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GOOD AND BAD! Two Weeks with the M1 iMac


there are a few things that i learned after using the m1 imac for a couple of weeks some are great some are not so great today i’m going to walk you through the entire experience and for each part i’ll tell you what i liked what i didn’t like and i’ll also put it in context for different types of users then i’ll talk about who this imac would be a good fit for and who might want to look at another product or maybe just wait a bit kicking things off with the display let me start with what i liked the display itself is fantastic it’s definitely something that you need to factor into the price when you’re doing comparative shopping like if you look at something like the 24 inch lg ultra fine 4k you’re looking at about 700 bucks for the display alone now back to the imac display the image quality is very good it’s crisp it’s bright and it’s color accurate so you can use it for photo and video editing and when you’re viewing content on it things look great it’s also a 4.5 k display meaning that you can watch your

favorite shows movies or youtube content at 4k so in terms of the actual quality of the display i don’t really have anything to complain about for my use i would have liked for it to be a 27 inch display for a couple of reasons first i think the majority of users who are going to use this imac are going to use it as a single display machine and since it’s a device that should last for at least the next five years i think a larger display would be great now if you’re more than just a casual user and you do plan on doing photo or more important video editing then having more room for your timeline and all the different bins that you use is definitely a bonus now my main workstation has six monitors it’s right over there so i’m used to working with multiple monitors and a ton of desktop real estate but that’s really an extreme setup that i designed for my workflow but even if you only add one display to the imac you run into a couple of issues first it kind of ruins the appeal of an all-in-one and second your additional display isn’t going to match and because of the white bezels which don’t get me wrong i happen to actually like but that difference will be more noticeable now of course you can find displays with white bezels but

your choices are much more limited now the last thing that i want to point out about this display is that it’s glossy and there isn’t a map version this may not matter to every user but i do want you to be aware of this if you have a window that’s behind you the display is actually pretty bright so you’ll be able to see it but it is quite reflective now next i want to talk about the ports first there are two models the base model comes with two thunderbolt slash usb4 ports and the higher end model the one that i got comes with those two ports plus two additional usb 3 ports and an ethernet port that’s built into the power brick now both models also come with a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack so you can use wired headphones or a headset now going back to the ports first because i don’t plan on using an additional monitor i will only use one port because i don’t want to have a bunch of things just dangling from the back of the device so rather than doing that i’m going to use one port connect it to a hub and then have everything else connected that way

with my m1 mac mini i don’t mind attaching individual items because it sits on my desk so all the cables are hidden in the back but with the imac i just want a cleaner setup now if you do plan on using multiple ports with like external drives or maybe an additional display then i would probably opt for the four port model and also keep in mind that there are no usba ports and i know we’re trying to move away from usba but i also know that a lot of users still have usba accessories so just make sure that you pick up some inexpensive adapters and i’ll link to the ones that i use in the description the one thing that i really wish that would have added was an sd card slot and if they found a way to either build it into the side or the bottom that would have been really cool now like i said before i can hook up a hub which will give me that functionality and i also can see that while myself and a lot of other creators would really appreciate it the majority of users wouldn’t take advantage of that feature now i want to talk about these accessories which is kind of a mixed bag aesthetically i love the fact that apple created matching accessories so the brushed

aluminum on the magic keyboard mouse and trackpad perfectly matches the base of the imac and that gives the whole system a very cohesive look now going to the individual accessories then things don’t always hold up so for example starting with the keyboard i love the touch id okay it’s awesome and i would definitely upgrade to touch id if you buy the base model which comes with again the same keyboard but you don’t get touch id but you can just upgrade when you check out now having said that while i like how this keyboard looks and i like that functionality i really don’t like typing on it so i don’t know if it’s the keys if like they seem like they’re spaced properly but i don’t know if it’s because they’re flat they’re just not comfortable to type on and i definitely find that i make more mistakes when i use this keyboard than my main keyboard and ergonomically it’s just not a keyboard that i like using now i almost wish apple would release like a standalone touch id that would be magnetized to either the base or the trackpad something like that and then i could use a different keyboard and still have that touch id

functionality now moving on to the magic mouse i actually kind of like it i mean it doesn’t have the same ergonomic design of my mx master 3 but i do like the added built-in functionality now charging it on the other hand i was really surprised that it wasn’t updated with a new design and the fact that you can’t use it while it’s charging could be really frustrating now the magic trackpad on the other hand is absolutely fantastic like i have nothing but good things to say about this it’s big it’s responsive it’s accurate and there are a ton of useful gestures if you’ve gotten value from this video give it a thumbs up it lets me know what kind of content you like so that i can make more of it and i still see that over 90 of you are new viewers so hit that subscribe button next i want to discuss the design now i love how this imac looks it’s elegant it’s sleek and i actually really like the white bezels with this particular design i think that because of the muted chin and the brushed aluminum base black would just stand out a lot more and it would be sort of like having an ipad air 4 but because the chin is another color it would stand out even more because the black would separate the display from the chin again even more and practically speaking with where we have it which is in our living room it just looks nicer with the sort of lighter feel to it again because of the

