5 Things To Know About Apple’s New M1-Powered iMac
Apple is launching a fully redesigned version of its iMac all-in-one, based around its high-performance M1 processor.
The New iMac
While the industry has seen a drop in demand for desktop PCs amid the shift to work from home, Apple believes its M1 chip—along with a number of other improvements—should be able to drum up interest in its new iMac. On Tuesday, the company announced that its all-in-one desktop has gotten a major redesign built around the Apple-designed M1 processor. The M1 is coming to the iMac for the first time, following the introduction of the chip last November with new versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini.
Apple unveiled the new iMac for 2021 during its virtual product event Tuesday, which also included the announcement of new iPad Pro models featuring the M1 for the first time. What follows are five key things to know about Apple’s first M1-powered iMac.
Apple’s redesign for the iMac includes the use of a 24-inch display, versus the previous iMac display sizes of 21.5 inches and 27 inches. The new iMac features resolution of 4.5K (4,480 x 2,520) on its Retina display, up to 500 nits of brightness and an anti-reflective coating. The display also offers Apple’s True Tone technology, which “automatically adjusts the color temperature as the environment changes for a more natural viewing experience,” Apple said.
The previous 21.5-inch iMac featured far lower display resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, though the 27-inch iMac—which Apple is still offering on its website—comes with higher display resolution of 5,120 x 2,880.
One of the big design upgrades for the new iMac is the inclusion of a thinner display, which is now less than a half inch thick (Apple’s specs listing doesn’t specify the display thickness for its previous iMac models). Perhaps even more notably, the new iMac will include significantly smaller bezels around the display--allowing for an overall size that is only slightly larger than the 21.5-inch iMac, Apple said. The use of the power-efficient M1 chip helped to enable the more-compact iMac design, according to the company.
Specifically, the new iMac will measure 21.5 inches wide x 18.1 inches tall. By comparison, the 21.5-inch iMac measures 20.8 inches wide by 17.7 inches tall.
The new iMac is also being offered in seven colors--Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange and Purple.
For the new iMac, Apple’s in-house, Arm-based M1 processor will take the place of the Intel Core processors used in previous iMac models. The M1 features an eight-core CPU and options for either a seven-core or eight-core GPU. On Tuesday, Apple touted CPU performance gains of up to 85 percent for the M1-powered iMac, compared to the previous 21.5-inch, Intel-powered iMac. For graphics, Apple says the new iMac offers performance gains of up to 50 percent than the top discrete graphics configuration of the 21.5-inch iMac. Additionally, the new 24-inch iMac will be available with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM.
Collaboration And Connectivity
With remote work and learning continuing to be widespread, Apple emphasized a number of collaboration-focused upgrades on the new iMac. The company said that the new webcam, mics and speaker system are each the “best ever” on a Mac so far. The new iMac will include a 1080p FaceTime HD camera that uses the M1’s image signal processor and Neural Engine capabilities—“enhancing camera image quality with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto exposure and white balance,” Apple said.
Meanwhile, the new iMac will feature a “studio-quality” three-mic array with capabilities for improving clarity and reducing noise, while the speaker system includes two pairs of woofers, each of which is paired with a “high-performance” tweeter, Apple said. “The result is a six-speaker sound system that produces a massive sound stage with strong, articulate bass and crystal-clear mids and highs,” the company said in its news release.
Some users may be less pleased with the change in port connectivity on the new iMac—which will now include only USB-C ports, with either two or four USB-C ports included depending on the configuration. While two of the ports will support high-speed Thunderbolt data transfers on both configurations, the new iMac will no longer include the USB-A ports that previous models had offered. Support for Ethernet has also been removed from the back of the iMac, and instead is being provided through an Ethernet port located in the power adapter—with the goal of “allowing for a less cluttered desktop,” Apple said.
Price And Availability
The new iMac will be available to order on April 30 with shipping to begin in the second half of May, Apple said. The starting price for the new iMac is $1,299, which gets you the M1 chip with a seven-core GPU; 256 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM; two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports; and four color choices (Blue, Green, Pink or Silver). A higher configuration for the new iMac starts at $1,499, which includes the M1 with an eight-core GPU; 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage; four Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports; and all seven color choices. The higher configuration also comes with a keyboard that includes Touch ID fingerprint recognition, while the keyboard included with the base model does not include Touch ID.