, we the consumers are caught between a rock and a hard place.

  • This makes sense with with the MacBooks but for a 21-24 inch iMac? No. The machine is big enough for an optical drive.

  • Apple has revolutionised aesthetics in the world of computers and got a fundamental principal right when the whole world still obeyed blind to the status quo of a now irrelevant credo.

    What is this credo. Well, even hard core technicians must have heard that “Form Follows Function”! A credo that architects introduced in early 20th century in the aftermath of the 19th cent. industrial revolution. The rapid development of industrialism and technologies in all eras forced the need to revise and/ or ditch the heavily adorned styles of the time, thus giving birth to Functionalism.

    What Apple has gotten right and what makes Apple a revolutionary and innovative company is the fact that they understand that form doesn’t follow function. Form equals function! There is no one way road here. the principal works both ways! They are the first and only that got this right! Apple is the king and all others are pathetic, plainly and poorly function junkies that can’t see further than their nose!

    There, I said it and it feels GOOD!

  • Not at all, I am very happy with apple making the IMac thinner and removing the optical drive btw who uses discs??

  • I’m a PC guy 100%, but I have to agree with Apple on this one. For the amount of space optical drives take up vs the amount of times most people actually use them its really a no-brainer. I honestly can’t remember the last time I needed an optical drive for anything.

    • they can always just figure out how to shrink the optical drives lol theyre slimming everything else.

    • herabird

      The important thing is that PC’s give you a CHOICE of going with an internal optical drive or not….if you don’t use it you don’t incur the added expense of it, or have to find the space for an external one. With the iMac you DON’T have that choice….but then that’s Apple. It’s amazing that so many people allow themselves to be force-fed by Apple so willingly and completely.

  • NopeThatAintRight

    I cant really blame Apple for this, in the end people always expect from Apple the latest and greatest and they forget that apple is just a software company with hardware-design as specialization. Cds arent obsolete and only a total idiot would strip them, but what selling point would apple have if the product is not thinner than the previous one? The consumers fucked up the system and now they hate it. Accept it if you dont like their products buy another one, the world doesnt end with MacBook/iMac

  • Until my iPad will allow me to use Handbrake to rip the movies “I own” to MP4, I still need the DVD drive on my iMac. What about ripping your CD’s to iTunes??? It’s one thing to live in the past, but don’t put yourselves out of the game by living too far in the future. Bad move Phil.

    • They don’t care about us power users. They are forcing people to buy all their movies/music through Apple. Last time I checked I looked at my iMac from the front… Not the side.

  • Yujin

    The thing is the ipad mini is not the first time apple has come up with a product to counter an existing one….the MacBook Air 11′ was the netbook competition. It was better more expensive and had its trade offs….sound familiar? Well that is exactly what they were thinking with the ipad mini…it has a good camera, 16 gb of memory, it is well designed, and an good the big issue is the screen, how we’ll will it look ? That you can only answer on November 2nd..

  • Swiggy


  • MJ

    how will i use itunes with an ipad if they replace laptops?

  • Ok Im a Graphic Designer and At the office we use DVD every day. If a client wants a logo, they need a DVD copy of the logo and a virtual one. So we need the drive until all the places small and big got the wifi or any new stuff. Oh and I enjoy this new Design, its the drive thing that its a Good & Bad Idea for me.

  • BoardDWorld

    The first thing I was thinking was if it’s still easy to upgrade the RAM??

  • Damian W

    seems that iMacs could become more portable than some huge laptops. lol

  • Jason

    Optical Drive in a desktop computer that doesn’t move and already takes up little space on the clean clear desktop. But I like many others still have the original 400 + CD’s and 300 DVD’s which I haven’t yet encoded them all to play off the harddrive. It will take me years to do them all. I do not want an extra box on my clear desktop when I wouldn’t even notice it built into the IMac screen. To early to remove. I will now not upgrade my Imacs. I currently have 5 late gen Imacs, 5 Power Books, 3 Mac Airs, Various other apple kit. Has anyone else also considered the best place for the SD card slot was on the side not the back which is almost always against a wall and the Imac tethered by wires so not easy to access. Apple don’t forget the customers that helped you to where you are today, I have been buying macs exclusively since the Titanium Powerbook and the very first Firewire Ipod. I will now consider alternatives. So sad!

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  • Jim Mc

    Ugh. Seems they forgot about 75% of people who have no access to real broadband internet, not to mention those who rip their (potentially extensive) CD audio collection, need archival copies of software, photos, documents, etc. Screw internet streaming too. My Netflix is down probably 30-40% of the time. Believe it or not, it took me 21 hours to download the Mountain Lion upgrade – don’t know if it was my connection or just heavy server use. The DVD is not dead. It’s still a valid, viable technology. They reference the floppy drive and how the original iMac didn’t include one. Not having a floppy was indeed a true no brainer. The 1.44mb floppy was VERY VERY long in the tooth even in 1998, and practically unusable. So, if you want to be a new Mac user you’ll HAVE to spend another $80 for a SuperDrive, have cords dangling about and use up a USB port which could otherwise be used for something useful. Can’t boot from one of those either.

  • Jim Mc

    Anybody give a rats ass about those who can’t get decent broadband internet? So, I guess they’ll just have to relocate to use the new iMacs.

  • Jim Mc

    So Apple eschewed features and functionality for “thin”. Who cares about “thin”? I certainly don’t. This thing just sits on my desktop. I’m not caressing it every five minutes and appreciating how “thin” it is. I’m a Mac user because of OS/X’s stability, security and general brilliance. I also record audio and distribute my recordings via CD. Sure, I sound like a whiner with a ‘first world problem’, I know I don’t mean to. But I’m spending $1300-$2500 for a computer that has less features than a “boring beige box” I could buy for $349 at Walmart?