It’s also exactly the same size as the Magic Keyboard, allowing you to stack the two together, should you choose!
Designed to look as sleek as something Apple itself would release (it’s an art that Satechi has wonderfully perfected), the Slim Dock upgrades your 24″ M1 iMac with extra ports and even extended SSD storage. The Slim Dock comes with the same machined aluminum outer as the iMac itself and is available in the default silver as well the anodized blue to match your blue iMac. Rest it on your iMac’s base and it looks almost like a part of the machine. Once plugged in, it gives your sleek iMac the two things it lacks – a whole host of ports, and expandable storage!
If Apple’s proved one thing, it’s that it’s really good at anticipating the needs of its users – but there’s a caveat. Sometimes it conveniently ignores those needs to build machines that are slim, beautiful, and premium. That’s where Satechi comes in, with its bespoke accessories that fill in the gaps that the design team at Apple rather obviously left. Last year, they debuted the USB-C clamp hub, a multiport hub that clamped to the base of the iMac display, giving you important front-facing ports. The Slim Dock, however, takes things a step ahead, with more ports, faster connections, and even space for SSDs in a slick form that integrates into your iMac’s design, instead of those ugly external hard drives that take away from the iMac’s clean aesthetic.
The Slim Dock features a 10 Gbps USB-C data port, 10 Gbps USB-A data port, 2 x USB-A 2.0 ports, micro/SD card reader slots, and a tool-free NVMe SSD enclosure that you can easily access without needing to call a technician. It’s worth noting that the USB ports are data ports and don’t support charging… although the remaining USB-C ports on the back of the iMac are still always up for grabs if you want to hook up a MagSafe charger or any other wireless charging station.
What’s definitely one of the more lesser-appreciated remarkable things about the Satechi Slim Dock is the fact that it’s designed to be exactly the same size as Apple’s Magic Keyboard! It’s the kind of attention to detail that Steve Jobs cultivated in Apple’s team, and the fact that Satechi consciously made this decision too just shows the incredible synergy between the two companies and their hardware!
Satechi’s USB-C Slim Dock for the 24″ iMac starts at $149.99, and ships with a 1-year warranty.
Apple has announced an unexpected new member of its Mac family, and while the initial response has been mostly positive, it still raises one critical question: is it worth the upgrade or not?
Apple was expected to announce a refresh to its Mac lineup, but few probably expected it would be making such a big change. The Mac Studio isn’t just its most powerful Mac, threatening even the latest Mac Pro; it also shakes the lineup in a very fundamental way. In effect, Apple seems to be favoring a discrete computer that still needs its own display, slowly moving away from the all-in-one iMac. More importantly, the Mac Studio adds another option for buyers to consider, making it harder to make a decision on whether to opt for this rather pricey desktop computer or stick with your iMac or Mac Pro. We take a closer look at some of the Mac Studio’s most important factors to hopefully help you reach that decision, in case you need to make one really soon.
In one fell swoop, Apple almost put three of its existing product lines on notice, though one actually dodged the bullet. Although parallels will be drawn due to their relatively more diminutive sizes, the Mac Mini, even the one powered by an Apple M1 chip, serves a completely different purpose and audience. Though definitely powerful enough for basic image and video editing, the Mac Mini is geared towards more casual computing uses and entertainment applications, sometimes even serving as a home media center.
The gigantic Mac Pro is, of course, the easiest target. It’s almost like a David and Goliath scenario where you expect the smaller underdog to emerge victorious. After all, Apple is trying to wean itself off its dependence on Intel CPUs, so proving that bigger isn’t always better might be its ulterior motive. In most cases, the Mac Studio could definitely stand taller than the larger Mac Pro, unless you really need an Intel-based processor for compatibility and discrete graphics cards, in which case the Mac Pro still has no competition on Apple’s desktop lineup.
