As beautiful as the 24-inch iMac (2021) is, I miss the 27-inch one I used to have: the lure of the then-new M1 MacBook Pro (2020) was too strong, and the difference in performance between an M1-powered SSD-based Mac and my ageing Intel powered, Fusion Drive iMac is extraordinary. But as lovely as the MacBook Pro is, and it’s very lovely indeed, I miss having a big, powerful, one-box Mac. So I’m delighted to see more evidence that Apple’s working on a new M-powered 27-inch Mac.
Today’s leak comes via MacRumors, who report that LG is working on three standalone displays that may be destined for Apple: one of them is based on the Pro Display XDR, one on the 24-inch iMac that’s on sale just now, and one is based on the display of the 2022 iMac 27-inch. This follows on from predictions by analyst Ross Young, who says that the 27-inch iMac with mini-LED display will go on sale in the first half of 2022.
With iMacs, bigger means better
I love the iMac: I’ve had three in a row, most recently the 2015 iMac 5K. Its display was wider than the current 24-inch – the new model is 4.5K, with a horizontal resolution of 4,480 compared to the older iMac’s 5,120 – and that turned out to be perfect for the work I do: I’d have my email in one corner, my writing app below it, and then Safari, social media and messaging apps in the other half. And it was brilliant for Logic Pro X too, enabling me to have everything I wanted on-screen at once without anything struggling for space.
I’ve tried to replicate it with my M1 MacBook Pro (2020) and one of the best MacBook Pro monitors, the Dell U2720Q, but it’s not the same. With two displays I’ve got more pixels overall, but the arrangement I’ve got just isn’t the arrangement I’d gotten used to over many years of iMac ownership. Whatever the mental equivalent of muscle memory is, I’ve got it with my Mac apps. And on the subject of memory, my iMac always remembered where my app windows were when it woke from sleep. My MacBook Pro frequently doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my laptop. But while I’ve gained massively in performance, I’ve lost some of the simplicity, the expansion ports and the it-just-works that you get with an all-in-one Mac. And as lovely as the 24-inch Mac is, the 27 is the one that I want.