In January, I decided to move my 24-inch M1 iMac into the kitchen in a bid to give it a new lease of life.

It’d be a temporary location for Apple’s greatest ever all-in-one, I thought. After a week or two, I’d need to transport it to the studio either out of necessity or because I’d been told to do so. This would not be permanent.

As I write, we’re heading deeper into May, and the iMac is still perched on the breakfast bar. It gets used every single day and has been covered with a thin layer of icing sugar on more than one occasion, but I just cannot bring myself to remove it.

This is why.

The problem with having multiple Macs

When you run a reviews brand like mine and focus intently on Apple, you’re going to end up with a few Macs. It’s inevitable (and, yes, expensive).

The challenge lies in finding a role for every Mac you have to hand. Interestingly, it’s nowhere near as tricky as working out what to do with multiple iPads, but some creative thought is still required if you’re going to put all of that expensive hardware to use.

This is my current Mac haul and distribution of duties:

  • 16-inch M1 Mac MacBook Pro (production machine)
  • base-level M1 MacBook Air (writing machine)
  • 16GB M1 Mac mini (do-it-all studio machine and backup production machine)
  • 2017 27-inch iMac (beta test machine)

So, where does that leave my 24-inch iMac?

How I use my 24-inch iMac

The 24-inch iMac is the first Mac I use every morning. While waiting for the freshly boiled kettle to cool for my first coffee brew of the day, I’ll check my email, publish Mac O’Clock drafts for our authors, and have a mooch around my to-do list.

I could, obviously, just do this on my MacBook Air (which is the second Mac I use each morning when it’s time to write) but there’s something about the immediate availability of the 24-inch iMac on the breakfast bar that makes it ultimately frictionless.

Just like the M1 Mac mini in my studio, the iMac never stutters, creaks, or makes any fuss whatsoever when I ask it to do something. Whether that’s from a cold boot or after a period where it has been left for days with countless apps open, the 24-inch M1 iMac is as smooth as butter.

This early morning routine isn’t the only use it sees. I’m the sort of person who can’t work in the same room for countless hours each day, which means I usually divide my time between the studio and my kitchen. Having the 24-inch iMac permanently located in the latter is a blessing when I need a change of scenery while finishing off a blog post or conducting a couple of Zoom calls.

There’s also a lot to be said for having a Mac permanently available over the weekend if I need to briefly check-in and do a quick bit of work.

I don’t put my 24-inch M1 iMac through anything particularly intensive (mine is the base-spec 8GB version). But I don’t need to; it’s performing the classic iMac function of an ever-present-and-super-capable home computing device perfectly. I don’t need anything more from it.

Should you put your iMac in the kitchen?

There are a few things to take into consideration if you’re inspired by my kitchen iMac antics. And not all of them are particularly palatable, if you’ll excuse the pun.

As noted earlier, my iMac has been subjected to more than one covering of a particular baking ingredient. It has also been shoved out of the way to allow, you know, normal kitchen stuff to take place, and several children have smashed away unceremoniously at its keyboard.

On that last note, there have been a few occasions where we’ve decided to temporarily remove the iMac from the kitchen to make way for particularly sticky-fingered little people and their tech-destroying antics, but that’s another utterly delightful aspect of this device; it’s almost as easy to move around as a MacBook.

There are other hazards, though. Like every kitchen, ours is probably the busiest room in the house. Shopping bags get flung onto the counter occupied by the iMac, and I’ve walked in on more than one occasion to find delivery boxes placed precariously close to its lovely retina screen.

I knew that this would be a perilous location for the 24-inch iMac. I fully accepted that it could get knocked about and exposed to the many potentially harmful airborne substances that occupy such a space. But it hasn’t made me want to remove it from that room one bit.

Just like so many Apple devices, that beautiful design is far more than just a pretty face. It’s a tough little thing. Any smudges or what at first appear to be permanent marks are easily wiped away, and the M1 chip doesn’t appear to be that fussed about the occasional ingress of icing sugar.

So, if you fancy moving your iMac into the kitchen, and can learn to look past the aforementioned hazards, I heartily recommend it. Consider me your guinea pig – I can confirm that this thing is more than capable of dealing with the most un-computer-friendly environment in the house.

Final thought

I think the 24-inch iMac is one of the most exciting devices to emerge from the M1 era. That chip is perfectly suited to Apple’s latest take on its all-in-one desktop.

I can understand why some folk might find it a head-scratcher, though. With the bigger version of the iMac either delayed or on hold indefinitely thanks to the emergence of the Mac Studio and Studio Display, it’s the only option currently on the table.

But that’s no bad thing. The 24-inch iMac remains a superb buy. Therefore, if you’ve been holding off placing an order for yours, I’d encourage you to bite the bullet. As I’ve noted previously, that 24-inch screen is bigger than you think, and it is such a capable performer, whatever you plan to do with it.

If you’ve been holding off buying yours, I hope the journey mine has been on tempts you to bite the bullet.

And, yes, I did avoid the temptation to title this article ‘There’s an iMac in My Kitchen What Am I Gonna Do’.