Instead, the Mac Studio might actually be gunning for the iMac, especially considering that the 27-inch iMac disappeared on the same day that the Mac Studio and Studio Display debuted. The 24-inch M1 iMac is still around, of course, but that might not last long as the overlap between its “Mini Macs” and its all-in-one iMacs narrow even further. All-in-one PCs seem to also be on the decline in general, so it might only be a matter of time before the venerable iMac brand either gets retired or hopefully reused somewhere else.
Along with the Mac Studio and Studio Display, the new M1 Ultra chip is undoubtedly the star of Apple’s March event. It makes bold claims about performance that threatens whatever is left of Intel’s hold in the Mac world. Its real-world performance does still need to be tested, but if Apple’s track record is any indication, interested buyers need not worry.
To say that the Mac Studio and the M1 Ultra go perfectly together would be an understatement. Admittedly, it has a higher starting price than the M1 Max configuration, but you will be getting the top specs from the get-go. For example, the two ports in front will be Thunderbolt 4 instead of USB-C, offering compatibility with even more devices and opening up more uses beyond just data transfer.
Except for the Mac Pro, none of Apple’s other computers can compete with the plethora of ports available on the Mac Studio. If the name weren’t already suggestive enough, this Apple mini desktop computer is a digital creative’s dream when it comes to connecting with other devices and equipment. Photographers and cinematographers might even be tickled pink by how the SD card slot sits right in the front for easy access, a clear indication that it was a priority rather than an afterthought.
If the Mac Studio could stand toe-to-toe with the Mac Pro in most ways, the one area where some buyers might worry about will be in the graphics arena. Some still need and swear by discrete graphics that are available only on the Intel-powered Mac Pro. Apple is definitely closing in on whatever advantages those might still have, and the Apple M1 Silicon’s graphics performance has been nothing but extraordinary since day one anyway. Even more so if Apple’s promises about the M1 Ultra’s prowess closely match reality.
These will be important metrics for what has been Apple’s most faithful audience from the very beginning: designers, artists, and creatives. Raw CPU power is no longer enough, and image and video processing, not to mention 3D rendering, need heavy-duty graphics silicon, too. With all that power, however, also comes the need for more advanced cooling systems, and Apple promises that the Mac Studio also delivers more with less, as we’ll get to later.
Despite the novel name, the Mac Studio isn’t exactly ground-breaking in its aesthetic. It looks like a very tall Mac Mini with some of the Mac Pro’s grilles on the back and the base. The new mini computer’s design innovation, however, comes from the things you don’t see, especially when you don’t see the Mac Studio itself.
Unlike the Mac Mini, the Mac Studio is too big to hide in small spaces, but it still has more flexibility in where you keep it compared to the bigger Mac Pro. You can hide the Mac Studio away from its monitor if you want to, though that means losing easy access to those ports. You at least have the freedom to place it where you want or even move it around places, something that’s not easily done with a traditional tower.
You also have the freedom to choose the monitor you prefer, though Apple will definitely prefer that you opt for the 27-inch Studio Display. These are almost made for each other, if their launch didn’t already make that obvious, with their designs and features complementing each other perfectly. You can, of course, choose differently and upgrade either separately. The same can’t be said for an all-in-one iMac solution where you really get what you pay for and nothing more.
The Mac Studio combines the power of the Mac Pro with the versatility of the Mac Mini without completely erasing the other two’s existence. It does almost make the iMac redundant and seemingly replaces the 27-inch iMac on Apple’s store. It gives people more freedom not only to choose which displays to go with it but also in how to design their workspaces without worrying about how it will take up space.
Apple also gives the new Mac Studio a stronger sustainability narrative than its older peers, one that could help appeal to more environment-conscious buyers. For some parts like magnets and soldering on the mainboard, it uses “100% recycled rare earth elements.” It also used recycled aluminum and plastic in other components. The chassis is built from a single aluminum extrusion that not only adds durability but also reduces the number of materials to keep the parts together.
The Mac Studio also boasts of a thermal management system that keeps the fans from running unless absolutely necessary. Not only does this reduce the noise coming from the Mac, but it also keeps its overall power consumption down. In fact, Apple says that the Mac Studio uses up to 1,000 kWh less energy than an equivalent high-end desktop PC, which is no small claim as far as energy efficiency goes.
