Thursday, February 29, 2024
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What I want in the 2018 iMac: the speakers and FaceTime specs of the pro model

I really like my 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display, though I’d spring for the iMac Pro if I had deep pockets. Alas, I don’t, so I want some of the Pro’s specs to come to the 2018 non-pro iMac.

Like many of you, I want to see the space grey “flavor” spread beyond the iMac Pro. (And wouldn’t in be interesting if Apple offered the iMac in different hues as it did years ago?)

I also want better speakers and an enhanced FaceTime camera. AppleInsider had this to say about the iMac Pro’s speakers:

We could hear a wider range of audio frequencies on the iMac Pro. Audio seemed to blend in on the 5K iMac, especially during the guitar solo. Volume has definitely increased, and the Pro sounds more crisp. Bass on the 5K iMac seems messy, like you’d hear with a subwoofer that’s reaching its limits, whereas on the Pro, the bass was tight, strong and clean.

The iMac Pro also has the first ever 1080p FaceTime camera to come on a Mac, compared to the 720p camera on the 5K iMac. It also has four microphones, compared to only one on the 5K iMac. 

Again, from AppleInsider: You can instantly tell just how much better the image quality is on the iMac Pro. It makes the camera on the 5K iMac seem ancient. The white balance on the 5K iMac is completely off, whereas the iMac Pro perfectly matches what we saw with our own eyes.

Finally, I want the next rev of the 27-inch iMac 5K to sport the Apple T2 chip that’s in the pro model. According to Apple, “by redesigning and integrating several controllers found in other Mac systems — like the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller — T2 delivers new capabilities to the Mac.” For instance, the T2 image signal processor works with the FaceTime HD camera to enable enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and face detection–based auto exposure and auto white balance. Hence, the improved FaceTime camera, as previously mentioned.

The T2 also makes  the iMac Pro even more secure, thanks to a Secure Enclave coprocessor that provides the foundation for new encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities. The data on your SSD is encrypted using dedicated AES hardware with no effect on the SSD’s performance, while keeping the Intel Xeon processor free for your compute tasks. And secure boot ensures that the lowest levels of software aren’t tampered with and that only operating system software trusted by Apple loads at startup. Who wouldn’t want this on their iMac?

So I want the 2018 iMac 5K to have the speakers, FaceTime camera, and T2 chip of the iMac Pro. And, heck, let’s have a ProMotion display (currently found only on iPad Pros). Among other things, ProMotion improves display quality and reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting the display refresh rate to match the movement of the content.

And since I’m placing requests, I’d love an optional Magic Keyboard with an integrated Touch Bar.

The iMac Pro is out of reach of most Apple all-in-one fans. The tech giant can keep the high end model appealing to pros with its sheering processing and graphics power. There’s no reason not to pass on the other features to the non-pro iMacs.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.