Don’t get me wrong, I love my iMac 24-inch. I adore it. It’s gotten me through my busiest workdays, and I do not regret my decision to spend money on it – even though there are more affordable options I could have gone for.
But would I give up my life to defend it? Not even sorta. Not to throw shade at Apple… actually, yes, throwing shade at Apple… the iMac 24-inch (2021) may have been an attractive piece of kit, and it is one of the best Macs and without a doubt the best all-in-one PC right now. But for a pricey one, Apple’s engineers could have done a better job at designing it.
Within my first week with mine, I already noticed some of the glaring flaws it had, flaws that I really doubt not one single person from Apple had noticed and said anything or sent a memo about. The omission of any semblance of height adjustments, for example, was a bizarre decision – it is, after all, a basic feature that most displays have. Don’t even get me started on the base configuration. Heck even my mid-range model sometimes struggles with multitasking or batch exporting edited high-resolution images on Lightroom.
But, rumor has it that a new iMac 2023 is coming, with the upcoming WWDC 2023 conference serving as its launching ground. If those rumors are true, I truly hope that Apple has taken advantage of those two years since the release of the last-standing iMac to get it together.
Here are seven things I expect to see on the rumored iMac 2023.
More ports, accessible ports
While I realize that AIO computers are about minimalism, there’s no excuse for the way Apple took that to the next level with its ports. The base model of the iMac 24-inch (2021) only had two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Two. And though it did add two USB-C ports to the mid-range and high-end models, that still isn’t enough especially for consumers who want to use it for work or content creation.
In theory, it makes sense, especially since both the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse connect to it wirelessly. However, in the real world, Apple just couldn’t make Thunderbolt 3 happen, despite its best efforts. Not yet anyway. It’s why it brought back the SD card reader and HDMI port to its Pro laptops, and it’s why it needs to bring more ports (and an SD card reader) to the desktop computer it’s been pushing to professionals as well as casual everyday users.
I would also love to see at least two of them situated in the front or on the side. I also get why Apple put the ports away and out of sight at the back – it’s all about presentation, after all. But they’re also so annoying to access. It would be good for Apple to make two of them easily accessible so users won’t have to reach over and feel their way around if they want to quickly connect another device or a peripheral.
The lack of ports I can be forced to overlook, especially since the best USB hubs are on hand to alleviate the issue. The most annoying thing about the iMac 24-inch (2021) is its lack of adjustments and articulations.
The display has some up and down tilt, but that’s pretty much it. The only way for you to adjust the height is by investing in a monitor mount – or stacking some textbooks under it, if you’re cheap, and when you’re swiveling, you’re turning the entire damn computer. The latter part is by design, but it’s still pretty ick especially if you’re borderline obsessive-compulsive like me.
I cannot stress this enough: if Apple wants people to keep buying its products, it needs to help minimize workplace-related injuries by enhancing its products’ ergonomics. If the iMac 2023 is indeed coming, I want to see at the very least proper height adjustments built-in.
Speedier performance even at base configurations
Woof! For a computer Apple is touting as a tool you can use for studio work, content creation, and other intense workloads, the iMac 24-inch (2021) really isn’t all that powerful unless you spring for the high-end model or upgrade that RAM to 16GB.
I’ve got the mid-range model with the 8-Core CPU, 8-Core GPU and 8GB memory, and it sweated enough through my usual photo editing needs in Lightroom, which is typically editing 10-15 high-res RAW images and exporting them as high-res JPEGs, that I harassed Apple’s customer service about it within a month of purchase. When I do the same editing workload while streaming a show, it’s even worse.
If you wanted to use this for more intensive workloads, it seems like you have to pay a little more and upgrade to a 16GB RAM or just get the highest configuration possible, which is almost $2,000/£2,000 – not exactly consumer-friendly.
For the next iMac, I would love to see Apple actually deliver what it’s promising without forcing people to upgrade. Give us speedier performance at lower configurations; we’re already paying a lot for it.
A more affordable price
Or at least make it more accessible. The 2021 model starts at $1,299 / £1,249 / AU$1,899, which is for rich people, and in this economy paying that much for a not-so-powerful kit isn’t really ideal. I paid $1,499 for my mid-range model, and it did not feel to me like I was getting the performance I expected for that price.
People want the best value for their money right now, prioritizing that over getting the latest and most attractive device. If Apple isn’t going to give us speedier lower configurations, at least make it so that we’re getting a lot of bang for our buck. Instead of an over $1,000/£1,000 starting price, why not follow Lenovo and Dell’s examples and make it under?
Both the mid-range and high-end models of the iMac 24-inch (2021) come with the Touch ID version of the Magic Keyboard, but that is another sore point for me because the damn thing worked only half the time. If your finger is even slightly damp, it won’t work. It’s the most unreliable fingerprint reader I’ve ever used – but that’s a whole new topic for another time.
What I really want to see on the next iMac is the Face ID. It seems like many of the budget Windows laptops are beating Apple to the punch when it comes to face recognition login, and that’s not good. Even Apple’s Pro-level MacBooks do not have it, which almost feels like an atrocity.
If Apple wants to keep up with its rivals, it needs to stop screwing around and get its act together by bringing Face ID to its Mac family, including the next iMac.
A mouse you can charge and use at the same time
I don’t even know what Apple was thinking when it rolled out the Magic Mouse. It’s a fantastic mouse, to be clear, but it’s got a ridiculously massive flaw that for some strange reason, no one at Apple ever vetoed.
If you haven’t used a Magic Mouse before, I am talking about the charging port that’s located on the underside of the mouse, which essentially renders the mouse useless when charging. I find it hard to believe that during the entire process of creating this mouse – from when they drew up its design to when they did quality control, nobody ever said, “Hey, there’s a better location for this charging port. Let’s fix it.”
I would love for Apple to overhaul both the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse, especially since they’re long overdue for one. But, more specifically, I want it to fix that port placement and make the keyboard’s Touch ID reader more reliable.
A bigger display
This is just a bonus, really. I am quite happy with the 24-inch display on my iMac – and I’m saying this as someone who switches from that to 40-inch displays on their Windows setup. However, I also wouldn’t mind an extra bit of screen real estate especially if Apple largely sticks to the current size of the AIO – though there are whispers that the manufacturer is also planning on reviving its larger 27-inch model.
I’m sure a lot of iMac users would prefer a larger display, however, and it would behoove Apple to see to their needs. Especially since in terms of new tech in general, it seems to be eating its competitors’ dust.