At Apple’s April 20 Spring Loaded event, the company revealed the long-rumored iMac (M1, 2021), its latest all-in-one PC – and it’s more colorful than ever.
As many of us had expected, the new iMac (2021) comes with Apple’s own M1 chip, rather than the 10th generation Intel Comet Lake processors that the 27-inch iMac (2020) came with. But what’s more, it comes with a completely redesigned chassis.
As with the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020), MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and Mac mini (M1, 2020), the M1 chip powering the new iMac (2021) is an impressive bit of tech, offering plenty of power to run apps like Final Cut Pro with ease. An increasing number of Mac apps are now natively compatible with M1 hardware, offering better performance.
Meanwhile, most Mac apps that are still only Intel-compatible can still be run on M1 hardware thanks to Apple’s Rosetta 2 solution.
The iMac (M1, 2021) also keeps some of the best features of the 2020 model, including a 1080p FaceTime HD webcam and studio-quality microphones.
However, it’s confirmed that the new iMac (M1, 2021) will not come with the optional nano-texture glass finish on the display. First introduced on the company’s Pro Display XDR monitor, the material prevents glare and reflections from showing on the screen, regardless of the light conditions.
If you want this on an iMac, then you’ll have to stick with the older 27-inch iMac (2020).
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The 10th generation iMac, now powered by the M1 chip
- When is it out? Preorder April 30, available May 2021
- What will it cost? starting at $1,299 / £1,249 / AU$1,899
iMac (2021) release date and price
If you want to get this flashy new iMac, you don’t have to wait long. You can pre-order the iMac (M1, 2021) starting on April 30, with it hitting store shelves a bit later in late May 2021.
Luckily, the flashy redesign and the shift to the Apple M1 doesn’t come with a price increase. The 24-inch Apple iMac (2021) price will still be $1,299 / £1,249 / AU$1,899 for the base model, which gets you a 7-core M1 with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Though you can go up to a $1,499 / £1,449 / AU$2,199 price, which will get you more color options and USB-C ports, and will also bump you up to the full 8-core version of the Apple M1, though it comes with the same SSD and RAM.
Both versions will obviously have other RAM and SSD configurations available for extra cash, but we won’t know how much it will cost to upgrade those specs until the pre-order pages go live on April 30.
iMac (M1, 2021) design and colors
Although the 2021 MacBooks are perhaps the most anticipated new Macs of the year, the new iMac (2021) models will also garner a great deal of attention.
Apple has completely redesigned the iMac, with a wide range of colors available, and it’s thinner and more compact than ever, thanks in large part to the Apple M1. This has allowed Apple to drastically shrink down the Logic Board, bringing the volume of the iMac down 50% – it’s just 11.5mm thin. And that’s while increasing the display to 24 inches, up from the 21.5 inches that this tier of iMac has been in the past. In fact, as tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee points out, it’s so thin, Apple had no choice but to move the headphone jack.
Fun fact: This new iMac is so thin (11.5mm) that it can’t fit a headphone jack on the back (typically 14mm deep) so they HAD to put it on the side. pic.twitter.com/obVif0xy0BApril 20, 2021
The new Apple iMac comes in seven colors, allowing you to find the PC that’s right for your aesthetic. The Apple iMac colors are: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue and silver. If you remember back in the late 90s and early 2000s, this was the norm for the iMac, before Apple shifted to the same gray color scheme for every computer it launched.
It’s a breath of fresh air, and we can’t wait to see these color options in person.
iMac (2021) camera
Because webcams are more important than ever, and we’re all spending a lot of time on video calls, Apple has put the best camera that’s ever been in a Mac, and it’s more than just the sensor.
Despite the fact that this new FaceTime camera is just a 1080p sensor – something common in computers these days – Apple has created a whole software suite to deliver the best video quality possible, and it claims that the iMac (M1, 2021) will “make you look like a rockstar”.
The new iMac is able to do this thanks to the image signal processor in the M1 chip, which gives the computer access to hardware-accelerated video processing. Which means you’ll get excellent video quality, and it likely won’t impact your iMac’s performance, good news for anyone that likes to multitask in video calls.
This webcam is also paired with a triple microphone array, which should result in both clearer voice and less background noise. We’ve all had to deal with intrusive noises in our meetings, and hopefully this will help eliminate that.
iMac (2021) specs and performance
The iMac 2021 comes with the Apple M1 chip, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. However, Apple is making some surprising performance claims here, claiming that it’s up to 85% faster than the previous iMac, based on Intel silicon.
Apple also has made some questionable claims about the GPU. Apple claims that the iMac will have up to 2x faster GPU performance than the fastest integrated GPU, which is a bold statement, especially when you consider the fact that AMD APUs exist, but that’s something we’ll be sure to test once we get our hands on the new iMac.
This is all behind a super high-resolution 24-inch 4.5K (4,480 x 2,520) display. This display will feature a P3 color gamut, and will apparently be able to hit the same 500 nits of brightness that a MacBook Pro can hit – which is super bright. You’ll also get Apple’s True Tone technology, which, love it or hate it, is becoming the norm for Apple displays.
And, of course, the M1 is based on the same CPU architecture as the iPhone, which means you can easily integrate your favorite iOS apps into your workflow, without having to pull out your phone.
The Apple iMac (M1, 2021) also comes with up to four USB-C ports, two of which would be Thunderbolt 4. Through these connectors, you’d be able to connect up to a 6K display, or multiple 4K displays.
And don’t worry about the power connection taking up one of those USB-C ports, either, as Apple is introducing a new power connector – one that’s magnetic to boot – and has an integrated Ethernet port so you can run your internet connection and power the computer through a single, color-matching braided cable.
iMac (2021) accessories and TouchID
Just because the new iMac comes in some flashy new colors and a new processor doesn’t change what comes in the box. You still get the Magic Mouse (which still has a charger on the bottom of the mouse for some reason), along with a Magic Keyboard. But, this time around, Apple has also refreshed its optional accessories to give you even more options.
Namely, there is now a Magic Keyboard with TouchID. We don’t know whether or not there’s an option to have this bundled in when you buy the new iMac, but the new Magic Keyboard will be available in a variety of colors, so you’ll be able to match it with whatever iMac color you go for.
Apple is also adding new color options to the Magic Trackpad, too, so you should be able to get a whole setup that matches. It doesn’t boost performance or anything, but it does wonders for the aesthetic.