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  • - This is an iMac, unlike any iMac we've ever seen before.

  • (gentle music)

  • When we reviewed the MacBook Pro

  • and the MacBook Air earlier this year,

  • we were astonished.

  • They were the first machines powered

  • by Apple's M1 chip and they were faster,

  • longer lasting and just better

  • than any MacBooks we'd ever used before.

  • So, our biggest question coming

  • out of that review process was,

  • "What's next?"

  • When is Apple going to put this groundbreaking chip

  • in every product they make?

  • Well, that day is here.

  • The M1 is now in the MacBook Pro,

  • the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini,

  • and even the iPad Pro.

  • And today we're finally seeing it

  • in it's first ever all-in-one desktop form factor,

  • the new 24-inch iMac.

  • Configurations start at $1299

  • for eight gigabytes of memory

  • and 256 gigabytes of storage.

  • This review unit here has 16 gigs of memory

  • and 512 gigs of storage for $1899.

  • You may pay more depending on the accessories you want.

  • Those may sound like high prices

  • but this iMac is really for people

  • who want to buy an iMac,

  • set it down, and not think about computers again

  • for the next five to 10 years.

  • The most exciting difference is that

  • it comes in seven colors.

  • Blue, green, pink, orange, purple

  • and yellow, as well as boring gray.

  • Though, you can only get four at the base price.

  • So, I'm going to be a bit of a grinch about this.

  • As snazzy as these colors are,

  • I do think most of them would look odd

  • and out of place in many home and office settings

  • unless you have a pretty specific color scheme

  • but I do like that these fun colors exist

  • because if you're in the small group of people

  • who really want a yellow computer,

  • there aren't too many other options for you.

  • The new iMac is also sleeker

  • and thinner than its predecessors.

  • Even though it has a 24-inch screen,

  • it's actually pretty close in size

  • to the 21.5-inch iMac from 2019.

  • But its volume has been reduced by over 50%.

  • Apple was able to squeeze in more screen

  • without increasing the chassis size too much

  • by shrinking the bezels around the sides.

  • So, this device is 11.5 millimeters thick

  • or just under half an inch.

  • That's startlingly thin for a desktop monitor,

  • let alone a whole computer.

  • It's basically a really big tablet on a stance.

  • Mine is a touch screen, of course.

  • The reason apple was able to make the iMac so tiny

  • comes down to the M1 chip.

  • The fact that the M1 chip runs so well,

  • while consuming so little power,

  • means Apple didn't need to pack

  • a super elaborate cooling system into the device.

  • Instead, there are just two small fans inside

  • and they were so silent during my daily workflow

  • that I didn't even know they were there

  • but make no mistake,

  • these small fans are all the M1 needs.

  • On some thin devices,

  • you'll see performance decrease

  • if you're running an intense load

  • for long periods of time

  • but we ran Cinebench R23

  • three times in a row

  • and the scores didn't decrease at all.

  • In fact, they actually went up

  • by a few points between the first and last runs

  • and I could only barely hear the fans spinning

  • during this 30 minute process.

  • We ran a number of other intense tasks as well,

  • including Geekbench and PugetBench for Premiere Pro.

  • So, it's difficult to label these results

  • as good or bad because the iMac doesn't have

  • a ton of direct competition outside of Apple

  • and we generally don't review desktop CPU's

  • here at The Verge.

  • The useful thing these results tell us

  • are that this iMac is a significant step up

  • from the performance of the most recent 21.5 inch iMac

  • and it's going to be a huge upgrade

  • over anything older than that.

  • The scores we got were very similar

  • to what we saw from the M1 MacBook Pro.

  • Basically, the iMac is a 13-inch MacBook Pro,

  • in desktop form.

  • We also ran the iMac through a

  • real-world 4K video export in Premiere Pro.

  • The iMac completed that faster

  • than the MacBooks did,

  • and it blows Windows laptops,

  • with integrated graphics, out of the water.

  • This isn't a computer that's necessarily

  • designed to specialize in this stuff

  • and it's running Premiere Pro through an emulation layer.

  • So, that's pretty impressive.

  • But the 27-inch iMac is a better choice

  • if you'll be doing long form video work

  • in 4K, or 8K,

  • or anything that's super graphics heavy.

  • Again, rule of thumb,

  • if a 13 inch MacBook Pro

  • isn't powerful enough for you,

  • this won't be either.

  • But if you're just buying the iMac

  • for everyday family stuff

  • like emailing, Netflixing, slacking,

  • that sort of thing,

  • I can't imagine you'll run into any performance issues.

  • I was able to use my test unit for all kinds of daily tasks

  • from email, to YouTube, to amateur photo and video work.

  • I was able to hop around between

  • over 25 Chrome tabs with Cinebench looping

  • in the background with no stutter or slowdown whatsoever.

