Apple M1 iMac main station evaluation: a mobile home computer


Apple iMac M1 24-inch

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Before experiencing the new iMac, the host editor never thought that he would want a mobile desktop. In this regard, the new iMac is indeed more attractive than previous generations. Its weight is less than 4.5kg, the cable is simple, and the moving position at home will not cause a great burden. The slim and colorful design also allows it to be integrated into every corner of the home, whether it is a desk in the study or a countertop in the kitchen.

This can be done largely thanks to the M1 chip developed by Apple itself. The high efficiency brought by its mobile architecture allows the new MacBook Air to output considerable performance without a fan. Putting it on the iMac means that there is no need to thicken the body for heat dissipation. The thickness of the main part of this desktop is only 11.5mm, which is only about 4mm thicker than the iPhone 12. And it is flat on the front and back, not curved like in the past.

The colorful body of the new iMac also makes it a bit less technologically icy, visually more affinity, and children may also be attracted by it. In fact, many colorful and round iMacs in the past were designed based on similar original intentions. It is this difference that makes it easy to stand out from a large number of dull “clone IBM” computers in the 1990s. In other words, the silver-gray aluminum case looks really cool, but Apple’s frequent change of colors for the iPhone over the years also proves that consumers have different needs for colors.

Apple iMac M1 24-inch

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

The main station borrowed the orange version of the iMac, but the real machine looks more like “creamsicle” because the “chin” at the bottom of the screen is pink, and the back of the machine is real. Orange, so there are two shades. Under this playful color scheme, the body still looks expensive, especially when the light is reflected by the base. However, under the colorful design, Apple did not expect to bring back all the classic G3 elements, which is a pity.

In addition, this time the new version of iMac also providesWith VESA mountThe version allows everyone to hang on their own cantilever, which is more compatible with the design of different office spaces. However, the base design of the new iMac is also good-looking, depending on everyone’s needs.

After talking about how good the new iMac is, it’s time to fight. Earlier, when the main station was testing the M1 processor version of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, it was found that its performance is indeed easily better than Intel and AMD models. Coming to iMac, the results are still eye-catching. The high-end 8-core GPU + 16GB RAM configuration tested on Geekbench 5 is stronger than gaming notebooks such as ASUS G15 and MSI GS66. This is so easy for us to open windows: multiple browsers, Slack, Spotify, Evernote and Pixelmator Pro. When transcoding 4K video to 1080p output, it only takes 1 minute and 22 seconds. Although it is 15 seconds slower than MSI GS66, it is already 32 seconds faster than ASUS Zenbook Duo.

Apple iMac M1 24-inch

The Apple M1 processor also seems to make the iMac more sensitive as a whole. It can wake up almost immediately in sleep mode, and it takes only 23 seconds to download to the desktop under cold boot conditions, which is a speed that was not available on Intel iMac machines in the past. . Of course, the use is actually the same as the M1 version of the MacBook series. Playing Apple Arcade games is very smooth. After all, the content transplanted from the iPhone / iPad will not stump the iMac. As for the cooling fan, there is still a bit of noise, but at least it doesn’t look like a gust of wind.

In addition to the new lightweight design and powerful configuration, the 23.5-inch 4.5K Retina Display of the new iMac is actually a key point. It supports DCI-P3 full color gamut, can display one billion colors, and with a brightness of up to 500 nits, it is already more than the screen of many gaming notebooks, and it can be used for various purposes. There is a strong sense of three-dimensionality when watching photos, and it is wonderful when playing colorful videos. However, the iMac screen has such a performance but does not support HDR display, which is a bit surprising.

At first glance, I didn’t realize it, but the video camera of the iMac was finally upgraded to 1080p. Although it is not as sharp as Logitech Streamcam, it is still a necessary and great upgrade.

Apple iMac M1 24-inch

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Although the iMac is extremely thin, its sound system is extremely powerful. A total of six speakers and a vibration suppression woofer allow it to faithfully present the various musical instruments and percussion instruments in Flying Lotus’s “Yasuke” soundtrack, or the dreamy melody of Thundercat’s “Fair Chance”. Limited by the internal space, iMac probably still can’t replace ordinary bookshelf speakers, but there is nothing wrong with just listening to music. Amplify the volume to fill the entire room without distortion, and even a little bass can be heard. iMac also supports Dolby Atmos, and it feels like there is a speaker behind it when watching “John Wick”.

With the powerful media capabilities of iMac, the editors of the main website want to use it everywhere at home. Whether it’s cooking dinner while listening to drama music on the kitchen table, or working and writing in a well-lit guest room, the iMac’s lightweight appearance and a single magnetic power cord allow you to take it with you without much consideration. Go to the living room to help the children do their homework. iMac is ideal for sharing computers at home, allowing anyone to use it for work (or games) anytime, anywhere.

Thanks to the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, it is much easier to switch accounts between family members. After registering fingerprints of all family members, they can log in to the computer with just one touch of the identifier. Just like on iOS and MacBook, you can also use Touch ID to authorize app purchases. To be honest, it took so long for this feature to come to iMac.

Apple iMac M1 24-inch

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

But when it comes to typing experience, Magic Keyboard has different opinions. For the editor of the main site, it took a while to get used to the extremely shallow keystrokes, and the keyboard size is too small, making it uncomfortable to play. However, the periphery of Mac desktops has never been known for ergonomics or comfort, especially Magic Mouse is still too light and too flat. Compared to Logitech’s MX Master series of mice, the inability to hold the palm of your hand feels particularly strange. The most satisfying thing in the Mac peripheral is the Magic Trackpad, which is basically a huge version of the MacBook trackpad. The feeling of using Trackpad on Mac is still more natural than using Magic Mouse, but if you want it, you will have to spend more US$50 to get it.

Although the editor of the main site sounds completely in love with the new iMac, in fact there are still a lot of criticisms. First of all, its interface is really lacking. Not only the entry-level version of US$1,299 has only two USB-C ports, even the high-end version of US$1,499 has only four. The high-end version also has a wired LAN port built into the power converter, while the entry-level version does not. After so many generations, Apple finally completely removed the USB-A port, but this also means that if you want to connect older devices, you can only destroy the tidy desktop and connect a bunch of USB hubs to it. . In addition, connecting an SD card reader will also face similar problems, which is quite annoying for people who are still using the camera like the main station editor.

Apple iMac M1 24-inch

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

If none of this is a problem for you, then the M1 iMac will be a very competitive AiO computer. Of course, Apple’s things are naturally expensive. In addition to the aforementioned US$1,299 and US$1,499 models in the standard configuration plan, there is also a top-level version of US$1,699. If you want to add memory and hard disks, you have to pay a lot of extra money. But in terms of positioning, it is not so easy to find a PC that can be used to fight the new iMac. HP has a 32-inch Envy AiO, But it is much larger in size, and the Intel chips used are not too new.

So in general, if you are looking to buy a well-maintained desktop, the M1 iMac is an object worth considering in its positioning. It is faster than in the past, and the shape is easy to integrate into the home, and it should be a good choice to use it as a family shared computer.

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