Apple’s first event of the year delivered both some of its smallest products and its largest, with AirTags through to iMac making their debut at the “Spring Loaded” launch. With plenty packed into a one hour video stream, handily there are video overviews of all four of the main product announcements to help you decide which might be worth opening your wallet for.
After multiple generations of the old iMac style, and even that still looking slimline compared to most all-in-one computers, the new 24-inch iMac is a revelation. Tapping Apple’s M1 chipset so as to shrink down both internal components and their active cooling requirements, it’s slimmer and significantly lighter than the old version.
Meanwhile, seven finishes – ranging from sober silver through to much brighter options – bring colors we’ve not seen on iMac for years back to the desktop. Apple also took the opportunity to revamp its peripherals, finally bringing Touch ID to the Magic Keyboard for desktop. The new 24-inch iMac will start shipping in the second half of May, with three core configurations to choose between.
Long-rumored, Apple’s smallest product of the April 2021 event could end up being its most significant. At $29 the new AirTags trackers are definitely cheap for something with the Apple logo, but that doesn’t mean the Bluetooth and UWB dongles aren’t useful. Indeed, if you’ve ever lost your keys or backpack, the idea of being able to hunt them down with directional prompts from your iPhone probably sounds like a great idea.
iPad Pro 2021
The iPad Pro was due for a refresh, but the decision to drop Apple’s M1 chipset inside came as a surprise. Giving the prosumer-tablet the same performance as an iMac or Mac mini seems astonishing if you consider the trajectory of tablets over the past few years. Still, with Apple continuing to position it as a legitimate laptop replacement, we’re increasingly getting to the point where it really does just come down to your preference of macOS or iPadOS.
The chipset wasn’t the only big news, mind. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro gets a new Mini-LED screen, borrowing technology developed for the deeply impressive – and excruciatingly expensive – Apple Pro Display XDR.
Meanwhile both 11-inch and 12.9-inch models can be now had with 5G baked inside. In the US, that also means mmWave 5G support, for the very fastest speeds.
Purple iPhone 12
Apple already offers a few different finishes for the iPhone 12, but the new purple color is likely to be the most eye-catching. As product taglines go, “Mmmmm, purple” pretty much says it all.
And finally, the whole April 2021 Apple event…
Apple squeezed more into its event this week than just the new iPad Pro, iMac, purple iPhone, and AirTags. There was also news around Apple Card, its credit card, along with Apple TV 4K, a new Siri Remote, and other announcements. You can find all of those discussed in the full event replay.