In the last few years, I decided I'd probably never buy a desktop again. Then I suddenly ended up working from home for a year, and… it only cemented that decision. I've been living on my laptop, and it's great! But then. Then I saw the new iMac (2021).
Actually, first, I saw Jason Statham's house. That was a few weeks ago. There's a piece in Architectural Digest (opens in new tab) about his Malibu beach house, and it's a lovely bit of neutral-toned design. Very calming, very comfortable. Things I do not immediately associate with Jason Statham, but I do not know him super-well, admittedly.
Most importantly, there is a picture of his working space in the article linked above, and it's just a floating-style desk with an iMac on, and a couple of choice ornaments. It looks like a wonderful space in which to work, free of both physical and mental clutter. I can only assume the cupboards above the desk are full of the assorted cables, half-used notebooks and glasses-cleaning cloths that litter my workspace.
I want to live like Jason Statham. I can get over not having the rest of his house, or its view, but I saw that simple desk and lone all-in-one computer, and I thought "Oh… I could achieve that."
But I had already decided that I don't need desktop computers any more. I don't do serious PC gaming, and I have no patience for the assorted rituals involved in making it work, so that's not going to change any time soon.
And the best laptops have more than enough power for anything I'm ever likely to do on a computer now. Hell, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) offers as much performance as I could probably ever hope to use. And I travel a lot for work – at least, I did before 2020, and I swear I will again one day – so having one 'canonical' computer that I use everywhere I work makes a lot of sense. So I swore off the idea of ever bothering with a desktop again – I'll have a screen at home, and I'll just do the docking and undocking thing.
Would Jason Statham dock and undock a laptop on his lovely clear desk? Would he tolerate the extra cables required? I think you know the answer to that, just as I did, and it was delivered to us both in a gruff, slightly-roaming-across-the-UK accent.
But it was okay, because I didn't want the old iMac. It's large and noisy and boring. On purely practical terms, the plan to stay laptop only is on.
But now we have finished our Malibu diversion, and are back at the arrival of the new iMac. What a beautiful piece of fat-free industrial design. What an enticing range of colours. And I know it's going to have a fantastic screen and be supremely fast, and generally be a total pleasure to use.
A computer isn't just a tool, it's an object in my home. Statham knows this, and I must learn it too. When I dock my laptop into my screen, it's the action of getting down to brass tacks. It's a very functional and work-like environment. A string of interdependent equipment, with me at one end.
Or I can sit down to the iMac's sleek monolith, which will make me smile every time I see it because I honestly think it's just a magnificent bit of design in a fun range of colours (probably green for me, but you could talk me into blue or pink). And I could create a working environment I enjoy more by having this iMac in it.
It's possible that all of this is more about lockdown fever than any practical need, and I'm not about to lie to you and deny that's probably the case. But I have this vision in my head of me sitting at a desk just like Statham's, and it has one of these new iMacs on it. And I'll never have a Malibu beach house or a garage filled only with motorbikes, surfboards and wetsuits… but I could have this. So I probably will.