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Now is the time for my curved iMac dream to come true

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Forget curved TVs, curved computers and monitors are the future

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I’ve wanted a curved iMac ever since I first saw Nuno Teixeira’s concept back in 2008. What was impossible back then is quickly becoming the norm now. Samsung announced its first curved all-in-one PC just three weeks ago, and this week LG announced its own. And this is only the beginning. That’s great if you’re a PC, but I’m a Mac, and pretty much locked into Apple’s whims at this point.

Read next: The iMac review.

Having just returned from CES, curved TVs are very much a thing for 2015. In 2014 they were rare, but now almost all of the big TV makers — Samsung, LG, Sony, and Hisense — are selling curved televisions. Everyone but Vizio, of course, which is eschewing the curve to mock its competition. And while flat is the right TV answer for everyone but the self-engrossed bachelor, a curved computer monitor or all-in-one PC is something else entirely.

Curved monitor distance

TV makers want you to believe that curved televisions allow for a more immersive viewing experience with an improved sense of depth, amongst other lofty claims about minimized distortions and reflections. But this is the same cabal that tried to upsell the world on 3D in order to entice a new wave of purchases. Maybe there’s some benefit for people that live alone and like sitting just a few feet away from their 50-inch LCD. That’s not me, I have a family. I do, however, sit alone, often for hours, at just a few feet from the center of my iMac’s display. That puts me at the sweet spot for a curved monitor or AIO.

Samsung's 34-inch 21:9 curved monitor completely and utterly sold me on the idea

Last week I managed to try a Samsung Ativ One 7 all-in-one PC. It was kind of ugly and kind of plasticky, and it kind of ran Windows on a 27-inch 1920 x 1080 display. The experience wasn’t great, but I could see the benefit of sitting directly in front of a curved display. Seeing Samsung’s 34-inch 21:9 curved monitor with 3440 x 1440 resolution up close, however, completely and utterly sold me on the idea. It was more immersive, and it did seem to reduce reflections. But really, it was just so damn cool-looking.

LG curved monitors x 3

And guess what? LG has a similarly specced 21:9 curved monitor, and it’s also one of the suppliers for Apple’s iMac Retina 5K panel. While the LG and Samsung monitor panels pale in comparison to the the 5K iMac’s 5120 x 2880 resolution, they improve upon the 27-inch iMac’s 2560 horizontal pixels while matching the 1440 vertical pixels.

Let’s be clear, I don’t have any insider information on Apple’s plans. All I know is that the industry is trending towards curves and Apple hasn’t had a substantial all-in-one design change since the iMac G5 was launched in 2006 (and then switched to aluminum in 2009).

I want those pixels wrapped around me where I can see them

Of course, what I really want is to have one 34-inch iMac flanked by a 34-inch monitor of equal resolution. Hell, as long as I’m making wishes, let’s toss in a second monitor for a continuous curve of three displays in total! At that size (and at my age) I want those pixels wrapped around me where I can see them, not way off in the distance along a continuous straight line.

It’s from here, from this futuristic command center, where I’ll be able to do future-y things like, like… oh hell, the same things as today, but at least it’ll feel like progress.