Apple iMac gets a design refresh, faster M1 hardware and colors galore

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,073   +130
Staff member
What just happened? Apple has unveiled the first meaningful physical refresh of the iMac in nearly a decade, and there’s a lot to process. Gone is the bulbous center from the earlier iMac, replaced with a flat slate that looks a lot like a large iPad on a stand. According to Apple, this new design reduces the volume of the iMac by 50 percent.

It starts with the boxy design, a carryover from the iPhone 12 and recent iPads (both of which serve as a throwback to the older iPhone 4).

The new iMac is available in seven vibrant colors – blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange and purple – and packs a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display driven by Apple’s own M1 chip.

The display operates at 4,480 x 2,520 pixels (218 PPI) and supports a billion colors, 500 nits of brightness and has True Tone technology.

The rumored larger iMac didn't make an appearance today.

New for 2021 is a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and a six-speaker sound system, which Apple claims is the best camera and audio that has ever shipped in a Mac. A new two-meter-long, color-matched woven power cable attaches to the back of the iMac magnetically, linking it to an inline power adapter.

Apple has also added Touch ID authentication to the iMac for the first time, accessible via the included keyboard (on mid- and top-tier models).

Pricing starts at $1,299 for an entry-level iMac with 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage and a seven-core GPU in your choice of four different colors. An additional $200 will get you an eight-core GPU and a handful of extra ports, plus the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID (the entry-level model doesn’t have Touch ID).

Another $200 (bringing the total to $1,699) buys twice the storage, for a total of 512GB, although models with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage can be configured for additional fees.

Pre-orders open on April 30 with availability slated for the second half of May.

Permalink to story.

 
And let me guess, can't easily upgrade the storage again (in classic Apple fashion)?
I know that they killed easily upgrading RAM with the M1 chips.

Nothing like being different in a less consumer friendly way...
Well you can attach any fast external disk of your liking or use network storage. It's a desktop machine, so storage space is not a limiting factor like with a mobile device which you carry around with you.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,726   +5,136
The color options are really nice, but it's not gonna make me buy one any faster than I would've when they were grey/silver.

The clean design, looks really great as a gift as well as a network/conferencing/ home schooling device.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,398   +3,477
Well you can attach any fast external disk of your liking or use network storage. It's a desktop machine, so storage space is not a limiting factor like with a mobile device which you carry around with you.
Gee, I wonder why being able to repair hardware you buy and replace components might be important. Hmmmmm......
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,285   +2,490
TechSpot Elite
Well you can attach any fast external disk of your liking or use network storage. It's a desktop machine, so storage space is not a limiting factor like with a mobile device which you carry around with you.
The starting storage at 256GB is pathetic, barely enough these days to hold the OS and personal files long term. Then the cost to upgrade to higher storage sizes is laughable (a much higher premium as the assumption will be you can't upgrade it yourself).

People using an external drive is a band-aid solution to something we've solved yeeaaars ago.
I swear, the big tech companies are in a race to see who can become the most consumer unfriendly without any major blow-back (and Apple has the silver bullet with their marketing and fashion branding).
 

CrisisDog

Posts: 235   +132
So, stick a 24" iPad on a stand, and call it an iMac? I might be fine with that, if the 8-Core GPU were powerful enough to driver that 4.5K display. But..., it is not.
 

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 52   +46
And let me guess, can't easily upgrade the storage again (in classic Apple fashion)?
I know that they killed easily upgrading RAM with the M1 chips.

Nothing like being different in a less consumer friendly way...

The criticism of a SOC that includes RAM and logic on one (much faster) chip is the 2021 version of the "an iMac doesn't have a floppy drive, parallel ports, or PS2 ports" complaints of 1997.

The iMac M1 systems are both significantly cheaper than competing PCs with similar specs and have speeds that no comparable Intel or AMD powered system can match. I think the average person will be fine with that compromise, just as they were fine with Apple's decision to ditch other Wintel legacies like the floppy drive in years past.

