Best Apple iMac 21.5-inch review (2021)

Apple iMac 21.5-inch

If you’re considering transferring over to the macOS surroundings from Windows, the Apple iMac 21.5-inch is one of the contemporary all-in-ones contending on your hard-earned money. It’s a greater cushy length for plenty of desks than its 27-inch sibling, after all.

Even earlier than its 2019 update, the Apple iMac 21.5-inch specifications had been already tempting, mainly that 4K display, sharp photograph quality, and colorful shades that make apps first-rate to appearance at – now no longer to mention, the one’s photographs and motion pictures which are wealthy and detailed.

This is an incredible preference for a laptop pc on the way to address widespread responsibilities like internet browsing, electronic mail, and productiveness apps for handling your existence effortlessly. In addition, it’s additionally able to deal with greater annoying apps. And, it rocks all that energy in a reasonably compact and neat chassis that’s best for plenty of people, mainly in case you aren’t making plans on spending a whole lot of time in the front of your pc.

Don’t rush to the Apple iMac 21.5-inch simply due to the fact your laptop is frequently cluttered with windows. The Mac’s working machine gives low-friction capabilities like Mission Control to assist navigate your on-display screen workspace painlessly. Such matters assist an incredible deal even on something as small because the 12-inch MacBook – and that crucial characteristic mainly is precipitated with a memorable gesture on Apple’s mouse.

Price and availability

Apple iMac 21.5-inch review

Before we dive into the new features of the Apple iMac 21.5-inch, we need to understand the following: The $1,099 (£1,049 / AU$1,699) model has older components at the bottom of the series. Chips with poorly integrated graphics, hard drives used for storage, and pixel densities may not be as sharp as cell phone displays.

If you want a real 2019 entry-level iMac, the starting price is $1,299. Another Apple iMac 21.5-inch has been pre-configured in the product range and will bring you a price of $1,499. Both configurations are supported by the 8th generation Intel Core processors.

One is a 3.6 GHz quad-core i3 without Intel Turbo Boost technology, and the second is our test unit with a 3.0 GHz six-core i5 processor. When certain active cores are not needed, Turbo Boost can increase their clock speed and increase the clock speed of this Core i5 to 4.1 GHz.

The two new 21.5-inch iMac models also differ in terms of the graphics processing unit (GPU). Radeon Pro 555X with 2 GB of dedicated memory in the cheapest model and Radeon Pro 560X with 4 GB of dedicated memory in the most expensive configuration.

Another difference is storage. No wonder Apple also produces 27-inch iMacs, and the Apple iMac 21.5-inch does not come standard with a spacious solid-state drive-the cheapest model has a simple 1TB hard drive, and the other has a Fusion hard drive.

If you want the performance that the 21.5-inch iMac should have in 2019, in addition to the default settings, please reserve at least $100 (approximately £90/AU$160) so that your old model-school technical memory can get rid of. The exact amount you spend depends of course on the starting price and the performance of the equipment. If necessary, leave more space for external storage.



Ultimately, the 21.5-inch iMac’s layout is similar to the larger 27-inch model, so our troubles with that – just like our praise – maintain genuine approximate aesthetics. Even greater so, in fact, due to the fact the thick bezel and tall chin stand out greater without that large display screen dominating your view.

As we’ve stated approximately the 27-inch iMac, the layout isn’t bad. However, it’s searching truly outdated. Even at a typically smaller size, the fashionable curved again we could the 21.5-inch iMac combination in higher with its environment in comparison to the thick layout from earlier than 2012.

One component that does stand out at the smaller iMac, however, is its fan. During heavier tests, like HEVC video conversion in HandBrake, this fan is clearly greater obvious and major than the 27-inch iMac fan. It isn’t so loud that our ears want time far from the noise. However, it’s miles something to preserve it in thoughts for innovative paintings that blessings from noiselessness – in particular, something to do with audio.


When you shell out a bit extra coins to take domestic a real 2019Apple iMac 21.5-inch, the maximum obtrusive distinction is its Retina 4K display.

This shows extra than doubles the bottom version’s horizontal and vertical decision to 4,096 x 2,304 pixels – genuine 4K, not ‘UHD’. Just just like the Apple iMac 21.5-inch Retina 5K show, it additionally helps the P3 color gamut, which lets it show some billion colorations.

At least, type of. Temporal and spatial dithering strategies are used to trade the color of pixels or set up them in order that human eyes might interpret the impact as a blend.

Many different all-in-ones with approximately the identical display length because the 21.5-inch iMac tout a 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) or a 2,560 x 1,440 (QHD) show. This approach that you’re getting something that’s a tad higher with the iMac’s panel, ideal for image editing, especially when you have a digital digicam that can seize all of the colorations supported via way of means of the Retina 4K show’s P3 gamut.

Some of its rivals, like HP, don’t provide a 4K show in all-in-ones of this length. HP’s ProOne six hundred may be configured with an 8th-gen processor, 8GB of RAM (on the identical velocity because of the iMac’s), and a 256GB SSD for much less than the Apple iMac 21.5-inch costs. Still, as we additionally warned in our 27-inch iMac review, hold an eye fixed out for compromises that have been made.

While this laptop is certainly extra cheap than the brand new Apple iMac 21.5-inch review – it’s priced towards the older version Apple is retaining at the lowest of its range – its IPS display has a decision of best 1,920 x 1,080. It is advertised as an enterprise PC, after all.

Creative specialists are probably to choose the 27-inch iMac for its Retina 5K show and extra actual estate. However, what the 21-inch iMac’s Retina 4K sacrifices in the workspace, it makes up for with the pleasantness of its show, especially subsequent to its many competitors.


Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard are blanketed inside the 21.5-inch iMac, which is divisive. If you don’t just like the mouse’s sensitivity or shape, remember swapping it for a Magic Trackpad 2 for $50 (£50/AU$60) at checkout. Want a numeric keypad? Then you want to spend $30 (£30/AU$30) extra at checkout to that domestic that full-period keyboard.

Unfortunately, even in case you order a custom construct via its online store, Apple does now no longer offer a choice to do away with the mouse and keyboard out of your purchase. Which approach which you honestly can’t keep money, even in case you select to retain the use of your current set.

This is partially due to the fact Apple desires you to include its multi-contact gestures, which without a doubt make a substantial distinction to benefitting from macOS capabilities just like the Mission Control workspace manager, super-clean scrolling, and zooming in on content.

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