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iMacs get as thin as iPads

The new Apple iMacs are now as thin as iPads, thanks to Apple’s custom M1 system on a chip. They also come in the classic colours from the early 2000s.

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Apple last night introduced a new iMac with a thinner design, enabled by the M1 chip. Coming in at just over 1cm, the all-in-one computer features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness, and over a billion colours, delivering a brilliant and vivid viewing experience.  

It also includes a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality mics, and a six-speaker sound system — giving it the title of “the best camera and audio in a Mac”. On the more expensive variant, Touch ID is housed in the keyboard to enable secure login, and purchases with Apple Pay.  

“M1 is a big leap forward for the Mac, and today we’re excited to introduce the new iMac,” says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “With its striking design in seven stunning colours, its immersive 4.5K Retina display, the best camera, mics, and speakers ever in a Mac, and Touch ID, combined with the performance of M1 and the power of macOS Big Sur, the new iMac takes everything people love about iMac to an entirely new level.”  

Enabled by the system-on-chip architecture and amazing power efficiency of M1, the logic board and thermals are now consolidated into a smaller space. The much more compact design reduces the volume of iMac by 50%, allowing it to take up less space.  

With an array of colours — green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver — the new computer features softer colours and thinner borders on the front, while the back pops in bold, saturated colour. To complete the simplified design, it comes with a new power connector that attaches magnetically and a beautifully woven 2-meter-long colour-matched cable. To reduce clutter, the 8-core iMac configuration features an ethernet port on the power adapter. 

The top-of-the-range 8-core CPU in M1 features the fastest CPU core in low-power silicon. Apple says the 8-core GPU features the “fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer”. When combined with its high efficiency, unified memory architecture, and the 16-core Apple Neural Engine, the new iMac delivers powerful performance when compared to previous-generation 21.5-inch standard models, including:  

  • Up to 85% faster CPU performance, so users can export video projects in iMovie faster, work with massive 100-megapixel photos in Lightroom, and compile new apps in Xcode in a fraction of the time. 
  • Up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, and up to 50% faster than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac, allowing users to render edits in real-time or add complex filters to their photos in a snap. 
  • The ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro. 
  • Up to 3x faster machine learning in apps that leverage the 16-core Neural Engine in M1.

The computer features a 1080p FaceTime HD camera — the best in any Mac — which delivers high-quality video and better performance in low light. iMac also takes advantage of the image signal processor in the M1 chip and the Neural Engine, enhancing camera image quality with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto exposure and white balance.  

To complement the camera, it features a studio-quality three-microphone array for clearer calls and voice recordings. The mics are positioned to reduce feedback from the rest of the system, while directional beamforming allows them to better ignore background noise and focus on a user’s voice. As a result, conversations are sound more natural and recordings are crystal clear.  

Customers can choose from three models of Magic Keyboard with aluminium enclosures that are colour-matched to the computer. Implemented wirelessly on Magic Keyboard, Touch ID uses a dedicated security component on the keyboard, which communicates directly with Secure Enclave in M1, creating an encrypted channel to protect users’ fingerprint data from end to end. Whether unlocking their Mac or making a purchase with Apple Pay, users enjoy a fast, and secure experience. Customers can also choose Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and Numeric Keypad, as well as the colour-matched Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.  

Every new iMac features at least two Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfers, giving customers high-performance options to connect to more devices, including support for up to a 6K display, and Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster wireless performance. The 8-core iMac configuration offers two additional USB-C ports.  

The iMac with 7-core GPU starts at $1,299 (US), and is available in green, pink, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse. 

The iMac with 8-core GPU starts at $1,499 (US), and is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two additional USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet. 

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