Currently my mac-- with four built in USB ports is connected to
a USB hard drive for backups
a USB hard drive for media
a USB keyboard (because mechanicals are nicer)
a USB mouse that sucks down more power than it should.
a USB SSD for games and databases
a USB gamepad for triple A titles that expect it
a USB CD drive for ripping physical media (it’s really too loud to actually play such things)
a USB SDCard reader for my camera
a USB microphone.
a HDMI recorder for my camera.
a bunch of USB flash drives
a USB book scanner.
and a bunch of hubs to make this all possible.
Sure, some of this can be replaced with bluetooth, network attached storage, more ios devices, and cloud rental services, but I’m a cheapskate with an investment in semi obsolete hardware.
You said yourself why the external power brick has the ethernet, because otherwise you couldn’t fit it in the 12mm thickness. They wanted to make it actually thin, rather than thin on the edge but not the middle. It’s a decision they made, and considering laptops also have power bricks, does it really matter? You’re not getting in iMac because you want an expandible computer, you’re getting it because you want a bigger screen than a laptop.
But, yeah, the 8GB version 16 GB for the RAM doesn’t make much sense (I’m just glad I splurged for the 16 GM for my MacBook Pro M1).
And (for the iPad) it must lightly toast genitals it’s set upon. Yeeees. Yeah, looking for the stylish air-mover design to go with it, and the keyboard, and the multiple stylus for it, at like, under $2000; genuine yak beard. Or, as @WongMJane suggests great springs beneath (hydraulics, yo.)
The iLocateIt gets a speaker for 100% haunted house at only $30 a scare, and the AppleTV is 120 or 200 bucks (and doesn’t include the TV part where images and sound come out.)
While we’re at it I suppose that the iMac could lose the chin and gain a forehead mount for a downlight, that would be pretty cool. And 4 1000BaseT ethernet and 7 more tactile and obvious USB 3 Type A or C or whatever. And backlighting panels by f.lux.
Power and RJ-45 ethernet connector…good way to warn us to lay in extra I suppose. Blast it, though. Should be on the sidelong camera and cart along spare UPS batteries while keeping ringlight and wash gobo controls at hand.
Jerwin > A gamepad for triple A titles that expect it.
OMG Apple lost their chance at a joypad (with USB mic.) again! Gamepads are literally just the OG flat membrane Nintendo, though Google tells me the Razer Tartarus V2 and Azeron Classic are somehow game.
Laptops have power bricks because it is important for the laptop to be as thin and light as possible and they can operate without the power brick. I’m not sure that an iMac gains much from being exceptionally thin or light, but an extra external power brick taking up space is something I could certainly do without.
The ethernet port on the power adapter is actually a clever design IMO if you are going to have the power brick. Your network jack is probably in the same direction as the power, so there is a good chance you can avoid an extra cable on your desk. It’s one of those things where if your environment matches what apple designs for it will be great, otherwise it is going to be extra annoying – which pretty much describes Apple’s whole product philosophy. In any case, I assume these days physical ethernet jack is a relatively niche use case on an iMac. Not so niche they can really leave it off and tell you to get a USB ethernet adapter (that will keep falling out of the low retention force USB-C ports, but most users are probably just going to use wireless.
The lack of side mounted USB ports is a bit silly in my book. USB flash drives are still common if not what they used to be and back mounted USB ports are much less convenient for this. From what I remember this has been a common limitation in previous iMacs that aren’t this thin. Now if they could find some way to make a USB port built into the wireless keyboard work, that would be super cool, but I don’t think they have that.