Apple's 'Scary Fast' event was impressive, but where's the 27-inch iMac?

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's 'Scary Fast' October event has come and gone, and while we were treated to some great new products - chief among them a refreshed iMac 24-inch with the new M3 chip - there was no sign of Apple's once-popular iMac 27-inch.

The last big-screen iMac we got was way back in 2020, which we called a 'formidable upgrade' when we reviewed it; this was just before Apple threw out Intel's CPUs in favor of its own M-series silicon, bringing us the M1 iMac 24-inch in 2021. Apple's best all-in-one PC hasn't received another upgrade until now, but it's only the smaller version that is enjoying an M3-powered refresh.

I'm disappointed - in no small part due to the fact that a big-screen iMac has been rumored for literally months at this point. We reported more than two years ago that a 27-inch iMac with a mini-LED display was in the works, slated for a 2022 release that never materialized.

Bigger is better

Heck, there have even been more recent rumblings that we might see an even larger iMac with the M3 chip. Way back in June, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claimed that Apple was working on a new iMac with a screen 'over 30 inches in size'.

That rumor was given further credence even more recently, with known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stating that a 32-inch iMac (again, with a mini-LED display) was in the works - although he also added that it wouldn't be ready for release until 2025, meaning that it probably won't feature the M3 chip at all if it does actually arrive.


The new iMac certainly looks impressive, but it's a bit small for my tastes. (Image credit: Apple)

I've been waiting for a larger iMac for ages, frankly, since 24 inches is just too small for me, sorry! I do most of my work on a 32-inch curved ultrawide monitor, with a second 27-inch flatscreen monitor on my other desk for testing the hardware I review.

I had a 24-inch display when I was a broke-ass student, and honestly, I've grown accustomed to the enhanced screen real estate of the monitors I use for work and play as an adult. If you can afford an iMac - let's face it, Apple tech isn't cheap - then why shouldn't you be entitled to a bigger display?

Apple is risking more user frustration here

The lack of a 27- or 32-inch iMac at Apple's 'Scary Fast' event worries me, when I really think about it. The reveal of the new M3-equipped MacBook Pro models, so soon after the new M2 versions of Apple's professional-grade laptop launching earlier this year, is bound to upset some Apple users who already opted to upgrade.

I'm concerned we could see a similar situation here. The arrival of an M3 iMac with only one screen size - especially given it's been more than two years since the iMac last got an upgrade - will no doubt spur many macOS users to buy, but that could lead to annoyance when Apple inevitably does release a larger model.

If it wasn't ready for this slate of new releases, I actually hope Apple sits on any potential bigger-screen iMacs for now to prevent this sort of buyer's remorse. If the tech giant already isn't planning on updating the iMac line as frequently as its MacBooks (and that could well be the case given that we never got an M2 iMac), then perhaps the kindest option for consumers would be to wait at least a year or so.

A bigger iMac does have some interesting potential if Apple wants to release it sooner, mind you. The 24-inch model we're getting will only feature the standard M3 chip - but we're getting a trio of new M-series chips from Apple, so perhaps a 27-inch model could feature the M3 Pro or even the M3 Max instead? Those with the budget to buy a bigger iMac might want some extra horsepower inside it, after all...

Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.