What we want to see from a new iMac in 2018

Adobe Lightroom CC iMac
Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

Apple may have a lot up its sleeve when it comes to iMac 2018 models — and we can’t wait! While the June WWDC event may reveal some details for Apple’s all-in-one computer line, we don’t know much about what will be announced.

We already know that Apple is probably going to launch three new Mac models this year, and one of those may be a brand new iMac line, which gives us plenty to work with. We also know that a redesigned Mac Pro is set for release sometime in 2019. So let’s go through the rumors and spell out what we’d like to see.

More Apple-based chips

2017 imac 4k model more upgradeable 21 5 inch header
Sam Lionheart/iFixit

Apple has been slowly transitioning toward supplying its own chips for a number of devices. The T1 and T2 co-processors in the newer versions of the iPhone and iPad are a great example of these slow efforts, and the iMac Pro had its own co-processor to work with. It’s not that big of a leap to assume that all iMacs will be getting their own Apple co-processors for a performance boost.

The Intel chips inside iMacs are also likely to get an annual update. It would be very fun if new versions of the iMac got access to advanced hexacore processors like the iMac Pro, and a good way to create more iMac purchase options for buyers who really want to customize their machines.

Pro features for standard iMacs

Apple iMac Pro News

Obviously, if the iMac Pro line survives then it has to have elite features that set it apart. But we would really love to see some of the more universally useful features come to other iMacs in 2018. For example, UHS-II SD card support would be great for content creators, and that advanced cooling technology that the Pro uses would be welcome on all iMac models.

We’d also like to see better universal iMac compatibility with satellite iPads (and other devices) for more complex projects that are currently only supported by the Pro.

No more HDD

Apple iMac Pro News

This would be an amazing upgrade for the iMacs (the Pro models already use a dual-SSD arrangement for their storage) that could increase speed and quality of life with one simple stroke.

It may seem like an obvious move, but we’re not entirely certain that Apple will embrace it. It depends on how hard Apple wants to push its Fusion Drive technology, or if it’s willing to let the Fusion Drive die off after a day in the sun in favor of a full switch to SSD. So while there’s a chance we’ll see full SSD iMacs for all lines this year, it’s not a guarantee.

A new design surprise

imac 2018 rumors concept

Okay, so maybe the curved concept above isn’t a great idea. However, there is already plenty of discussion out there about an iMac redesign (and a Reddit interview that mentions it, for what that’s worth). The slim, aluminum frame suits the iMac well, but Apple may be ready for a change, and the 2018 model could unveil a very different look. It would be very fun if we saw a more colorful, exuberant version of the iMac, perhaps available in a range of colors or with some new design choices that make for more interesting visuals. If Apple wants to bring its Touch Bar to iMacs, for example, it could pave the way for more interesting design choices.

It’s going to be the 20th anniversary of the iMac this year, and we expect something for it (Apple has done anniversary celebrations before). A new, modernized design would be a great opportunity to mark the date. There are a lot of exciting directions Apple could go here, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

The 8k iMac

Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display review lifestyle front
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Okay, this is particularly far-fetched, but there have been rumors that Apple is planning on an “8k iMac” release for this year. Current iMacs go up to 5k Retina displays, but no further. If Apple really wanted to expand its display options for the iMac, it could potentially push resolutions higher.

That would probably also mean that the iMac displays would get even larger, since an 8k display would require a lot of real estate. That would be a really cool feature to advertise, although we’re a little uneasy just thinking how much it would cost.


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