IMac 27 inch review: Apple’s all-in-one to work and play

Finally new Mac again! The update, especially for the iMac, was long overdue, now it is with current Intel hardware from the generation Kaby Lake and with new graphics cards from AMD. In the test of the iMac with 27 inch and 5K display, Apple shows how good all-in-one computers can be and where still potential is up.

Apple’s clever iMac design

For the new iMac “Mid 2017” Apple has made changes to the inner life of the AiO computer, but from a purely external point of view, the new iMac does not stand out from previous generations. He does not have to (yet) because he has not lost anything in elegance. The new iMac is still fresh.

At Apple, the design begins with the practical packaging, because within a few steps, Styrofoam and protective films are removed and the calculator placed on the table. The iMac can be moved astonishingly easily from A to B, the weight is 9.44 kg for a computer in which everything to get started is low.

apple design through the stand

With regard to processing and material selection, Apple only collects plus points. The gap dimensions and the amounts of components are very small and consistently uniform. The combination of several millimeters thick aluminum and glass leaves a high-quality impression. Here Apple makes so fast no what.

The new iMac is back on a bent aluminum foot, to which the housing for hardware and display is attached. The iMac can not be adjusted in height, only adjust with regard to the inclination angle on the y-axis. This is sufficient in many cases of everyday life, but a workstation with separately purchased, multiple adjustable monitors offers more freedom. Apple still has a good distance from display to table for everyday use in the editorial staff.

Apple has managed to suggest a much thinner computer than it actually is. At the edge, the iMac is only a few millimeters thick before it becomes steadily thicker towards the center of the back. Including the stand, the depth is about 20 centimeters. Spells can also be not housed by Apple, hardware and, above all, cooling somewhere. Warm exhaust air escapes from ventilation slots on the back, well hidden behind the stand. Even with long rendering in Blender, the noise level does not rise above a slight noise. Only when the intensive use of the GPU is the iMac somewhat louder, more about this later in the test.

Upgradable memory

Not far away from the exhaust tract is the compartment for the main memory – it is the only component of the computer that customers can upgrade themselves without much effort. Four slots for DDR4 RAM in SO-DIMM format are available, two of which are factory-set with 8 GB. Apple writes DDR4 memory with the specifications 2.400 MHz, 260-pin, without parity and without a buffer – standard RAM so. The Kingston HX424S14IB / 4 memory upgrade, which is exactly the same as Apple’s requirements, could not be executed in the iMac. The iMac always only started with a black display until only the factory installed memory was active.

apple uses two rams

Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen2

All connections are also located on the back, from the front they are at the bottom right. The iMac is equipped with 2 × Thunderbolt 3 via USB Type C, if you look at the jacks more closely. The ports connected with 40 Gbit / s allow, inter alia, the connection of a second 5K display or two 4K monitors. Fast external storage solutions are another application. Apple replaces 2 × Thunderbolt 2, which is used as a connection Mini DisplayPort. On the rear, there is also a 3.5 mm jack, a SDXC card reader, 4 × USB 3.1 Gen2 with 10 Gbit / s as well as Gigabit Ethernet.

The fact that Apple hides all the connections on the back is conducive to the front, very tidy looking appearance, practically in everyday life, the position is not straight – quite the opposite. The eternal search for the ports is often annoying fumbling, in which one also scratched the back. The actually banal plugging of a USB stick can be quickly felt to the minute-long torture.

Speakers with bums

Better is the integration of the speakers. On the one hand, one does not see them because they sit in the lower lip of aluminum and radiate down, on the other hand, they sound very good despite their hidden and therefore supposedly bad position. For movies or even loud music listening, there is no need for an external sound system. The speakers of Apple cover subjectively heard a wide frequency range and sound well even at high volume.

5K screen with wow effect

A huge presence at the iMac is, of course, primarily the display. Apple again offers the iMac with screens in sizes of 21.5 inches and 27 inches, the display has the format 16: 9. The small iMac offers Apple still with two resolutions at: 1.920 × 1.080 (102 ppi) and 4,096 × 2,304 (219 ppi). The large iMac, on the other hand, is only available with 5K panels whose resolution is 5.120 × 2.880 pixels (218 ppi). With this resolution, video specialists can edit multiple full HD streams natively or even edit Ultra HD and still have enough pixels for buttons. The 27-inch iMac is also the model that is best suited to work, because 21.5 inches are nowadays very small, especially in direct comparison, if one juxtaposes both iMac models.

resolution 5k apple

If the iMac after the first time the first time with the macOS typical, imposing background images greets, one may well give a “Wow” of itself. The 5K display scores instantly with an enormous sharpness and powerful colors. In addition, the panel is very luminous and seems to reflect little at the outset. As with the MacBook (Pro), Apple covers the panel with a glass pane, which gives the content a certain brilliance but depending on the sun position but also can reflect. And the disc should also be cleaned regularly because it attracts dust, fingerprints and when cleaning also streaks magically.