Consumer electronics use a lot of non-sustainable materials, and high-end computers consume a lot more power than typical appliances, especially when running for hours with heavy workloads. Reducing their negative impact on the environment one Mac Studio at a time is a small but important step in changing the landscape for the better, something that Apple is strongly committed to doing in the next eight years.
The Mac Studio definitely has a lot going for it, whether you aim for the M1 Max or the top-of-the-line M1 Ultra. As with most Apple products, however, many consumers will balk at Apple’s asking price. While it might sound pricey, it’s actually well within what you’d expect from a premium Apple product. In fact, it might actually be a sweeter deal, depending on how you look at it.
Considering the Mac Pro starts at $5,999, the fact that the Mac Studio starts at $1,999 is almost shocking. That’s for the lowest M1 Max configuration, though, and the M1 Ultra variant actually starts at $3,999. That’s still significantly lower for something that matches the power but surpasses the size of a Mac Pro.
The now-defunct 27-inch iMac started at $1,799, but it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison at this point, no pun intended. Admittedly, the Mac Studio doesn’t come with its own screen, and the Studio Display that Apple probably wants you to buy with it costs $1,599. If you already have a favorite and trusted monitor, though, that’s already one less worry off your back, but suffice it to say, the TCO of a Mac Studio is no laughing matter.
So we finally come to the most important of this long piece, to find out whether the Mac Studio is truly worth it, especially for product designers and digital creatives that need a trustworthy partner in their quest for the ultimate render. Presuming you’re aiming for the better M1 Ultra model, here are some considerations to help you reach that answer.
If you’re actually just buying your first Mac in a few years, the answer is already a resounding yes. Short of budget constraints, there’s almost little reason to get a Mac Pro (more on it later) or even an M1 iMac if you’re really investing in a powerhouse. Sure, the iMac does let you keep your desk clean, but it makes sacrifices in power and flexibility, especially when it comes to ports.
If you’re upgrading from an M1 Mac Mini, the answer is also a yes. By now, you have probably been used to whatever limitations there might be in software compatibility, which isn’t that many by now. The most important tools of the trade are already compatible with Apple Silicon, so there’s not much reason to hold back at this point.
Perhaps the only reason to avoid the Mac Studio, other than the price, is if you really need a dedicated GPU like on the Mac Pro. At that point, however, you’ll need to save up even more, which sort of makes the price concern moot. The M1 iMac still does have a place if you’re willing to make compromises on performance for the sake of a neater work area. And there will always be room for a Mac Mini, even a whole rack of them, for certain applications that would be overkill, even for a $1,999 M1 Max Mac Studio.
These all presume that the M1 Ultra is all that it’s cut out to be, which we’ll really know after a few months only. Needless to say, the Apple Mac Studio is kicking up a storm on the Internet and is positioning itself to be Apple’s best desktop to date.
Deskpod is a speakers concept, created using Apple’s design language, that features bold colors and technical outfittings.
Apple’s design language has always been a source of inspiration for young designers. From new chargers to Airpod accessories, the innovation of new Apple-inspired concepts coming from young designers cannot be understated. Sasha Waxman, industrial designer, and robotics engineer designed a speakers concept using Apple’s design language called Deskpod to go along with the new 24-inch iMac.
Deskpod was born out of a one-hour study of Apple design language, taking to the iconic brand’s most modern designs to create a sleek, yet bold speakers concept. The new iMac from Apple maintains the classic aluminum look that has graced the surfaces of most Apple Macbooks and iMacs for years. It’s the accessories from Apple that are typically the standout pieces, bringing out deep forest greens and royal blues to accentuate the fresh look of a bare aluminum Macbook surface. Waxman’s Deskpod takes that one step further and wraps the rich scarlet red speaker with a gold band that functions as the device’s cradle and stand.
