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Comparing the Apple iMac vs MacBook in 2024

For years, Apple has been a colossal developer, with mobile devices and computers dominating the market. From its cutting-edge, lightweight OS to its sleek, distinct design, Apple products have set a standard for tech all over the world. For those of you who are in the market for an Apple computer, you’ll be pleased to hear that you have two prime choices: the MacBook series and the iMac series. 


Choosing between these impressive machines can be challenging, so to help you, we’ve done a quick comparison of the two flagship models to see which one comes out on top and who they’d be better for. 

Apple Imac Vs Macbook

Key Takeaways

  • Sets the standard for all-in-one desktop computers with a 24-inch Retina display, studio-quality sound, and powerful M3 silicon chip.
  • Offers jaw-dropping performance, versatile specifications, and extended battery life, making it ideal for portable power users.
  • Memory, CPU, storage, ports, graphics, display, and color options differentiate the iMac and MacBook Pro models.
  • iMac for desktop power users, MacOS enthusiasts, editors, and designers. MacBook Pro for portable power users, office professionals, writers, programmers, and developers.
  • Both iMac and MacBook Pro offer reliability and power, with the latter excelling in performance abilities.

Review of Apple Desktop (iMac)

24-inch iMac M3 2023

The iMac M3 2023 sets the standard for all-in-one desktop computers. With a huge 24-inch Retina display with 4.5K resolution and 500 nits of brightness, you get the perfect canvas to multitask and an immersive experience when watching movies or playing games. 


Equipped with all the bells and whistles, the iMac has a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality mics, and six-speaker surround sound to improve your experience. To top it off, the usage of the cutting-edge M3 silicon chip will allow you to multitask and run hundreds of browsing tabs without crutching under the load. Statistics show that the M3 offers you up to four times the processing speed of the latest i7 intel chips; isn’t that something? 


Designed with a sleek aluminium frame, this beautiful machine measures only 11.5mm, giving you one of the thinnest all-in-one PCs in the world, and with the power it has, this is an amazing accomplishment in the tech world. 


Pros

  • Improved CPU and GPU from old chipset
  • Larger display with more screen real-estate
  • Great value and quality
  • Exceptional sound and display quality

Cons

  • Limited port connections

Review of the Apple MacBook

Apple Macbook Pro M3 2023

The Apple Macbook Pro M3 2023 offers jaw-dropping performance combined with stylish and convenient features. With the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max Chip as options, you’re stepping into a whole new world of computing power. 


Some key new features of the Macbook Pro M3 are its groundbreaking graphics improvements, which optimise fast on-chip memory to increase how the GPU is used, causing a huge boost in performance. This, combined with the hardware-accelerated ray tracing, thrust the Macbook performance even further, offering gamers realistic shadows and reflections while gaming and more. 


One of its best features is the extended battery life. With 22 hours of battery life, you have more than enough time to get your work done while reducing the need to charge your device constantly. 


Pros

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Good range of ports

  • Fantastic Retina display quality

  • Versatile specifications

  • Good build quality

  • High-performing GPU and CPU

  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Limited to one external display

  • Higher-end models are very expensive

Key Differences Between Apple Desktop (iMac) vs Laptop (MacBook)

Let’s be honest, the iMac and Macbook Pro both look amazing and are extremely capable PCs, however, they have key differences that’ll make them suitable for different people. Here are some key differences between the 24-inch iMac M3 2023 and the Macbook Pro M3 2023:

Memory:

  • Macbook Pro M3: 8GB, 16GB, 18GB, 24GB, 36GB, 48GB, 64GB, 96GB, 128GB

  • 24-inch iMac M3: 8GB, 16GB, 24GB

CPU: 

  • Macbook Pro M3: Apple M3 8-core, Apple M3 Pro 11-core or 12-core, Apple M3 Max 14-core or 16-core

  • 24-inch iMac M3: Apple M3 8-Core

Storage:

  • Macbook Pro M3: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB SSD

  • 24-inch iMac M3: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB SSD

Ports:

  • Macbook Pro M3: SDXC card, HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3x Thunderbolt 4, MagSafe 3 Power

  • 24-inch iMac M3: Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB 3

Graphics:

