Why the Updated 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina Display Is the Ultimate Home Office Tool

Emilee Geist

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

From Best Products

The 27-inch iMac is the latest Apple computer to get welcome updates in 2020, joining the likes of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The highlights, in addition to the anticipated bumps in processor and graphics power, include an even more captivating 5K Retina display, a FaceTime camera with a higher resolution, and upgraded audio hardware. Combined, they make the all-in-one desktop an even more capable productivity and creativity tool.

KEY SPECS

• 10th-generation Core i5 (six-core), Core i7 (eight-core), Core i9 (10-core) processors
• AMD Radeon Pro graphics
• 27-inch 5K Retina display with True Tone Technology, P3 color gamut
• Up to 128 GB of RAM; up to 8 TB SSD
• Full HD FaceTime camera, three studio-quality microphones
• Two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, four USB 3 ports, SD card reader, Ethernet port

DESIGN: 8/10

A familiar sight

  • The new iMac looks just like the previous iteration

  • It’s elegant, versatile, and exceptionally built

  • Its display bezels are sizable by today’s standards

There are no changes to the design of the new 27-inch iMac. The newcomer looks just like the previous generation, and like all products in the MacBook family, it’s sleek, well-crafted, and has an all-metal build with a silver finish. Plus, the monitor comes with a compact stand that can easily adjust to your preferred viewing angle.

It’s worth noting that, compared to other all-in-one desktop computers, the iMac’s display bezels are pretty sizable. Still, considering the product’s incredible display and top-shelf hardware, this is a compromise worth making.

DISPLAY: 10/10

The best desktop display is now even better

  • The 5K Retina is bright, sharp, vibrant, and a joy to use

  • True Tone tech is a helpful new feature

  • Nano-texture glass is expensive, but creative professionals should definitely consider it

The 27-inch 5K Retina display of the new iMac is a tech masterpiece, and among the main reasons the product is worth buying. With almost 15 million pixels, it’s super sharp, as well as incredibly bright. The panel supports a wide array of accurate colors, so it’s ideal for creative work, too.

True Tone technology is an exciting new feature of the 27-inch 5K Retina display. Available for the first time on an iMac, Apple’s signature screen tech utilizes built-in sensor to adjust the color temperature of the screen depending on the ambient lighting. It ensures that you’ll always view accurate colors.

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

In addition to True Tone, Apple also introduced optional nano-texture glass for the 5K Retina. The feature drastically reduces the display’s reflectivity, thus ensuring that users will view accurate colors and contrast regardless of the lighting in the room. It’s already available on the Apple Pro Display XDR.

At $500, nano-texture is surely a pricey option. However, professional users who are investing in an iMac with top-tier specs should seriously consider it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5K Retina display while I tested the latest iMac. Every interaction — from editing images for work to online shopping — was enjoyable with so many vibrant pixels in front of me.

PERFORMANCE: 9/10

Praise-Worthy Speed and Audio

  • The new 27-inch iMac is considerably more powerful than the outgoing model

  • Its audio and video performance during teleconferencing is exceptional

  • The entry-level variant could use more RAM

Powered by Intel’s latest processors and AMD Radeon Pro graphics, the latest iMac is unsurprisingly among the most powerful desktop computers available today. Thankfully, ultra fast SSD storage is a standard feature in the 27-inch variant, offering a significant speed boost over the Fusion Drive (a combination of flash storage and a hard drive) that was found in the previous generation.

Photo credit: Apple
Photo credit: Apple

Even the entry-level iMac with a six-core Intel Core i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM I tested performed superbly. It effortlessly handled my busy workflow of countless open browser tabs, making changes to large image files in Affinity Photo, and editing text, with Slack, Spotify, and Twitter open in the background.

The new iMac packs an upgraded FaceTime camera with a Full HD sensor, a trio of studio-quality microphones, and Apple’s T2 Security chip with improved image and audio processing capabilities. Despite its slim profile, the iMac also has pretty powerful stereo speakers with well-tuned sound.

Combined, the above features make the desktop computer an excellent tool for teleconferencing. I was impressed by its performance during a multitude of Zoom, Slack, and FaceTime calls — it’s the best I’ve experienced from an all-in-one desktop computer to date.

Wrap-Up

Pricing for the updated 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 for a version with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB SSD. I highly recommend that you budget at least an additional $200 to double the RAM to 16 GB — it will make the iMac considerably more futureproof.

Power users have the option to spec the iMac with a 10-core Intel Core i9 processor, up to a head-spinning 128 GB of RAM, and 8 TB of SSD storage. Every iMac comes bundled with a Magic Keyboard, a Magic Mouse 2, a Lightning cable to charge them, and a polishing cloth.

Shop the New 27-inch iMac

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