Stretching the speaker’s fabric around its curved frame, Waxman warped the fabric into a parabolic shape to maximize audio output. The unique design would pair nicely with most Apple products and bring a bold pop of color to every home office. Speaking on the design, Waxman describes, “The bold colors and simple geometry make the speakers pop off the background. The simplicity and high contrast of the speakers make them a bold addition to any space.”
The iMac’s 11mm thick design, unfortunately, means it isn’t really port-friendly (even the LAN port had to be relocated to the charging brick), although Satechi has a solution. The newly debuted USB-C clamp hub for the 2021 M1 iMac puts 6 different ports right where you need them. From USB hubs to even card readers, Satechi’s nifty little multiport hub has it all, and it conveniently blends right into the iMac’s form factor with a design language that matches the all-in-one computer perfectly!
At a price of $54.99 (which shouldn’t seem much if you already shelled out the cash for an M1 iMac), Satechi’s USB-C clamp hub puts all the essential ports at your fingertips. It plugs into one of the USB-C ports at the back and grips onto the iMac using a rotating clamp. The hub comes with 3 USB-A ports, 2 card readers, and one USB-C port on the front, and has data transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s for the USB ports and 104Mb/s for the card readers. The Satechi USB-C clamp hub ships in September and comes with an all-aluminum body, although Satechi hasn’t really indicated whether they’re offering the hubs in the same color schemes as the iMacs.
Apple’s September 2021 event is just around the corner! The air is buzzing with excitement, as we eagerly await to hear what Apple may announce. As we find ourselves biting our nails, and squirming in anticipation of what Apple has in store for us, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the inspiration this groundbreaking tech giant has provided. Apple’s ingenious and mesmerizing designs and design philosophy have inspired and influenced designers all over the world, resulting in some pretty unique Apple concepts! And, we’ve put together some of the very best. We hope we get to see a few of them at the September event! Who knows?
Designer and visualizer, Devam Jangra’s put together a view to show us what candy-colored MacBook Airs could look like, and I won’t lie… I really like it! If the colorful iMacs were a hat-tip to the candy-colored iMac G3 computers from 1998, these vibrant MacBook Airs most certainly pay a tribute to the old iBook G3s from 1999. It’s certainly been a while since Apple’s experimented with colored laptops – their latest foray was 6 years ago, with the rose-gold MacBook Air. Jangra’s concept video definitely shows why Apple should be less reticent and more open to creating colorful MacBooks… they spark joy, don’t they?
Meet the Apple glass concept that pays homage to Steve Jobs’s favorite pair of prescription glasses – the Lunor Classic PP. These countered glasses look absolutely stylish for the generation next crowd- with the frame crafted from lightweight aluminum and the lenses made out of polycarbonate material. The technology of these wearables is honed by an array of six cameras with autofocus lenses, an eye-tracking system with HDR, and gesture recognition. The glasses even track your calorie intake and health status. Coming onto the cameras, two cameras are tucked in the nose-piece assemblies and the other two on the opposite side of each nose piece.
Italian designer Antonio De Rosa believes an Apple action cam is a realistic possibility in a landscape of current-gen geeky gadgets. Apple and an action cam would not be something out of the ordinary for the Cupertino giant to create. So, Antonio leaves me in awe with the Apple AirCam, which is no more significant than the AirPods Pro case. It carries a similar design language to the case with the obvious addition of an LCD screen display on the front and the big camera sensor on the backside. If you look closely, this lens is accompanied by a small Apple Watch-like screen, perhaps to click selfies and display vital heads-up information. There is a single shutter button on top to keep things as simple as possible. On the sides, there is space for USB-C and SHDC card slots to make data transfer seamless and load the camera with additional memory.
The M1 really unleashes the tablet’s potential, giving it incredible storage, transfer, and read/write abilities… or as Apple calls it, the most powerful chip on an iPad. The M1, apart from being a productive beast, also allows the iPad to have 5G capabilities, and even up to 2 Terabytes of storage… let’s see Microsoft’s Surface match that! Nothing much changes on the form front. The iPad Pro’s design is in a place where it doesn’t need to refine its exterior design. but how we wish it they would! A bezel-less design is all that is needed to take that ‘piece of magical glass’ to a revolutionary new level!