Brighter display

For the new year, Apple promises a higher display brightness, which also confirms the measurements in the test. Up to 500 cd / m² should be according to Apple on average, and this value reaches the display in everyday life synonymous. For manual adjustment of the brightness via the slider under macOS or the buttons on the wireless Apple keyboard, the panel achieves an average of nine measurement fields 483 cd / m². When the automatic brightness control is activated via the built-in sensor, an average of 508 cd / m² is achieved, thus the specification of Apple. The homogeneity of the panel in terms of brightness is in view of the size of the monitor well to very good. In the middle and in the central area above, the display lights up slightly brighter than in the remaining areas,

1 billion colors without 10 bits

The display of the iMac uses display P3 as color space. This is based on DCI-P3 but uses the white point trimmed by sRGB to 6,500 Kelvin. In the test, the panel misses this white point slightly with 6,900 Kelvin, which is a slightly cool, coordinated appearance. Nevertheless, the color presentation by the bank is accurate, powerful, but nevertheless natural. Apple is talking about a billion colors that the 5K panel can represent. It is not a true 30-bit panel, with 1,024 steps per primary color (10 bits for Y, U and V) with 1.07 billion color combinations. Apple instead uses a 24-bit panel with 8 bits per color channel and FRC technology.

pixel size apple imac

The static contrast is approximately 1000: 1. This is not groundbreaking, but still in a more than solid area. When watching movies in Cinemascope format at least disturb no gray black bars.

In sum the 5K-display of the 27-inch iMac is excellent. There is no significant weakness and is a source of wonder from the beginning. In addition, scaling under macOS works very well, so that the operating elements of the operating system are displayed sharply and large enough and apps for video and image processing can still display their contents without reducing the controls. For Microsoft, this is not always the case under Windows 10.

Mac input devices

If you buy an iMac, you can get started directly after the setup, since Apple attaches the Magic Keyboard as a wireless Bluetooth keyboard as well as the Magic Mouse 2 as a wireless Bluetooth mouse. If you want, you can order the Magic Trackpad 2 instead of the mouse for an extra charge of 60 Euros. For the combination of Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 requires 149 Euro – there is, therefore, no discount compared to the purchase of the Trackpad 2. The Magic Keyboard is always included with the iMac and can be upgraded for 30 Euro extra to the Magic Keyboard with numeric keypad.

Ultracompact Magic Keyboard

The Magic Keyboard, supplied at the factory, is one of the most compact keyboards the market has to offer. It is only 11 millimeters high at the thickest point and tapers towards the front to a thin, thin wedge with 4 millimeters. The silver base is made of aluminum, the white keys are plastic. The layout of the letters is nothing to complain about because despite the compact dimensions they have 100 percent size and are comparable to the MacBook (Pro). However, there is more hitting from the touch feeling, the flat shearing mechanism of the laptops is not yet used on the desktop. However, this is also clearly a chiclet keyboard, with the fans of mechanical keyboards probably only a little to catch. But who likes to write on such keyboards, is well-suited.

white keyboard imac

The next Excel or Numbers-Marathon should not be denied with the keyboard, however, because there is a clear block of numbers and a clever layout of the arrow keys. They work a little too close together in the lower right corner, while the number row over the letter represents a patience test of the former task areas. Apple offers with the full keyboard but an alternative. Absolutely to Apple but you do not have access, it also work keyboards of other manufacturers. However, the iMac is definitely the best one. Apple uses the iMac integrated Bluetooth 4.2.

Magic Mouse 2 with gestures

The MagicMouse 2 has fewer words to lose, but gamer should look at the same site, although the iMac is not necessarily a game machine. Thanks to new AMD graphics cards, this is now at least possible, as confirmed in the further course of the test by benchmarks.

magic mouse imac

In working day, the one-button mouse knows how to please. On the top, various macOS gestures can be executed that shorten the paths within the operating system. If you wipe with one finger from top to bottom or vice versa, the mouse scrolls in the current window. If you miss the Windows-typical right click, this can be activated later in the settings. The mouse has good sliding properties and a sufficiently precise sensor when working.

The really unfortunate position is, however, the Lightning connection, over which the mouse is loaded. It is located on the bottom so that loading and using are not possible at the same time – one of Apple’s rare design faux pas. With the Magic Keyboard, the lighting socket is as expected at the rear.

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