It’s not very often that technology arrives that can completely transform a segment. However, Apple has a curious pattern of introducing such gadgets. This year’s Apple iMac is one such device, in our view. The iMac has always been about design, intending to make the computer something you want to look at or display rather than just a gadget that occupies workspaces. The iMac, which is powered by Apple’s new M1 chipset can go slim without compromising power or performance.
With the release of the iMac 24-inch, 2021, Apple has managed to revamp one of its most iconic products by not only improving on its predecessor but also doing it in design. Where the previous iMac’s hand-me-down looks had begun to look outdated, the 2021 model is fresh in its sleek and slender shape.
Everything has changed in 2021. It has been entirely revamped and repurposed, and the colour is back with a bang. It’s returning to its roots while simultaneously laying the groundwork for the future. Of course, it’s about more than just design. This is Apple’s first all-in-one computer, powered by the company’s M1 processor, and there are plenty of software features to discuss. This iMac 24 review by our Bondi Beach team experts covers everything you need to know about the new iMac, including whether or not it’s the perfect computer for you.
Apple iMac: Price & Release Date
The 24-inch iMac Price with an M1 chip is A$1,899 in Australia. The price varies based on the size and configuration of the display.
Apple iMac: Design
The Apple iMac is designed to be appealing from all angles. Despite the larger display, Apple claims that this new model is lower in volume and footprint than the previous-generation 21.5-inch device. Also, it’s worth noting that there’s no longer an Apple logo on the front.
With an 11.5mm thin profile and a fully flat back, the new iMac 24 inches exudes a very contemporary air. Because the pedestal is 14.7cm deep, the thinness does not save any workspace, but it does draw attention. The iMac stand allows you to tilt it forwards and backwards, and you can swivel it by just turning the entire device. There is no way to modify the height. The entire package weighs 4.48kg and is light enough to be carried about. You’ll be able to feel the power button if you reach around to the left. The ports are located in the back-right corner on the bottom of the left side panel is a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Another reason for the iMac’s skinny frame is that Apple has switched to an external power supply. The more expensive models come with an Ethernet passthrough brick (but you can add this to the base variant too if you buy directly from Apple). The iMac is connected to the power brick by a lengthy (colour-coordinated) wire.
Apple iMac: Specifications & Ports
Apple’s M1, which integrates a CPU, a GPU, an NPU, an ISP, and a shared memory pool on a single chip, is at the core of everything. The most affordable iMac 24-inch contains seven GPU cores, while the others have eight. In addition, the lowest priced model includes a different cooling system, with only one fan instead of the two in the other variants.
The system can come with 8GB or 16GB of unified memory and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of solid-state storage when purchased. Ethernet is also available as an optional upgrade for the base configuration, but the Ethernet port is located in the power brick rather than on the Mac itself. A 3.5 mm headphone jack, two USB-3 (USB-C) ports, and two Thunderbolt/USB-C connectors that support DisplayPort and USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s), as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s), are among the other ports available.
As per our iMac 24 review, this is the first Mac with something resembling a MagSafe magnetic power adapter port in a long time, though Apple doesn’t call it that this time. The port is different from earlier Macs with MagSafe ports, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect. Touch ID, which was previously exclusively accessible on Apple MacBook, is also returning from previous iMacs.
Apple iMac: Display
The display is the show-stopper; without it, this is another M1 Mac mini. Fortunately, the display of the Apple iMac does not disappoint. With a resolution of 4,480 x 2,520, it matches the pixel density of the 21.5-inch iMac, which is 218 pixels per inch, which is enough. The display’s maximum brightness is 500 nits, which isn’t going to blow you away in HDR movies, but it’s adequate for business displays.
A 1080p FaceTime HD camera is mounted above the screen. That’s a significant improvement over the 21.5-inch iMac’s 720p camera, but it’s on pace with the most recent 27-inch iMac.
A light grey bezel that’s just under 0.75 inches thick surrounds the screen, with a larger 2.38-inch lip along the bottom that matches the iMac’s hue. The display’s front is made up of a single piece of glass that extends to the bottom and has the same anti-reflective coating as Apple’s Pro Display XDR monitor.
Apple iMac: Software
The tight integration of Apple’s hardware with software and services is one of the company’s main selling points. The new iMac comes preloaded with macOS Big Sur (11) and will receive an upgrade to macOS Monterey (12) later this year at the same iMac price. So you can expect at least three years of free upgrades, you may have already used Big Sur on older Macs.
If you buy an M1-based Mac, you’ll very certainly have a software upgrade path for several years. There’s a new UI design scheme, a slew of changes to essential apps, along with a few Apple-only functionalities. Pages, Numbers, Time Machine, Garage Band, and iMovie are examples of free preinstalled software that might be useful.
Apple iMac: Performance
iMac 24 inches has made significant improvements to the iMac (24-inch, 2021) on the inside as well, as this is the first iMac to run on the Apple M1 chip. The change to the M1 chip, according to Apple, means the 2021 iMac will be up to 85 per cent faster than the last iMac, which was built on Intel hardware. Meanwhile, Apple says that the iMac will have up to 2x greater GPU performance than the fastest integrated GPU, which we were doubtful of given the availability of more powerful AMD APUs, which we investigate further in our iMac 24 review. The iMac’s ability to be almost as tiny (as well as thinner and lighter) as its predecessor is due in large part to possibly the most significant change under the hood.
The macOS is fast and efficient – something you should see with macOS Monterey if you opt to update for free – and programmes made for the M1 hardware run flawlessly. Thanks to Apple’s Rosetta 2 tool, even older Intel-based software works smoothly, and you can also run iOS apps and games, giving you access to hundreds of titles. Working and creating on this iMac is a sheer delight thanks to the stunning 4.5K Retina display, superb speakers, and a brilliant webcam. This isn’t the most powerful PC in the industry since it lacks a dedicated graphics card and can’t use an external GPU, so if you’re looking for a powerful workstation PC, this may not be the best option.
Apple iMac: Colours
Apple has also released the iMac 24-inch in seven vibrant colours, which harkens back to the days of the iMac G3 and shows confidence and playfulness from Apple that’s very welcome. In a nice touch, the Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad all come in the same colour as the iMac you choose, and elements of the macOS user interface are also in the same colour. It’s a lovely overall effect.
The new Apple iMac is stunning to look at and performs excellently in regular chores as well as some creative production procedures. For the first time, we see how Apple has built a new Mac around the M1, rather than using recycled previous-generation Mac mini and MacBook bodies — and this is only the beginning.
In our iMac 24 review, we find out that the performance is excellent, and you get a lot of value for your money with macOS and all of the included programmes. Plus, with each new product or service you subscribe to, you can get more out of the Apple ecosystem. The display is fantastic, the speakers are superb, and everything works out of the box. This iMac exudes newness in every way.
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