Apple redesigns the iMac with an M1 processor and a far better webcam

Apple has finally refreshed its iMac with a new design, a new processor, a new webcam, and much more. It’s the biggest update to the desktop computer since 2012 when the last design refresh took place. The new machines go up for preorder on Friday, April 30th and begin shipping later in May.

The iMac’s entire design has seen a revamp with a much thinner chassis and redesigned stand. It definitely looks like a gigantic iPad, if I’m being honest.

For whatever reason, Apple decided to keep the large chin at the bottom of the display. It also opted for white bezels which… ew.

I suppose that’s because it’s meant to blend with the new aesthetic of the iMac, which has become much more in line with the iPad Air than anything. The new iMac is available in seven different colors: Green, Pink, Blue, Silver, Purple, Yellow, and Orange. There’s no standard black model, and there’s no way people won’t notice it from across the room.

On the front, Apple includes a 24-inch Retina display with a 4.5K resolution. That’s just about the sharpest display you’ll be able to find in a consumer-friendly desktop, and if history is any indication, the screen will look really good in person.

Apple says it added an anti-reflective coating to the screen along with 500 nits of brightness and True Tone. It also supports the P3 wide color gamut.

The screen sits on front of a body that’s just 11.5mm thin, and it’s all thanks to the inclusion of Apple’s M1 processor. Because of the redesigned architecture of the chip and the different form factors it’s able to operate in, the M1 allowed Apple to rethink how it designed the internals of the iMac. There’s now just two small fans toward the bottom of the machine for added air flow, and you likely won’t be able to hear them during heavy usage.

The M1 also brings a ton of computing power to the table. Apple says the M1 features the “fastest CPU core in low-power silicon.” That translates to 85 percent faster CPU performance compared to previous models, in addition to twice the GPU performance. The 16-core Neural Engine also delivers up to three times faster machine learning in apps.

Because the iMac is always plugged in (thanks to a fancy new braided, magnetic cable that doubles as an Ethernet port), you shouldn’t experience any noticeable throttling to save power. This makes the iMac one of the most powerful desktop computers on the market, all while looking like a computer you’d probably give to your kids.

The M1 also lets you run iPhone and iPad apps on your iMac. Reviewers noted that the experience using those pieces of software through a mouse and keyboard can be tricky, but if there’s a service that’s only available on your iPhone you’d like to access on your desktop, the iMac should be able to serve you pretty well.

The new iMac features a much-needed upgraded 1080p FaceTime HD webcam which will help make everything from Zoom calls to live-streamed events look better. To complement the new sensor, Apple includes “studio-quality” mics which the company touts as “the best ever in a Mac.” It also has improved speakers, utilizing two pairs of force-cancelling woofers and high-performance tweeters for a six-speaker sound system. It lets the iMac support spatial audio when playing content compatible with Dolby Atmos.

On the back, you’ll find up to four USB-C ports, while a headphone jack sits on the side. Apple includes 1Gbps Ethernet support as well as Wi-Fi 6.

Pairing with the iMac are three different keyboards, with the most interesting being the ones with Touch ID. The sensor works wirelessly thanks to a “dedicated security component on the keyboard that communicates directly with Secure Enclave in M1.” This means you can finally unlock your iMac with just your finger. It even supports Fast User Switching, allowing someone else to log into their profile simply by placing their print down on the sensor.

Two Magic Keyboards are available with Touch ID, with the second featuring a numeric pad. The other keyboard is a standard Magic Keyboard with no numeric pad or fancy way of logging in. Each model comes in the same seven colors, and that also goes for the Magic Mouse and Trackpad.

Apple says the new 24-inch iMac will start at $1,299 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.