The new iMac 2021 is here and it gets the full Apple Silicon treatment plus a stunning new design that is more iPad than desktop!
Apple’s 4/20 event was fully deserved of its “Spring Loaded” tagline. The Cupertino giant announced the long awaited iMac redesign, this time around with the powerful and super-efficient M1 chip.
The base model 21-inch iMac hadn’t seen a refresh in years, and now we get a complete new desktop, built from the ground up around the Apple-built M1 chip.
24-inch 4.5K Retina Display and Super-thin Design
Plus, thanks to the super thin bezels, the display real estate is bumped up to 24-inches of glorious 4.5K Retina goodness.
The all-new iMac comes in a much more compact and remarkably thin design, enabled by the M1 chip. Furthermore, the new desktop offers powerful performance in a design that’s just 11.5mm thin, with a striking side profile that practically disappears.
The new iMac 2021 is also available in a bunch of colors including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. The new 24-inch 4.5K Retina display packs 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness, and over a billion colors, and P3 wide color gamut support.
And while, the overall redesign is impressive compared to previous generations (and basically anything, non Apple currently on the market), the big new feature is the M1 chip.
The first Macs to be powered by the hyper-efficient Apple Silicon chip hit the market later in 2020, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the gorgeous and “uber-under-appreciated” Mac Mini. And we all knew, it was just a matter of time before Apple chucked in that M1 chip inside the new iMac (and also rumored to be coming later in 2021 – iMac Pro).
iMac 2021 – Now Powered by M1
The iMac has come a long way and over the years been through a few iconic designs. However, this one seems to be the culmination of all of them. Now possessing the technology required “to remove the computer” as Apple put it, the new iMac features a thinner and more compact design that is remarkable from every angle.
Enabled by the system-on-chip architecture and amazing power efficiency of M1, the logic board and thermals are dramatically consolidated and reduced in size compared to the previous generation’s, allowing the side profile of iMac to practically disappear.
The much more compact design reduces the volume of iMac by 50 percent, allowing it to take up less space and fit easily in even more places. And while many were hoping to see the debut of the upcoming (and still rumored) M1X chip, the M1 is now slouch.
As evident from the performance benchmarks and user reports of the current M1-powered line-up, the new iMac can do a whole lot more than the previous Intel-powered gen.
8-Core CPU, 8-Core GPU – M1 Apple Silicon
Basically, the new iMac gets the same M1 chip we all know by now:
- 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
- 8-core GPU (7 core GPU on the cheapest configuration) – same as on the MacBook Air
- 16-core Neural Engine
- Up to 16GB RAM configurable
When combined with its high efficiency, unified memory architecture, and the 16-core Apple Neural Engine, the new iMac delivers powerful performance when compared to standard models of the 21.5-inch iMac, including:
- Up to 85 percent faster CPU performance
- Up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, and up to 50 percent faster than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac, allowing users to render edits in real time or add complex filters to their photos in a snap.
- The ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro.
- Up to 3x faster machine learning in apps that leverage the 16-core Neural Engine in M1
(Finally) a 1080p FaceTime HD Camera
It was about time the iMac got a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. Apple of course calls it “the best ever in a Mac”, which may very well be true. And thanks to it, the new iMac delivers high-quality video and great performance even in low light.
Furthermore, the new iMac also takes advantage of the image signal processor in the M1 chip and the Neural Engine (just like on the iPhone 12), enhancing camera image quality with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto exposure and white balance.
Studio Quality Mic Array for Spatial Audio
To complement the camera, the new iMac features a studio-quality three-microphone array for clearer calls and voice recordings, the best ever in a Mac.
The mics are positioned to reduce feedback from the rest of the system, while directional beamforming allows them to better ignore background noise and focus on a user’s voice. As a result, conversations are more natural and recordings are crystal clear.
The new iMac also features the best sound system ever in a Mac. It has two pairs of force-cancelling woofers placed side by side for an impressive bass response, while reducing unintended vibrations.
Each pair is balanced with a high-performance tweeter. The result is a six-speaker sound system that produces a massive sound stage with strong, articulate bass and crystal-clear mids and highs.
All of these speaker innovations, coupled with advanced algorithms, enable iMac to support spatial audio when playing video with Dolby Atmos.
New power brick with Ethernet
And last, but definitely not least, the iMac 2021 also gets a 143W power brick with an integrated Ethernet option (for those that opt for it), which sends the data through the new cord to the back of the iMac.
Also, the new iMac gets a new magnetic power cord and up to 4 x USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt (the rest USB 3).
Every iMac features 2 x Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfers, giving customers high-performance options to connect to more devices, including support for up to a 6K display, like Apple Pro Display XDR, and Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster wireless performance.
For full tech specs head over to Apple’s website here.
Pricing, pre-order, and shipping info
Base configurations include 256GB SSD, 8 Core CPU/7-Core GPU and 2 x USB-C Thunderbolt ports and 8GB unified memory for $1,299 USD.
You can also bump up the USB-C ports to a total of 4 (which adds a couple of USB 3 ports, using the USB-C format) and also bump the M1 chip to the full 8-core CPU/8-core GPU, 8GB unified RAM and 512GB SSD for $1,699 USD.
Pre-orders start April 30th via apple.com and authorized dealers. In the meantime, you can browse the M1-powered MacBook Air, Pro and Mac Mini at B&H.