Probably the coolest feature of this iMac Pro concept by Daniel Bautista is its wireless charging option! The base of the computer stand functions as a charging platform for all your other Apple Devices. You can place your iPhone, AirPods, or even your Apple Watch on it to charge. Daniel’s iMac Pro has been equipped with Face ID, and a cool backlit keyboard as well. This could be the future of iMacs!
Vincent Lin designed the Apple Pro Mouse concept, and I haven’t seen a mouse this stunning in a while! Designed to allow your hands to fit perfectly around it, the ergonomically designed mouse works well for both lefties and righties! Amped with a Taptic Engine, the Pro Mouse makes clicking and scrolling gentle and precise. A Taptic Sidebar allows you to switch between gestures, and manipulate from one option to another smoothly. Not to mention, the mouse’s sleek and modern looks are a complete added bonus!
Park’s flexible iPhone manifests itself as an intersection between a phone and a tablet (like most folding phones), but the advantage Apple has over its competition is its complete dominance in the tablet sector. The iPhone Pro neatly goes from a regular smartphone (with a notch) to a 4:3 screen tablet (with a slightly offset notch). It comes with not one, but two hinges that separate the AMOLED screen into three parts with outward facing screens, and a slight cantilever at one end that allows the rear camera to not be covered (not the most elegant of solutions, but then again it lets you have a screen right beside the powerful triple-lens rear-view camera.
What if Apple and Samsung collaborated to create a phone? How cool would that be! 4RMD imagined a smartphone created by Apple and Samsung, and named it iGalaxy S22 ProMax! It’s a mix between the iPhone 12 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has adopted the Apple Camera module, although the phone is boxier, and has flat edges like the iPhone 12. It also features a 108-megapixel main camera and 100X Space Zoom. The iGalaxy is truly the best of both worlds!
Designer Antonio De Rosa, who’s impressed us with his reimagined Apple products, now has another one that’s worth the shout-out. As he rightly says “Dreaming doesn’t cost anything.” This time around Antonio has thought of a modular Mac Pro which fuels the craving of professionals who are always tinkering around with their hunger for more hardware – the likes of GPU, RAM, USB-C ports, or SD card slots. While hardcore Apple fans will be divided on this modular Mac design’s subjectivity, it at least solves the purpose for people who want to experience an open-ended approach to hardware configuration. This concept Apple Silicon Mac Pro is kind of a hybrid design – it doesn’t sacrifice visual aesthetics as the expansion modules sit inside the casing, well within the machine’s footprint.
Meet the Apple One, a sophisticated-looking SUV created in the image of the company behind the iPhone. Peisert’s Concept One embodies all the good aspects of Apple (and a few unsavory ones) into a design that’s meant for the entire family. It’s a luxury car, but it isn’t a sedan. Instead, the Apple One is a one-for-all sort of SUV that accommodates 4 or more people pretty spaciously. Its proportions (and especially that headlight) feel slightly like a cross between the Tesla Cybertruck and the Rivian SUV. The design is mildly angular but doesn’t come with any edgy surfaces or straight lines. Instead, everything curves rather organically… a feature also seen in the continuous curves found on Apple products. Is this hoping for too much at the September 2021 event? A girl can dream!
Plug the Hello X3 in the top left corner of any display (or any flat surface) and suddenly you have a stylus-capable screen that you can draw on, annotate against, and present with.
Up until just 5 minutes ago, I was ready to throw a little over a grand at a new, 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. I’m honestly reconsidering now after stumbling across this $120 gadget that transforms any flat surface into a stylus-friendly touchscreen. Titled the YELANG Hello X3, this 3-axis-shaped device plugs onto the corner of any flat rectangular surface (although it’s much more useful when mounted on a display), practically turning it into an iPad. The Hello X3 works with displays as large as 27-inches, and comes along with a pressure-sensitive stylus too to rival the Apple Pencil.
