I had high expectations for the new one iMac 2021. Even before Apple’s main note, I was sure that the iMac would be my first major technology purchase of the year. Unfortunately, the iMac 2021 failed to win me over. Of course, it contains Apple’s amazing M1 chip, but I can’t help but see it as the famous – and more expensive – Mac mini.
More importantly, as the owner of a 27-inch iMac 5K, the iMac 2021 feels like a downgraded version. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure the new iMac can spin around my Core i5 Skylake iMac, but I was really hoping for a new 5K iMac that Apple completely ignores.
The iMac I was expecting compared to the iMac we got
Earlier this year, Apple unveiled its new M1
After the Apple event, I considered buying an iMac 2021. After all, most excited to try the company’s M1 chip. However, after comparing the M1-based iMac to the Mac mini, I couldn’t justify spending $ 1,299 on a machine that had essentially the same horsepower as the $ 699 Mac mini. You could even argue that the base Mac mini offers better performance as it comes with an 8-core GPU, while the base iMac is glued to a 7-core GPU. (Mac Mini is also better value than some of the Apple’s best deals often take $ 50 to $ 100 from the basic configuration).
This leaves the 24-inch 4.5K screen as the next reason to upgrade to the new iMac. However, even that feels like a drop from my 27-inch 5K screen. Combined with its limited basic RAM, meager SSD, and lack of user upgrades, the new iMac just didn’t make sense to me.
Wait for a new 27-inch iMac with M2 power?
My first purchase of an iMac was in 2006, when Apple announced the first Mac based on Intel. It was an epic machine that I think blew all Windows desktops out of the water. (For what it’s worth, the machine still works, albeit on an outdated version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard).
In 2015 (after nine years with my iMac) I pulled the trigger and bought the 27-inch iMac 5K. My current iMac still works like a dream. Over the last six years, I’ve upgraded its RAM from 8GB to 16GB, and so far I’ve been working with macOS 11.3 Big Sur with aplomb. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, I’ve been working exclusively from home, so I don’t mind a faster iMac. Plus, to my colleague Henny Casey MacBook Air M1 Review sparked my interest in Apple’s new silicon.
Along the way, there may be a more powerful 27-inch iMac with a powerful one M2 chip. The leaks indicate the possibility of 12 cores, which is four more cores than the current M1 chip. In addition, the GPU can be upgraded from 8 to 16 cores. This sounds like a beast, especially for photo and video editing, not to mention games.
Yes, the new 24-inch iMac 2021 has other features to recommend, including a sharper 1080p webcam, improved sound and a Touch ID keyboard, but those improvements aren’t enough for me.
My current concern is that Apple will make its 5K iMac line the new one iMac Pro. If you remember, the non-existent iMac Pro started at $ 4999, a price I’m not willing to pay for a new iMac. So in the meantime, all I can do is wait for the next speech in the hope that Apple’s 5K iMac will hit a 30-inch screen, but it keeps its $ 1,799 price point.