02 M1 iMac Review Ultra Thin Design Choice!
But you know testing is a lot of hard work and everything, but the more i do. The more i’m realizing that the typical performance testing is actually not really as necessary. With this i mean this new imac is clearly a far better computer than the baseline 21.5 inch imac. It replaces like that machine was really starting to show its age, and this m1 version runs circles around it. In every performance metric imaginable, from cpu to gpu, storage capacity and speed, it uses less power, it’s more efficient. I mean it really is a surprisingly capable and impressive machine for something that’s, just a baseline model. Really, the only thing that got worse is the port situation which i’ll go over in a bit, but i mean it’s, essentially the same computer as the other m1 max and so it’ll perform just like them give or take a little bit because of thermals. Having a fan versus not having a fan but like if i took uh an m1 mac mini and glued it to the back of a really nice display, it would perform just like this one. So really what i’m, showing you here is an m1 in a new outfit new colorful really thin outfit, but this is basically going to be a design video. What we think of the m1 inside this new design of the 2021 imac now y’all probably already saw my initial reactions to the unveiling on twitter. I had plenty of thoughts and i still have a lot of those thoughts, but i actually wanted to start with this.
This is clearly a retro throwback to those original colorful imacs when they came out in the 90s back in a time when most other computers were more of plastic and beige white towers, so this represented a more approachable, accessible. New computer seems like a fun time. Right now, this nostalgia didn’t really hit me because i wasn’t old enough back then to really be thinking very hard about computer design but that’s. What this again represents it’s, an even more friendly, accessible computer design, that’s, what it’s supposed to be and actually even in the way apple presents it. You can see it in their own materials they’re trying to expand even more on that. So this is like the family. Computer that’s not just tucked away in an office somewhere, but in a family room or a den or a living room or something, and so to pull that off. It’S got to be friendly and accessible and, most importantly, to look like it would belong in any of those rooms, so not just like a metal box, but a friendly piece of tech it’s the same challenge that things like the google home and the homepod have had Now all that being said, it’s a mixed bag it’s, definitely a bit of a mixed bag. For me, i honestly just don’t like the way it looks, but it’s also clearly not for me, and so maybe it doesn’t even really matter. If i like the way it looks or not, but let me just show you let me walk you through all the things that are new about this design and then you can decide for yourself if you’re into it or not.
So, first of all the screen, the screen is bigger and it comes much closer to the edges than that old imac design. So it’s, a 23.5 inch 4.5 k display here 500 nits lcd p3 color. It is a very nice display, and honestly, if you just start with that, like trying to price out something else like a mac mini instead with another nice 24 inch display to try to match this you’re, probably gon na lose on price like this is a great Screen but you also notice pretty quickly. This is a very glossy, really reflective display, there’s, no matte version and you’ve also got white bezels and a pretty huge glossy chin. So if you want a computer that doesn’t have those things, maybe you’re in a bright environment, with a lot of window light or maybe you’re just not into white bezels and big chins, then you don’t get this imac. You should probably look at another monitor, but the one thing i will say that i’ve come around on is at least understanding why they went with a white bezel specifically, and it comes back again to that like friendly face thing. So, if you’re, trying to put this in houses and in people’s rooms, a lot of which are in rooms with white walls and this computer’s gon na sit in front of a white wall behind it. Theoretically, the white bezels sort of melt away into the background. Actually more than black bezels would have right and, like i see it, i’m not saying i like it, like i’d personally, still take black bezels every single day of the week, but at least we can see what they were thinking, it’s kind of the same as the Nest hub or a nest thermostat even it’s, trying to be a piece of tech that can fit into any room and people would rather have something that looks friendlier than a metal box.
Fine. Now the chin. On the other hand, this is this is probably where we’re gon na start to disagree. I i get that it’s iconic to the imac to have this chin, even though they got rid of the actual icon the logo, but i just think it would have looked so much better without the chin, so most of the computer is down there in the bottom. If you look at apple’s videos, you can see their basic setup, which is the m1 and the logic board, and all that most of the computer down in that chin, then it’s, just mostly cooling and speakers throughout the rest, so by shoving the computer down there it Let them make this whole computer razor thin 11 and a half millimeters thin for the whole thing, it’s thinner than a macbook pro it’s, thinner than an apple watch. This entire computer is actually thinner than the depth of a headphone jack, so they had to put the headphone jack on the side of the computer, otherwise it wouldn’t fit at all. It’S, stunningly razor, thin and it’s kind of amazing that the entire computer fits inside. This sleek case thinner than pretty much every other 24 inch monitor and that’s all amazing, and it clearly took a lot of work to make it this thin. But after i get it out the box and decide where i want to put it and lock it in place, i don’t care. I don’t care how thin it is so i’m confident that nearly a hundred percent of the people buying this machine would have been totally cool, with it being like 20 millimeters thick and being able to fit a lot of that computer stuff behind the display, so that It doesn’t have a chin and it would have looked way better and it still would have been impressively thin.
