Apple Announced M1-Powered 24-inch iMac… in Seven Colors

Today, Apple unveiled an all-new iMac. Built around a 4.5K, 24-inch display, this is the first Mac designed from the ground-up to use Apple silicon inside.

Right off the bat, we gotta talk about the colors:

Yes, the new 24-inch iMac comes in green, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and silver. The hue on the foot and front of the machine is more muted than around the back.

As a person with considerable experience with iMacs of various colors, I like this, even while I wish they were more saturated all the way around.

Notably, this the first time any Mac has been available in yellow.

Like the early iMac G3 models, these iMacs come with color-matching keyboards and mice (or trackpad, if that’s your jam). For the first time, an external keyboard includes a Touch ID sensor, which is awesome. Also a first for a stand-alone Apple keyboard: backlighting.

Sadly, none of the new peripherals can be purchased separately, at least at this point.

The design is all-new, and this iMac is clearly cut from the same aluminum cloth that the Pro Display XDR and iPad Pro came from. The sides are flat, the bezels are thin1 and the foot is shaped like the Pro Display XDR’s, just without all the cool adjustments. If you prefer your iMac to float, Apple has VESA-ready models, but unlike the old iMac Pro, you can’t switch between the foot and a VESA mount. Order what you need.

The new iMac is just 11.5 mm thick — the same thickness as the original iPhone. Ditching Intel parts made this possible, which Apple was quick to point out. In fact, the entire computer seems to be housed in the chin, with the display sitting above the other internals.

It also meant that the headphone jack had to be put in the side of the machine.

Like the MacBook Pro line was split late last year, the iMac family now consists of smaller M1-based machines and larger Intel-based machines, with the 27-inch 5K iMac still for sale. (Sadly, the non-Retina, can-be-ordered-with-a-Fusion-Drive 21.5-inch iMac is also still for sale at $1,099.)

Apple has three default configurations of the new iMac:

The base model $1,299 machine is pretty barebones:

  • 8-Core CPU
  • 7-Core GPU
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 8 GB unified memory
  • 24-inch 4.5K Retina display
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Choice of Magic Keyboard or Magic Mouse

This model is only available in blue, green, pink or silver.

Stepping up to the middle $1,499 iMac comes with these specs:

  • 8-Core CPU
  • 8-Core GPU
  • 256GB storage
  • 8GB unified memory
  • 24-inch 4.5K Retina display
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Two USB 3 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID

At the top of Apple’s line is the $1,699 model with 512 GB of storage.

As these aren’t available for pre-order yet, we aren’t sure of the maximum price these M1 iMacs can reach. However, we do know that the 4-port models can be optioned with up to a 2 TB SSD and all models can be packed with 16 GB of memory.

We should talk about the inclusion of Gigabit Ethernet. While the two-port iMac doesn’t support Ethernet as configured by Apple, it can be added as a customizable option. However, these Ethernet ports are not on the iMac itself, but rather on its external power brick.

Power brick for M1 iMac

That’s right, this new iMac comes with external power brick, something that no Mac desktop has had in over a decade, when the Mac mini got redesigned in 2010.

That power brick does have a trick up its sleeve, however, and that’s Ethernet support. iMac owners can run power and data to the brick, which then uses a color-matched, fabric-wrapped cable to connect to the back of the iMac magnetically.

I’d much rather have MagSafe on my notebook than my desktop, but time will tell how strong that magnetic connection is.

All in all, I am very impressed by this iMac. It’s not the machine for me, but it breathes fun and life back into the consumer desktop in a way we haven’t seen in well over a decade, if not longer… and it makes me excited to see what’s coming next.

  1. The bezels are in gray finish, which is a huge change. iMacs have had black bezels since Apple first wrapped them in aluminum and glass back in 2007. At least there’s a 1080p webcam at the top now, and new microphones.