Apple iMac Review: A Powerful Desktop PC That Delights the Senses
If form and function are just as important to you, Apple’s completely redesigned iMac Desktop could be the perfect addition to your workspace. The almost unbelievably thin computer is packed with high-performance features that deliver incredible speed, while the device’s vibrant array of color options is a visual treat.
The 24-inch iMac with Retina 4.5 display starts at $ 1299 for 256 GB storage and goes up to $ 1699 for 512 GB storage. It comes in several sleek and steel finishes, such as blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, and purple, stand 18.1 inches tall and weigh just under 10 pounds. The iMac is available for purchase in Apple Stores, apple.com and authorized resellers worldwide, and will arrive to customers starting Friday, May 21.
Under the hood are advanced specs that deliver more power than ever before. The ultra-thin 11.5mm body houses Apple’s M1 chip, which combines the device’s processor, GPU, and other components on a much smaller logic board. The impressive chip features four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, delivering up to 85% faster processor performance than standard 21.5-inch iMacs of the past. The powerful 7 or 8-core GPU is up to twice as fast as previous iMac models, delivering incredible integrated graphics and high performance for applications like PhotoShop or Final Cut Pro. M1’s 16-core neural engine is capable of calculating up to 11 trillion operations per second, dramatically improving machine learning tasks.
Running multiple apps is a snap. My iMac was able to run Photoshop and Premiere Pro simultaneously while streaming live video without even breaking a sweat. Switching between apps was a seamless experience that was a far cry from the lag my other devices had when I got even slightly too happy with the tabs.
The device runs on macOS Big Sur, which Apple has dubbed “the world’s most advanced desktop operating system”. MacOS Big Sur is designed to take full advantage of the M1 chip and allow the iMac to run on iPhone and iPad apps while providing powerful updates for apps like Safari and Messages. Beyond that, Apple now offers thousands of popular universal apps that take full advantage of M1 / macOS Big Sur. In many ways, the iMac looks like a more sophisticated extension of other devices in Apple’s improved ecosystem – iCloud and AirDrop work great with iPhone, and transmitting notes, calls, or e -Mail between devices is intuitive and simple. I was able to search for a recipe on my iPhone, then pass it to my iMac for wider viewing with the ease of use that Apple is famous for.
Additionally, the iMac offers two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, each offering up to 40Gbps data transfer for external drives and cameras. Two additional USB 3 ports with 10Gbps data transfer are included on the $ 1499 model, along with an additional Ethernet port in the power adapter. All models feature ultra-fast WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, and the charging port has been redesigned with a 2-meter woven cable and magnetic external power adapter for a smooth connection.
Visually, the iMac is breathtaking in its thoughtful touches – the colorful multi-colored shell is sleek in workmanship and color-matched accessories, like the woven charging cable, Magic Mouse, a woven USB-C to Lightning cable and a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID is a delight. One feature I didn’t know I’d appreciate so much was the ability to effortlessly switch between users using Touch ID, keeping everyone’s unique desktop preferences intact.
One of the more thoughtful aspects of the iMac was the unboxing of the device itself. Apple redesigned the cardboard iMac box to match the color of the device inside and included intuitive tabs on the side of the packaging to allow the device to slide out easily. Apple doubled its branding, placing a color-matched sticker with the words “hello” in cursive on the screen when it first greets you. When activated, variations of “hello” in different languages flash softly above a screen saver that also matches the color of the computer’s outer shell. The entire experience was well-organized and whimsical, a nod to Apple’s old advertising adage of “Think Differently”.
The beauty of the new iMac extends to its Retina 4.5 display which offers an impressive 11.3 million pixels for truly vibrant images. The entire front of the iMac is now a single sheet of glass, with softer colors and a narrower light gray border on the front that seems to almost disappear. P3 wide color supports one billion colors and 500 nits of brightness, while True Tone technology automatically adjusts the screen’s white point to the color temperature of the environment, creating a more natural viewing experience. Add to that a state-of-the-art anti-reflective coating that provides incredible readability and clarity, whether it’s streaming live video or re-reading an Apple product review.
The iMac has also been equipped with the best mic, camera, and speaker system ever built into a Mac. A 1080p FaceTime camera offers double the resolution for clearer video, while more efficient sensors provide better low-light performance. The M1’s advanced image signal processor analyzes pixels at over a trillion operations per second and introduces advanced noise reduction algorithms for the best possible video experience – perfect for back-to-back Zoom meetings or the video chat with an elderly parent who will notice that they can see almost every pore on your face.
The three microphone array enables studio-quality sound designed to reduce feedback, while directional beamforming helps the microphones ignore background noise. The six-speaker sound system creates incredibly lively sound that can easily fill a room, and two pairs of force-suppressing woofers create robust, articulate bass that can absolutely start a solo dance party at 1 a.m. Advanced algorithms also allow the iMac to support spatial audio when playing video with Dolby Atmos.
Overall, the iMac delivers on what Apple is known for – it’s light, sleek, powerful, and stunningly beautiful to look at.