Currently in its third generation (hence the X3 suffix), the Hello X3 expands on what its previous generations could do. It comes with a camera-sensor that can now read surface areas that are anywhere between 10-27 inches, has 2mm precision (which is alright, to be honest), a 120 fps response time, and here’s the best part, compatibility with both Macintosh and Windows-based systems. Just plug it onto your iMac or your Windows desktop monitor and you’ve got yourself a massive tablet PC that you can sketch on, make models in, edit documents, sign papers, or even use in a bunch of other productivity apps and softwares. If you’re traveling, the Hello X3 plugs right off and is portable enough to be carried right in your bag along with the stylus.
The Hello X3’s universal design is perhaps its biggest selling point, but it’s also matched by the fact that setting it up on a new device is ridiculously simple. Just pop the gadget on the top-left of the screen (it works with left-handed as well as right-handed users), plug it in via USB, and you’re ready to calibrate it. To calibrate the Hello X3 to your screen, just tap the 4 corners of the display with the stylus and you’re done. The stylus is thick and grippy like a marker or a fountain-pen, and sports a pressure-sensitive tip that can make thicker strokes if you press harder and thinner strokes if you lightly touch a surface. In just minutes, your 4K monitor turns into a graphics tablet.
The Hello X3 works with regular surfaces too. If you’re not really comfortable with drawing on vertical surfaces (which, let’s face it, can get uncomfortable), just plug the Hello X3 onto a drawing pad or a clipboard and you’ve got yourself a makeshift tablet PC (remember the Wacom Intuos?). This setup works rather well when you’re using a projector too, instead of a laptop or a desktop monitor. Each Hello X3 comes along with its own drawing-board for good measure, and a stand for your stylus when it’s not in use. The stylus has a standby time of 120 days, and a use-time of 4 hours, although it charges completely in just under 30 minutes. The YELANG Hello X3 is currently in its final hours of funding and is set to ship as early as September. Grab it at its special early-bird price of $120 on Kickstarter!
Your M1 iPad Pro is as good as an iMac… Brydge’s iTrack trackpad brings iMac-style functionality to it. Up until last month, Apple marketed the iPad as a laptop replacement, however that perception changed when the iPad was introduced alongside the iMac at Apple’s SpringLoaded event at the end of April, both with Apple’s supercharged M1 chip. The iPad is more than just a laptop now, it’s a machine with more processing power than most machines with Intel chips, and its graphical power is comparable to high-end gaming consoles. In short, it looks and behaves like an iMac with a touchscreen, so it just made sense to bring the iMac’s accessories to it too.
The iTrack comes from the fine folks at Brydge, who’ve developed some of the best accessories for Apple products over the years (they released a keyboard+trackpad attachment for the iPad before Apple did). Debuted at CES back in 2020, the iTrack (which officially launched just last week) is a compact multi-touch trackpad that’s designed to give your iPad workflow a significant upgrade. Styled to look just like Apple’s own Magic Trackpad 2, the iTrack is much smaller (with a 6.1-inch diagonal) and sports the same space-grey aluminum body and touch-sensitive glass top.
Designed to work seamlessly with iPadOS (versions 14.5 and higher), the iTrack automatically and instantly connects with your tablet via Bluetooth, providing an experience as seamless as Apple’s own trackpad. Sensors within the device detect subtle pressure differences that let you tap, scroll, swipe, and use other multi-touch features on your iPad Pro. Just like a Trackpad or a Magic Mouse, you can work within programs, intuitively select and edit text and spreadsheets, and switch between apps… besides, the iTrack even works seamlessly with other connected accessories like a keyboard or Apple Pencil, complementing most workflows.
The iTrack debuted back in 2020, but its launch wasn’t until last week, owing to delays because of the pandemic. It ships for $99.99 (that’s $20 cheaper than Apple’s Magic Trackpad 2), has a USB-C port for charging, and boasts of an impressive 6-month battery life on a full charge, with 2-hours of use every day.
