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.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET analyzing tech trends while also writing news, reviews and commentaries across mobile, streaming and online culture. Credentials
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Abrar Al-Heeti
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. 

Watch this: Apple debuts all-new colorful iMacs

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.