Is This the best Mac for the majority of people? The Apple iMac 24-Inch Review:

The iMac 24 is one of the best examples of Apple Silicon’s enormous potential. Apple’s in-house chipset now ranges from fanless economy in ultra-thin designs to hyper-powerful models capable of causing Intel and AMD sleepless nights. This new all-in-one lacks the unsightly angles of the original iMac. Whose bent back always suggested bulky components that Cupertino designers did their very best to conceal.

However, because the 24-inch Retina display is located there, the front is where you get the finest view. It has a 4.5K panel (4480 x 2520 resolution), 500 nits of brightness, and P3 broad color support. No, it’s not the most eye-searing screen out there. But it won’t have the same problems with intense sunlight as a MacBook may.

Once you’ve used Apple’s True Tone technology. Which automatically adjusts the display’s color temperature based on the room’s ambient lighting conditions. You won’t want to live without it. Although there are larger monitors available. The 24-inch panel is well suited for leaving out without overpowering a space, such as on a kitchen counter. The iMac 24 is capable of driving one external display at up to 6K/60Hz.

Wait, where’s the rest?

You’d be excused for thinking at first that Apple has only sold you a display rather than an entire computer. Although the iMac 24 is 5.8 inches wide and 18.1 inches tall, the screen itself is only 11.5 mm thick. A little less than two iPhone 13 Pros could be stacked on top of one another.

The stand, which lacks a height adjustment but has a hinge that can be tilted, is the default choice. Apple has a VESA mount version if you’d prefer to use your own stand for that or place the iMac on the wall. Although you don’t actually save any money by doing that, you do receive the typical four-screw mounting plate.

Apple’s aesthetic restraint is admirable. The iMac’s chin, corners, stand, and rear panel are all covered in one of seven color finishes that come in blue, green, punk, silver, yellow, orange, and purple. The screen surround is white. The only place an Apple logo is seen is on the back. Even though it weighs only 9.88 pounds. Moving it is a little more difficult than you may expect because there isn’t a carrying handle.

The Apple iMac 24-Inch Review:A tale of two iMacs

Although the iMac 24 series starts at $1,299, I can’t really endorse that model with much fervor. Ports are the key to everything.

A variant of the Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and a 7-core GPU is included in Apple’s base configuration. Along with 256GB of storage and 8GB of unified memory. There are only two ports on the back, both Thunderbolt and USB 4. The bespoke power cord plugs in through a hole in the stand. There is a 3.5mm headphone port on the side. Get used to living the dongle lifestyle because there is no USB Type-A or SD card port.

I can’t really recommend the $1,299 entry-level model of the iMac 24 with as much enthusiasm. Ports are the key factor.

The Apple M1 chip, which features an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU. Along with 256GB of storage and 8GB of unified memory, are the components of Apple’s base configuration. Just two Thunderbolt and USB 4 connections are located on the back. On the side, there is a 3.5mm headphone socket, and the unique power cord fits into a hole in the stand. Get used to living the dongle lifestyle because there is no SD card slot or USB Type-A.

Is This the best Mac for the majority of people? The Apple iMac 24-Inch Review:USB Type-A

Maybe you can get by with just two USB-C if you embrace wireless peripherals. But I think a lot of people will discover that causes a lot of plugging and unplugging. Apple does offer an iMac 24 with two more USB 3 ports on the back but those models start at $1,499. The storage and memory are identical. But it has an 8-core GPU and a clever power adapter with a built-in gigabit ethernet connector that the less expensive model is missing.

I don’t think the additional GPU core will make much of a difference on a daily basis for the majority of consumers contemplating the iMac 24. After all, this is never going to be a gaming computer. Those who want to do more advanced iMovie video editing will probably seek more powerful Macs. It essentially comes down to not having an unsightly USB hub hanging off the back of your stylish all-in-one or having to juggle wired devices.

The Apple iMac 24-Inch Review:Everyday performance

There is no shortage of power when browsing, composing emails, working on papers, viewing videos, and other tasks. Just like with the other Apple M1-based Macs we’ve used. For ambitious video editors, memory and storage are the main bottlenecks. You can have up to 16GB of unified memory and up to 2TB of SSD (which Apple Silicon shares dynamically for CPU and GPU needs). But both alternatives are highly expensive. As nothing in the iMac 24 is user-upgradable, you’ll have to max out both when placing your purchase, which will cost you $2,499, and I’m not convinced everyday customers really need that much.

But don’t take “daily” as a slight. The iMac 24 is so satisfying because everything just functions as it should. In low light, the 1080p webcam maintains its sharpness and does not become muddled. Given the relatively small amount of area they have to deal with, the speakers actually outperform their weight, and the microphone array is so effective that you can skip the special headset for video chats.

The keyboard Apple supplies with the $1,499 and above iMacs comes standard with Touch ID, which is another security feature. Another good incentive to upgrade from the standard configuration is that once you’ve used your fingertip to authorize Apple Pay payments and sign into website accounts, you won’t want to use a password again.

Although this is not a fanless design, there aren’t many occasions when you’ll actually hear the fans turn on. With the help of several continuous 4K exports in Final Cut Pro, I had to convince them to demonstrate their abilities. Even back then, the raucous thrum of earlier, Intel-powered iMac models was a far cry.

The best Mac for most people (for now)

Once the novelty of something wears off, it can be difficult to predict how it will hold up. I waited to examine this comprehensive redesign of Apple’s last iMac because I wanted to see if the iMac 24 and Apple Silicon could maintain that heritage even after the “box new” scent had worn off after a few months. The good news is that it can, in fact, be done.

Undoubtedly, the newest iMac won’t be the best option for certain folks. Those who need more performance for video, audio, and image processing, or those with a significant budget, for example. The iMac 24 can still handle them, but your workflow will be more limited than it would be with, for example, a Mac Studio. However, you won’t need to worry if your children are merely creating iMovie projects for a class assignment.

It’s impressive how effectively the iMac 24 lives up to Apple’s promises about its own processor design, which the company made with regard to those pledges. In addition, I’m interested in seeing how Apple’s track record of providing several software updates for its iOS and iPadOS models applies to Apple Silicon Macs as well. If you also commit to years of macOS updates, it’s a little easier to swallow spending $1,500 on an iMac.

What sticks out in this situation is the sense that you are purchasing more than simply a computer. The Apple iMac 24 isn’t cheap, and it’s not flawless, but it has a consistent sense of style that competing Windows PCs can’t quite equal. There is a lot to be said about the current iMac experience that just works, even when more powerful versions of Apple Silicon are on the horizon.

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