Photo Credit: Apple
Apple at its Spring Loaded event on Tuesday launched what it is calling the all-new iMac, featuring its custom-designed ARM chip – the Apple M1 SoC. As usual with most Apple upgrades, the 24-inch iMac is thinner, faster, and cooler running than previous generations. Alongside, the company also unveiled a revamped Apple TV 4K streaming device that now features the Apple A12 Bionic SoC that you see on the latest generation iPhone 12 handsets. Both the new iMac and the new Apple TV 4K go up for pre-orders later this month, and on sale next month.
The all-new iMac featuring the Apple M1 SoC will start at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 97,900) in the US, and will go up for pre-orders from April 30. This pricing is for the 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB storage, Magic Keyboard model, and in India, pricing starts at Rs. 1,19,900, going up to Rs. 1,39,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB storage model) and Rs. 1,59,000 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB storage model) as starting prices for the higher end models that come with Touch ID-enabled Magic Keyboards. In the US, the higher end models are priced at $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,13,00) and $1,699 (roughly Rs. 1,28,100). The new M1-based iMac will go on sale in the second half of May, the company revealed.
The Apple TV 4K with A12 Bionic SoC is priced at $179 (roughly Rs. 13,500) for the 32GB storage model, and $199 (roughly Rs. 15,000) for the 64GB model. In India, it starts at Rs. 18,900 and goes up to Rs. 20,900. Its availability is the same as the new iMac, with it going up for pre-orders from April 30 and then availability in 30 countries from the "second half of May". The new Siri Remote is priced at Rs. 5,800, and works with older Apple TV devices (4K and HD). AppleCare+ will also be available for the first time for the lineup, with the new Apple TV 4K, priced at Rs. 2,900.
The M1-based iMac features a brand new design, with a distraction-free muted colour on the front, and a brighter hue on the back. The base model is only available in four colours – Blue, Green, Red, Silver, while the two higher end models are available in Yellow, Orange, and Purple, in addition. The iMac features a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display (4480x2520 pixels), with Apple's True Tone tech for colour balance, P3 wide colour gamut, 500 nits peak brightness, and a low reflectivity coating. The company says 24-inch display fits in a frame only slightly larger than the earlier 21.5 model. The all-in-one (AIO) PC is also more compact, at just 11.5mm thin.
Apple says the M1 chip thanks to its ARM-based design and system-on-chip helps reduce the size of the logic board and require a smaller thermal system. The new AIO is also quieter thanks to the two small fans replacing the earlier single large one, up to 50 percent quieter (<10 dB). Benefits of the new SoC on the 24-inch iMac beyond instant wakeup include up to 85 percent faster CPU performance than older 21.5-inch models, up to 2x faster GPU performance, and up to 3x faster machine learning performance.
Also new on the all-new iMac are the 1080p webcam which uses the M1's neural engine for face detection and better exposure as well as colour balance. The company has also included what it calls a studio quality 3-mic array with beamforming tech, and a Dolby Atmos-certified 6-speaker system including force-cancelling woofers alongside high-performance tweeters.
As for connectivity options, new iMac users can choose to get up to up to four USB Type-C ports, two of which can be Thunderbolt. The AIO supports up to a 6K display, apart from featuring a new magnetic power connector with a 2-metre colour-matched woven cable and an adapter that integrates the Ethernet port to save space. Apple has launched three new Magic Keyboard models alongside – a colour-matching Magic Keyboard with new keys for Spotlight, Dictation, Do Not Disturb, and emoji. Another new Magic Keyboard has the same design, but also features wireless Touch ID. And finally, another model with the same new key-design but including a numpad. New colour-matching versions of the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad were also detailed.
As for specifications, the base model of the 24-inch iMac offers up to 16GB of unified memory, 1TB of SSD storage, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth v5, and two Thunderbolt/ or USB 4 ports, while the higher end models offer up to a 2TB SSD, and three USB 3 ports in addition.
The new Apple TV 4K featuring Apple's A12 Bionic processor boasts of several upgrades over its predecessor, including support for high-frame rate HDR content. Apple said it is working with content providers globally to make more such content available, while iPhone 12 Pro users can use their handsets to record Dolby Vision HDR content at 60 fps.
Also new is a Colour Balance feature, which lets Apple TV 4K users with iPhone handsets adjust the colour balance of their television sets. This is achieved by holding up the iPhone to a designated spot on the TV, and then with the light sensor on the iPhone, colour output is measured and calibrated.
The new Apple TV 4K also features a brand new Siri Remote, which can be purchased separately and work with the last generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD models. The remote features a touch-enabled clickpad, an outer-ring that can now read circular motions to seek along a video timeline, a new power button that controls the TV set, and the movement of the Siri button to the side. It is made from 100 percent recycled aluminium, the company boasts.