After the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini, it is now the turn of the iMacs to adopt the M1, Apple’s first SoC, designed for Macs (and the new iPad Pros).
A more powerful M1 chip …
As on these first machines, the announced gain in power is impressive. The American giant promises gains of up to 85% for the CPU part and a nice x2 for the graphics part.
As on the MacBook Pros, it is capable of bringing down an impressive load in video, up to you to edit four simultaneous 4K streams or one 8K stream. Without forgetting, of course, the native support for iOS and iPadOS applications.
… which also allows a new design
But the arrival of this chip is not only synonymous with more power. We must not forget that it displays an incredible performance / Watt ratio, which allows Apple to finally update the design of its all-in-ones.
With its appearance borrowed from that of the iPad Pro, the iMac M1 is much more compact. It’s about 50% smaller than the 21.5-inch model it replaces – the 27-inch Intel models are still around – and is only 1.15 cm thick.
The M1 architecture makes it possible to reduce the size of the motherboard, but also the necessary cooling system. It now boils down to two fans placed on either side of the map. The set is given to produce less than 10 dB when the computer is running.
The new iMac is therefore very thin, but to succeed in this little feat, Apple has however outsourced the power supply to the iMac, which takes the form of a small block. It is connected to the device via a cable with a magnetic connector. It is on this small block that Apple engineers came up with the idea of adding an Ethernet port, in order to strip the colorful back of the device as much as possible – Apple offers you seven colors full of life: blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, purple and… silver.
A little sparse connection
For connectivity, the Californian giant is not necessarily very generous – it believes in the virtues of the cloud. There are (at best) four ports in USB-C format, two USB 3 and two USB-4 / Thunderbolt, in order to connect a 6K external display, for example. Don’t look for an SD card reader or USB-A ports.
With the iMac, Apple’s ambition has long been to make the computer disappear, and to only let a screen appear. In this case, the Retina 4.5K panel is growing, since it displays a diagonal of 24 inches, for a definition of 4480×2520 pixels. But the screen is not edge to edge and a fairly wide band remains at the bottom of the screen. Regardless, the screen is capable of displaying over a billion colors and benefits from True Tone technology to adapt the display rendering to the ambient lighting.
Updated webcam and sound
In a world where most meetings take place by video conference, Apple had the good idea to improve its webcam system, and microphone. The webcam finally films in 1080p, and relies on the power of the image processor integrated in the M1 to process up to a trillion operations per second, in order to adjust the white balance, colors, face detection, etc. The microphones are also revised to better capture sounds, in particular thanks to a beamforming system, which avoids picking up parasitic sounds.
Finally, the speakers benefit from a revival, to bring both more power and good sound fidelity, thanks to a vibration cancellation system. They are capable of producing spatialized sound and are compatible with Dolby Atmos.
A Touch ID wireless keyboard
Apple offers two wireless Magic Keyboard with these new iMacs, one with new keys: emoji, Spotlight, Dictation, Do not disturb and lock. The other also integrates, for the first time, a Touch ID button. It obviously allows you to authenticate to unlock your session (or quickly change user), but also to pay online, avoid entering your password, etc.
Three models, from 1449 euros
The iMac M1 are available in three versions. A first at 1,449 euros, which offers an M1 with 8 CPU cores and 7 GPU cores, as we have seen on the MacBook Air and Mac mini. It comes with 256 GB of storage, 8 GB of unified memory and only two USB 4 / Thunderbolt ports. It is available by default with the Magic Keyboard without Touch ID.
The two other models, sold respectively at 1669 and 1899 euros, are distinguished from each other by the storage capacity offered: 256 and 512 GB. In addition, it includes an M1 with eight CPU and GPU cores, with 8 GB of unified memory only, probably with a cap of 16 GB. They offer two USB 3 ports in USB-C format and two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports and are mainly accompanied by the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID as standard. They will be pre-orderable from April 30, for availability in the second half of May.