Apple’s made-over iMac looks like it escaped an Instagram shoot.
The company’s biggest computer not only features bold colour for the first time but it now comes with limited-edition matching accessories (right down to its charger), and an unusually slim form.
That screen — now a 24-inch display in the body the size of a 21-inch computer — features a 4.5K resolution with more than 11 million pixels, and 500 nits of brightness. In short, it makes images look brighter than you might expect and can make your second screen appear a little dull.
Apple has also cannily focused on the Zoom/Teams/WebEx/Google Meet credentials of this computer, which now uses as full high-definition camera with a larger sensor and an advanced image signal processor.
The latter two features work to deliver a pleasing and obvious boost to your home office lighting, are aided by a new three-microphone array and six stereo speakers that deliver more detailed sound and more bass than you’d expect from its 11.5mm form.
And then there’s the chip running it all: Apple’s own M1.
Geekbench scores show it’s up to 56 per cent faster than the model that came before it, and Apple promises its processor will work twice as fast with graphics-intensive apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop.
In our tests, it was able to comfortably wrangle 4K footage in Final Cut Pro and make changes to multiple high-res photos in Adobe Lightroom without stalling.
And despite a full gamut of demanding apps open simultaneously on this iMac, and more web tabs than absolutely necessary, this computer never appeared flummoxed; something that may not be said for some of its Intel-based PC rivals.
The M1 chip’s inclusion also helps this iMac operate in near silence; something that could be eerie for old Mac users at first but may ultimately help your focus.
The new iMac does have limitations, however.
It’s only available with a 24-inch display now, which might feel like a step down for those using a 27-inch iMac.
The entry-level model only has two ports, while the two top models feature four connections (two USB-C, two Thunderbolt) and add a handy Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the keyboard for purchases, passwords, and switching between user accounts.
An Ethernet connection in the iMac’s power brick must also be purchased separately in the cheaper model.
The new iMac’s storage also tops out at two terabytes so you’ll need to connect a separate drive or use the cloud if you plan to edit and save a lot of 4K video.
Ultimately, this iMac is much more than a pretty pastel upgrade. While its colours could brighten up your office or, as Apple suggests, encourage its placement in an entirely different room of your home, this machine’s real selling points are its speed, grunt, and videoconferencing skills.
The most demanding, big-screen-loving iMac users will likely wait to see what June brings for a bigger, even aster model but this slick desktop computer has the goods to turn many people into chic geeks.
Due: late May
– Apple Silicon delivers a noticeable speed boost
– Whisper quiet operation
– Better picture quality and audio for video meetings
– Colourful, space-saving makeover with matching accessories
– Only available with a 24-inch screen
– Entry-level model has two ports, no Touch ID keyboard
– Limited storage and RAM upgrades
– Screen is not quite 5K
Originally published as The one thing missing from Apple’s new-look iMac