IMac M1 24 ” Review (2021): A symbol reinvented

After the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, it is the turn of the iconic iMac to welcome its M1 chip. To celebrate the event, Apple is reviewing the design of its famous desktop computer. The colorful new iMac M1 is also thinner, lighter and comes with matching accessories.

With this overhaul, the American giant wants to make its iMac the ultimate family computer. So at a time when teleworking tends to democratize, the timing seems to be perfect. The machine still has to convince every day.

So we replaced our 16-inch MacBook Pro with a very muscular configuration (more than $ 4,000 when it was released) with the standard 24-inch iMac M1 (worth $ 1449). Here is our full review.

Brand new design

In the end ! Apple will have taken the entire time to review the design (unchanged for years) of its iconic iMac. To mark the occasion, the Pommé All-in-One swaps its gray aluminum dress for more striking colors. You can choose between a blue, green, pink, yellow, orange, purple or classic silver iMac (please note that the standard model is only available in blue, green, pink and silver).

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On the back, the iMac has an aluminum shell with the most beautiful effect, on the front the color extends over a wide lower band. Apple has housed all of the machine’s components here. A white frame surrounds the 24-inch screen at the top.

Make no mistake, the iMac M1 is no bigger than its predecessor with a 21-inch screen. In fact, Apple wanted to keep this format and include the largest disk possible. The 24 ” iMac M1 is therefore just as compact as a 21 ”, but has a more comfortable screen.

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This new model is characterized above all by extreme finesse. At 11.5mm at the withers, it’s the thinnest desktop computer on the market. We even marvel at so much finesse when we compare this iMac to its colorful 25-year-old ancestor. In addition, it is very light (just over 4 kg), which makes it easier to move from one room to another if necessary.

These two products are separated by less than 25 years. Breathtaking.

– Romain Vitt (@vitt_romain) April 22, 2021

Apple stays true to the iMac philosophy and plays the card of minimalism. The power connection (only vertical) hidden behind the swivel base accepts a braided cable in the colors of the machine. Note the presence of an Ethernet connection on the power supply unit. Attention to detail.

If this minimalism delights the most neurotic of us, then, when pushed to the limit, it has technical disadvantages. For example, the connection of this iMac M1 to a desktop computer is (too) restricted.

With the standard model, we have to be content with two Thunderbolt ports on the back and a 3.5 mm socket on the left. Higher versions also offer space for two USB 3 ports. Why not two additional thunderbolts? Secret and apple ball.

In any case, most users will likely need to buy an adapter if, for example, they only want to plug in a USB stick. Given the price of the machine, we would have liked Apple to offer this little accessory.

Aside from these few technical issues, the iMac M1 24 ” remains the most stylish desktop computer on the market. By multiplying the colors and playing the card of finesse, Apple opens up the field of possibilities to the public.

The computer can now be installed anywhere in the house and matches all furniture. Yes, the iMac M1 24 ” is also a decorative object in its own right.

Matching accessories but …

The iMac M1 comes with new accessories that match the machine colors. Don’t expect to get the accessories on their own, Apple doesn’t offer them for sale. Don’t expect to go for separate colors. This option is not available.

© Lemon squeezer © Lemon squeezer

The iMac M1 24 ” is therefore supplied with a Magic Mouse and a Magic Keyboard (without Touch ID) in the same colors as the device. The Magic Keyboard with Touch ID costs 50 euros more. The same applies if you want to replace the Magic Mouse with a Magic Trackpad.

Apple iMac 24 “M1 256 GB at the best price Base price: € 1,449

Teleworking with M1 sauce

Under its new costume, the 24-inch iMac camouflages the M1 chip, which was inaugurated with the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch. Our test model has the standard configuration, i.e. a processor consisting of an 8-core CPU and a 7-core GPU with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage.

This model, marketed for 1449 euros, can be similar to the family computer that is in the living room and available to children (for their homework) or parents (for a little consultation).

For this goal, which is intended for office automation and internet surfing, the M1 chip would deliver almost too much power. But without counting on the new uses resulting from the health crisis.

