Pho­to: tomsguide.com

It has nev­er hap­pened that, as soon as a new prod­uct from Apple came out, you won­dered if it was time to change a slight­ly out­dat­ed mod­el for a more mod­ern one, and here it is again! So, the lat­est iMac mod­el will start sell­ing in Rus­sia in the sec­ond half of May, that is, from day to day. In addi­tion to the obvi­ous visu­al changes, we are promised increased pow­er and many oth­er advan­tages. But let’s look at the facts our­selves and see if it’s worth switch­ing from the 2019 iMac to the new 2021 iMac.

Price and characteristics of “poppies”

The 2019 mod­el is get­ting cheap­er and more attrac­tive despite being dis­con­tin­ued. Pho­to: macworld.com

First of all, let’s look at how the entire iMac line­up has changed. Pri­or to the announce­ment of 2021, these desk­tops had two screen options: 21.5 inch­es or 27 inch­es. Now the 24-inch mon­i­tor will com­plete­ly replace the small­er ver­sion, with the excep­tion of com­put­ers for edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions: they will be left with the option to pur­chase 21.5‑inch iMacs. How­ev­er, it is worth not­ing that this series has slight­ly out­dat­ed para­me­ters: a 7th gen­er­a­tion Core i5 proces­sor, an inte­grat­ed graph­ics card and no Reti­na dis­play.

The 27-inch iMac arrived as recent­ly as 2020. It’s still pow­ered by an Intel proces­sor, and looks exact­ly like the design the com­pa­ny launched over a decade ago.

How­ev­er, there is anoth­er com­put­er that came out in 2019. With a 21.4 or 27 inch dis­play, but with Reti­na tech­nol­o­gy and 4K res­o­lu­tion. Apple is phas­ing out this iMac, but if you already own one, you might want to know if it’s worth giv­ing up. Now this com­put­er can be found at a price of about 120 thou­sand rubles, and a 27-inch mod­el — for 140. It works on an 8th gen­er­a­tion Intel proces­sor (21-inch at — 3.6 GHz Intel Core i3, and 27-inch — at 3 GHz Core i5 with six cores). The graph­ics on the mod­els are also dif­fer­ent, but both options can be select­ed with 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD stor­age.

The new iMac dif­fers sig­nif­i­cant­ly from the 2019 ver­sion: it came out in three mod­els, and they all run on the Apple M1 proces­sor. The base one received an 8‑core CPU and a 7‑core GPU, but two advanced ones — 8 cores on each para­me­ter. The Apple M1 is a SoC proces­sor (Sys­tem-on-a-Chip, sin­gle-chip sys­tem). This means that the options for cus­tomiza­tion and mod­i­fi­ca­tion are severe­ly cur­tailed. For exam­ple, if you want to add some­thing, this some­thing can only be an SSD (and then only up to 2 TB) or RAM (8 GB or 16 GB). While iMac 2019 can replace both the chip and the graph­ics card.

Design update

The reduced frames around the screen are a trib­ute to the trend. Pho­to: pcmag.com

The 2021 24-inch iMac is exact­ly the same as its pre­de­ces­sors. One of the main dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures of this series of com­put­ers is a com­plete­ly rethought design and the abil­i­ty to choose dif­fer­ent col­ors. The last time such a wealth of options was already in 1999, and now the set is much wider. There are lilac, and pale green, and orange, and pink, and blue and yel­low. At the same time, those who adhere to a con­ser­v­a­tive style can still stop at gray. In addi­tion, acces­sories, down to the pow­er cable, are also avail­able in new col­ors. There is a key­board with Touch ID, and a mouse, and a track­pad. You can either choose one shade or com­bine them.

Until this year, Apple clear­ly adhered to the pol­i­cy of “do not touch what is already on sale.” iMac col­ors were lim­it­ed to white for ear­ly mod­els and sil­ver for lat­er mod­els, and the form fac­tor remained the same, but rec­og­niz­able. The change in style is asso­ci­at­ed pri­mar­i­ly with the appear­ance of its own proces­sor. It is thanks to the M1 chip that the “pop­py” case has become thin­ner — only 1.5 cm. At a min­i­mum, this means that it will now be much eas­i­er to find a place in the house for such a com­put­er.

iMac Screen

Reti­na tech­nol­o­gy has long been the stan­dard for iMac, but the res­o­lu­tion is sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly increas­ing. Pho­to: tomsguide.com

Despite the fact that both com­put­ers (2019 and 2021) are equipped with a Reti­na dis­play, there are still dif­fer­ences. The old­er mod­el sup­ports 4K res­o­lu­tion (4096 x 2304 pix­els), 1 bil­lion col­ors, 500 nits bright­ness and P3 col­or space. This year’s iMac has a screen res­o­lu­tion of 4.5K (4480 x 2520) with 218 ppi. There is also sup­port for True Tone, a tech­nol­o­gy for auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjust­ing bright­ness and col­or repro­duc­tion for ambi­ent light­ing. Def­i­nite­ly, the new “pop­py” screen is per­fect.

Apple software

MacOS is still part of Apple’s con­ve­nient ecosys­tem, but Mac apps are now avail­able for iOS and iPa­dOS. Pho­to: appleinsider.com

As always, iMacs come pre­loaded with the upgrad­able macOS oper­at­ing sys­tem. But there is one fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence, and the Apple M1 proces­sor again becomes its cause. Thanks to its SoC archi­tec­ture, you can run not only appli­ca­tions for MacOS, but also for iOS or iPa­dOS from a com­put­er. So games, chats and oth­er appli­ca­tions will always be avail­able to you in a few clicks, with the same data and infor­ma­tion that you entered on anoth­er device. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the 2019 mod­el does not have such an advan­tage, so the choice of appli­ca­tions is obvi­ous­ly less.

Which iMac is better to buy

If the choice is lim­it­ed by the bud­get, then the 2019 mod­el is the best option. Pho­to: macworld.co.uk

If you’re think­ing about get­ting your first iMac, then of course the 2021 24-inch mod­el is unbeat­able. With it, you can actu­al­ly get all the most pro­gres­sive that the com­pa­ny is ready to offer. The capa­bil­i­ties of its own proces­sor are one of the most attrac­tive aspects of the nov­el­ty. But the design and addi­tion­al func­tions also play a role. The only thing that can con­vince you to choose a new prod­uct is the price dif­fer­ence: almost 40 thou­sand between the 2019 and 2021 mod­els.

The same can stop those who are think­ing about updat­ing their device. In fact, Apple offers enough to lure the buy­er, but there are not so many fun­da­men­tal inno­va­tions in the iMac that will affect in prac­tice. If you do not need seri­ous com­put­ing pow­er, then upgrad­ing the proces­sor will not be essen­tial. On the con­trary — are you sure that your com­put­er should be the most pow­er­ful and hardy? Then iMac 2021 is def­i­nite­ly for you.

The future of the Apple computer lineup

There is a pop­u­lar the­o­ry among Apple fans that it is bet­ter not to buy new rev­o­lu­tion­ary devices right away. First you need to wait for all the tech­nolo­gies to run in, and then take the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, where all the mis­takes made ear­li­er will be cor­rect­ed. This approach seems to be the most opti­mal so far, espe­cial­ly if you do not expe­ri­ence dis­com­fort using an old­er com­put­er. The next iMac series may be even more advanced, and even with addi­tion­al fea­tures, and then the spend­ing will def­i­nite­ly be jus­ti­fied.