Review of the iMac M1 and its most outstanding features — 2022

The first iMac with Apple Silicon, the M1 more specifically, has interesting features that stand out compared to its predecessors. 24-inch screen, new design, a very wide range of colors, a processor that gives amazing performance... In this article we review everything you need to know about this amazing Apple computer launched on the market in 2021. If you are thinking of buying it, We recommend you not to lose detail.

An unprecedented design after a decade

This iMac has changed (a lot) compared to what Apple had us used to with its desktop computers. There will be those who liked the change more or less, since in the end this is a tremendously subjective aspect. However, there are obvious changes worth noting, as we will see in the following sections.

A colorful body with amazing thickness

The most striking thing about this iMac is the color. Accustomed to the always elegant silver, Apple recalled the classic iMac G3 with a computer that, emulating the phrase of Steve Jobs when he was introduced, makes you want to lick it. Metaphors and jokes aside, this computer is available in 7 colors: pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple and, of course, silver. However, it must be said that does not have the same color on the back as the front, finding more striking colors on the back and a more discreet and pastel color on the first. The change in some cases is prominent, such as the pink that you can see in the photos in this article and that from behind tends to look more like a passion red. In fact, it has been difficult to show the exact color of this equipment in photos due to the variation it implies before the camera lenses.



new imac 2021 24 inch

The light weight What this computer has compared to its predecessors is also noteworthy. And yes, it is true that we are not going to transport it as much as if it were a laptop and in fact it is likely that it will not move from the same desk for years. However, this change is appreciated when it comes to moving it to clean, in a move or if we want to temporarily change its stay.

Although what most catches our attention without a doubt is its thickness. Seeing a monitor with such a thickness is not complicated, but it is not really usual, so you can imagine what it means to see a complete computer with this fineness having included the plate inside. Such is the thinness of this iMac that the headphone jack had to be added on the left side because if it was done on the back, the connector would go through the screen.

Lateral iMac M1

The unibody look It is also reminiscent of an iPad Pro, with completely flat edges that are only rounded when they reach the corners. And yes, a completely flat back leaving behind the characteristic hump of the iMacs of yesteryear. Although what Apple has not given up on that back is to add its characteristic large logo.

Higher quality screen and with chin (again)

The 21.5-inch models that preceded this iMac had 4K panels that have now evolved to a screen that reaches exactly the 23.5 inches (although officially we say that it is 24) and has a 4.5K quality . The size of the body in general is practically the same as the 21.5 that we mentioned before, however the screen was increased thanks to some reduced bezels which, by the way, are white regardless of the main color chosen for the computer.

At the bottom of the screen we find a chin that would be the only redoubt that remains of what this range of computers used to be. Of course, it is slightly smaller and no longer includes the Apple logo in the center. In the box we find stickers with that logo, but they are larger. Intended by Apple so we wouldn't try to emulate that iconic feature? In any case, it must be said that this chin has a touch really particular for having a glass above the glass and that occupies the entire front part.

screen imac m1 2021

Hardware and experience of using the iMac M1

What about the hardware of this device? If in the aesthetic field we observe relevant innovations, in the internal components we find even more changes than They completely change the experience of using the device. A new processor, new motherboard layout, camera up to the task...

Processor performance and lack of RAM?

In these times when the demand for computers is increasing, it is too shocking to find that the most basic version of RAM of this iMac is 8 GB and the maximum is 16 GB. However this is a fact that in practice is somewhat misleading . This memory is integrated into the M1 chip instead of going separately on the board as was the case in the past, which adds to the fact that this chip is tremendously efficient. As is already the case with devices such as the iPhone or iPad, Apple draws on the competitive advantage of being the one who designs hardware and software, making them both come together in a truly surprising way.

The version that we have tested is the 8 GB version, that is, the most basic of all. It is evident that for a certain demanding and daily use it is not the most recommended, but in our tests with 4K editing in Final Cut we have been surprised by how tremendously fast the equipment has been and even having several more applications on many occasions open. You can see the benchmarks obtained in Cinebench.

cinebench imac m1

And although it would not be entirely accurate for us to say this, in a way you could say that the 8 GB of RAM in M1 is comparable to 16 GB in Intel and so on. We insist that this is not something real, since in the end they are different processors in terms of architecture, but in practice you can experience something very close to it.

Obviously in much more everyday tasks for most users, it will be a perfect companion. There is no slowness or anything strange in the reproduction of content, in the management of agenda or email, reviewing the photo gallery or simply browsing the Internet. Therefore, it is a very open device as far as the public niche is concerned, including even professionals who do not require even greater power in terms of speeds.

