24-inch iMac Review: How Accessible is it for Disabled Users?

The 24-inch iMac Pro is one of Apple’s new Mac lineups, coming in a range of seven different colours. I got one of these during the Summer as my 2015 MacBook Pro has started running out of storage for so many things. Throughout the last few years, I’ve been using it for videos, for audio, and of course the book I’m writing. But what all do these new iMacs come with, and are they accessible for everyone?

So the new 24-inch iMac was announced on the 30th of April 2021, with the first customers getting theirs on the 21st of May. After watching loads of reviews, I decided it would be worth the upgrade, and got mine at the end of July. I got the blue version.

iMac Box Photo © Phoebs Lyle

The box that the iMac comes in has a picture of your colour of iMac on the front, with the word ’iMac’ round the side, and more pictures of the device, itself, at every single side, and covered with the usual special plastic that Apple fans love, it allows for quite the unboxing experience.

As soon as you open the box, the first thing you’ll see will be a protection shield with the word: ’Hello’ on it, and covering the actual iMac beneath it. Under the iMac, you have your keyboard, your Magic Mouse, the charger for your iMac and the one for your keyboard, and all of your quick start information, and this would also be where your Magic Trackpad would be if you ordered one, but the Apple Store in Belfast didn’t have any in stock at the time, so I ended up ordering a silver one on Amazon. Although I’m happy with the trackpad I got, it would still be nice to be able to buy a blue one to match at some point, so if Apple ever let you customise colours of their Magic Trackpads at some point in the future, that would be great.

Everything was very nice to unwrap and set up though, as these couple of videos will show.

The keyboard is also extremely easy to type on, although in future, I wouldn’t bother with getting the one that comes with Touch ID, as it just isn’t accessible enough for people who can’t do everything with their hands or their feet.

Getting back to the geek stuff, the new 24-inch iMacs are 11.5mm in thinness, with a screen you can move to adjust the angle, and less than 40 kilos.

Powered by the M1 chip, the chip is what gives the iMac its extraordinary design, and helps integrate the processor, graphics and more. I like how the screen sits on a poised stand, sort of like it’s iPad-ish, if you compare it to the 2020 Magic Keyboard Case for the iPad, and at the back you have your power button, with incredibly fast ports beside it.

The charger you get attaches via magnets, and all the accessories you get come in exactly the same colour as your mac.

As someone who is still using the 2015 MacBook Pro but has moved to the 24-inch iMac for film and audio reasons, you can really see the difference in the 4.5K Retina display. The P3 wide colour gamut brings what you’re watching to life, and images shine with a brilliant 500 nits of brightness. The True Tone technology adjusts the colour temperature to the ambient light of your environment, for natural viewing experience. I can’t wait until I try making a couple of short films next year so I can see how the display plays them back.

Even the cameras have got a massive update in this iMac, with a 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. Double the resolution of higher quality video calls, we get a larger sensor that captures more light, and the Advanced Image Signal Processor, thanks to the M1 chip, greatly improves image quality.

The new iMacs come with studio-quality mics, which make sure that whether you’re recording a podcast, a video chat or on a video chat, you’ll always come across crisp and clear. The three-mic array is designed to reduce feedback, so conversations flow more naturally, with the including beamforming technology helping to ignore background noise, meaning everyone hears you and not what’s around you.

The new sound system on the iMac brings room-filling audio to any space. The two pairs of force-cancelling woofers create rich, deep base without any unwanted vibrations, and with high performance tweeters – the volume on this new iMac is absolutely brilliant.

This iMac also supports Spacial Audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos, but the fact that a lot of this is still limited to Apple headphones makes it a bit annoying. Although you can still connect non Apple headphones to Apple products, I would love if my Apple products would show my Skullcandies on the screen the same as how the AirPods show up if you’re truing to connect them, but hopefully if both companies are seeing this, there’s a way they can make this happen.

Lastly, this iMac is able to run the newest iOS software, which at the time this blog has been written is iOS Monterey, and if you any iPad later than the iPad 6th gen, iPad Mini 5th gen, or the iPad Air 3rd gen, or any iPad Pro, you will be able to use SideCar. SideCar isn’t fully accessible as of yet, however, because to use it you have to have an Apple Pencil, and other styluses which are easier for people with mobility issues to use won’t work, but hopefully this changes one day. Away from Sidecar, you will also be able to download iPhone and iPad apps onto your mac, although this does depend on the developer.

But overall, although there are some small things that could be improved, the vast majority of stuff on this new iMac I am able to access. It was easy to set up, and once my Trackpad arrived, it was easy to set up all the accessibility features I needed to use the Mac, such as tapping the right side of the trackpad instead of using two fingers to right click, and setting up Sticky Keys so there’s no reason for me to hold down two buttons at the one time. The only things I think have to improve is for the side bars for scrolling down the side of applications to be constantly on, and with customisable largeness, for Face ID to be added so those who can’t use Touch ID have a smart way of paying, and for SideCar to work on iPad with styluses that are more accessible than the Apple Pencil. But other than that, I’ve loved using the new iMac ever since I got it, and overall, it is accessible.

You can get the new 24-inch iMac in Blue, Green, Pink and Silver, with Orange, Yellow and Purple also being a choice with the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID options. They cost between £1,249-£1,649.


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