The Apple M1 iMac (2021) represents the first major update to the line since 2016. It’s forward-looking as the first iMac to sport Apple silicon under the hood, but it also hearkens back to days gone by with a fanciful selection of color options.This iteration of hardware has a bigger display, an upgraded microphone, speakers, and camera, and an optional TouchID-enabled Magic Keyboard, in addition to a number of other upgrades and design tweaks compared to the last Intel iMac.
Having already spent a lot of time with the M1 MacBook Air and Mac mini Apple released in 2020, I was quite curious to see how similar hardware might be implemented in the iMac line. I chose the entry-level model for testing, decked out in a soothing two-tone metallic blue, cleared some desk space, and replaced my regular work rig for about a month.Over the course of my month with the M1 iMac, I specifically tested things like network performance and gaming benchmarks, but I also used it for work, media, voice and video calls, and gaming. There were a few instances where I had to fall back to my Windows rig, specifically for unsupported games, but the M1 iMac handled just about every other task without issue.
Apple could have taken the easy route and just swapped the M1 hardware into the existing iMac line, but the M1 iMac represents a total redesign from the ground up. The basic look is fairly similar, but the new design has cleaner lines, a uniformly thin body, thinner screen borders, and comes in a variety of attractive colors.