So then that would have also given them more room for more impressive speakers. Now it’s got some pretty great speakers already so they’re downward firing, just like they were in previous imacs and they’re really much louder than you’d expect from this small of a frame. It can crank loud enough to fill a room. It’S got dolby atmos support and this nice pretty wide stereo image when you’re sitting right in front of it, but there is a distinct lack of deep bass, which makes perfect sense, it’s just built in speakers and an all in one but it’s it’s so thin. I bet if it was thicker, you would have had some more space for maybe some more basic speakers. They also probably could have fit the power adapter inside the computer, like with all the rest of their desktops, but they really leaned into the external power. Brick situation with the imac here: there’s, an external power brick here, that’s pretty beefy, but they’ve made the most of it. They’Ve got color matching cables and there’s magnetic pins into the back and they’ve, also built in an ethernet port into the brick in the higher end models, which is super convenient, since it saves you yet another cable sticking out of the computer itself. All that being said, the way i feel is they should have made it a little thicker and nixed the chin, but that’s just me. Maybe let me know what you think in the comments below, but they went with the chin, so it’s here keep using it for your your post.
It notes keep keep using it as a as a little handle for your, not height, adjustable stance just for pivoting, but it is what it is it’s here now as an all in one. The imac is pretty much the gold standard for built in accessories and components. So i was looking forward to the webcam and mic for this one and they’re pretty good, actually better than i was expecting. It is 1080p finally, which is awesome, but more than that, the colors and the contrast are way better, actually better than i feel like they were in the m1 laptops and the studio quality microphones, as you can hear, best mics ever in a mac, are pretty good. They’Re pretty useful, they focus on your voice, so if you’re further away from the mac, it can still hear you like this all right, but let’s talk about the port situation, real quick. So this is probably the only little red flag or downside of this new generation. So the baseline imac starts at 12.99 and that’s that’s, the baseline, so it’s the cheapest one, but that particular one has almost no ports. That desktop has a headphone jack and two thunderbolt usb c ports, no ethernet on the power; brick no sd card slot, like that, is it that’s, a wired mouse and a keyboard and you’re already out of ports. But if you upgrade to the higher spec models that start at 14.99, then you have two more usb c ports for a total of four but yeah, no hdmi, no usb a just usb c here, no matter which model you get it’s just it’s worth noting.
So if you’re, if you know you’re going to be plugging in external storage or one or two things right off the bat, a card reader you’re going to be running out of ports, pretty quick but then again, let’s be real. Most of the people getting these machines are going to use apple’s nice, beautiful, colorful, new uh accessories that are all bluetooth, and it was funny during the unboxing seeing matching piece after matching piece. It just kind of struck me how well thought out all this stuff is so with the blue imac. The power cable is blue. The lightning cable for charging anything lightning is blue there’s, a new trackpad and magic mouse, neither of which are redesigned at all. Just blue. Now, instead of silver and there’s, also even dual tone blue stickers in here to match that computer and then there’s a new magic keyboard with touch id, which is super dope very useful, especially if you’re used to other laptops. They’Ve made i’m pretty sure. It’S, literally just an old iphone’s touch id button like cut out into the center of a keyboard key because that’s exactly what it looks and feels like, but hey it works as advertised for logging in switching between users authorizing payments. All that one thing i’ve noticed is, it is a little bit slow and i figure maybe that’s, because it’s sending information encrypted over bluetooth to the imac and back but that’s a fine sacrifice for me, but also this new keyboard with the base model.
Doesn’T have touch id so that’s, another cut for the base model, imac along with one gpu core, an ethernet port and two usb c ports. But overall, even though i am someone who’s, obviously not in the target demographic of this baseline imac, i actually think it’s a great computer. It is a really good computer. I just think you should be wary of the baseline situation, because that’s almost guaranteed less ports than the computer you’re, currently using um, so check that out just make sure you have the right port situation. If you upgrade you get ethernet, you get two more ports. You get another gpu core, you can get more storage, but just as far as the computer that this is replacing it’s miles ahead of that old, 21.5 inch imac, honestly, the only reason you might go with a mac mini and another monitor is, if you really don’t, Like the design at all, or if you just hate a glossy display or if you want some sort of a different style, if you can’t stand white bezels, if there’s something else to it, then you can shop around but again, you’re, probably gon na have a hard Time, finding a monitor this good in a package like this, so that’s the appeal of the imac, but now i get to get even more excited about the next steps in the apple silicon transition. M1 has been amazing so far, but i am so curious about what they’re gon na do with the big macbook pro with the imac pro.
Maybe it won’t have a chin. Maybe they’ll go crazy with an apple silicon mac pro i’m just i’m ready to see the rest of that lineup, but until then m1 stuff is out.