Why I Still Love the iMac M1 After Three Months

It’s a speed demon

Key Takeaways

  • I’ve spent three months using Apple’s iMac M1, and my affection for this machine has only grown. 
  • The speed of the iMac blows away any computer I’ve ever used. 
  • At around 10 pounds, the iMac doesn’t weigh much more than some laptops.
The Spring 2021 M1 iMac Lineup

Apple

After owning the iMac M1 for three months, I can say it’s among the best computers I’ve ever used.

I’ve been using the iMac daily, and it’s hard to use other computers because it makes them seem sluggish. The beautiful screen on the iMac makes my MacBook Pro look dim and washed out. 

The incredible speed of the iMac helps me zip through work, and it’s a wonderful machine for watching movies and videos. The slim design of the iMac fits perfectly into my tiny apartment. I still haven’t gotten used to the finicky keyboard. 

“My MacBook Pro from 2019 isn’t precisely sluggish, but using the iMac is a revelation by comparison.”

The Joy of Thin

One of the best parts of using the iMac is its portability.  At around 10 pounds, the iMac doesn’t weigh much more than some laptops. It also comes with a convenient power cord that attaches magnetically to the back of the computer.

The benefits of having such a portable desktop are hard to overstate. Unplugging the iMac is so easy that I can often transport it from room to room wherever I am working, much the way I might tuck my MacBook under my arm. 

The result of this portability is that I end up using the iMac a lot more than I would with most desktops. The iMac fits my lifestyle instead of having to be on a dedicated desk, which is good because I don’t have a home office. 

I still can’t get over the sheer speed of the iMac M1. My MacBook Pro from 2019 isn’t precisely sluggish, but using the iMac is a revelation by comparison. Apps launch instantly, and I have no problem keeping a dozen programs at once open, along with 20 or so Chrome browser tabs.  

The M1 iMac side view showing how thin the computer is.

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

Display Envy

While I would love to have an even larger screen, the 24-inch display on the iMac is still a huge step up from the 16 inches of my MacBook Pro. It’s a game-changer in that I can spend hours poring over text documents and multitasking with a lot less eye strain. 

The excellent display quality is matched by high-quality speakers that pump out an astonishing amount of sound, considering they are hiding inside the chassis. The built-in speakers are more than good enough for casual music listening or a Netflix-bingeing session. 

If I have any complaint about the iMac it's that I think I’ll outgrow the screen. I’ve been eyeing ginormous monitors like Samsung’s new Odyssey Neo G9. The 49 inches of the G9 dwarfs the iMac and could be an even bigger productivity booster. Rumors are flying that Apple is coming out with a 27-inch version of the M1 iMac and I'm excited to see if that's true.

When I first unpacked the M1 iMac three months ago, I was disappointed with the keyboard that Apple includes with this model. The keyboard is too small for my typing style, and the lock key on the upper right side is too easy to hit mistakenly. 

Unfortunately, many hours spent using the iMac keyboard haven’t changed my initial impression. It’s still too small, and I haven’t learned to avoid that annoying lock key. I have tried replacement keyboards like the Logitech MX Keys, which offer better ergonomics. However, after spending so much money on the sleek-looking iMac, it’s a shame to ruin the look with a keyboard that doesn’t exactly match the iMac’s style. 

The Apple Mouse that comes with the iMac also isn’t the best that’s available. I’d recommend replacing Apple’s rodent with the Logitech Mx Master 3, which is more comfortable and provides better customization options. 

Despite these minor quibbles, I’m still delighted with the M1 iMac and can recommend it highly to anyone looking for a home desktop. At $1,299, there are cheaper desktops available, but the speed, terrific display, and portability of the iMac make it a great choice.

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