An Overview of Apple’s New 24-Inch M1 iMac (2021)

At its Spring Forward event in April, Apple announced the release of a new 24-inch iMac. The new iMac has been completely redesigned and has an M1 chip that increases its performance at the highest level.

Let's take a deep dive into Apple's new M1 iMac.

A summary of the new M1 iMac

If you're just looking for the most important information about the new iMac, let's start with a quick summary. Then we jump to a detailed overview.

Apple has completely redesigned the new iMac and made it 50 percent more compact. It has a 4.5 KB retina display and 4 USB-C ports.

Apple's M1 chip is located in the new iMac. This chip makes the machine 50 percent quieter, the CPU 85 percent faster and the GPU twice as fast. In short, this impressive processing power increases the performance of the iMac massively.

Apple finally put a new camera in a Mac. There's a new 1080p HD camera on the iMac that's ideal for video calls. This can be combined with a three-microphone system and a six-speaker setup, which Apple claims are the best ever seen on a Mac.

You can also purchase the new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID as an accessory. The keyboard, mouse and trackpad have also been reissued in the matching colors for the iMac.

New iMac design and colors

The most obvious design change to the new iMac is the color. There are now seven colors that you can get the device in: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver.

It looks great and pays homage to the colourfulness of the original iMac. The design also brings out the sleek color options we saw on the iPhone 12.

Apple's M1 chip in the new iMac makes the computer 50 percent more compact than previous models. This not only makes the iMac look much more modern, but in combination with the thinner edges, the new iMac also has a smaller footprint.

There is a new hinge on the back of the iMac, similar to the hinge on the Pro Display XDR. This allows you to tilt the display while using the device to improve the visibility and convenience of viewing the screen.

You'll also find an updated, thread-weave power cord that is of course color-coordinated with the iMac. It also attaches magnetically, just like the original MagSafe cable in previous MacBooks.

The new iMac has four USB-C ports. Two of them are Thunderbolt ports. With Thunderbolt, you can transfer data faster and use higher-resolution displays. There is a headphone jack on the side of the iMac.

Read More: What Is Thunderbolt 4? Is it different from Thunderbolt 3?

This refreshingly modern design meets all the needs of many people's iMac features. But Apple decided to keep the rather large chin at the bottom of the screen.

An iMac with an M1

Apple brought the M1 chip to the new iMac. M1 MacBooks can perform tasks up to 50 percent faster than their Intel chip predecessors, which is incredibly impressive. So it stands to reason that the iMac will do similarly well.

The M1 chip combines multiple components – including the CPU, GPU, RAM, Neural Engine, and more – into one compact unit. It has a lot more processing power than the previous Intel chips, so you get a lot better performance.

With the M1 chip in the new iMac, Apple is promising some high-end specs. Apple claims the CPU runs 85 percent faster, the GPU runs twice as fast, and the Neural Engine runs three times faster.

Another benefit of the M1 chip is that Apple was able to replace the iMac's thermal cooling system with two small fans. The new iMac runs more efficiently with the M1 chip and therefore doesn't heat up as much.

Apple promises fans of the new iMac won't climb above 10 decibels most of the time, which makes them about 50 percent quieter.

We can see some significant performance improvements with the M1 chip in the iMac. In conjunction with macOS Big Sur, the new iMac won't let you down.

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The new 4.5K iMac display

The new iMac has a 24-inch retina display with 4.5 KB and 11.3 million pixels. As mentioned earlier, the display has thinner bezels so you can have a much better experience with the iMac.

Apple claims that this display contains over a billion colors, which is almost the color performance of the Pro Display XDR (Apple's top display).

The glass is also coated with an anti-glare coating to prevent sunlight and reflections that cause problems. The display has a brightness of 500nits, making it impressively bright. You will never have trouble seeing it, that's for sure.

As with most Apple displays, the new iMac display also features True Tone technology. This automatically adjusts the color temperature of the display to your surroundings to reduce eye strain.

An improved microphone and camera … Finally

On the new iMac, you'll find a new 1080p camera for video calling. Apple tells us this is the best camera ever in a Mac. This camera has a larger sensor that helps with light pickup and exposure.

The camera also uses the image processing power of the M1 and the Neural Engine, so powerful software also increases the performance. Apple has done this before as the iPhone uses software processing to improve image quality with Deep Fusion.

Apple added a three-microphone system to the iMac. With this system, Apple promises studio quality sound. The microphones have been specially positioned to avoid the iMac itself picking up sound. You can also find directional processing on the microphones to minimize background noise.

Related topics: How to Adjust Microphone Sensitivity on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows

For most people, the microphone probably isn't a big selling point. Especially since you mostly use it in FaceTime calls. However, an update to the camera on every Mac, especially the iMac, was long overdue, so it's very welcome.

Better speakers on the iMac

The speakers on the new iMac have been taken to the next level. In fact, Apple claims these speakers are the best that a Mac has ever heard.

In the speaker system of the M1 iMac, Apple placed two pairs of subwoofers next to each other to maximize bass reproduction. Each pair of subwoofers is balanced with a tweeter to handle the higher frequencies.

Together, the result is a sound system with six speakers and an excellent range. This should result in a first class listening experience.

While listening to compatible content on the new iMac, users can also experience Spatial Audio just like we've heard with Apple's AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Spatial Audio is designed to achieve the effect of surround sound using Dolby Atmos.

Redesigned iMac accessories

Of course, you can't grab a new iMac without adding a few updated accessories. The biggest change in the iMac lineup would be the new colors added to the keyboard, trackpad and mouse.

The Magic keyboard has been updated in matching colors for the new iMac. For the first time ever, Apple has integrated Touch ID on the keyboard so your iMac can securely read your fingerprint to unlock the device, enter passwords, or authorize payments. And that private data is securely transmitted to the iMac in an encrypted channel because the Magic Keyboard is wireless.

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The Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad have also been reissued in the new, matching colors. There are no hardware changes to any of these accessories. Apple just adjusted them to match the new iMac colors.

You can now get a perfectly color coordinated setup if you feel like it.

Is this the iMac we wanted?

For years, Apple fans have been asking for an update of the iMac series. The design had stayed the same for years, and the computer had been outperformed by other Macs in benchmarking tests.

The body may still have a fairly large chin, the iMac now has a more modern design and has been fully upgraded to the highest performance specifications. There is not much you can do with an M1 iMac.

Photo credit: Apple

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About the author

Connor Jewiss
(26 articles published)

Connor is a UK-based technology editor. After writing for online publications for a few years, he now spends time in the world of tech startups. He recently started writing again. Connor is primarily focused on iOS, has a passion for technology and is particularly enthusiastic about new technologies. When Connor isn't working, he likes to spend time cooking, various fitness activities, and a little Netflix with a glass of red.

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