Apple’s 24-inch M1 Mac is a sleek little desktop computer making an impressive statement with its bright and bold color palette. At 11mm, it’s about as thick as the first iPhone that launched in 2007, showing how far we’ve come in the past decade. Now, this 11mm thick beauty houses some of the most capable computing technology in the world, and Apple’s M1 chip powers it. Fun fact, as pointed out by MKBHD, the iMac actually shifts the 3.5mm headphone jack to the side instead of the back because it isn’t thick enough to have the jack travel all the way in! iFixit got its eyes fixed on the latest candy by Apple and wanted to learn more about what lies beneath the sleek design. They were itching to tear apart the iMac after a long time – the last instance was the 21.5-inch iMac teardown which got a measly 1/10 score for reparability.
The new all-in-one desktop has many changes from the past iterations – with the hardware tactically stuffed inside a small space. iFixit carried out an X-ray scan of the iPad-like machine on a stand (in collaboration with Creative Electron) to better understand what’s on the inside. The two metal plates, circular coin cell batteries, and the built-in antenna (not shaped like Apple) are the ones that caught the eye. Then it’s down to the ritual of prying open the machine, “M1 iMac still uses the classic iMac adhesive—it’s not quite the goopy iPad nightmare that we feared.” iFixit finds.
Compared to past iMacs, this one has a single glass piece and no metal chin to make the teardown difficult. Unlike the robust iPad, the M1 iMac goes for screws rather than glue for the most part. The shiny new keyboard and the power unit also undergo a thorough autopsy. Both of these are very tough to get past and very difficult to repair. Even though the iMac is better than the iPad to pry open, it is still not an average Joe’s task. iFixit gives the M1 iMac a reparability score of 2/10 due to the tedious process of removing and replacing the display – which by the way, is the only access point to the inside hardware. To top it off, the internal storage cannot be altered, which is a severe headache in case of data loss or upgrades. And here’s Apple for you – can’t live with it, can’t live without it!
Needless to say, some people were quite annoyed with Apple’s latest M1 iMac design. Notably, YouTuber MKBHD found it outright ugly, mentioning that sure, it was slim… but those white bezels, that massive chin, and the lack of a black version made the iMac look too chirpy and playful. For a computer that was capable of incredible heavy-lifting, it didn’t quite look the part. Designer Virgile Arlaud decided to take that feedback and create his own iMac concept. Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept addresses every single pain-point MKBHD had with Apple’s original design
Instead of opting for a radical overhaul, Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept takes the classic iMac Pro design and gives it minor yet significant visual upgrades. The conceptual all-in-one computer sports the crowd-favorite wedge-shaped profile with that slightly bulbed back. However, it absolutely gets rid of the bezels and chin on the front, sporting a gloriously infinite edge-to-edge display that’s an absolute pleasure to look at. Sure, the M1 may be the highlight of this computer, but that screen is the icing on the cake. If the M1 works behind the scenes to give you a great computing experience, that 100% screen on the front amplifies it, surrounding the user in Apple’s incredible, unmatchable UX.
This design direction obviously has some major pros, along with a few small yet unavoidable cons. Firstly, the lack of a bezel gives the iMac Pro M1 no space for a webcam, which played a pretty important role in Apple’s own iMac. The webcam ran 1080p video and used the M1’s processing power to run ISP algorithms for an incredible video. One could argue that the presence of a webcam is a pretty trivial feature in the workhorse that is the iMac, and that an iPhone running face-time would make a pretty decent replacement. One wouldn’t be wrong.
The absence of a chin also means that the iMac Pro M1 concept would lose out on that speaker array found in the original 2021 iMac. The down-firing speakers would have to be replaced with back-firing ones, and I’m no expert, but there would definitely be a small loss in sound quality and clarity. That being said, there are quite a few innovations that allow the screen to act as a speaker… so while Arlaud’s concept doesn’t really illustrate where a speaker would sit, I’d like to believe that this concept has that feature.