white bezels so that’s something that i wasn’t sure i was going to like when i first saw it but i actually do like i’m still not a huge fan of the fact that the chin is a different color than the base but it doesn’t end up standing out to me as much as it did when i first saw it i really like the overall clean look with just one cable like i said previously you sort of lose this as soon as you start adding dongles or external drives now in my initial impressions video i mentioned just how impressed i was with this thin design and how light the entire computer is now in practice there are pros and cons so first the pros if you need to move it or if you have it on the counter and you’re just rotating it because you’re moving around or you’re trying to show someone something then it’s great and there’s very little traction on the bottom here so you can very easily just get it to be exactly how you want now the problem with this lack of traction and it being so light is that if you bump it it will definitely move and i also did a test where i stepped on the power cord and then kicked the portion that was connected to the imac and i can confirm that it will absolutely pull your imac right off the desk now apple doesn’t advertise this cable to have the magsafe functionality that we used to have on macbooks so it’s not designed to release but i just wanted to make sure that you know to be careful with the placement of the power brick now next i want to move on to the speakers and in my initial review i mentioned that i was really happy with these speakers and after using them for a couple of weeks i’m even more impressed again i want to mention that i’m not

comparing them to dedicated speakers but the sound coming out of the imac is really impressive it’s full there’s a good amount of bass like obviously not overwhelming bass but a good amount and i also noticed that the mids and especially the highs don’t sound hollow or harsh which was something that i was initially worried about now with where we currently have the imac we actually use it to play music in our living room instead of using our bluetooth speakers now the microphone is another strong suit of the m1 imac it’s a three array microphone it’s designed to focus on the speaker and then attenuate or reduce background noise now it’s easily good enough for video calls and it would also work well for recording tutorials obviously it’s not going to compete with a dedicated microphone but considering how far away from it you are it’s actually quite good and here’s a sample of the audio recorded when sitting at a comfortable distance from the imac here’s a quick sample of what the audio is gonna sound like on your imac i’m sitting about maybe a foot and a half to two feet away from the display so this should give you a pretty good idea of what the audio will sound like on a video call now moving on to the camera i would say that it’s pretty good it’s better than the 720p cameras that we have on the m1 macbook air and macbook pro but there’s a ton of processing being done by the m1 chips image signal processor so essentially it almost looks like hdr gone wrong in some

situations where it’s working really hard to bring up the shadows and the dark areas of the image and it ends up sometimes looking artificial now the good part is that it’s software so it can be modified using a mac os update and i would love to have a little more control over the exposure and the amount of processing let’s call it that’s being done to the image now in reality for video calls it’s really good and i’m just being a video nerd over here but i’m curious to know what you guys think so here’s a sample of what the footage looks like and here’s a sample of what the camera is going to look like i’m in a pretty well lit environment but to be fair the lights are coming from the side a little bit from over there and from the back so it could be pretty challenging for the camera because again you can see the windows behind me are super bright but this will give you an idea of what the image quality is going to look like in a pretty well lit room i really think they should have used the same ultra wide

camera that we have on the m1 ipad pro and then enabled center stage it’ll almost be more beneficial with an imac because you’re not really going to move it around and it would be super convenient for the camera to track you and then reframe the shots that if you have it in your kitchen or in an instructional environment you can move around and again stay perfectly framed now as far as performance i think that the imac is very good for what it is if you’re looking for a powerful all-in-one that would do great for overwhelming majority of casual users you can absolutely get by with the base model and even with eight gigs of ram now personally i would recommend upgrading to 16 gigs if you can afford it and then get as much internal storage as you think you need unless you’re okay with an attached external ssd now i did do a comparison of some of the most popular drives and they are all significantly less expensive than upgrading the internal storage again with the caveat that you’re sort of messing up this clean all-in-one look if you’re a creator and you’re gonna be doing photo and video editing definitely go with 16 gigs of ram and you might as well upgrade to the eight core cpu eight core gpu model in addition to that extra gpu core which is not huge you’ll also get a dual fan setup with a heat pipe versus one fan with the

heat sink on the base model now personally the changes in the cooling system wouldn’t be reason enough on their own for me to upgrade like the vast majority of users aren’t pushing their imac hard enough to where they need that additional active cooling from the dual fan design and for most people that won’t result in a meaningful improvement if however you want the absolute best sustained performance from an m1 imac then the higher tier model is the way to go ultimately i think that the m1 imac is an awesome all-in-one desktop it looks great it has plenty of processing power for its target audience it has a great display excellent speakers and a pretty good camera system i like the way apple worked the colors into the accessories and at the same time i think the magic keyboard and magic mouse could use some updates i think some users may want a larger display maybe an option for a matte finish and an sd card slot i’d love to know what you think remember that i have links in the description to all the products i talked about hopefully this video was helpful click on my face to subscribe and then watch one of these videos you know what i always say buy it nice or buy twice good luck and see you soon

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