Tuesday, October 31, 2023

iMac 2023

Apple (Hacker News):

iMac with M3 is up to 2x faster than the prior generation with M1. And for those upgrading from an Intel-based iMac, the new iMac is up to 2.5x faster than the most popular 27-inch models, and 4x faster than the most powerful 21.5-inch model.


iMac features a 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, a P3 wide color gamut, over a billion colors, and 500 nits of brightness.


iMac now features Wi-Fi 6E, which delivers download speeds that are up to twice as fast as the previous generation, and Bluetooth 5.3, which allows users to connect to the latest Bluetooth accessories. It also features up to four USB‑C ports, including two Thunderbolt ports for superfast data transfer; support for Gigabit Ethernet standard on select models[…]

Hartley Charlton:

The iMac now supports up to 24GB of memory and the M3 chip’s all-new GPU brings hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing to the iMac for the first time.


The iMac starts at the same $1,299 price of the previous model.

This is all fine, but the bad news is that Apple seems to be saying that there are no plans for an iMac with a larger display. There is nothing in Apple’s current lineup that offers what the old 27-inch iMac did (either in display, RAM, ports, or CPU relative to the rest of the lineup). You can get a Mac mini or a Mac Studio with a Studio Display, but you’ll pay a lot more for a more awkward setup.

Hartley Charlton:

The newly announced M3 iMac is still accompanied by peripherals with a Lightning port for pairing and charging, rather than USB-C as rumored.

They still have the bad design with the full-height left/right arrow keys, and the Magic Mouse still can’t be used while it’s being charged.

Overall, it’s good to see the iMac finally get an update—there never was an M2 iMac—but it just doesn’t seem like Apple cares very much.

Dan Moren:

All they had to do was replace the Lightning port on the Magic Keyboard with USB-C and I would have bought one but nooooooo.


This was going to be my dream machine after a long time of not upgrading. However, the 8/256GB standard, no USB-C accessories, and still charging extra to have Touch ID and a Magic Trackpad really leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Martin Pilkington:

To be completely frank the memory and storage in the iMac configurations is insulting for those prices in 2023.

There is no reason Apple should be selling a computer over £1000 with anything less than 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

As always, the up-charges for extra storage seem exorbitant. And, holding the prices constant, I continue to think that most users would be better off with SSDs that are slower but higher capacity. The user experience of adding extra external storage later is bad and getting worse.


Update (2024-01-23): Jason Snell:

The M3 iMac also doesn’t come in an optional M3 Pro configuration, which I admit surprises me a little bit, given that the Mac mini supports it.

Joe Rossignol (TidBITS-Talk):

Apple has confirmed to The Verge and some other publications that it has no plans to release a new 27-inch iMac with Apple silicon.

Stephen Hackett:

For years, the iMac became more and more professional in its power, design and very nature. At the end of the Intel era, the computer could be ordered in such a wide range of specs that basically anyone shopping for an iMac could easily have their needs met, from the most basic of home users to folks pushing the bounds of what their computers could do.

That’s just not true anymore, and while it stings, I think the iMac is pretty squarely back in the consumer column … at least for the foreseeable future.

Benjamin Mayo:

I think we can all observe that the iMac is on a development cadence that sees it receive significant changes once or maybe twice a decade, subsequently upgraded with new more powerful chips every one to two years. The 2021 iMac was the big uplift, the 2023 revision is the example of the spec bump.

The base iMac is clearly set as is, with a 24-inch inbetweener design meant to split the difference between the previous Intel lineup of 21.5-inch and 27-inch sizes. That’s what Apple’s on-the-record press statement is affirming. But just like Apple offers both the Mac mini and Mac Studio, I do think it would be a shame if the company can never justify making a higher end iMac ever again. A true Apple Silicon successor to the iMac Pro could be very compelling, even if not a big seller.

Jason Snell:

The iMac’s stand remains unadjustable and, in my opinion, inappropriately low.


Apple also hasn’t upgraded the FaceTime camera, which remains at 1080p. That’s the resolution you’ll find in laptops, but I had hoped for an upgrade on the desktop. […] Apple needs to find a higher-quality webcam that can support Center Stage (as well as macOS Sonoma’s built-in options to manually pan and zoom the camera exactly the way you want it) and build it into future iMacs and external displays.


Given the company’s commitment to the environment, perhaps it’s time to build a new Target Display Mode.

Mario Guzmán:

It’s 2024 and we’re still talking about how to make the Magic Mouse better while Apple refuses to come up with a more ergonomic design that can also charge while using.

This mouse is 15 years old now. FIFTEEN. YEARS. OLD.

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John C. Randolph

"Apple seems to be saying that there are no plans for an iMac with a larger display"

They've said nothing of the kind. Apple never discusses future products, and you shouldn't infer anything from that secrecy.


@John I thought there was a line in the video about this replacing the 27-inch iMac. That combined with waiting 2 years for no change is disappointing. But, yes, Apple doesn’t discuss future products, except in those rare cases where they say they won’t make something and then go on to actually make it.

Not shown above, but in the video event John Ternus said regarding the 24" 4.5K display: "it's the perfect size and resolution to replace both the 4K and the 5K Intel-based models."

I'm not sure how else to read this other than there are no plans for at least specifically a 27" 5K display in an iMac. Or generously with Apple's secrecy and possibility of change: "don't wait for it."

I've never seen any explanation for the full-height arrow keys. They were a plainly bad idea that seemed to just be following a bad idea from the rest of the notebook industry, they were so clearly bad that they were reverted in newer keyboards, but then that bad idea continues on in even newer keyboards well after that realization.

I'll infer what is implied by Apple when it says "it’s the perfect size and resolution to replace both the 4K and the 5K Intel-based models in an even more versatile design."

John C. Randolph

I'm expecting a 30" 6K and 32" 8K iMac Pro next year, and I don't expect Apple to give any hints that such a thing is coming before it's official.


I wonder what drives the Touch ID decision.

If the iMac were bought by a lot of education customers, perhaps those would rather not have a fingerprint sensor. But I imagine it doesn't sell well there.

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