What is it? Apple unveiled the 24-inch iMac in April 2021. It’s a fresh new take on the iMac and was the first update in more than a decade, with a cleaner design, Apple silicon, and a choice of colors.
Who’s it for? The iMac is great for both novices and demanding users. It can handle general-purpose and heavy-duty tasks equally well. It’s ideal for someone who needs to buy a complete computer setup (keyboard, mouse or trackpad, and display) and wants to maximize workspace efficiency. The 24-inch iMac is a design icon that will look great in any office.
How much does the iMac cost? Unfortunately the iMac prices outside the U.S. went up in January 2023, making what was already an expensive machine even more pricy. There are three standard configurations starting at $1,299/£1,399 (was £1,249) for the 24-inch iMac M1 with 7-core GPU and 256GB SSD, $1,499/£1,599 (was £1,449) for the 24-inch iMac M1 with 8-core GPU and 256GB SSD, and $1,699/£1,799 (was £1,649) for the 24-inch iMac M1 with 8-core GPU and 512GB SSD.
What are the specifications? The 24-inch iMac uses Apple’s M1 chip rather than Intel’s processors, and there are several configurations available as well as build to order option:
- Apple M1 SoC with an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores), 16-core Neural Engine, and 7-core graphics processor (GPU); 8GB of memory; 256GB SSD
- Apple M1 SoC with an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores), 16-core Neural Engine, and 8-core graphics processor (GPU); 8GB of memory; 256GB SSD
- Apple M1 SoC with an 8-core CPU (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores), 16-core Neural Engine, and 8-core graphics processor (GPU); 8GB of memory; 512GB SSD
- Additional options: 16GB unified memory and up to 2TB SSD.
What are display specifications?
The 24-inch 4.5K Retina display has 11.3 million pixels and supports the P3 wide color gamut, over a billion colors, 500 nits of brightness, and True Tone. Apple treats the display with an anti-reflective coating to help with readability.
Why does it look different from the other iMacs? The 24-inch iMac has a much different design than the discontinued 21.5-inch and 27-inch models. The bezels around the display are much smaller than on the older iMacs, but it still has a “chin,” a section located below the display that houses the iMac’s internals. The chin doesn’t have the Apple logo on the front. Instead, it’s on the back. Most notably, the 24-inch iMac comes in several colors: the $1, 299 model is available in blue, green, pink, and silver, while the $1,499 and $1,699 models are available in the same colors as well as orange, purple, and yellow.
How do I connect stuff? The $1,299 24-inch iMac 24 has two Thunderbolt 3 ports that also work with USB-C devices. The $1,499 and $1,699 iMacs have two additional USB-C ports. If you have a USB-A device, you need to buy an adapter, such as Apple’s USB-C to USB Adapter ($19). If you have multiple USB-A devices and other items, consider a Thunderbolt hub. The 24-inch iMac also has a headphone jack on the side.
The 24-inch iMac, unlike the older iMacs, does not have an SDXC slot. Once again, you’ll need an adapter, such as the
Anker SD Card reader ($17). However, it does have a super-cool magnetic power cord.
Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are built-in. Apple doesn’t put a gigabit ethernet port on the 24-inch iMac—instead, it’s on the power adapter. But that ethernet-equipped power adapter comes standard with the $1,499 and $1,699 models. It’s not included with the $1,299 model, but you can select it as an option at the point of purchase—and yes, that means you’ll have to pay extra for it.
How fast is it?: Since the 24-inch iMac has the same M1 as the Mac mini, its speed is very similar. That means it’s fast, and it’s much faster than the 21.5-inch models it replaces. It’s got all the speed general consumers need, and it can handle pro applications with no problem. However, the $1,299 model has only one fan inside its body, while the $1,499 and $1,699 models have two fans. That means the high-priced models do a better job keeping the internals cool. The $1,299 model may need to slow down its performance on heavy-duty tasks in order to maintain a proper temperature.
Macworld’s buying advice: Everything about the iMac was greatly improved with the 24-inch model, from the design to the display to its performance. It’s now more than two years on though and a M2 model is surely in the works at Apple–and, we hope, a iMac Pro model to replace the discontinued 27-inch iMac. If you are buying one the sweet spot is the $1,499/£1,599 model, which gets you more ports, Touch ID, and ethernet.