You can see this trend in the mobile space as well -- Samsung and others who used to hail "removable batteries" and other legacy concepts like SD cards have since come around to removing those from their phones to remain competitive. Within the next couple of years, SOC systems from Intel and AMD are inevitable, they won't have upgradeable RAM either, and nobody will care.

The starting storage at 256GB is pathetic, barely enough these days to hold the OS and personal files long term.

While that might be true for Windows PCs due to the bloated nature of that OS, it's not accurate for Macs. I have a 1 TB drive on my Intel MacBook, and about half is devoted to a Windows partition. That OS gobbles up storage like no tomorrow; whereas OS X is quite a bit less hungry.

Just checked my MacBook Pro's storage. The OS uses not quite 19 GB. A clean install of Big Sur would leave about 220 GB of free space, which is plenty for the sort of user who purchases an entry-level $1,299 Mac.

Mac users also tend to heavily leverage the cloud due to the integration of advanced cloud storage options into the OS; that tends to keep the usage and storage space down.

I'd like to meet the person who can easily fill up 100+ GB with "personal files." That's likely to primarily be someone editing large amounts of video, and that sort of user is probably going to have a NAT for additional storage.
 
Last edited:

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 52   +46
So, stick a 24" iPad on a stand, and call it an iMac? I might be fine with that, if the 8-Core GPU were powerful enough to driver that 4.5K display. But..., it is not.

The lion's share of iMacs sold to date don't have a separate GPU. And the 8-core embedded GPU is just fine for driving a 4.5K display.

The iPad is pretty different from the iMac in a number of other ways as well; the iPad is a touch-driven tablet with a battery; the iMac is a non-touch-driven integrated PC without a battery. iPads run iPad OS, iMacs run Mac OS. And so on.
 

Faelan

Posts: 58   +49
Not sold at all on the white bezels. I find white bezels very distracting. Totally fine with the chin though, that doesn’t bother me and the colors look nice and lively. Doesn’t matter though. It’s not for me. I told my wife the other day that my next MacOS device must have 32GB of RAM because the 16 on my current MacBook sure isn’t enough when Safari alone happily eats those 16GB and then some. I constantly have a pagefile in the 2-10+GB region.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 384   +658
That chin is just, well let's not mince words here: FUGLY.

Sorry, thanks but no thanks: I have my own speakers Apple, nice ones too: I don't need you to create this dated looking chin and huge bezels just to fit in your own speakers which, as nice as they might end up being for an all-in-one, are still probably not going to match even a modest 2.1 cheap logitech set or a decent sound bar with an actual sub-woofler.

I'm sure people will defend the speakers and the design overall but no, it's just not doing it at all for me: We know that 24 inches of screen real estate was enough to fit all components and cooling comfortably, even keeping the same impressive depth or just slightly more. We could have lived with just eeeever so slightly thicker screen if you got rid of that stupid, stupid chin.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 767   +592
The color options are really nice, but it's not gonna make me buy one any faster than I would've when they were grey/silver.

The clean design, looks really great as a gift as well as a network/conferencing/ home schooling device.

Totally agree, was thinking the same and I'm not even an APPLE fan.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 323   +181
The criticism of a SOC that includes RAM and logic on one (much faster) chip is the 2021 version of the "an iMac doesn't have a floppy drive, parallel ports, or PS2 ports" complaints of 1997.

The iMac M1 systems are both significantly cheaper than competing PCs with similar specs and have speeds that no comparable Intel or AMD powered system can match. I think the average person will be fine with that compromise, just as they were fine with Apple's decision to ditch other Wintel legacies like the floppy drive in years past.

You can see this trend in the mobile space as well -- Samsung and others who used to hail "removable batteries" and other legacy concepts like SD cards have since come around to removing those from their phones to remain competitive. Within the next couple of years, SOC systems from Intel and AMD are inevitable, they won't have upgradeable RAM either, and nobody will care.



While that might be true for Windows PCs due to the bloated nature of that OS, it's not accurate for Macs. I have a 1 TB drive on my Intel MacBook, and about half is devoted to a Windows partition. That OS gobbles up storage like no tomorrow; whereas OS X is quite a bit less hungry.

