Apple today unveiled an all-new iMac at its virtual Apple Spring Loaded event broadcast from its Apple Park headquarters. It is the biggest overhaul of the all-in-one desktop for close to a decade.
Rumors surrounding the iMac refresh had reached a fever pitch before the show even kicked off, with multiple leakers and analysts predicting all manner of changes coming to the iconic computer. They promised a complete rethink of the device, including Apple Silicon chips, a new flat-edge chassis, 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 proved to be true.
The iMac now joins the MacBook range and Mac Mini with an M1 Apple Silicon chip. Apple says that enabled them to thin down the profile of the iMac while at the same time keeping it incredibly quiet. The new chip now speeds up everything, from apps, games, and more. The iMac now wakes instantly and lets you play demanding games while running other demanding apps. Apple claimed the new chip makes the processor performance up to 85% faster than before, while graphics performance is now up to twice as fast. And like the first M1 Macs that debuted last year, you can also run iPhone and iPad apps on the new iMac.
New Colors and 4.5K Resolution
As predicted, the iMac now comes in a range of bright colors — the original silver, plus six new options. Gone is the curved-back design, replaced by a flat-edge look that evokes the iPad Pro. Bezels are thinned but, despite what had been rumored, though, the large “chin” at the bottom of the device remains. Regardless, Apple has squeezed in a larger 24-inch display in place of the old 21.5-inch panel. The display comes with a 4.5K resolution, an upgrade on the 4K screen from before.
One of the most welcome changes was the introduction of a 1080p webcam to replace the low-quality 720p version in old models. Not only that, but the iMac now comes with an Image Signal Processor that improves image quality beyond what would be achieved with the higher resolution. And that’s not all — the iMac also now gets notable boosted audio quality compared to previous versions.
Updates to iMac accessories
Even the iMac’s peripherals got some much-needed attention. The Magic Keyboard now comes in a range of colors, and there is even — finally — a Touch ID button for secure logins and purchases. The Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad are also color-matched to the iMac you buy.
Pricing starts at $1,299, with a $1,499 upgrade option. It will be available in the second half of May.
Today’s iMac overhaul helps revitalize what has often felt like a forgotten product in Apple’s line-up. While the MacBook line gets frequent updates to boost its capabilities or remodel its appearance, the iMac has been stuck with the same exterior design since 2012 — a lifetime in the computer world. Even the Mac Mini received a significant improvement in the form of the M1 chip long before the iMac.
With today’s update, though, Apple seems to have made the statement that the iMac — the computer that brought the ailing Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy in 1998 — still has an important future at the company.