Apple 27-inch iMac 2019 UK Review: Sleek and powerful

Apple 27-inch iMac 2019 UK Review: Sleek and powerful

There are many reasons people spend alot of money on an iMac, particularly the 5K 27in model.

But the big one is that, as well as being among the most attractive computers ever to have graced a desktop, it’s amazingly capable, too.

In fact, it’s so good that, once you’ve bought one, it’s probably not something you’ll upgrade for a while. With the original 5K iMac coming up to its fifth birthday, however, could now be the time to move up the next level?

If you were hoping for a revamp in design, prepare to be disappointed. The design of the 27in iMac is now into its sixth year and Apple still hasn’t seen fit to change anything about it. It’s what’s inside that counts.


Apple iMac (27-inch Retina 5K display, 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 2TB) - Silver (Latest Model)
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And what’s inside is, it must be admitted, is pretty darned impressive. Indeed, squeezed inside the latest 27in iMac is a collection of components that push Apple’s largest all-in-one to unheard of performance heights.

This is a machine that, in some of its configurations, outperforms the lowest-spec iMac Pro, making it a viable alternative for anyone looking for an elegant yet powerful desktop workhorse. Apple’s tagline on its website for the new 27in iMac is “Pretty. Freaking powerful,” a sentiment that I would agree with entirely.

Prices start at £1,749 inc VAT and rise to £4,904 for the Core i9 with 2TB of storage. I was sent the Core i9 model with the Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, a model that will set you back £3,284.

That should be enough power for most people – and a good deal more than you get with the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 for similar money – but for demanding professionals who need the most power in the sleekest package, the Apple iMac Pro is still the best choice. Prices start at £4,899 – around the same as the highest-spec 27in iMac, but with the Pro you can choose from a selection of far more powerful Xeon W processors up to 18 cores.

Features and design

As I’ve said already, what’s most interesting about the refreshed 27in iMac is the updated internal components, because the exterior chassis and fundamental design haven’t changed a jot.

This is a touch disappointing, especially since every monitor and TV manufacturer on the planet now seems to be producing bezel-free screens, but at least the 27in iMac doesn’t look quite as dated as the 21.5in iMac. That’s because the black border surrounding the display is, proportionally, much narrower.

And, although I’d personally like a 27in iMac with thinner bezels, it would be harsh in the extreme to criticise it too strongly. The rest of the chassis is, put simply, a thing of beauty, and it remains one of the most beautiful desktop computers ever made.

From its subtly curved rear and elegantly angled aluminium stand to its impossibly slim edges and sharply milled edges, the attention to detail here is something to behold. And, despite the fact that this design debuted way back in 2013, it has aged – like a classic car – incredibly well.

As such, you won’t be surprised to find that all the connections and features are in familiar places. On the rear, to the right of the stand, are the iMac’s Gigabit Ethernet port, its two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, its four USB 3 Type-A ports, SD card slot and 3.5mm headphone jack.


Apple iMac (27-inch Retina 5K display, 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 2TB) - Silver (Latest Model)
amazon uk

On the opposite side (still at the rear) is the power button, power is supplied via a flush-fit kettle lead in the centre with the cable snaking through a hole neatly cut into the L-shaped stand, and the iMac’s wireless peripherals are still just as beautifully conceived and constructed as its chassis. I was supplied the wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse, but you can choose to have the 27in iMac supplied with the elegant glass-topped Magic Trackpad if you like.

See full review at smallmediumbusiness.co.uk reviews...

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