New iMac 2021 release date, price, specs and colors

(Image credit: Apple)

We’ve been anticipating a new iMac ever since Apple switchEd to its own Apple Silicon. And this is the complete redesign we’ve been waiting for.

The new iMac gets a sleek new look, the Apple M1 processor and a rainbow of colors, but the changes don’t stop there. There’s also a totally new camera system, as well as much improved audio and mics. Here’s everything you need to know about the iMac 2021. 

iMac 2021 Specs

Starting Price: $1,299 (7-Core GPU), $1,499 (8-core GPU)
CPU: Apple M1 (8-Core)
GPU: 7-core & 8-core options
Storage: 256 GB SSD
Display: 24-inch 4.5K Retina display
Webcam: 1080 FaceTime HD Camera
Colors: Green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, silver

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(Image credit: Apple)

iMac 2021 with M1 release date

The new 24-inch iMac will be available to order starting April 30th, and will be available in the second half of May.

No word yet on whether the new iMac will be joined by a similarly redesigned 27-inch iMac (or replacement to the 27-inch iMac 2020 model), but we suspect we’ll see the larger iMac getting a similar makeover by the end of the year.

iMac 2021 with M1 pricing

The base configuration of the new 24-inch iMac starts at $1,299 configured with a 7-core GPU. This base model is outfitted with an 8-core Apple M1 processor, 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state drive and four USB-C ports, two of which are Thunderbolt compatible for connecting external monitors up to 6K resolution, or powering other devices, including iPads and MacBooks. Ethernet connectivity also comes standard, but uses Apple’s new Ethernet-on adapter design instead of a LAN port on the iMac itself. This basic configuration is only available in green, pink, blue, and silver, but can be had with matching Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse.

For the more capable 8-core GPU, the iMac starts at $1,499, with all seven new colors up for grabs. Available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver, the 8-Core system still uses the Apple M1 chip, but with an additional GPU core, as well as all of the Thunderbolt connectivity and port options mentioned above.

(Image credit: Apple)

iMac 2021 with M1 design and color options

The biggest changes to the iMac are a little more skin-deep, with a total of seven new colors, instead of previous models’ single standard aluminum color.

The new iMac appears to use anodized aluminum in its slim design, and it comes in yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, green and silver.

The overall design is drastically slimmed down, measuring 11.5 millimeters thick and featuring a larger 24-inch screen, up from the 21.5-inch display used on past models. The screen has the same anti-reflective coating as Apple’s Pro Display XDR and the design is flatter than prior iMacs, without the hump in the back of the monitor, now that all of the heat-generating components use the smaller and more easily cooled Apple M1 chip that’s also used in Apple’s Macbooks and new iPad Pro. The entire thing is cooled with a pair of quiet fans, offering a slimmer design and quieter experience.

There are echoes of past designs, however, with a “chin” below the display that looks similar to past iMacs, but now comes in a rainbow of colors.

The stand is also redesigned, with a new L-shaped profile. It meets the display about two thirds of the way down the back of the monitor, offering angle adjustment, but no height adjustment. Some things never do change.

You’ll also be able to order the 2021 24-inch iMac with a built-in VESA mount adapter if you prefer your screen mounted on the wall.

iMac 2021 with M1 ports

The 2021 24-inch iMac comes with 4 USB-C connectors, two of these are standard USB-C ports, but the other two are Thunderbolt ports, with greater bandwidth and power delivery for supporting external devices and charging devices. It’s all USB-C now. 

The one exception to this is the inclusion of an Ethernet jack, but it’s not on the machine itself. Instead, Apple has built LAN connectivity into the power adapter, letting you plug your Ethernet cable into a port on the power brick, which then connects to the iMac through the color-matched braided cable that runs between the brick and the all-in-one.

What’s gone from the new iMacs? HDMI and SD card slots, along with standard USB 2.0 connections. It’s worth noting that all of these connections are offered on the M1-powered Mac mini, so it’s purely a design decision, not the result of hardware changes.

iMac 2021 with M1 webcam and microphone

The new iMac is also getting a new webcam and mic system, that uses a 1080p webcam (enhanced with Apple’s image processing) and a three-microphone array that uses beamforming to capture clearer speaking with less background noise.

(Image credit: Apple )

iMac 2021 with M1 performance

The new 24-inch Apple iMac 2021 models will come in two classes, the first with a lower-powered 7-Core GPU – similar to that used on the Apple MacBook Air M1 last year – and the slightly more powerful 8-Core model, which matches the 8-core GPU found in the MacBook Pro M1 from late 2020. Aside from this difference in graphics power, the iMacs also vary by what colors are available. All other specs are identical between the two basic configurations.

Inside, the iMac boasts the Apple Silicon M1 chip, a system-on-a-chip processor that also includes graphics processing and also packs in other features, like a secure enclave for security, unified memory for utilizing RAM more efficiently, and an integrated storage controller with accelerated cryptography for faster, more secure storage.

The base configurations of the iMac come with 8GB of RAM (which Apple is calling “Unified memory”) and a 256GB SSD for storage.

Also inside the new iMac is a 6-speaker sound system that pairs two woofers and one tweeter per side, and offers Dolby Atmos sound.

The system is also available with matching accessories, including three new versions of the Magic Keyboard, and color-matched versions of the Magic Mouse and Magic TrackPad.

The newly-redesigned Magic Keyboard now includes a Touch ID sensor in the top-right corner, where the “Eject” key used to be. The Touch ID sensor only works when the keyboard is plugged into a 2021 iMac with M1; if you hook it up to an Intel-powered iMac the Touch ID functionality is lost, but the keyboard otherwise functions normally.

iMac Outlook

Today gave us our first look at Apple’s new 2021 iMac with M1 processor, but it’s also a glimpse into a stunning future for new Macs, and other iMac products.

The 27-inch iMac (one of Apple’s most popular products) wasn’t even mentioned today, but we can definitely see the larger iMac getting a similar colorful redesign, complete with Apple’s rumored desktop-class processor and a beefier collection of specs. 

And the recently discontinued Apple iMac Pro could also easily return with a slimmer design and potent professional-grade hardware. Whether it also gets the same candy-colored aesthetics is another question, but a range of looks isn’t out of the question later this year.

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(Image credit: Apple)