Apple’s new iMac is finally here, and this time it brings a lot to the table with its colorful redesign, the 4.5k 24″ display, and of course, Apple’s own M1 processor.
The newly redesigned iMac looks sleek and minimal with its squared-off edges, white bezels, and aluminum unibody. One noticeable difference is the lack of the Apple logo on the chin of the iMac that was present on older iMac models. The body of the iMac is just 11.5mm thick and the whole machine is just under 10 pounds, making this machine insanely light and even portable if needed. The 24″ iMac is also available in seven striking colors, including blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, and purple. The base model iMac contains a 7-core GPU, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 8GB of unified memory, and a 256GB SSD.
In the box, the iMac comes with a set of color matched accessories, including a braided power cord, power brick, magic keyboard, and your choice of either a mouse or trackpad. The magic keyboard also comes with TouchID which is a great addition and makes logging in and payments extremely simple and quick.
For the display, the all-new iMac contains a 24″ 4.5k (4480 x 2520) Retina display that has 500nits of brightness, a P3 wide color gamut, and True Tone for comfortable viewing. The 24″ display seems to be a good middle ground size as some may find 21.5″ too small, while 27″ is too large. The display is immersive and stunning to look at and color reproduction is accurate which is essential for tasks such as photo and video editing.
The iMac is powered by Apple’s own M1 processor, the same chip that is currently in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and even the iPad Pro. The performance of the M1 has been impressive, and has been able to handle 4K video editing in Final Cut Pro with ease, and can handle other productivity tasks smoothly. Apple claimed the M1 to be 85% faster in CPU power, and 2x in GPU power, and based on our benchmarks, these claims seem to be quite accurate.
Another feature of the 2021 iMac is the improved 1080p FaceTime camera which is enhanced by the M1 image signal processor (ISP) that allows for reduced noise, improved dynamic range, and improved auto exposure and white balance. This webcam is a significant jump in quality compared to previous years and will be essential for conference calls, and online learning through Zoom etc. The ISP has allowed for increased low light performance and even looked quite good in a harsh backlit situation.
There was also a clear focus on audio for this year’s redesigned iMac. The iMac features a studio three microphone array that utilizes beamforming technology to focus on the user’s voice. The microphones are of high quality and sounded quite crisp. There is also a six-speaker sound system that has support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos. The speakers also sounded quite good and the quality increase was especially noticeable when listening to music and movies.
The iMac starts at $1299 for the base model which is quite reasonable and fair for the performance and features packed into this machine. Ultimately, with its colorful redesign and impressive performance provided by the M1 chip, the 2021 24″ iMac is a great family and productivity machine that can handle just about any task you throw at it. Those looking for the absolute best performance however, may want to wait and opt for Apple’s higher end lineup of Macs that are rumored to be released in the near future.