Apple’s M1 iMac packs a punch

For around 3 months now I have been using the M1 iPad Pro, and it is powerful, but not as powerful as the new M1 Macs. This week I received my brand-new M1 iMac (2021) version with the 8-core GPU version of the M1 spec’d up with 16 GB of RAM for an extra kick. I have to say, I was impressed with this computer the moment I got it.

The beefed up M1 with 16 GB of RAM in a computer running macOS is truly game changing. It is not only faster, it is black, and you will miss it fast.

Raw power

I am not one for losing at benchmarks and showing raw computer power, I prefer to work on a computer for a few days and get a feel for how it works in a day-to-day use. This is precisely what I have been doing for the last 3 days.

The M1 iMac is replacing my main computer, 15” MacBook Pro for 2017 and what an upgrade it has been. The power for day to day tasks in my business is not even starting to push this machine, in fact, I have never heard the fans come on. While most of my work is relativity lightweight tasks and admin, I do have some heavy tasks like video editing and I work with large Photoshop files regularly. Everything I have thrown at this computer, it has handled without skipping a beat.

Photoshop can open in 4 seconds vs 15 seconds on my MacBook Pro, 2017

A big screen

The 24” screen at 4.5K is breathtaking, as you would expect from a modern-day Apple device. Coming from a 15” laptop as my daily computer, this screen is huge, and I don’t use all of it to its full potential just yet. I have found I am opening more apps at once and using full screen a lot less than I used to on my laptop. This is a good and a bad thing, as I am also finding I get distracted a lot faster as well.

The bigger screen and desktop working style are nice, and better for your back when working for hours at a time. This has also led me to getting more work done, and I appear to work a lot faster and for longer than I did previously.

Great sound

The speakers are as Apple describes them “the best in any Mac” and I have to say they are good. Previously I would listen to music with headphones as the MacBook Pro speakers never did anything for me. With the new iMac, I often listen to music while working using the built-in speakers and don’t think anything of the quality of the sound.

Yes, it is not as good as music on my AirPods Pro, but it is more than good enough to listen to as background music while working away on a website project or writing a blog post.

App support

One thing that did concern me was native app support, as I wanted to avoid using Apple’s emulation software Rosetta 2. It turns out, except for 2 apps, I have nothing to worry about. Everything I use daily is optimised and runs natively on Apple Silicon, expect for WhatsApp desktop and Twist. Luckily, for me, both of these have web versions that I can use, so I don’t need to run Rosetta 2 at all.

One other notable app that is not native on M1 is Microsoft Teams; however, I don’t use Teams.

App support is great, and Apple’s 2-year transition to their silicon will only be limited by their slow rollout of new computers.

Conclusion

The M1 iMac is one of the best purchases I have made in recent years. It is the daily driver in my business and will last for at least 3 years into the future. In reality, the computer will still be more than capable in 5 years time with the power it packs and Apple’s legendary build quality. I jus like to have the latest and greatest, so will be replacing it will before the end of its life.

If you are on the fence about getting the new iMac or any of Apple’s new Macs with M1, I say just do it, you will not be disappointed.

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Consultant, writer, developer and marketing professional.

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