Downsizing, migration, the bezels and the chin!
I recently ordered a new 24-inch M1 iMac to replace my 27-inch unit. This is how I’ve found the new, smaller machine after a couple of weeks’ use.
My greatest concern before ordering the 24-inch iMac was the screen size. I’d used a 27-inch model for a long time, and it was drilled into me years ago that the larger your computer screen, the better. But while it fitted my needs at the time I bought it, that 27-inch unit was LARGE. It took up a whole lot of desk space, and much of the screen was often unused.
I was also aware that my 2019 13-inch MacBook Air is perfectly usable for most of what I do, indicating that a smaller iMac wouldn’t necessarily be an issue. (The Air is let down by its atrocious keyboard, but that’s something to discuss in another post.) I also watched a YouTube video by Mark Ellis, in which he extols the virtues of the 24-inch machine.
Ellis changes his opinions on hardware almost as often as I change my underwear
Mr Ellis shared my longstanding views on screen size, but was very positive about the 24-inch iMac, despite also having a behemoth 52-inch curved wall of a screen in his studio. Okay, I might be exaggerating slightly, but only slightly. Overall, his opinion was encouraging. I remained a little cautious, as Mr Ellis changes his opinions on hardware almost as often as I change my underwear. All things considered, though, I reckoned the smaller machine was a pretty safe bet.
So how have I found it? The 24-inch iMac is fantastic. I love this machine. The size is perfect for the work I do now, and I’ve not missed the screen size of the 27-inch one bit. I did have to buy a few USB adaptors (affiliate link) for my printer and wired Das Keyboard – look out for a post on that soon – but set up using Migration Assistant was incredibly easy.
Everything was on the new computer within an hour or so
I used Migration Assistant rather than setting up the new iMac clean mainly because of my photos and apps: my active documents are in iCloud, so that wasn’t an issue, and folders I use less often are stored in Dropbox. I was really pleased with how the migration went. It’s been several years since I migrated this way — I set up the 27-inch Mac from scratch — and the process has improved a lot. Everything was on the new computer within an hour or so: all my apps, files, settings, and Keyboard Maestro shortcuts. There wasn’t even an issue with Microsoft 365 or my Chrome tabs. I had to re-register my Alfred Powerpack, but I think that was pretty much it.
I used wifi to migrate rather than a wired connection. I think it’s possible to use an ethernet cable, and I knew a wired link would be faster, but the default is wifi and I wanted to interfere with the process as little as possible. In the end it didn’t take too long at all.
Massive bezels my arse!
The design of the new iMac has been widely covered by others, so I’ll just echo what they have said: it’s a very sleek and handsome machine. (Didn’t someone once say something about computers looking like their owners…?) People on the internet have derided the ”huge” chin and ”massive” bezels on this new iMac design. Quite frankly such words are completely ridiculous. Massive bezels my arse! There’s nothing massive about those bezels whatsoever.
As for the chin, I don’t even notice it, and one of my original concerns was that I wouldn’t like the colour on the front, which is a lighter shade of blue than on the rear, which can look almost black. I suspect people were just looking for something to criticise when there’s really nothing to criticise. Huge? Massive? Grow up.
…the 24-inch iMac simply vanishes
In use, I notice no difference in size terms between this and the 27-inch model it replaces, other than it’s much less in yer face. Before it arrived I measured 23.5 inches across the 27-inch screen, and limited windows to that size just to see how it felt. I got used to it quickly, and didn’t have to change the way I handled windows. Now it’s here, the new Mac actually feels larger than I was expecting.
Would I recommend the 24-inch iMac? Absolutely. I think this is the perfect size for writing and other general computing. I recently praised Ulysses for becoming invisible during use, and this is also the case here: the 24-inch iMac simply vanishes when I’m working. I do think the price is a little steep for the higher spec machines, but as I said in my previous article, I got a good trade-in price on my 27-inch of £575 (around $790) so if you’ve got a Mac you can return to Apple, that’s certainly worth consideration.
I’m a novelist and scriptwriter, Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow and Advisory Fellow, workshop lead and creative coach. Get the lowdown on updates, insight into projects, and a look behind the scenes on creative stuff.