Style and performance personified
Priced from R25,000
When Apple recently announced their brand-new iMac 24-inch range, I fell in love. It is possible, you know. Technology has that kind of effect on me. Apple just understands what customers want.
What on earth am I talking about? Well, it is not just about the performance but the styling and how it fits into our lifestyle. This is what Apple gets right, and is why they are the top-ranked company in the world with a market capitalisation of US$2.1 trillion. Crazy, right? Just a decade ago, they had a market cap of R297 billion, and 20 years ago, they were worth US$7.8 billion. So clearly, they must be doing something right.
When people say that Apple makes products you will love, the new iMac 24-inch is the epitome of that statement.
During the launch announcement, it was revealed that the new 24-inch iMacs would come in seven different colours. My mind immediately went to Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ where he sings about “the colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky”. Do you see what Apple does? I digress, but do you remember the original iMac G3s, released around 1988 with all those amazing colours? Remember the statement they made, the magnificent design?
Fast track to 2021, and Apple recreates that nostalgia with a stunning modern effect. The new iMacs come in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver and boy do they make a statement on a desk.
I received a blue one to review, and the first thing that struck me was the packaging and attention to detail. The handle on the box even matches the colour of the iMac, and when you open the box, it is like an adventure itself – attention to detail and customer experience. The thought process that goes into the way the box opens to unpacking the computer. I loved the “hello” you get as the box opens magically.
The whole setup process is so quick! A wireless Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and a power adapter. The iMac comes with a new power connector that attaches magnetically and a beautifully woven 2-metre-long colour-matched cable.
Let us talk about the display because the screen is very impressive. The 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness, and over a billion colours will take your breath away when editing photos or watching a 4K video.
What blew my mind was how thin the screen is and that all the computing power sits at the bottom of the screen. It is just 11.5mm thick! To put that into perspective, your iPhone 12 is 7.4mm thick.
Built into the display are a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality mics, and a six-speaker sound system. This is a great enhancement to those doing many video calls and working from home – sound and video quality have been dramatically enhanced. In addition, the microphones are positioned in such a way that feedback is reduced, external noises are almost eliminated, and your voice is enhanced when you are on that video call.
But it is the performance of this computer that will make you sit up. The new 24-inch iMacs come with Apple’s own M1 silicon chip. Editing 4K videos in Final Cut was lightning fast. I was simultaneously running other applications in the background, yet the iMac performance was solid. Apple says that you get up to 85% faster CPU performance – you can certainly feel that.
There are three models of the Magic Keyboard with gorgeous, colour-matched aluminium enclosures. The top of the range now comes with Touch ID. It is embedded wirelessly and uses a dedicated security component on the keyboard that communicates directly with Secure Enclave in M1, creating an encrypted channel to protect your fingerprint data from end to end. You can use Touch ID to unlock your computer and to make purchases using Apple Pay.
The new iMac 24-inch with the M1 chip is gorgeous and comes with the performance to match. This computer is surely a contender for the gadget of the year!
Don’t you just wish you had invested in Apple 20 years ago?
Mi Robot Vacuum Mop
Why vacuum when a robot can do it
Not once in my career have I ever imagined I would be reviewing a vacuum cleaner, but here goes…
Our lifestyles have been flipped around by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us are working from home, bringing with it new challenges. The one task I most dislike around the house is vacuuming! So, why do it manually when a robot can do it for you? The Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop is a lifesaver for automating the entire process and cleaning your house when it suits you. It is a wonderful piece of technology which quite frankly every home should have. The great thing about this device is that it vacuums and mops! The technology is very clever with its own navigation system built-in with lasers that are basically the eyes of the machine. It has a GPS that knows exactly where it is positioned so it can map your house and use that map for the next clean-up. This is important because there may be some areas you do not want your vacuum to go. You can set these boundaries on the app after the first few cleans. It is not perfect and does get stuck in some areas initially, but after the first three cleans, it does its own thing! The 2,500 Pa suction power and large capacity lithium battery will cover an average 3-bedroom home in one usage. It knows when the battery is running low, so it will go back to the docking station on its own to charge and resume cleaning when charged. Within the app, you can add additional functionality like schedules and even start it when you are out of the house.
Asana Productivity App
Task management made easy
Cost – Free for up to 15 users, enterprise pricing available
Asana is one of the world’s most innovative companies, whose sole mission is to make all of us work better and be more productive. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced most organisations to rethink how they work. Millions of people are still deployed working remotely from home. Let us be honest: we are overloaded with different projects, tasks and workflows that can sometimes be intimidating, and there is no doubt that this can affect productivity. Asana is a fantastic collaborative tool that allows you to integrate your teams with ease, working through different projects. It allows you to assign tasks, prioritise and set your deadlines. This makes teams stay focused, massively improving productivity. Having an overhead view of what is happening with a project makes it easier for teams to understand workflows and what needs to be prioritised. There are even templates available that one can use and adapt for almost every project.