What’s really nice about this iMac Pro M1 concept is that it takes an “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to the computer’s overall design. There’s really no need for an all-in-one computer to be 11mm thick (we’re not carrying it around in our pockets), so that slightly bulbous back and the seamless wedge-shaped design really feels like a nice design format that doesn’t need an overhaul. It even sticks to its original inspiration – Dieter Rams’ LE1 speaker design for Braun! The M1 chip sits somewhere within the curved back of the iMac Pro, along with vents for cooling, a USB-C power input, and a whole host of ports on the back, including two USB-C and two Thunderbolt ports, a card-reader, and the old-favorite 3.5mm jack. Let’s also not forget that slick, pipe-shaped stand that’s definitely another hat-tip to the iconic Braun LE1 speaker!
This year’s first Apple event was just bursting with color, part of which can be attributed to Apple’s latest iMac series, revamped to look absolutely fabulous in their 7 different colors, and that drop-dead sleek avatar that leaves little to be desired.
While this article addresses what the new iMac is capable of, it’s also a testament to how beautiful the device’s design is. Harking back to its G3 days, the 2021 iMacs bring colors back into the mix, with seven deliciously appealing hues to choose from (including the white variant). The iMacs are built to be stunningly thin, at just 11mm in thickness, sport Apple’s flagship M1 chip on the inside, and are redesigned to look and feel so sexy, they make me actually consider switching over to the other side… and at a starting price of $1299, it sort of feels worth it.
What instantly stands out is the iMac’s deceptively sleek design. At 11mm, it’s about as thick as the first iPhone that launched in 2007, showing how far we’ve come in the past decade. Now, this 11mm thick beauty houses some of the most capable computing tech in the world, and it’s powered by Apple’s M1 chip. Fun fact, as pointed out by MKBHD, the iMac actually shifts the 3.5mm headphone jack to the side instead of the back, because it isn’t thick enough to have the jack travel all the way in!
It’s debatable whether a white bezel and a large pastel-colored chin is actually pleasing to the eye, but I personally love this new avatar. Just like the creatives that use it, the iMac is a combination of professional and playful, serious and fun. The device comes in 7 colors, using the same anodized aluminum body seen in the iPods from ages ago, although those materials and technologies have definitely come a long way. On the front, the iMac comes outfitted with a 1080p camera which leverages the M1 chip’s ability to run incredibly powerful ISP (Image Signal Processing) algorithms to make sure the lighting’s always great, the exposure’s perfect, and your face looks good on video, all the time, every time.
Within that large chin lies the iMac’s sound system. Now, there isn’t much you could fit into an 11-millimeter chassis, but Apple’s engineering team manages to squeeze in a lot. It uses not one, but two subwoofer units (facing in opposite directions so they cancel out any physical vibrations) on each side of the display, along with a single tweeter on either side, resulting in a 6-driver setup that creates a massive soundscape, tuned to support Dolby Atmos.
My personal favorite feature is the redesigned charging apparatus. The 2021 iMac brings the magnetic charging connector back, which satisfyingly snaps right into its port. The iMacs themselves only sport Thunderbolt ports on the back (and a 3.5mm jack on the side), leaving a vacancy for the traditional ethernet cable. To make up for this, Apple redesigned the charger block to have its own ethernet port that supplies power as well as internet to your iMac. This incredibly genius move means one less port on your iMac, while also helping reduce the chaos of cables on your table… all while retaining functionality!
With the redesigned iMac also comes a slew of redesigned accessories, including the Magic Keyboard, which, apart from also coming in color variants (to match your machine), also have a dedicated emoji button, and the option between a lock button on the top right, or a TouchID key that lets you unlock your iMac, approve of file transfers, app-installs, and even of payments! Along with the keyboard, the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad get color makeovers too.
The new iMacs start at a pretty modest price of $1299, and come with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, and that mammoth M1 chip. While some may debate that their new colored avatar makes them look slightly like a toy, to them I say, grab the white iMac and quit whining. With these new colored computers, Apple is really showing how design can delight with computing power as well as CMF. As a pretty harsh Apple critic myself, I can’t help but constantly ogle at these colorful Macintoshes… and while the M1’s performance really speaks for itself, this delightfully vibrant design has enough sex appeal to push Windows users over the fence and have them taking a closer look at these Mac machines!