In early 2020, the global pandemic gave teleworking a boost. For some professionals, especially creative people (photographers, videographers, designers, etc.), buying new equipment is a big investment. Unless you choose a machine with Apple’s M1 chip.

Contrary to all expectations, the American’s new machines would almost have a good electricity price ratio. Because the performance of the M1 chip is simply breathtaking. The iMac 24 ” can therefore be used as a professional machine without any problems, even for creative professions.

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As an example, we used the iMac M1 as a work machine for several days. While we had no doubts about the capabilities of office automation, we wondered about the potential for more advanced applications. Good news: the 24-inch iMac M1 can handle long sessions of photo editing or video editing in 4K (with multiple video streams).

Best of all, it performs these duties in the silence of the cathedral and without the slightest sign of overheating. To get the same results in the PC universe, a much more muscular, bulky, but also more expensive configuration is required. Who would have believed that?

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Also note the integration of a new FaceTime HD camera that can now film up to 1080p. In combination with three “studio quality” microphones and an algorithm to reduce background noise, the quality of video conferences is significantly improved, which was rather poor in previous generations. What Makes the iMac M1 24 ” the Ideal Machine for Teleworking? He’s getting closer.

Also suitable for multimedia

As mentioned above, the new iMac keeps the same format as the previous 21-inch screen, but now includes a 24-inch screen. What can improve the multimedia experience? No doubt.

If we hadn’t spit on a slightly larger screen (a 27-inch panel as long as we did), we wouldn’t have anything to complain about the display quality. Apple relies on a 4.5K retina panel (11.3 million pixels) that covers the P3 color range (1 billion colors) and displays a brightness of 500 nits.

For the first time, the iMac integrates True Tone, the technology introduced on the iPhone and iPad, to adapt the display to its surroundings. A little dessert that we love to enjoy.

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The multimedia experience is also transmitted through sound. The iMac M1 has no fewer than six speakers that carry stereophonic sound from the bottom of the device. No consumer brand sells desktop computers this thin with such a good sound system (at this price, we’re getting it right).

Whether you are a fan of music while you work or a movie / series lover, the iMac M1 is an excellent display medium. Of course, it will never replace an audio system worthy of the name, but it is not flawed and perfectly suits the needs of its general public purpose. As we say in jargon: “He does the job”.

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There’s one more area that the iMac M1 can frustrate some in: gaming. First, because the M1 chip with integrated GPU will never achieve the level of performance of a computer with a dedicated graphics chip.

If the games from the Apple Arcade service or the Mac App Store work properly, a virtual machine with Windows must be created for games on other platforms (e.g. Steam or Epic Games). The software with which this pirouette (not to mention Parallels Desktop) already requires a lot of resources, 3D games do not always run optimally.

This configuration in particular (which is anything but easy for the target group) pushes the M1 chip to its limits: It heats up and the fan gets a little excited.

The iMac M1 24 ” is therefore suitable for casual gamers with games from Apple Arcade and the Mac App Store. With this product, gamers are not Apple’s target anyway, as the screen refresh rate, which is limited to 60 Hz, shows.

Apple iMac 24 “M1 256 GB at the best price Base price: € 1,449

Our opinion on the iMac M1 24 ”

It’s hard not to fall for the iMac M1. By reviewing the design of its iconic all-in-one, Apple is doing just the right thing. Thinner, more modern and sexy than ever, this new iMac will fit into any room in the house.

Because it’s the general public, the family, that Apple is targeting with this entry-level model. Entry level with an M1 chip that offers mind-boggling performance and a beautiful screen. What makes the competition pale.

This 24-inch iMac M1 was developed for teleworking and multimedia and therefore impresses with its versatility. Nevertheless, we recommend that you turn to the intermediate model (marketed for 1669 euros), which is equipped with a more powerful graphics chip (especially for gamers) and more generous connectivity. In any case, you will not regret your purchase.

iMac M1 24 ” (2021)

1449 €

Design and finishes

9.5 / 10

Techno-price ratio

9.0 / 10

We love

Exemplary design and finishes. Good audio quality. Very nice screen. Excellent performance. New FaceTime camera

We like less

Connection too limited limits still a bit thick Price of the basic version a bit high Options and accessories (very) expensive

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