The iMac is Apple’s most notable premiere in 2021 so far. The computer has received a radical design update, many color options and new peripherals, and inside it is the latest M1 processor with Arm architecture. We spent a week with this device and share our impressions.
Design and ergonomics: the thinnest computer ever
The most noticeable change in the new device is a more ergonomic and stylish case. It has become thinner and lighter than the older model of the previous generation. The iMac on the M1 measures 54.7 x 46.1 x 13 cm and weighs 4.48 kg. For comparison, the 27-inch iMac measures 65 x 51.6 x 20.3 cm and weighs 8.92 kg.
Outwardly, the thickness of the iMac 2021 is striking – it is very thin. Now, according to this parameter, it is the same at the top, bottom and in the middle. Previously, the iMac was domed to accommodate components. Looks futuristic.
IFixit experts have already called it an engineering miracle – all the components fit into the area under the display and take up very little space in the case.
The design is thought out so that the computer fits into the interior. The frame here is light gray regardless of the color of the case, despite the fact that in previous generations it was black. Apple chose a color so that the computer doesn’t attract too much attention.
Most people have light wallpaper at home, in the office too; even interior designers recommend using these in the living room and in the bedroom. In this case, in most scenarios, the frame will merge with them.
It is a consistent design element. Apple released the iMac with a light bezel until 2007. Then it was positioned as a computer for educational institutions, offices and libraries. Such a device should not be aggressive outwardly, but friendly, so the frame should merge with the interior so as not to attract too much attention.
The apple on the back is bigger. The color is still glossy, the material is aluminum. Only now it is brighter than the case, and it seems that this element glows, as it was on the MacBook Pro before 2015.
Among the shortcomings, there is a large dead zone under the screen, and there is no second logo or signature on it, although here the effector would look “Designed by Apple” or “iMac”. From an Engineering point of view, the panels have been lengthened to accommodate the components. From the designer’s side, the empty space could be decorated.
Screen and sound: high fidelity
The diagonal screen of the new iMac is 24 inches, the resolution is 4480 × 2520 pixels (4.5K), the density is 218 pixels per inch, and the brightness is 500 cd / m². In terms of performance, the display has not changed from the previous generation. The 27-inch iMac on Intel has the same 218 ppi pixel density and 500 cd / m² brightness.
There are other improvements as well. The screen is now equipped with a new low-reflectivity coating, making it comfortable to work with in all lighting conditions, even in a well-lit room or on a sunny day by the window. Added True Tone technology – for some reason, it was not added to the 21.5-inch iMac.
The sound has been improved. In the new generation, the speakers are louder and compatible with software that makes the sound more spacious. There are six speakers, three on the left and three on the right. Supports Dolby Atmos technology and spatial audio, which previously surprised the AirPods Pro and Max.
In a small room, like a room of 18 square meters, such a machine can easily replace an audio speaker. You can also watch a movie from the couch, the sound will be high quality, like from a TV for the living room for 50-80 thousand rubles. I would like to praise Apple for its attention to sound quality – among the manufacturers of smartphones and ultrabooks it has no equal, iMac also holds the bar of the quality standard.
Your voice will also be clear. There is a system of three studio-grade microphones. It reduces echoes and distortions in the sound, as a result, the interlocutor hears you as if you are standing next to him.
Peripherals and equipment: these accessories will surprise you
The iMac comes with an updated Magic Keyboard. Here’s what she got: a separate button for switching languages and enabling emoji, Spotlight and Do Not Disturb keys and Touch ID (in top trim levels). We got this. Now the computer can be unlocked with one touch without having to enter a password.
Touch ID is handy if you have more than one iMac. Create multiple accounts and register a fingerprint for each. Whose account is recognized by the system, the account will open, you no longer need to switch between accounts manually and enter a login with a password, the task is solved by one touch of the sensor.
The keyboard is now color-matched to the iMac. Like the previous generation, it is beveled for better typing comfort.
The set also includes a Magic Mouse. Externally and functionally, there are no changes. Apple has not fixed the most inconvenient moment – the USB-C charging connector is still located on the bottom of the case, and while charging, the mouse looks like a fool. Also included is a trackpad, it has no changes.
The box also comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable. Length – one meter, outside it is covered with a woven fabric, like a mono strap in the new Apple Watch Series 6. Power supply unit – 143 watts. It is large, some may not like it, however, there is no alternative. The power cable is also braided. It pleases with a pleasant tactile feeling when connected to the iMac – it attaches to the computer on a magnet, like in old MacBooks with MagSafe.
A keyboard with Touch ID is plus 5000 rubles to the price, and a unit with Ethernet is plus 3000 rubles. You can also buy an enlarged keyboard with Touch ID and NUM-key block.
The ports are as follows: Thunderbolt 3 / USB 4 – 2 pcs, 3.5 mm, USB 3 Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet (in the top configuration).
Performance: this is what the M1 can do
The main innovation in the 2021 iMac is the M1 processor. According to Apple, CPU power has increased by 85% and graphics processing is now up to two times faster than the 21.5-inch iMac.
The GeekBench benchmark also shows performance gains. MacRumors compared the performance of the new model with the 2019 iMac 21.5 inches. The current generation surpasses its predecessor in data processing speed in single-core and multi-core tests by 56% and 24%, respectively. We also measured the performance of the device in GeekBench. Our numbers are close to those stated.
The capacity of the RAM is 8 or 16 GB. Not the most impressive parameters, but it is important to understand that they are used in conjunction with the M1 chip and macOS adapted for it.
For several days in a row, I loaded the iMac with heavy tasks: a browser with 30 open tabs, video editing with color correction. In all cases, the M1 justified the stated capabilities. By the way, detailed material about him will be a little later.
Recently, Adobe applications appeared on the Mac with the M1, in particular Photoshop and Premiere Pro. We launched it – the computer withstood the rendering of a video with a duration of 10 minutes in 4K with color correction without any problems.
Bottom line: Apple’s most vigorous new product
The 2021 iMac is the perfect device for the office or home. The body fits perfectly into the interior, the performance is enough for demanding tasks, the screen is large and of high quality, the accessories are tactilely pleasant and outwardly aesthetic.
Monoblock – a device for use in a stationary location. First of all, such a device will suit designers (in the office or at home) due to the combination of high-quality screen and performance.
Besides, it is convenient to use it as a family device. Just create several accounts, register a fingerprint for everyone – whose account touches the Touch ID, that account will open.
You have to fork out to buy an iMac. In the minimum configuration, this monster on the M1 costs 129,990 rubles. Maximum without preinstalled software – 262,890 rubles.
For me, the iMac is the most interesting device on the M1. iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini – they have not changed in appearance and almost did not give a new user experience. iMac surprised at least with new design and accessories. And Apple computers rarely change externally – the MacBook Pro line had the last major update already in 2016. If you want new emotions along with performance and a huge array of features, take the iMac on the M1.
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