  • And if you're worried that your favorite apps

  • might not be compatible with the M1 processor,

  • don't be.

  • Intel based apps run just fine

  • thanks to Apple's emulation layer called Rosetta 2.

  • I literally had no idea Rosetta 2 was there.

  • I couldn't see a performance difference

  • between translated apps and apps that were running natively.

  • A big feature of the M1 chip is

  • that it allows you to run iOS

  • and iPadOS apps natively on the iMac.

  • Now, if you've ever read a Chromebook review of mine

  • you'll know that I generally find the utility

  • of phone apps on computers to be limited.

  • It can be confusing to figure out

  • whether you use app or browser versions of things.

  • Sometimes the sizing is weird.

  • Some things just straight up don't work.

  • But on a system that's meant to be shared among a family,

  • I can see the appeal a little bit more.

  • If your kids are used to using iPads for school,

  • or they have an iPhone,

  • it could be helpful for them

  • to have the same apps available

  • on the computer at home for continuity and familiarity sake.

  • The assortment of apps available

  • is still disappointing though.

  • A lot of the stuff I actually use every day.

  • So, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat,

  • still isn't available on the Mac app store.

  • What I could get was mostly games,

  • many of which are designed for a touch interface,

  • and aren't all that fun to play

  • with a mouse or a track pad

  • and they're not really optimized

  • for a screen of this size.

  • So, we've got our new design

  • and we've got a new chip.

  • Here's what else is different from the 21.5inch iMac.

  • The 2021 iMac has a better camera,

  • a better speaker system,

  • a bigger and better screen,

  • and more microphones.

  • It also has touch ID in the keyboard

  • which you can use to sign in and out of the device,

  • approve purchases,

  • and swap between user profiles.

  • And Apple got rid of ports, like,

  • most of them.

  • The base model has just two Thunderbolt USB-4 ports

  • as well as a headphone jack

  • on the left edge of the screen.

  • More expensive models have an additional two USB-3 ports

  • and an ethernet port in the power brick

  • which you can also put in the base model power brick

  • for an extra 30 bucks.

  • Basically, this iMac isn't a good choice

  • if you hate dongles and docks.

  • The upgrades to this IMac's display

  • are more than just its size.

  • The new iMac has a higher resolution

  • 4.5K retina display,

  • which also has Apples true tone technology

  • that automatically adjusts colors and intensity

  • based on the light around you.

  • The screen looks great for article reading

  • and video watching.

  • It's a noticeable upgrade from the 4K retina display

  • on the previous model.

  • That said, it is a step down from the 27-inch iMac,

  • which has a 5K display.

  • So, that is a better choice for professional work.

  • The off-angle viewing isn't very accurate

  • which does not matter to me

  • as someone who doesn't do much color work

  • but it is certainly a problem for many people's workflows.

  • You also can't get the 27-inch models

  • fancy nano texture coating on this iMac.

  • What is a big part of my work is video conferencing

  • and this iMac is great for that.

  • Not only is the 1080p webcam higher resolution

  • than the 720p webcam in the previous iMac

  • but it also has a larger

  • and more efficient sensor for low-light performance,

  • as well as the advanced image signal processor

  • that comes with the M1.

  • It really pays off.

  • In low light,

  • my face looks pretty processed

  • but I am still visible.

  • It certainly loads better than

  • any MacBook webcam that Apple has ever made,

  • including this one on the MacBook Pro.

  • Another boon for video callers

  • is that the audio is superb.

  • So, this iMac has a six speaker sound system

  • with two pairs of force canceling woofers

  • and high performance tweeters.

  • - There are a lot more caveats than I anticipated.

  • So, let's go through them.

  • - Apple says it's the best speaker system

  • we've ever seen in a Mac

  • and honestly, I believe it.

  • The audio I heard was easily on par

  • with a good external speaker,

  • bass is great,

  • and the percussion sounds like it's surrounding you.

  • The key to understanding the 2021 iMac is

  • understanding what it's not.

  • So, it's not a replacement for the 27 inch iMac.

  • That is, it's not a professional workstation.

  • We haven't yet seen the M1 chip

  • in one of these high powered machines.

  • We're still waiting on an arm version

  • of the 16-inch MacBook pro.

  • If you're one of the people who's been waiting

  • for a smaller refreshed iMac,

  • whether for home or work use,

  • your time has come.

  • This is the iMac for you.

  • It significantly outperformed it's Intel predecessor

  • and you're also looking at a better screen

  • and better specs across the board

  • at the cost of some convenient ports.

  • Now, if you're someone who has

  • a bunch of monitors and mice lying around,

  • you will get similar performance

  • out of the significantly cheaper Mac mini

  • but the iMac comes with everything in one

  • and that's valuable to a lot of people.

  • So, this ultimately wasn't a

  • super difficult device to review

  • because it's exactly what it's trying to be.

  • It doesn't exceed expectations