by Jerry ElengicalSep 18, 2021
Apple recently revealed an all-new version of the iMac - the company's flagship desktop PC. Presenting a far more compact design than previous models, equipped with a myriad of cutting-edge device features, the iMac will, for the first time, be available in a broad selection of colours that can be personalised to suit a user's style. The device possesses powerful performance capabilities enabled by the state-of-the-art M1 chip: all within a profile that is only 11.5 mm thick. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, says, “M1 is a gigantic leap forward for the Mac, and we are excited to introduce the all-new iMac, the first Mac designed around the breakthrough M1 chip.” It joins the new MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac mini in a new line of models powered by the M1.
According to the California-based tech giant, the M1 chip's eight-core CPU is the fastest of its kind in low-power silicon, with an eight-core GPU said to boast the quickest integrated graphics in a PC. Coupled with Apple's new macOS Big Sur, it delivers startling levels of computational processing that dwarf older iMac models and allow for complex, graphically intensive tasks to be undertaken with little to no difficulty. The Apple M1's unique system-on-chip architecture and efficient power consumption have permitted the inbuilt thermals and logic controls to be considerably condensed in their arrangement, leading to the device's extremely slim side profile that 'practically disappears’. These design choices have allowed the iMac's volume to be compressed by nearly 50 per cent - reducing its spatial footprint and enabling it to fit in smaller places.
Users can select from a spectrum of available colours that include blue, purple, green, yellow, orange, pink, and silver. This range of options allows the new iMac to imbibe nearly any space with its unique identity and serve as its focal point. To avoid distracting users by being too visually dominant, the designers used softer tones and borders around the screen to contrast the bolder and saturated shades at the back that add a vibrant hue. Apple also developed a new magnetic power connector with an adjoining two-metre colour coordinated cable as part of the iMac's revamp.
Featuring a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, the new iMac renders an immersive, vivid viewing experience that continues its predecessors' tradition of providing best-in-class display features. A P3 wide colour gamut furnishes over a billion colours, alongside 500 nits of brightness, that together facilitate vibrant, expressive images on-screen. True Tone technology calibrates colour temperatures as per the surrounding environment, while an industry leading anti-reflective coating on the 4.5K Retina display enables heightened levels of comfort and legibility while watching or reading.
This version of the iMac comes with a 1080p HD camera for FaceTime, which is the best yet in the company's Macintosh line of PCs. Additionally, the M1 chip's image signal processor and Neural Engine allow for better auto exposure, white balance, noise reduction, dynamic range, and by extension, enhanced image quality.
A three-microphone array provides studio-quality sound on calls and recordings to complement the device's high-grade camera specifications. It also incorporates directional beamforming to help eliminate background noise with mic positioning that limits feedback. Two pairs of force-cancelling woofers are placed adjacent to one another for an imposing low-end response that limits excess vibration. A corresponding set of high-performance tweeters balances them out - together, they comprise the best ever sound system installed in an iMac, capable of generating an effect reminiscent of an expansive sound stage with punchy, articulate bass as well as crystalline mids and highs. Furthermore, Dolby Atmos audio technology combined with innovative speakers and complex algorithms create a surround sound experience that enhances every viewing affair.
This edition of the iMac is also the first to implement Touch ID wirelessly on its Magic Keyboard. Employing a devoted security component - directly linked by an encrypted channel to Secure Enclave in M1, the system guarantees device safety and end-to-end fingerprint data protection. Magic Keyboard is available in three different models with elegant aluminium enclosures whose colours can be matched to those of the PC itself. Users can also opt for a version of the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad, along with colour matched versions of Apple's Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.
Equipped with two Thunderbolt ports for rapid data transfers, the new iMac can connect to a plethora of auxiliary devices including 6K display screens such as the Apple Pro Display XDR. Wi-Fi 6 capabilities boost its wireless performance, while the device's eight-core configuration is fitted with a 1GB/s Ethernet port and two additional USB-C ports.
Perhaps the most remarkable elements of the new iMac are its sustainable design features. Constructed using a low carbon aluminium enclosure, it utilises one hundred percent recycled tin in the solder for its primary logic board. Natural wood fibre used in its packaging is either recycled or ethically sourced from responsibly managed forests. Pure recycled rare earth metals constitute the magnets for its fan motor, power connector, and speakers. The device adheres to Apple's strict standards for energy efficiency and is free from volatile or toxic substances. All this is in line with the company's current carbon-neutral global operations and its firm commitment to achieving net-zero climate impact across all its divisions - including supply chains, manufacturing, and product life-cycles, by 2030.
In the words of Joswiak, “With its striking design in seven stunning colors, its immersive 4.5K Retina display, the best camera, mics, and speakers ever in a Mac, and Touch ID, combined with the amazing performance of M1 and the power of macOS Big Sur, the new iMac takes everything people love about iMac to an entirely new level”. Set for a limited release in select stores from May onwards, the new iMac will be available for online orders on April 30.
(Text by Jerry Joe Elengical, intern at STIRworld.com)