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Apple’s new M1 chips have been making headlines in all of their new products because of the great performance and battery life. We’ve seen the M1 in devices like the MacBook Pro and even the iPad Pro, which now blows away all other “mobile” devices in benchmarks. So when Apple threw this chip into the iMac, it made Apple’s mainstream desktop immediately interesting. And after using the M1 iMac for a few months, I can easily say it’s one of my favorite computers I have ever used.
Design, hardware, what’s in the box
The M1 iMac has a very unconventional design for an all-in-one. The screen assembly is super thin, coming in at just 11.5mm thick. The front is all glass and mostly display, with white bezels and a chin that houses the logic board. The top has the 1080p HD FaceTime camera, which produces fantastic video quality, a long overdue step for Apple. The back has the connector for the non-removable stand, the power port, and 2 or 4 USB Type-C ports depending on your version.
Apple does have a few versions of the M1 iMac. The base model iMac comes with 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, an M1 with 7 GPU cores and only has 1 fan and a heatsink. The 8 GPU core models have 2 fans and a heat pipe with 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and 2 USB 3 ports. This, in theory, means you’ll get better CPU and GPU performance out of the 8 core model because the thermal headroom on the M1 chip is greater.
The iMac comes in seven colors: blue, green, pink, silver, yellow, orange, and purple. Every iMac also includes with color-matched accessories. That means your blue iMac will have a snazzy blue Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse/Trackpad. It is worth noting these are not available separately yet, so if you want a color-matched accessory, you need to get it at the time you order. All the colors are gorgeous, but I still prefer plain old silver.
The display on the iMac is fantastic. It is a 24-inch 4.5K LCD panel with a resolution of 4480 by 2520 pixels. It gets bright with a peak rating of 500 nits, but it is still hard to see in direct sunlight. Luckily, this is a desktop. Just don’t set it up in direct sunlight. The display has wide 10-bit color gamut, which means it can show up to 1 billion…