Now This Log

Sunday, 3 February 2002 : "iMac screen makes life better?"


Finally, a No-Hassle, No-Strain Computer: The excellent new iMac cures our greatest ergonomic ill [BusinessWeek]
The patent-pending neck is the secret of the design. ... Rubenstein describes it as "a frictionless counter-balance." It rotates through 360 degrees horizontally and pivots 90 degrees vertically. The screen itself tilts about 30 degrees on the end of the arm. The entire display moves effortlessly, and some clever geometry keeps the screen's angle vertically constant as the neck pivots.

The result is a display that you can position just about any way you want. It glides to exactly where you position it, without any bounce or sagging. The impact of this design on the ergonomics of using a computer is dramatic. The ability to put the screen where you want lets you work without hunching over, a common problem with laptops, or, even more uncomfortably, without craning your neck back to view a monitor that is mounted too high for your chair (or your bifocals).

That's only the beginning. I found as I worked with the iMac that totally different positions worked best for different activities. For writing, I like the screen nearly vertical at eye level. But I found that reading and Web browsing were more comfortable with the screen lowered and tilted back, the way I might place a book. The iMac makes this sort of adjustment simple.
Having poked at one at a local Apple Store, I can vouch for the ease of positioning the screen exactly where you want with no movement once you let go of it. It's really something.

I don't need one myself, but if you're looking for a new desktop machine, I'd say it's a real contender.

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