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About iMac Retina Display & iPad Pro Giveaway
iMac Retina Display Review
The new iMac is just 11.5 mm thick. That means this 24-inch iMac has 50 percent reduced volume and a 30 percent smaller footprint than the 21.5-inch iMac it follows. It also has 50 % smaller bezels above and to the sides of the screen.
It’s so thin, in fact, that the headphone jack has to be on the side to fit the plug in, and the Ethernet port likewise has to live in the power brick. That last bit is a clever solution for the fact that many users have wanted Ethernet ports, but Apple’s laptops and desktops have gotten so thin they wouldn’t fit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple offer the same option with future MacBooks.
At the heart of things is Apple’s much-lauded M1, which places a CPU, a GPU, an NPU, an ISP, and a shared memory pool among other things on one chip. This is exactly the same M1 we’ve reviewed in multiple Mac and iPad products now.
As with those Macs, the M1’s CPU has four high-performance cores and four efficiency cores. The cheapest 24-inch iMac configuration ($1,299) has seven GPU cores, while the others have eight. Further, the cheapest model has a different cooling system, with just a single fan to the other configs’ two.
At purchase, the computer can be configured with either 8GB or 16GB of unified memory and either 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of solid-state storage. Ethernet is also an optional upgrade at an extra $30 for the base config (it’s included automatically in the pricier configs), but that Ethernet port is in the power brick, not the Mac itself.
Other ports besides Ethernet include a 3.5 mm headphone jack, two USB-3 (USB-C) ports, and two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports that support DisplayPort and USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s), as well as USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s). You’ll need to buy some adapters for HDMI or anything else not listed here.
iPad Pro Review
This year’s iPad Pro looks pretty much identical to the models Apple released in 2018 and 2020, and you won’t hear me complaining about that. Really, the clearest physical distinction between this Pro and the ones that came before it is the way it feels.
The new model is a little thicker and a little heavier, which makes it considerably less comfortable to hold onto for long periods. I could hold earlier 12.9-inch iPad Pros in one hand if I wanted to, and I just can’t do that for very long with this year’s model. In fact, if you strap this thing into one of Apple’s Magic Keyboards, it weighs more than a comparable MacBook Pro. Not by a lot, mind you, but enough to make me really think about what one computing device I want to carry with me every day.
That might not sound great for a machine that’s meant to be as portable as an iPad is, but things aren’t as bad as one might fear. For one, the fact the chassis is thicker means the dual-camera hump around back doesn’t stick out nearly as much, so the iPad Pro no longer wobbles when you lay it flat on a table. And despite the outcry that arose when Apple said this year’s iPad Pro wouldn’t fit into its expensive, first-generation Magic Keyboard, it actually seems to fit quite well. It’s certainly not ideal — the keyboard layer presses into the display’s glass when closed, which means the fit could be affected by a screen protector — but I also don’t think you’d have to rush out and buy a new Magic Keyboard if you already own one.
To hear Apple tell it, there was no way to avoid making this iPad Pro thicker — it’s mostly because the newly designed Liquid Retina XDR display takes up more space than Apple’s traditional LCDs. Still, the iPad Pro’s extra girth is generally worth it because of all the stuff Apple squeezed into this package.
For one, our review unit has a 5G radio, which did a lovely job keeping me connected when an electrical fire outside my apartment building knocked out my power and internet service for a weekend. (Brooklyn, am I right?) On the whole, my 5G experience hasn’t been dramatically faster than on LTE, but the fleeting moments I spent plopped in a chair in Bryant Park goofing off on a super-fast mmWave network were pretty lovely.
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