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Apple tailors iMac for video calls with 1080p webcam, better speakers and mic

It's a welcome change as we spend more time in remote meetings during the pandemic.

iMac webcam
Video calls will soon look a lot better on the new iMac.
Apple/Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple is bringing higher-quality webcams to its new iMac lineup. The computers will now boast a 1080p webcam, the company said Tuesday during its Spring Loaded event. It's a feature users have long asked for, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in Zoom meetings, necessitating better-looking video.

Apple finally upgraded the 2017 iMac Pro (selling for a whopping $5,000) to a 1080p webcam, as well as its 27-inch iMac that launched last year. Meanwhile, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro currently have 720p resolution cameras that are noisy and lack depth-sensing technology. 

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The new 24-inch iMac's 1080p FaceTime HD camera has a larger sensor that helps the camera perform better in low light, Apple says, and pairs with Apple's own M1 chip. The computers also boast higher-quality mics that are designed to reduce feedback from the rest of the system, and that do a better job of blocking out background noise so your voice comes through more clearly on calls or when recording audio. The new iMac also features a more powerful speaker system. 

The refreshed iMac starts at $1,299 (£1,249, AU$1,899) for four colors, including blue and red, and $1,499 (£1,449, AU$2,199) for a wider array of colors and more features. Preorders start April 30.