Just checked my MacBook Pro's storage. The OS uses not quite 19 GB. A clean install of Big Sur would leave about 220 GB of free space, which is plenty for the sort of user who purchases an entry-level $1,299 Mac.

Mac users also tend to heavily leverage the cloud due to the integration of advanced cloud storage options into the OS; that tends to keep the usage and storage space down.

I'd like to meet the person who can easily fill up 100+ GB with "personal files." That's likely to primarily be someone editing large amounts of video, and that sort of user is probably going to have a NAT for additional storage.
Spoken like a true fanboy
 

Adi6293

Posts: 758   +1,016
The criticism of a SOC that includes RAM and logic on one (much faster) chip is the 2021 version of the "an iMac doesn't have a floppy drive, parallel ports, or PS2 ports" complaints of 1997.

The iMac M1 systems are both significantly cheaper than competing PCs with similar specs and have speeds that no comparable Intel or AMD powered system can match. I think the average person will be fine with that compromise, just as they were fine with Apple's decision to ditch other Wintel legacies like the floppy drive in years past.

You can see this trend in the mobile space as well -- Samsung and others who used to hail "removable batteries" and other legacy concepts like SD cards have since come around to removing those from their phones to remain competitive. Within the next couple of years, SOC systems from Intel and AMD are inevitable, they won't have upgradeable RAM either, and nobody will care.



While that might be true for Windows PCs due to the bloated nature of that OS, it's not accurate for Macs. I have a 1 TB drive on my Intel MacBook, and about half is devoted to a Windows partition. That OS gobbles up storage like no tomorrow; whereas OS X is quite a bit less hungry.

Just checked my MacBook Pro's storage. The OS uses not quite 19 GB. A clean install of Big Sur would leave about 220 GB of free space, which is plenty for the sort of user who purchases an entry-level $1,299 Mac.

Mac users also tend to heavily leverage the cloud due to the integration of advanced cloud storage options into the OS; that tends to keep the usage and storage space down.

I'd like to meet the person who can easily fill up 100+ GB with "personal files." That's likely to primarily be someone editing large amounts of video, and that sort of user is probably going to have a NAT for additional storage.

Any Windows based PC that cost similar to this Apple abomination will smoke it especially when it comes to ease of maintenance, upgradeability, user friendliness ( enough ports, no need for 100 adapters ) only a total sh****p would even attempt to defend this crap.
 

gdavid65

Posts: 17   +8
That resolution on a tiny 24" screen is completely pointless for anybody who's eyes are above about 20 years old. Looks good on a marketing video, but for any practical purpose is wasted. Who even buys 24" screens these days?
 

Crinkles

Posts: 114   +111
While that might be true for Windows PCs due to the bloated nature of that OS, it's not accurate for Macs. I have a 1 TB drive on my Intel MacBook, and about half is devoted to a Windows partition. That OS gobbles up storage like no tomorrow; whereas OS X is quite a bit less hungry.

Just checked my MacBook Pro's storage. The OS uses not quite 19 GB. A clean install of Big Sur would leave about 220 GB of free space, which is plenty for the sort of user who purchases an entry-level $1,299 Mac.

Mac users also tend to heavily leverage the cloud due to the integration of advanced cloud storage options into the OS; that tends to keep the usage and storage space down.

I'd like to meet the person who can easily fill up 100+ GB with "personal files." That's likely to primarily be someone editing large amounts of video, and that sort of user is probably going to have a NAT for additional storage.

I wonder why you wrote about the OS requirements, it takes two clicks to get this C> 21.3 GB (22,955,378,566 bytes).
That's two years on, my personal folders, created by windows installation is @ 44.6 GB (47,956,080,083 bytes)

And you don't know what you're talking about, re: Apple killin' floppies and other tech. Apple has been cursed and dammed over that for years, like they have been over headphone jacks and removable batteries. THOSE moves have COST APPLE sales and lost many customers. I'm an Apple Abandoners and I see no reason to purchase anything Apple Corp. produces for reasons other than Apple's general suckage. Fanboy-ism is precisely how the US was wrecked by /trumplicans.

