New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation.

m1 imac orange
In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about features and changes of the new 24-inch ‌iMac‌.

First Mac with Built-In Spatial Audio

imac spatial audio
The 24-inch ‌iMac‌ is the first Mac to feature built-in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. This is enabled by six brand new high-fidelity speakers that work in junction with force-canceling woofers. Apple says in tandem, the new speakers and woofers create "the best speakers in any Mac." Spatial Audio is available on compatible iPhone and iPad devices with Dolby Atmos content, and now it's coming to the Mac for the first time.

First iMac with WiFi 6

The ‌M1‌ Apple silicon MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini released in November were the first Macs to support the new and faster WiFi 6 protocol. With ‌M1‌ now on the ‌iMac‌, the 24-inch ‌iMac‌ becomes the first Mac desktop computer to support WiFi 6.

Headphone Jack on The Side

iMac power speaker heaphones copy
The new 24-inch ‌iMac‌ features a radically thinner design compared to the previous generation. While visually pleasing, this new design did present a challenge for where to place the 3.5mm headphone jack. Typically, the headphone jack would be placed on the back of the ‌iMac‌, but with the new 24-inch model, the jack is placed on the left side.

Ethernet Port on Power Adapter

imac ethernet port
Another problem the new thin design of the ‌iMac‌ presented was where to place the Ethernet port. Apple's solution to the dilemma is to place the Ethernet port directly into the power adapter. Apple says this new "cool new innovation" means users can keep their desks less cluttered, while still enjoying the benefits of Ethernet.

No SD Card Slot

Previous generation ‌iMac‌ models featured an SD card slot reader on the rear. The new design of the 24-inch ‌iMac‌ made this a challenge. In theory, Apple could have easily placed the SD card reader on the side, like the headphone jack, but instead, it instead decided to remove it entirely.

Of course, these are just a few of the many new features coming with the 24-inch ‌iMac‌. You can learn more about the new ‌iMac‌ and everything else Apple announced at its "Spring Loaded" event using our roundup.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Neutral)
Related Forum: iMac

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Top Rated Comments

MacFather Avatar
42 months ago
People wanted this:

Score: 100 Votes (Like | Disagree)
APassenger Avatar
42 months ago
Removing the SD slot is not a "feature."
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yesjam Avatar
42 months ago
If there were a logo on the chin and black bezels, I imagine the number of complaints about the design would be cut by ~60-70%.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
42 months ago
Buy a Mac mini then take the $700 you saved and buy a nice display, keyboard and mouse. Or, buy a new Mac mini, hook it up to whatever you have laying around the house, spend an extra $99 and get an M1 powered iPad Pro and get two devices for just about the price of one base model iMac.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JKAussieSkater Avatar
42 months ago

No SD Card Slot
This is a very disappointing decision. SD cards are at least a decade or two from becoming obsolete.
Pros use them all the time. Guess it's gonna be a dongle for them now.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dugbug Avatar
42 months ago

The design decisions confuse me. Why make it so thin that you have to plug in speakers/headphones on the side, so it sticks out, and then boast about how they've reduced the number of cables/clutter by plugging the ethernet in the power supply?
well,
1. you can use that headphone jack without fumbling, pulling your imac away from the wall to find the damn location
2. enet is 99.9% on floor. Seems pretty good idea. It also means that Enet and power break away with magsafe, so there are NO floor cables attached that can pull it off the table.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)