Apple has unveiled a number of new products at its April 2021 'Spring Loaded' event, including a new purple iPhone 12 and an upgraded Apple TV. However, the biggest announcements of the event came in the form of an all-new M1-powered iPad Pro and iMac, as Apple shifts more of its products to its custom Arm-based silicon.
M1-powered iMac with 4.5K Retina display
Apple's all-new iMac is the first to pack an M1 chip, which not only makes it faster but also allows the consolidation of the logic board and thermals, reducing it to just 11.5mm (0.45in) thick. With its smaller footprint, the new iMac takes up 50% less volume than the last generation.
The all-new iMac also gains a 24in 4.5K Retina display that boasts 11.3 million pixels, a stated 500cd/m2 of brightness, over a billion colors, and an anti-reflective coating. The screen also automatically changes the color temperature with the environment to ensure viewer comfort.
Apple has also equipped the 2021 iMac with a 1080p webcam and an upgraded audio system. The input now comes from studio quality mics - the “best ever in a Mac,” according to Apple - and it also includes a six-speaker sound system that helps bring videos and music to life.
The iMac will be available in a range of colors: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It includes a two-meter magnetic cable in the same color as the machine.
In addition to its M1 chip, the new iMac will feature an 8-core GPU (a 7-core GPU comes as standard), which Apple claims is the fastest integrated graphics on a PC with up to 200% faster graphics performance. Under the hood you'll also find 8GB of unified memory architecture and a 16-core Apple Neural Engine that promises 300% faster machine learning performance.
The new iMac also gets Touch ID for the first time. Integrated on its wireless keyboard, Touch ID communicates directly with the Secure Enclave in M1 to create an encrypted channel to send the fingerprint through. With Touch ID, users can log in and even pay using just their fingers.
As for connectivity, the new iMac features two Thunderbolt 4 ports that support up to 6K displays and a pair of USB-C ports. On the power adaptor, you’ll find an optional 1Gb/sec Ethernet port to allow a hardwired internet connection without running a cable up to your desk.
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The all-new iMac lineup will be available from April 30 via Apple's online store, and it’ll ship to customers and Apple Stores in the second half of May.
The 7-core iMac will start from $1,299/£1,249 for consumers and $1,249/£1,124 for education customers. It’ll come with an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse. Available colors will include green, pink, blue, and silver.
The 8-core GPU iMac will start from $1,499/£1,499 for consumers and $1,399/£1,304 for education. It’ll feature an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two extra USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet. This model will be available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver.
iPad Pro with M1 and Liquid Retina XDR display
Apple also revealed the “most powerful and advanced iPad Pro ever", which is again thanks to the M1 chip inside.
This custom 8-core processor delivers enhanced performance and helps the iPad Pro deliver a promised all-day battery life while keeping it thin and lightweight. Apple claims the CPU boasts the “world’s fastest” cores in low-power silicon, which deliver 50% faster CPU performance than the A12Z Bionic. Handling graphics is an 8-core GPU that’s supposedly 40% faster than its predecessor.
Rounding out the internals is a 16-core Apple Neural Engine, up to 16GB of memory, and up to 2TB of storage.
The new iPad Pro comes in 11in and 12.9in sizes. The larger size features a Liquid Retina XDR panel that uses a mini-LED design with 10,000 LEDs across the back of the display. The screen has a claimed 1,000cd/m2 of full-screen brightness, 1,600cd/m2 of peak brightness, and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. This screen will also share other technology with the smaller 11in iPad Pro, including ProMotion, True Tone, and DCI-P3 wide color support.
The new 12.9in iPad Pro will also be the first iPad to gain 5G support, that promises speeds of up to 4Gb/sec. Another first is the arrival of Thunderbolt and USB 4 ports for up to 40Gb/sec of wired bandwidth. Thanks to the Thunderbolt connection’s 10Gb/sec Ethernet, it can connect to a wide range of peripherals, including Apple's Pro Display XDR and 6K external displays.
The new iPad Pro will be available from Apple.com on April 30, and shipments will start in the second half of May. The 11in will start from $799/£749 for the Wi-Fi model and $999/£899 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9in iPad Pro starts at $1,099/£999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299/£1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Educational pricing in the US starts from $749 for the 11in model and $999 for the 12.9in model. UK education pricing has yet to be announced.
New purple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini
Apple also unveiled the latest color option in the iPhone 12 lineup: purple. This new hue will be available on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini starting April 23, 2021. Other than the new color, the purple iPhone 12 is the same as the current model.
New chip and remote for Apple TV 4K
Apple 's 4K TV also received an upgrade at the April 2021 Event. It gains a new A12 Bionic chip that delivers improved graphics, including high-frame-rate HDR and Dolby Vision video, enabling smooth playback of 60fps video.
Rounding out the Apple TV 4K changes is a new remote that adds a clickpad with five-way navigation for improved accuracy. It’s also touch-enabled for fast directional swipes and a circular touch-enabled ring that controls a slick jog feature.
Apple Air Tag
Apple also launched the long-rumored Air Tag, which you can attach to your keys, purse, backpack, and other items. If you lose the item it’s attached to, you can use your iPhone to find it via the Find My Network. If the Air Tag is out of the Bluetooth range, you can still use it thanks to Apple’s network of nearly a billion devices that can detect your Air Tag and anonymously send you its location.
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