SOC systems from Intel and AMD are inevitable

So much you can hardly go outside without tripping over an embedded SOC from Intel or AMD.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 114   +111
What just happened? Apple has unveiled the first meaningful physical refresh of the iMac in nearly a decade, and there’s a lot to process. Gone is the bulbous center from the earlier iMac, replaced with a flat slate that looks a lot like a large iPad on a stand. According to Apple, this new design reduces the volume of the iMac by 50 percent.

It starts with the boxy design, a carryover from the iPhone 12 and recent iPads (both of which serve as a throwback to the older iPhone 4).

The new iMac is available in seven vibrant colors – blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange and purple – and packs a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display driven by Apple’s own M1 chip.

The display operates at 4,480 x 2,520 pixels (218 PPI) and supports a billion colors, 500 nits of brightness and has True Tone technology.

The rumored larger iMac didn't make an appearance today.

New for 2021 is a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and a six-speaker sound system, which Apple claims is the best camera and audio that has ever shipped in a Mac. A new two-meter-long, color-matched woven power cable attaches to the back of the iMac magnetically, linking it to an inline power adapter.

Apple has also added Touch ID authentication to the iMac for the first time, accessible via the included keyboard (on mid- and top-tier models).

Pricing starts at $1,299 for an entry-level iMac with 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage and a seven-core GPU in your choice of four different colors. An additional $200 will get you an eight-core GPU and a handful of extra ports, plus the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID (the entry-level model doesn’t have Touch ID).

Another $200 (bringing the total to $1,699) buys twice the storage, for a total of 512GB, although models with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage can be configured for additional fees.

Pre-orders open on April 30 with availability slated for the second half of May.

Permalink to story.


With bold moves, Apple has created an entire line of crappy spec'd tablets.

In Blonde Crazy "Maple" and "Burple" colors. So glad
my stuff is simply black and white.
 

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 52   +46
I suppose there are people in technology, just as in other areas of life, who demand that everyone think and be exactly like they are. For the rest of us, however, this machine is great.

Perhaps the funniest bit is that Apple will sell millions of them to happy customers who won’t care at all that they don’t have a floppy drive, parallel port, PS2 port, cartridge port, etc.

And Apple is the first major computer maker to ship a SOC in a personal computer. AMD and Intel’s SOCs are for industrial applications like cars and microwaves.

Just as happened with various other products, the same people decrying Apple this year will be hailing other manufacturers for doing the same thing in another year or two. The cycle of tech continues. :)
 

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 52   +46
ease of maintenance, upgradeability, user friendliness ( enough ports, no need for 100 adapters )
I think most people who own a computer don’t want to waste time “maintaining” it; they just want it to work. Most of the need for “maintenance” and “ports” is a result of Windows constantly needing hardware upgrades to sustain its voracious appetite for RAM, storage, etc.

Mac OS X, being a modern OS, doesn’t need all of that. It’s the reliable Lexus next to the Microsoft FIAT.

I say that as someone who used Windows for years (including Windows Phone). I tried a Mac laptop, couldn’t believe how great it was, and stayed with it.

Now I use my computer to get stuff done and get the three to four hours of monthly “maintenance” time for Windows back to do other stuff.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 320   +208
I am doubting the internal speaker is really good. Obviously not gaming pc. and not for tech geek. It for people who want computer that "just work" and it is having style that tech geek doesn't understanding. I am liking the pink, but orange nice too. I am not planning to buy, but I am thinking it is nice. It would look nice on desk.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 114   +111
Just as happened with various other products, the same people decrying Apple this year will be hailing other manufacturers for doing the same thing in another year or two. The cycle of tech continues. :)

Ahh right on cue the cult of Mac attacks.
Y'all been saying the same things since 1985!
"Think diFrent"

The PC platform inexplicably marches on, now serving 3-4 billion more than Apple. To what do Applemaniacs attribute for Windows/PC success? Being innovative and babyfied in the way Apple is, hasn't slowed MS/Intel/AMD, or the thousands and thousands of others.

EVERYTHING NEW is on a PC.

Something is fundamentally wrong with Apple.