I’m constantly testing all kinds of laptops and desktops, just none of them have been able to replace my custom Windows gaming PC as my main machine for piece of work and play. Between my computer’s powerful specs, my versatile dual-monitor setup and my comfort level with Windows 10, it’southward been hard to make the switch to anything else — until the 24-inch iMac landed on my desk.
I’ve been using Apple’s new desktop almost exclusively always since I got it in for review, and barring a few exceptions, I’m non in a huge rush to go back to my PC. Between its superb brandish, excellent webcam and the everyday benefits of macOS I’d been missing out on as an iPhone user, the latest iMac (starting at $one,233; expercom.com and amazon.com) comes dangerously close to beingness the only desktop computer I need.
Here’s what information technology’south like to make the switch to iMac every bit a longtime PC user — and why I can’t completely abandon Windows simply withal.
I’ve covered most of what makes Apple tree’s latest desktop then groovy in my 24-inch iMac review, where I praised the all-in-one for its impossibly slim design, gorgeous Retina display, great accessories and powerful multitasking capabilities made possible by the M1 chip inside. Merely now that I’ve lived with the new iMac for most a month, certain benefits (and drawbacks) are starting to stand up out more than than others. Let’s start with the good stuff.
The webcam, mic and speakers are perfect for working from domicile
Even as someone whose home office is flooded with the best webcams and all-time microphones effectually, I still find myself taking nigh calls using the photographic camera and mic built correct into the new iMac. They’re only that good.
Cheers to its sharp 1080p lens and some M1-enabled software tricks, the iMac’s camera makes me expect brighter and livelier than even my trusty Logitech C920 — peculiarly when I’m nether less-than-ideal lighting. I’ve been chatting with colleagues and taking briefings using the congenital-in iMac microphone for weeks, and haven’t gotten a single complaint near my voice quality.
But it’s the iMac’s six congenital-in speakers that accept really stood out over the by few weeks. When I’g listening in on meetings, colleagues’ voices audio so loud and clear that they may every bit well be in the same room as me. The iMac’s booming speakers take become my preferred way to jam out to pop-punk tracks when it’due south time to get set up for the day, or winding down with some Julien Baker while staring at the ceiling in bed. I can’t wait to plough my iMac into even more than of an entertainment heart when macOS Monterey arrives this fall, as I’ll be able to beam songs and movies from my phone right to the desktop via AirPlay, all without having to bear upon a mouse or keyboard.
These keen multimedia features have yielded a big, unexpected do good — my work area is now more than minimalist than ever. Whereas the PC side of my desk is cluttered with an external microphone, a ready of speakers and a webcam partially obscuring my monitor, the iMac gives me the capabilities of all 3. Meliorate withal, information technology’s housed in an incredibly slim and bonny slab of royal metallic. I still wish the iMac had more than four USB-C ports (I’m currently using a Satechi USB-C hub for more connectivity), but I find myself non needing to use them very often when the born stuff works so well.
The 24-inch display continues to wow me
Every bit someone who swears by multi-monitor setups, I keep to be surprised and delighted by how much I beloved working on the iMac’south single 24-inch brandish, which gives me plenty of existent estate for billowy between important documents and Slack chats.
When I’yard hammering abroad in Google Docs and sifting through press releases, the iMac’southward iv.5K Retina makes basic text await assuming and inky, as if it were splashed on the screen with a fountain pen. Everything is only easier and more enjoyable to read on the iMac, and my beloved Dell 24 Gaming Monitor (which has a less sharp 1440p resolution) at present looks kind of wearisome by comparing.
The iMac display is great for plenty of other things, of course — movies, YouTube videos and Twitch streams popular with color and detail, and even the default majestic wallpaper is a sight to behold. But it’s that added bit of richness and clarity for everyday piece of work tasks that has really helped the iMac maintain its place every bit my daily home office calculator.
Apple’s macOS reminds me what I’ve been missing
Despite all of its peachy features, my favorite thing about the new iMac isn’t sectional to Apple tree’s latest computer at all. While I use a MacBook here and there for work, fully immersing myself in a Mac for a month has reminded me just how nice it is to take all of my Apple gadgets piece of work seamlessly with one some other.
Many of these features accept been effectually for years, but using Messages to text my iPhone friends on desktop or starting a note on my phone and picking information technology up on my iMac still feels like magic to me. The Continuity features that Apple tree have rolled out over the years are really handy — whenever I’g browsing a website on my iPhone, I tin can click a single icon on my Mac to blow it upwards on my big screen, for case.
After finishing an interview recently, I was able to beam the Voice Memo recording from my iPhone to my iMac in an instant. Every bit someone who’s constantly using Google Drive or email to share files between my iPhone and PC, I was a bit blown abroad by how effortless the process was.
That level of seamless interactivity between devices is something I’m merely not getting on my Windows desktop. While Microsoft’southward Your Telephone app allows Android users to admission their apps and messages from the big screen, all iPhone users can practise with it is ship links from their phone to their PC. And while I’ll be able to join FaceTime calls from Windows starting this fall, I still won’t exist able to transport iOS text messages from my PC, access my iCloud notes or instantly AirDrop files from my phone.
Information technology’s almost making me dread going back to Windows — though I all the same have a few good reasons to.