A marvel of Mac controlling temperature

Another aspect where the M1 stands out and that we already knew from previous models launched on the market is that of ventilation. This iMac, unlike its predecessor, has two small fans on both sides of the plate that are capable of perfectly managing the temperature even in high-demand conditions. At certain times, if we touch the chin of the computer we can notice that it is hot, but it does not burn in any case.

imac m1 fan

The fans are extremely quiet and in our use they have hardly had to be activated more than on certain few occasions in which the requirement of the equipment was high, such as when we have rendered videos in 4K. However, even in these highly demanding situations, we can reaffirm that they do not make an annoying noise or that it can be considered excessive. If we compare it with previous generations, the change has been more than remarkable.

1080p camera with software enhancement

On a technical level, this is a Full HD resolution camera. Finally! Incomprehensibly, Apple had been opting for 720p (HD) cameras for several years and it had to be in this redesigned Mac that we finally found a lens more adapted to the times in which video calls are the daily bread. Whether for work or school meetings, as well as to be in contact with friends and family, this camera is very pleasant.

imac camera

And it is that beyond what this camera has on a technical level, we find an image improvement thanks to the M1 chip, which is capable of improve quality in real time . We have been able to test the camera in video calls at night, with unfavorable light circumstances, and yet the image we were showing was clear and without excessive graininess.

A superior and even professional audio system

This iMac is made up of a system up to 6 hi-fi speakers and that are located in the lower part of the device and that are capable of transmitting sound stereo with very good quality. Perhaps they are still not comparable to the most professional external audio systems, but for the reproduction of multimedia content and music it has nothing to envy thanks to the force cancellation on the woofers or functionalities such as its compatibility with spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.

imac pink m1

With regard to capturing audio, we find three microphones on top of the equipment, which Apple says are studio-quality. It is true that they are very good quality microphones and that they have a very high signal to noise ratio and that even have technology directional beamforming , but they are far from what a professional microphone would be. Of course, there are many cases in which they can be more than enough and more so if you are in a room where there is not too much noise.

Nuevo Magic Keyboard y nuevo Magic Mouse

The keyboard of this iMac comes to be identical to that of previous generations in its most basic versions, with the only difference that on its sides and on the bottom of the keys it has the color chosen for the device as the color. Of course, it is allowed to choose a keyboard with Touch ID that although it remains the same aesthetically, it adds the fingerprint sensor in the upper right key to be able to access multiple functions if we configure our fingerprint. From unlocking your computer to being able to quickly fill in passwords or make payments using Apple Pay.

magic keyboard y magic mouse imac m1

Where we do not find a difference beyond that of the secondary color is in the mouse and trackpad. These eligible accessories during purchase are functionally the same as in previous years, although it is true that aesthetically they represent an interesting combination with the equipment. At the battery level, like the keyboard, they are recharged using their respective Lighting to USB-C cables included in the box.

Goodbye to many ports in favor of USB-C

It's not the first Apple Mac to feature USB-C, and it's not the first in the iMac lineup to do so either. However, it is the first of these to eliminate any other additional ports except for the 3.5mm jack and Ethernet, which by the way can be added to the external power supply without taking up space in the body of the device. Say goodbye to the SD card reader and USB type A.

What we find are 4 USB-C ports , being only two of them Thunderbolt 3 compatible. Precisely this standard will allow to obtain DisplayPort, VGA, HDMI, DVI and Thunderbolt 2 video output through adapters that must be purchased separately. Being these ports already known, we did not find too many appreciable novelties, beyond the fact that it is appreciated to have the two Thunderbolt for their transfer speeds, much appreciated when transferring files to external drives or vice versa.

imac m1 ports

Regarding the power of the Mac itself We find an interesting novelty and it is that it has a cable that connects magnetically to the back of it. Far from what it may seem at first, this is safe and even if the computer is moved there is no risk that it will be disconnected (unless excessively sudden movements are made). This cable then connects to the external power supply, from which the already classic adapter that connects to the current comes out.

No hitches when it comes to storage

Another aspect where we find evolution is that all capacities are on SSD , leaving behind Fusion Drive options that combined Fusion Drive storage with classic HDD hard drives. Perhaps its base capacity of 256 GB may seem small to many, although it can always be combined with cloud storage. Regarding the highest ones, it would cost us more to find users who could miss a little more space, since it reaches 2 TB.

  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB
  • 1 TB
  • 2 TB

Lots of software, albeit with temporary buts

This iMac shipped with macOS 11.3 out of the box, one of the Big Sur releases. However, it is expected that this computer will continue to receive updates for years . Until when is a mystery, but considering that there have been Intel-based Macs that have been updated for almost a decade, with the M1 that mounts this one we could expect even better times.

