M1 iMac: Why is the bezel white?

The new iMac has received some criticism over its new white bezel design. In this post, we will discuss why Apple have redesigned its iconic iMac look, and assess the pros and cons of having an iMac with either a black or white bezel.
What is a Bezel?
If you're unsure what a bezel actually is, think of it as the physical frame to your screen. The bezel is what encompasses everything on the front of your device.



Apple's Bezels
The very first iMacs used white bezels. First seen in 1998, the original iMac had a colourful design and a white bezel. This bright design continued until 2007, when Apple then transitioned to the more iconic, aluminum design with a black bezel.

After more than 10 years of Apple users enjoying the darker design, why has Apple switched back to the bright and colourful look on its all-new 24” iMac, and why are people unhappy about it?

Why a Black Bezel?
A device's bezel should blend in with the users device and environment - in other words, the bezel should not create distraction. Some argue that black typically does a better job of hiding the edges of the display, and makes it less obvious where the screen ends and the bezel begins.

Black absorbs light, essentially fading into invisibility when you view the screen. White bezels, in contrast, reflects light into your eyes and reduces the apparent contrast of the display.

For these reasons, most people tend to favour a black bezel.



Why a White Bezel?
First, whilst the bezel may seem white, it's actually a lighter grey shade. 

As previously mentioned, the bezel of a device should blend in with the users environment. For this reason, perhaps Apple felt that a white bezel would blend in with brighter workspaces. The white bezel also complements the iMac's new colourful look. Of course, these are just matter of personal preference. 
 
Apple also appear to be sticking to a theme. As the new iMac is resemblant of the older Mac models which use bright colours and white bezels, the theme appears to be:

  • bright coloured iMac's = white bezels.
  • dark coloured iMac's = black bezels.

 

Which Bezel Is Best?
While white offers a nice aesthetic and sticks with the nostalgic theme of the older mac models, black seems to have more practical benefits.

Although the white bezel looks nicer, perhaps Apple should have also offered a black option. Maybe this is something we will see in the future though!

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