At its big Spring Loaded event on April 20, Apple announced a new 24-inch iMac with a pretty radical design. There’s a lot to love about what Apple has cooked up with this new all-in-one, including the M1-powered performance upgrade and the ultrathin profile.
As excited as I am for the long-awaited redesign, there are a couple of smaller issues that rub me the wrong way.
That bottom bezel
The new look of the iMac is really impressive. It sports a new hinge and flat back that make it resemble an iPad Pro connected to the Magic Keyboard. Apple says it wanted to make the computer disappear, and it’s gotten amazingly close to hitting that goal.
That is, until you look just below the screen. There’s a hefty bottom chin, which iMac users will recognize. Large bezels were a major hang-up of the design for the past decade, and all signs were pointing toward a cleaner look to match other Apple products.
The top and sides have been slimmed down, but the bottom bezel looks just as big as it’s always been.
Of course, Apple could have easily reduced the size of these bezels, but it had a higher priority in mind: Make the screen as thin as possible.
With this new 24-inch iMac, Apple has “hidden” all the primary components inside of this bottom bezel, allowing the back to be just 11.5mm thick. It’s not something that could have been done without the SoC (system-on-chip) design of the M1. Similar to phones, an SoC means a much smaller logic board that can fit into something as small as a bottom bezel.
It’s an incredibly impressive feat, and I’m sure it’ll make an even bigger impression in person.
I just explained the reasoning behind it, and yet, I’m still left disappointed. We’ve waited years for Apple to come up to industry standard on this, and I thought Apple would at least have found a way to match the bezel size of the Pro Display XDR. But alas, the iMac still has big chin that you’re going to be staring at all day.
You can’t have it all, but in this case, I might have preferred a slightly thicker chassis with a smaller bottom bezel.
What’s an Apple product launch without another discussion about ports?
With all the talk of Apple having a change of heart on its Mac ports, the company goes and launches a new iMac with the fewest amount we’ve ever seen. It’s down to just 4 USB-C ports, two of which are Thunderbolt 4. That’s just barely enough, I suppose. But then, there’s the base model, which includes just the two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and that’s it. You’ll have to pay to upgrade for those two extra USB-C ports.
Apple has engineered a couple of cool party tricks with its new ports, though. The new power cable is now a braided cord that magnetizes to the back of the iMac. The power adapter itself also features a built-in Ethernet jack for hardwire connections, which will do wonders for your clean desk setup.
But I know I’m going to miss my USB-A ports. More than anything, I’ll miss having an SD card slot, which is pretty frustrating given how much Apple talked about this being an option for creatives.
I guess it’s back to the dongle life.