  • Macbook Pro M3: 10-core, 14-core, 18-core, 30-core, 40-core

  • 24-inch iMac M3: 8-core, 10-core

Display:

  • Macbook Pro M3: 14.2-inch (3024x1964); 16.2-inch (3456x2234) Liquid Retina XDR Display, 254ppi, 1,600 nits, 120Hz

  • 24-inch iMac M3: 23.5-inch 4.5K (4480 x 2520) Retina Display, 218ppi 500 nits, 60Hz

Colours:

  • Macbook Pro M3: Space Gray, Silver, Space Black

  • 24-inch iMac M3: Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, Purple

Who Are Apple Desktops Best For?

The 24-inch iMac M3 is a great computer, capable of handling robust software systems and programs. In general, desktop computers are better for individuals who don’t need a portable computer. 


The iMac M3, in this case, would be suitable for individuals who prefer the MacOS user interface, Apple ecosystem and overall quality. It’s a perfect desktop PC for editors and designers, providing tons of screen real-estate for multitasking and having enough power to handle resource-intensive applications. An important aspect to consider is also the price. 


Apple Desktop computers are relatively expensive, but their quality makes them well worth the purchase. For those who don’t want to drop $1300 on a desktop computer, you can purchase refurbished Apple desktop computers that are Apple-certified and work perfectly. 


Who Are MacBook's Best For?

The Macbook Pro M3 2023 is at the top of the food chain when it comes to Apple PCs. With such a versatile range of specifications to choose from, you have the option to choose a laptop perfectly tailored to your needs. In addition to the Pros, Apple also has the MacBook Air range, which is extremely capable. In fact, when the M1 line-up came out, the M1 Pro and Air were pretty much equal in performance. 


So, who’s the Macbook range best for? For individuals who want portable power, you can’t do better than the Macbook Pro. That said, many people who work from an office get the Macbook Pro M3 because of its versatility. Whether you need a portable computer or not, you’ll always have one. For editors, writers, programmers and developers, the Macbook Pro M3 will get the job done without breaking a sweat.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, that clears things up a little for you. In a 1-on-1 showdown, it’s clear that Apple has equipped the Macbook Pro M3 with more robust performance abilities. That said, the iMac M3 is still an insanely capable desktop computer. Whether you go for the iMac or Macbook Pro, you’re setting yourself up with a reliable and powerful computer that’ll see you through whatever you need it to.


If you’re a MacBook user and in need of a screen replacement or battery replacement, iFixScreens is a reputable store that can help. We have the tools and expertise to handle a wide range of MacBook repairs, and we're committed to providing fast, reliable service.


FAQ's

Q: What are the key features of the iMac M3 2023?

A: A 24-inch Retina display, studio-quality sound, and a powerful M3 silicon chip for multitasking.


Q: What makes the MacBook Pro M3 2023 stand out?

A: Jaw-dropping performance, versatile specifications, and extended battery life, catering to portable power users.


Q: How do the iMac and MacBook Pro differ in terms of specifications?

A: Differences include memory options, CPU configurations, storage capacities, port selections, graphics capabilities, display sizes and resolutions, and available color choices.


Q: Who would benefit most from choosing an iMac over a MacBook Pro?

A: Desktop power users, MacOS enthusiasts, editors, and designers who require ample screen real estate and processing power.


Q: Why might someone prefer a MacBook Pro over an iMac?

A: Portable power users, office professionals, writers, programmers, and developers who value versatility, performance, and portability.


Q: What are the key considerations for individuals deciding between an iMac and a MacBook Pro?

A: Usage requirements, preferences for desktop or portable computing, budget constraints, and specific software needs.


Q: Are there any alternatives for those who find Apple desktops or laptops too expensive?

A: Refurbished Apple desktops and laptops, which offer Apple-certified quality at potentially lower prices.

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Ravi Shah

About the author

Ravi Shah


Ravi is the head of Content Strategy at iFixScreens Corporate. With over a decade of experience writing technical content for his readers, Ravi has helped thousands of readers with helpful content, tips, and tricks. He mainly writes content related to gadget repairs, such as iPhones, Smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

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