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iMac 2021 vs iMac 2019: What are the differences?

Apple just unveiled its latest update to the iMac family: the iMac 2021. But how does it compare to its predecessor in the iMac 2021 vs iMac 2019 face-off? 

Apple announced the iMac 2021 during its Spring Loaded event on April 20, alongside the iPad Pro 2021 and the brand-new Apple AirTag. With an entire new redesign and the extra power of the M1 processor, the new iMac is packing some very impressive features.

Are the improvements enough to justify an upgrade from the iMac 2019? We’ve assembled a list of the major differences between the 21.5-inch iMac 2019 and the colourful new iMac 2021 to help you make up your mind.

Read on to discover four key differences you should know about when choosing between the iMac 2019 and the iMac 2021.

iMac 2021 vs iMac 2019Internal view of an Apple's M1 processor on a black backgroundImage of an iMac's screen diaplying 11.3M pixels and 4480X2520 written belowAn iMac, iPad, and iPhone standing on a white background, all displaying the same imageAn iMac standing on a table with mics pointing towards itA white iMac keyboard on a white background with Touch Id written aboveA number of iMac's of different colors standing one after the other on a white background

1. The iMac 2021 features a bright new design

The iMac 2021 marks a returns to Apple’s colourful roots, with seven new colour options to choose from. These include green, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and a more typical silver option.

The 2021 iMac is also more slender than its 2019 counterpart and features a slimmer, more modern-looking bezel. There are even matching Magic Keyboards and Magic Mouses available in the same eye-catching shades.

The older iMac 2019 looks old-hat in comparison, available only in silver, which looks very old-fashioned. But fans of the silver colour option will be pleased to learn that Apple is still offering the new iMac 2021 in this colourway.

iMac 2021 vs iMac 2019

2. The iMac 2021 is the first iMac to ditch Intel

The iMac 2021 will be the first iMac to be powered by Apple’s own M1 chip. The processor, which is already found in the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini, will reportedly give the iMac a 85% faster CPU performance boost over its Intel-powered predecessor, as well as twice the GPU performance.

The Apple Silicon chip will apparently allow the iMac to support editing of up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro. Apple also claims it will enable improved cross-platform app support across the likes of iPad and iPhone.

In comparison, the 21.5-inch iMac 2019 peaks out at a 3.2GHz six-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, which is numerous years old now. It’s no surprise that Apple is claiming a major performance boost for the new iMac.

iMac 2021 vs iMac 2019

3. The iMac 2021 boasts a 4.5K resolution display

The iMac 2020 features a 4.5K (4480 x 2520) Retina display – a slight step up from the iMac 2019’s 4K (4096 x 2304) Retina display – for a sharper and more detailed picture. The newer iMac also has a larger 24-inch screen, with the slimmer bezel allowing Apple to increase the size of the iMac 2019’s 21.5-inch panel without taking up additional desk space.

Apple claims the new display supports over a billion colours, offers True Tone compatibility, and boasts a peak brightness of up to 500 nits.

4. The iMac 2021 has revamped accessories

Apple hasn’t neglected the peripherals for the iMac 2021 upgrade, giving the Magic Keyboard and Mouse a splash of colour to coordinate with the range of iMacs. They look far more fresh and modern than the previous iterations.

You can also now get optional Touch ID support on the Magic Keyboard, allowing you to sign into apps with your fingerprint as you would with an iPhone. Such a feature isn’t available on the previous iMac, with you having to type in your passcode every time you want to log on.

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