24″ iMac (2021): Everything you need to know
Apple has officially unveiled its first Apple Silicon iMac. The new 24-inch iMac features an all-new design that comes in seven different colors, as well as the M1 processor inside. Here’s everything you need to know.
Table of contents
History lesson: The last iMac redesign
Apple first introduced the aluminum iMac in August of 2007, making it available in 20-inch and 24-inch variants. This was a major update compared to the previous plastic design of the iMac, which was available in 17-, 20-, and 24-inch screen variants between August 2004 and August 2007.
That means there were three years between when Apple introduced the white plastic iMac G5 and the aluminum iMac in 2007 – a pretty quick turnaround time for a major redesign of a Mac. That mid-2007 iMac, however, was only a stepping stone. Despite featuring an aluminum front-face, it still featured a back casing made of black plastic, which was a stark difference from the sleek aluminum front.
In 2009, Apple overhauled its iMac lineup with aluminum unibody design in 21.5-inch and 27-inch variants – introducing the two screen sizes that are still in use today. This design has ended up shaping the future of the iMac, with Apple focusing on iterating rather than completely redesigning it.
In October 2012, Apple redesigned the iMac with an ultra-slim side profile and removed the SuperDrive. While the thinnest point measures 5mm, there’s still an unsightly bulge in the back to accommodate the iMac’s internals and cooling system. In 2015, the iMac was upgraded with a Retina display.
Through these changes, the overall appearance of the iMac has stayed the same: an aluminum build with black bezels and an aluminum chin. The last significant update to the iMac was the introduction of the unibody aluminum design in 2009, but even that changeover actually started in 2008.
At the time in 2012, Apple making the side profile of the iMac ultra-slim was certainly a sleek look and hyped as a major redesign. In real-world use, however, that change has been far less notable, especially with the head-on appearance of the iMac remaining unchanged for so long.
With the new 24-inch 2021 iMac, however, Apple has officially redesigned the iMac.
iMac (2021): Design
The new iMac features a 24-inch display with True Tone display technology. It is available in an array of new colors. The new iMac features a slim profile with smaller bezels around the display, but the chin is still there and is similar to the previous-generation iMac design but without the Apple logo.
Measurements of the 24-inch iMac:
- Weight: 9.83 pounds
- Width: 21.5-inches
- Height: 18.1-inches
- 11.5mm thin
The 2021 iMac comes in seven different colors: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. The colors are bolder on the back and lighter on the front chin.
Processor and specs
Apple impressed with last year’s release of the M1 chip, which is what currently powers the latest MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. Apple’s work isn’t done, and it will continue to transition its Mac lineup to Apple Silicon in 2021, including the iMac.
The new 24-inch is powered by an Apple Silicon M1 chip inside, the same one that Apple uses inside the M1 Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.
The 24-inch iMac is configurable with either a 7-core GPU or an 8-core GPU. In all configurations, you get an 8-core CPU. You can also configure the machine with either 8GB of unified memory or 16GB of unified memory. Storage options include 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB.
The base model iMac (2021) includes two Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. Higher-end configurations include two Thunderbolt ports, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and ethernet connectivity on the power brick.
To go along with the new iMac, Apple also announced a new Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. This marks the first time that Apple has expanded Touch ID to an external keyboard, and it allows you to unlock your Mac, authenticate for Apple Pay and App Store purchases, and more.
The keyboard is also color-matched to the color of the iMac itself, as are the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad.
In terms of pricing, there are especially two tiers of the 24-inch iMac.
- $1,299 – 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, a Magic Keyboard without Touch ID, and a Magic Mouse.
- Available in: Green, pink, blue, and silver.
- $1,499 – 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, a Magic Mouse, and Ethernet connectivity.
- Available in: Green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver
You can also upgrade the $1,499 tier with up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage inside.
Release date: When will the 2021 iMac come out?
You’ll be able to pre-order the new iMac starting on April 30, and the first orders will begin shipping during the second half of May.
What about the 27-inch iMac?
The new 24-inch iMac serves as a replacement for the 21.5-inch iMac. Apple still sells the 27-inch iMac, powered by Intel processors rather than Apple Silicon. Apple is rumored to be working on a new version of the 27-inch with a larger display and Apple Silicon inside for a release sometime later in 2021.