At today's 'Sping Loaded' event, Apple announced, amongst other products, a redesigned line of 24” iMac computers, powered by its 8-core CPU M1 chip, with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, and a 16-core neural engine. The highest end model offers up to 85% faster CPU performance and up to 2x faster graphics performance compared to standard 21.5" models.

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The new iMacs mark the first major iMac redesign in almost ten years and brings back colors we haven’t seen since the now-iconic iMac G3 desktop computers.

The new iMac features a 24” 4.5K display with 11.3-million pixels and a pixel density of 218 ppi. The display covers the wide P3 color gamut, has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, and supports True Tone technology to tune its white point to your viewing environment. The IPS displays sport wide viewing angles that are perfect for photo editing, but are not capable of high peak brightness for HDR like Apple's 'XDR' displays. Apple has also chosen to forego any contrast-enhancing local dimming technology, such as the mini-LED tech with local dimming zones in the new 12.9" iPad Pro, or the individually modulated LED backlight system found in the Pro Display XDR. You can expect contrast ratios of 1500:1, and Apple's industry-leading anti-reflective glass coating helps minimize reflections to preserve that contrast. This avoids the 'washed out' look in bright environments that is typical of displays that use a matte surface to scatter reflections.

The iMacs can also power one external display at up to 6K/60Hz over its Thunderbolt 3 port, which also natively supports DisplayPort over USB-C.

Apple has also updated the camera inside the iMac, adding a 1080p camera with a larger sensor. Apple says the new sensor works with the image signal processor inside its M1 chip to get the most out of the sensor, similar to the machine learning-powered technology inside Apple’s latest iPhone devices. This computational approach to video allows for real-time AWB, AE, face detection, fusion of variable exposures and local tone-mapping for high dynamic range scenes.

With the new design comes a new magnetic power adapter with a unique feature — the ability to plug the ethernet cable directly into the power cable brick, negating the need to plug it directly into the back of the iMac.

Apple has upgraded the audio capabilities of the iMac in some big ways. A three-microphone array featuring beamforming technology focuses on you, ignoring background noise. Six speakers and support for Dolby Atmos and spatial audio enhance the movie viewing experience, making the sound seem as though it's coming from around you as opposed to the center of the iMac. There are two pairs of force-cancelling woofers for clean bass without any rattling of the chassis, and each of these pairs is balanced with a tweeter for higher frequencies.

Apple has also updated its Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad accessories. In addition to matching the colors of the new M1 iMacs for all of the devices, Apple has also made three distinct Magic Keyboards. The first one is a basic Magic Keyboard that features an identical layout to that found on the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard; the second one features the same layout and includes a built-in Touch ID button and the third features the Touch ID button and adds a number pad.

The new iMacs come in two models: one with a 7-core GPU and one with an 8-core GPU. The 7-core GPU iMac models start at $1,299 with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB of SSD storage and two Thunderbolt ports. The 8-core GPU iMac models start at $1,499 with 8GB of unified memory, 256GB of SSD storage, two Thunderbolt ports and two USB-C ports. WiFi 6 brings support for the 6GHz band, the next generation of WiFi with better speeds and reliability for networks supporting many wireless devices. Memory and storage can be increased for additional costs for both units. The 7-core GPU iMacs are limited to blue, green, pink and silver colors, while the 8-core units include yellow, orange and purple.

The new 24” M1 iMacs will be available to order on April 30 and are expected to ship in the second half of May. In addition to the standard iMacs with built-in stands, Apple is also — for the first time — selling iMacs with built-in VESA mounts. You can find out more information about the iMacs on Apple's website.