The Mac just isn’t cracking for gaming
While the iMac’due south big, gorgeous display and powerful M1 processor brand it a capable casual gaming automobile, Apple’s desktop merely tin’t replace my powerful Windows rig when it comes to the loftier-end PC titles I like to play — in terms of both functioning and selection.
When I open my Steam library on my iMac, simply 13 of the 170 titles I ain are playable on Apple’s desktop. That small scattering mostly consists of casual titles such as the Jackbox Party Pack, ports of older games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Commonwealth or less-enervating indie experiences like Gone Home and Her Story. If I want to play recent blockbuster hits like Star Wars: Squadrons or Marvel’due south Avengers (or admission the hundreds of games in my Xbox Game Pass library), I’ve got to switch over to my PC.
The iMac does support a handful of big-budget reckoner games, only it’southward not exactly equipped to run them optimally. For example, when testing Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Apple tree’south desktop, I had to turn the resolution down to a grainy 1600 x 900 just to become the game to run at a playable 30 frames per second. If you’re hoping to take full advantage of the iMac’southward beautiful four.5K screen for large, cinematic video games, yous’ll probably be let down.
That’s not to say there’s zero fun to be had with the iMac when information technology comes to gaming. Mega-popular online shooter Fortnite played just fine on Apple’s desktop, and you’ll have no issues running lighter experiences similar The Sims four and Minecraft. Apple Arcade titles like NBA 2K21 and The Last Campfire look vibrant on Apple tree’s big-screen computer, and play great with the PlayStation controller I was able to easily pair to my iMac. But those titles are ostensibly mobile games blown upwards for a large screen.
As someone with a gaming rig packing a beastly Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, the iMac tin’t come shut to replacing my PC when it comes to how many games I can play — or how well they’ll run.
I still prefer multitasking on Windows 10
I mostly savor using macOS, merely it occasionally makes me desire to pull out my nonexistent hair whenever I demand to split the screen between multiple apps. On Windows 10, juggling the myriad of Google Docs, printing releases, video call windows and Slack chats I take open at any given time is easy. I only elevate one window to either side of the screen to snap it in place, and Windows will let me option which app I want to fill the other half of my brandish. A elevate and a click later, and I’m all set.
Things aren’t quite every bit simple on Mac. If I want to use Split View manner on my iMac, I demand to hover over the fullscreen icon (or opt for a keyboard shortcut) on a given window and select the “tile window to left/right of screen option.”
The rest of the process works similarly to Windows, simply in one case I’ve entered macOS’ Separate View, I’g stuck in a rigid full-screen experience that makes it very abrasive to leap back into any other apps I have open. To be fair, both macOS and Windows go far easy to run across everything I have open with a quick three-finger swipe upward, just only Windows lets me instantly close any of those apps with a quick click of the “ten” icon. And while Windows gives me lots of flexibility for snapping several Windows together on the aforementioned screen, Apple’s Split View only lets me bounciness between 2 apps at in one case.
Information technology’s a relatively minor nitpick, and largely one that comes down to personal preference. But I find Windows’ arroyo to multitasking to be a rare case of Microsoft nailing Apple tree’s oft-touted “it just works” ethos improve than Apple itself.
As someone who uses a reckoner primarily for everyday work tasks with some gaming, music product and content cosmos on the side, the new 24-inch iMac has ticked off about every box for me after more than a month of heavy use.
I honey having a bang-up brandish, an aplenty amount of power and a neat webcam and speakers all packed into a unmarried machine the size of a monitor, and the way the iMac works in sync with my iPhone makes it easier to keep upwards with my friends and bounce important files between devices. If you’re considering making the jump from PC to iMac, those are likely the biggest benefits you’ll enjoy right out of the gate.
Information technology’s worth noting that I’ve been using an upgraded version of the $i,699 configuration of the iMac, which has 512GB of storage, a total of four USB-C ports and a Touch ID-enabled Magic Keyboard. The starting $one,299 configuration isn’t a bad option if you lot’re looking to spend every bit piffling as possible, but considering it only gets you two ports and a smaller 256GB solid-state bulldoze, I’d recommend investing in the higher-end version if you can.
Apple tree iMac 24-Inch ($1,233;
The starting iMac configuration, with 256GB of storage and two ports.
Apple tree iMac 24-Inch ($i,699;
): Our recommended configuration, with 512GB of storage and four ports.
That said, if you lot’re serious almost PC gaming, the iMac isn’t for you. While you tin play more than 100 lightweight Apple Arcade titles and a few big hits similar Fortnite and Tomb Raider, the iMac’south game choice and graphics capabilities can’t hold a candle to a properly configured Windows desktop.
There’s likewise the consequence of upgradability. I can swap out my PC’s processor, storage, RAM and graphics whenever I want in order to keep it upwards to engagement, whereas the iMac’s parts are all sealed in — aside from the option of external storage, what you buy on twenty-four hours ane is what you’ll be using for adept. And if you’ve grown to rely on Windows 10’southward multitasking features, macOS may come up with a bit of a learning curve.
All the same, as a PC diehard, I’ve loved my time with the latest iMac even despite these quirks. If you’re cool with the above caveats and looking for a computer that can exercise a whole lot inside a cute and slim design, it might just be the best desktop you can buy right now.