Apple’s Scary Fast event saw the first ever update to the 24-inch iMac. Much like the other devices unveiled this pre-Halloween party, the real highlight of the announcement is the new M3 chip enjoying all the splendor. I’ve been using the new iMac M3 all week since its launch and have some quick practical thoughts.
Apple’s 24-inch iMac immediately caught my eye when it launched in 2021. I rushed to an Apple store on launch day two years ago to secure my shiny new machine and put it through its paces as a daily driver for well over a year and a half. Then I moved to New York.
Space was limited and I knew moving to a MacBook-centric workstation would be the right decision. So I parted ways with my beloved all-in-one to take a more streamlined approach to my setup. But I can’t say I’ve never looked back…
Fast forward to October, and Apple is throwing the 24-inch iMac a bone by upgrading it for the first time with this brand new M3 chip. It may have been one of the most anticipated squares of the keynote bingo card, but the reveal was still exactly what I needed to hear as someone missing their colorful desktop Mac. So I locked in my order and picked it up Tuesday evening.
I’ve been using the machine all week and am glad to have the iMac on my desk again. It’s hilarious the opposite decision of what 9to5MacChance Miller just did it, upgrading from a MacBook Air and Mac Studio to one of Apple’s new 14-inch M3 MacBook Pros. Now, on the other side of the equation, I find myself loving the dual MacBook and iMac setup.
Sure, there may not be anything entirely new with the 24-inch iMac, but the M3’s performance was deeply appreciated. The design remains decidedly Apple and, frankly, unrivaled in the desktop world. I still love how slim the whole thing is, and being able to have a blue Mac on my desk is even harder to beat.
Its 4.5K Retina display also looks as good as ever and is such a nice upgrade over the old LG UltraWide I used as a companion display with my MacBook that I’m surprised I was able to get by with it so long with so few pixels. Other details, like a nylon braided power cable, carry over from the original and still look as premium as ever.
Coming back to performance, the M3 chip is a notable upgrade over the original’s M1 Apple Silicone. I feel like I can do a lot more in my daily use before hitting some form of peak performance than before. This office largely served as my podcast studio, but it also quickly became my preferred way of interfacing with my server: monitoring Plex, handling bulk file transfers, and other longer-term tasks for which having an always-on desktop excels. .
Buy yeah, there’s no denying that this is a pretty minimal upgrade as far as form factor goes. Anyone using an original 24-inch M1 iMac shouldn’t need an upgrade – at least if you’re not already getting the most out of your 2-year-old machine. The benchmarks at least support my anecdotal claims that the M3 chip is no joke. And with no larger iMac apparently on the way, getting one of the new desktop’s high-end configurations seems more compelling than ever.
My last few days of use may not constitute the most exhaustive testing, but I can safely say that the iMac M3 will happily be a vital part of my workflow going forward. It is the complete embodiment of a If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality when it comes to design. And inside, it offers notable gains over its predecessor.
If you’ve been hesitant to buy one of the 24-inch iMacs only because the original’s M1 chip was starting to show its age, it’s definitely time to upgrade. The M3 model is definitely worth pulling the trigger on.
Apple’s new 24-inch iMac M3 is now starting to $1,299 and is available for purchase. The same four colors still exist on the base model, with the $1,499 and more options bringing into play a few more designs for a total of seven different styles.
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