In 2002, the first LCD-based iMac succeeded the translucent PowerPC G3-based models that the original Bondi Blue iMac begat. The new generation was much more striking than the one that had placed Apple on the comeback trail. The iMac G4 mounted the display on a balanced arm similar to a Luxo lamp while the motherboard resided in a hemispherical base. This allowed the display to be adjusted to a wide range of heights and angles and each of the two main sections to be “true to itself.”
Alas, the design had its limits. It’s difficult to imagine today’s ample 27-inch iMac displays balancing off such a mount. Furthermore, after the switch to Intel, processor thermals improved to help enable the slim iMac of today. The idea of efforts being true to themselves (at least until nearly compromise-free convergence is possible), however, has stayed a hallmark of Apple. For example, the company would resist adding video to the iPod for years after competitors had the feature.