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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation.


In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about features and changes of the new 24-inch iMac.

First Mac with Built-In Spatial Audio


The 24-inch iMac is the first Mac to feature built-in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. This is enabled by six brand new high-fidelity speakers that work in junction with force-canceling woofers. Apple says in tandem, the new speakers and woofers create "the best speakers in any Mac." Spatial Audio is available on compatible iPhone and iPad devices with Dolby Atmos content, and now it's coming to the Mac for the first time.

First iMac with WiFi 6

The M1 Apple silicon MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini released in November were the first Macs to support the new and faster WiFi 6 protocol. With M1 now on the iMac, the 24-inch iMac becomes the first Mac desktop computer to support WiFi 6.

Headphone Jack on The Side


The new 24-inch iMac features a radically thinner design compared to the previous generation. While visually pleasing, this new design did present a challenge for where to place the 3.5mm headphone jack. Typically, the headphone jack would be placed on the back of the iMac, but with the new 24-inch model, the jack is placed on the left side.

Ethernet Port on Power Adapter


Another problem the new thin design of the iMac presented was where to place the Ethernet port. Apple's solution to the dilemma is to place the Ethernet port directly into the power adapter. Apple says this new "cool new innovation" means users can keep their desks less cluttered, while still enjoying the benefits of Ethernet.

No SD Card Slot

Previous generation iMac models featured an SD card slot reader on the rear. The new design of the 24-inch iMac made this a challenge. In theory, Apple could have easily placed the SD card reader on the side, like the headphone jack, but instead, it instead decided to remove it entirely.

Of course, these are just a few of the many new features coming with the 24-inch iMac. You can learn more about the new iMac and everything else Apple announced at its "Spring Loaded" event using our roundup.

Article Link: New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot
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Oct 18, 2020
Love that they redesign the air intake on this redesign...the intel imacs always had issues with dust particles that entered the display bottom corners after some time...and keep the heat of the motherboard away from the display
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macrumors 6502
May 27, 2004
I’m not a fan of the headphone Jack on the side as it kind of ruins the clean aesthetic. If I end up picking one of these up, I’ll definitely be looking for a low profile white right angle adaptor or a white 3.5 to RCA cable with a similar type plug.
Just buy a USB DAC and plug it in the back, you'll also benefit from much improved sound quality :) ( I Recommend one of the Audioquest Dragonflys)


macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
They're going to sell all they can make. Nice to see the audio jack going to the side, it'll be a bit easier to plug in.

I'm good with the redesign, but can see what is "not right" to me and it's the lack of a Apple logo on the front chin, they need a frosted Apple symbol there - it doesn't look right otherwise.


macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2011
I am certainly no hardware engineer, but seeing the amount of available space on the inside it would appear this was a conscious choice, not a limitation. I can understand why this is disappointing for many. If the rumors hold true and the redesigned MacBook Pros regain the SD card slot, it would appear Apple might be reserving this as something only "pros" use. Hence the omission in this iMac.


macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2002
Buy a Mac mini then take the $700 you saved and buy a nice display, keyboard and mouse. Or, buy a new Mac mini, hook it up to whatever you have laying around the house, spend an extra $99 and get an M1 powered iPad Pro and get two devices for just about the price of one base model iMac.

Orange Bat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2021
I need a new Mac for work. I don’t need a laptop at this time, and my finances have taken a hit over the last year. For me it is between a Mac Mini and iMac. I like everything about this iMac: the Ethernet port, the headphone jack on the side, the thinness of it all. But I really, really, really hate the colors and the white bezel around the screen. Also, without a bump in specs, the Mac Mini is looking more attractive at this point. I can essentially but the mini and a 4K monitor for less than the iMac. And I like iMacs! I like the all-in-one nature of them. But the lack of a more professional color is a real dealbreaker for pros who don‘t need top-of-the-line machines. Seems like a needless missed opportunity, IMO.


macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2012
As usual, Apple takes a few minor changes and makes them seem like such a big deal. The M1? It is more about saving Apple money then offering any real improvement to the customer. When a computer company's invovations come down to basically offering their product in more colors, you know the true innovation wheel has just about stopped turning.


Oct 18, 2020
Is anyone aware if the new iMac can be used as an external display in Target Display mode? Would love to use this with my 16”.
some already enable the sidecar display from the, you can use the imac display wireless as you can use the ipad as slidecar


macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
Good to see them removing the SD slot, that is a dead end tech for pro's and consumers have iPhones now not the lower end DSLR's. Maybe a CF Express B slot could make it to the pro model as pro's will be using that slot for the next decade.

Would have liked to have seen more TB3 slots, but that looks to be a M1 limitation and the users of these machines will likely never plug anything in but their keyboard to charge it.

The headphone port on the side makes a lot of sense, they aren't intending you to plug in external speakers so the port on the side gives you easy access for headphones and I doubt the machine is thick enough to have the port on the back.

Would have liked to have seen them use the base for the power brick, but that would be a bother for the VESA mounted edition.
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