The return of the iMac Pro

adrian cuthbert
2 min readApr 21, 2021

Are Apple really going to reintroduce the iMac Pro? I certainly hope so.

Because — when Apple introduces an iMac with a M1x/M2 chip that supports more than 16GB of memory, with a 30+ inch screen and a Space Gray color option — I don’t want a chin.

And you cannot have that big a change in design without changing the name, so how about iMac Pro?

That’s not to dismiss all the good iMac stuff that came out of yesterday’s event.

Firstly the bold colors look great … on the back. That rich purple (or is it grape?) even excuses the oddity of adding it as an option for the iPhone. Thank goodness the color options predicted by Jon Prosser didn’t come to pass. But, of course, you cannot advertise the fact you didn’t get rid of the chin by using such a color on the front. Just taking away the logo is not enough. So we get a pastel shade that may, or may not, look outdated pretty soon. And white bezels.

Obviously the idea of running apps in dark-mode with white bezels is as difficult to comprehend as nature having a fifth force.

There would appear to be a new bright and fun aesthetic at work. There is now a white Magic keyboard for the iPad Pro which — by the way — seems to work just fine with its black bezels. All the wallpapers used in images of the new iMac are suitably light in color. Even the event itself took advantage of the glorious Spring weather outside.

To my mind the only thing that was missing were people actually handling the products being announced.

“1080p FaceTime HD camera”,”Studio-quality mics” — all good.

“Six-speaker sound system” — I always felt the trick of bouncing the sound down off the desk worked surprisingly well and these should be even better.

Magsafe like power connector on the back — excellent. Strangely I always felt uncomfortable plugging mains power directly into the back of an iMac.

But despite all that, very clearly the power is in the chin. Could it be put behind the screen? Assuming all the volume is currently used, it might double the thinness and even introduce some empty volumes. That said the Pro Display is a 32 inch screen and 27mm thin, the new iMac screen is less than 12mm thin.

So, having waited so long, will we get two iMac designs? Probably not. Probably just black bezels and a Space Gray color option that includes the chin.

But there is something profoundly simple about where Apple have got to with this design. At its core is a simple slab that magically can do anything, held in place by an inert stand, fed by a single cable. Can it get any simpler than that? That magical slab is exactly what you feel holding an iPad Pro.