Do all apps work with this M1?

Apple announced to app developers in June 2020 that the first ARM-based Macs would arrive by the end of that year. Then began a transition period that the company dated 2 years. However, by the time this iMac arrives, there are many developers who have already optimized their tools to work well on Apple Silicon.

Rosetta

Are there apps that don't yet run natively on this iMac? Yes, but Apple also thought about it and have integrated Rosetta 2 , a code translator that makes a good part of the applications that are only optimized for Intel architecture work on the M1. The difference in many cases when using emulated apps with Rosetta 2 are almost negligible, since there is no noticeable lower performance or slower load times. In fact, you will not even be aware of it, since you will only have to allow Rosetta to act when you open the app for the first time and it will always be acting in the background.

Windows is still not available

There will be many who can classify the fact that a macOS user wants to install Windows on the same computer as treason. However, there are many professionals who need tools only available in the Microsoft operating system. In Macs that have Intel chips, this system can be installed in a partition, being able to boot the computer in it and being fully functional. This installation is done through the well-known Boot Camp Assistant, which also appears on this iMac, although when you open it it says that it is not available.

BootCamp M1

The fact that Apple integrates said assistant even knowing that it will not work may have its origin in the hope that Microsoft will soon optimize its system to the ARM architecture. In fact, this is not the only company that requires it, since there are many PC manufacturers that want it. For now, the most that can be done is virtualizar Windows through apps like Parallels 2, although unfortunately they still don't work in all situations as one would like.

2021 iMac M1 price

We did not find a single price for this iMac, since depending on the configuration chosen, we will find that its value increases. As standard, Apple offers three versions at different prices, within which we can find specifications that allow (or not) to expand and thereby increase the price. The most basic model will start at 1,449 euros, while the top-of-the-range model with all its advanced configurations would reach 3,513.98 euros.

From 1,449 euros

  • M1 chip (8 core CPU, 7 core GPU)
  • RAM:
    • 8 GB
    • 16 GB: +230 euros
  • SSD storage:
    • 256 GB
    • 512 GB: +230 euros
    • 1 TB: +460 euros
  • Ethernet:
    • None
    • Gigabit Ethernet: +26 euros
  • Peripherals:
    • Magic Keyboard
    • Magic Mouse
    • Magic Trackpad: +50 euros
    • Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad: +135 euros
  • Pre-Installed Software:
    • Logic Pro: +229 euros
    • Final Cut Pro: +329 euros

imac apple

From 1,669 euros

  • M1 chip (8 core CPU, 8 core GPU)
  • RAM:
    • 8 GB
    • 16 GB: +230 euros
  • SSD storage:
    • 256 GB
    • 512 GB: +230 euros
    • 1 TB: +460 euros
    • 2 TB: +920 euros
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Peripherals:
    • Magic Keyboard con Touch ID
    • Magic Mouse
    • Magic Trackpad: +50 euros
    • Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad: +135 euros
  • Pre-Installed Software:
    • Logic Pro: +229 euros
    • Final Cut Pro: +329 euros

imac pink m1

From 1,899 euros

  • M1 chip (8 core CPU, 8 core GPU)
  • RAM:
    • 8 GB
    • 16 GB: +230 euros
  • SSD storage:
    • 512 GB
    • 1 TB: +230 euros
    • 2 TB: +690 euros
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Peripherals:
    • Magic Keyboard con Touch ID
    • Magic Mouse
    • Magic Trackpad: +50 euros
    • Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad: +135 euros
  • Pre-Installed Software:
    • Logic Pro: +229 euros
    • Final Cut Pro: +329 euros

Conclusion: a necessary change that opens the way to the future

If we stick to the most trivial in terms of design, it is where we can say that a greater change has been suffered. We continue to find certain coincidences with previous generations that can serve as a nod and follow a certain pattern that continues to differentiate an iMac from its competitors. However, the biggest change is inside and in a performance that until now was only achieved with very high processor versions and with RAM specifications that were on par.

imac m1

There are really few things at the level of operation of the iMac M1 that have not already been discussed about one of its M1 brothers (Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro). Similar performance is obtained with any of the three, so the purchase decision will depend on other personal factors that are more related to the mobility that is desired and even with the aesthetic preference that each one has.

If you're a basic user, this is your iMac. If you're a professional, maybe too. It is perhaps not the most recommended equipment for a film studio or for processing heavy data. However, there is a wide niche of users between the basic and more professional in which this iMac fits. Therefore, if this computer convinces you aesthetically and functionally, you will not regret your purchase. And although its price may seem high, if we compare it with comparable Intel versions, we could even say that it is cheaper.