Apple's M1 chip is finally making its way to iMacs, along with a slew of other long-awaited upgrades. The latest batch of iMacs finally bring color back into the company's desktop computers, with an array of pastel cases. They start with a 24-inch model, which Apple says is only slightly larger than the previous 21.5-inch PC. The sleek new design has far slimmer bezels on their 4.5K Retina Displays, as well as a completely flat rear case. Say goodbye to the iMac hump, and hello to a much more modern-looking all-in-one PC.
As for other upgrades, the new iMacs feature updated 1080p FaceTime cameras with larger image sensors. They'll be able to work together with the M1 processor to handle white balance, noise reduction and exposure settings. There are also three microphones that can use beam forming to reduce background noise, as well as a larger speaker setup, including two bass units and a small tweeter.
These iMacs are definitely a solid design upgrade over the batch, which haven't changed much since their 2012 unibody revamp. But it's a bit disappointing that Apple didn't push those screen bezels even further away. The "chin" below the screen, in particular, seems unsightly in 2021.
Of course, the real reason you'd want these new iMacs is the M1 chip. As we saw in our reviews of the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple's silicon offered a significant performance boost over Intel's x86 hardware. It'll be interesting to see how well the M1 performs in a much larger machine where you don't need to worry about power consumption. Another benefit: A lot less heat and noise. Apple says the new iMacs are 50 percent quieter than the last models, thanks to a pair of smaller fans.
Naturally, Apple is also offering colorful new Magic Keyboards to go alongside its new computers. They look similar to the company's previous keyboards, except now there's optional TouchID support for the higher-end iMacs. That's a first for Apple's all-in-one lineup.
The new 24-inch iMac is available to order on April 20th, starting at $1,299 with a 7-core GPU (education customers can snag it for $1,249). The more powerful 8-core GPU starts at $1,499 (or $1,399 for education). That pricier model also includes three USB 3 ports, in addition to the base model's two Thunderbolt ports, and an ethernet jack.