Apple today unveiled a brand new iMac at its Apple Spring Loaded virtual event, broadcast from its headquarters in Apple Park. It's the biggest overhaul of the all-in-one desktop in nearly a decade.
Rumors of the iMac update had already peaked before the show began. Multiple leaks and analysts predicted all sorts of changes to the legendary computer. They promised a complete rethink of the device, including Apple silicon chips, a new flat-edged case, larger displays with thinner bezels, and even a range of bright, colorful paint jobs in addition to the traditional silver option. In the end, most of the whispers turned out to be true.
The iMac now complements the MacBook range and the Mac Mini with an M1 Apple silicon chip. According to Apple, they were able to downsize the iMac's profile while keeping it incredibly quiet. The new chip now accelerates everything from apps, games and more. The iMac is now instantly activated, allowing you to play sophisticated games while running other sophisticated apps. Apple claimed the new chip makes processor performance up to 85% faster than before, while graphics performance is now up to twice as fast. And like the first M1 Macs introduced last year, you can also run iPhone and iPad apps on the new iMac.
As predicted, the iMac is now available in a range of vibrant colors – the original silver, plus six new options. Gone is the curved design being replaced with a flat look reminiscent of the iPad Pro. The bezels are thinner, but despite all the rumors, the large “chin” on the underside of the device has been retained. Regardless of this, Apple has used a larger 24-inch display instead of the old 21.5-inch panel. The display has a resolution of 4.5 KB, an upgrade from the previous 4K display.
One of the most welcome changes was the introduction of a 1080p webcam to replace the inferior 720p version in old models. In addition, the iMac now has an image signal processor that improves image quality beyond what the higher resolution would provide. And that's not all – the iMac now also offers significantly improved audio quality compared to previous versions.
Even the iMac's peripherals received much-needed attention. The Magic Keyboard is now available in different colors and there is even a Touch ID button for secure logins and purchases. The Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are also color-matched to the iMac you purchased.
Prices start at $ 1,299 with an upgrade option of $ 1,499. It will be available in the second half of May.
Today's iMac overhaul is helping to revive what has often felt like a forgotten product in the Apple lineup. While the MacBook range is regularly updated to improve its features or change its appearance, the iMac has kept the same exterior design since 2012 – a lifetime in the computing world. Even the Mac Mini received a significant improvement in the form of the M1 chip long before the iMac.
With today's update, however, Apple appears to have made a statement that the iMac – the computer that brought the battered Apple back from bankruptcy in 1998 – still has an important future for the company.