First Look: Apple's 27" big screen iMac

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has revamped the iMac with a huge, cinematic 16:9 27" screen, fast CPU options, standard wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse, a staggering 16GB RAM capacity, and a new video input feature.



The screen



The biggest feature of the new iMac is its massive screen, which jumps from the previous high end of 24" to 27" and delivers nearly the resolution (2560x1440) of the 30" Cinema Display HD (2560x1600). That's also nearly equivalent to four 13.3" MacBook screens (1280x800) in a single display (compare the photo below). The new iMac is priced $100 less than Apple's standalone big screen however, despite packing in a powerful computer and new LED backlighting.



The new 27" iMac, along with its smaller 21.5" partner, also sport higher quality IPS LCD screen technology, resulting in spectacular color, contrast and wide viewing angles. Like previous models, the glossy screen is covered with a glass panel that extends across the entire top face of the unit.



Last year, Apple was sued over its iMacs with cheaper, 6-bit TN ("twisted nematic") screens, which have a narrower viewing angle and less color accuracy and depth, because some users argued the screens were technically incapable of actually producing the "millions of colors" supported by their graphics cards. The latest models reverse the trend toward cheap displays and instead provide quality IPS ("in-plane switching") panels that deliver the much improved color and wide, 178 degree viewing angles.







The new screens are also LED backlit (unlike the 30" Cinema Display HD), which means they turn on instantly and allow for finer grained control over brightness than conventional cold cathode fluorescent lamp backlighting. LED backlighting is also environmentally friendly because it uses no toxic mercury. Overall, the new machines also meet Energy Star 5.0 and EPEAT Gold standards for energy efficiency and environmentally-sound design, manufacturing, and use of recyclable materials.



The new 27" display is backed by ATI Radeon HD 4670 (or for $150 more, the 4850) graphics hardware equipped with 256MB (or 512MB) of GDDR3 RAM. It supports video output up to 2560x1600, capable of driving a 30" Cinema Display HD. It supports VGA, DVI/HDMI and DisplayPort screens via its standard Mini DisplayPort connector.



A new feature of the 27" iMac is its ability to act as a display for another DisplayPort computer. It is the first and currently the only Mac to support this new capability. The 21.5" iMac doesn't support video input and provides simpler NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, the same as Apple's MacBook line and Mac mini.







The power specs



The base model ships with 4GB of 1066MHz PC-8500 DDR3 RAM and supplies 4 memory slots capable of expanding that up to 16GB. It also ships with a 1TB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, which can be upgraded to a 2TB version, and an 8x dual layer DVD SuperDrive.



The $1699 iMac comes equipped with a dual core 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo E7600 processor with 3MB of L2 cache, with the upgrade option of a 3.33GHz Core 2 Duo E8600 with 6MB of L2 cache for $200 more. A $1999 option upgrades the CPU to a "Nehalem" quad core 2.66GHz Core i5 750 processor, or for $200 more, a Core i7 860, both of which include 8MB of L3 cache. Apple benchmarks the high end Nehalem Core i7 as being up to 2.4 times faster than the Core 2 Duo.







The iMac is equipped with a new SD card slot under the DVD drive, and back panel ports provide Gigabit Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, Firewire 800, four USB 2.0 ports, and hybrid analog/optical digital audio input and output ports.



It also has an IR receiver for use with an Apple Remote (not bundled; the new aluminum remote is a $19 option), a built-in iSight camera and microphone, Bluetooth and 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking.







Unboxing and accessories



The new iMacs now come standard with a Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard and multitouch Magic Mouse. These can be traded for a compact or full sized (with numeric keypad) USB keyboard and/or a standard USB Apple Mouse (the same model that was formerly referred to as Mighty Mouse).







The keyboard is virtually identical to the MacBook's built-in keyboard, and is slightly modified from Apple's original Bluetooth keyboard in that it now only uses two AA batteries and has moved the wireless receiver to the center of the back panel.



The iMac ships in a simple box with styrofoam corners, including just a power cable and an accessory box that holds the keyboard, mouse, an introductory booklet, a screen wipe cloth, install and restore DVDs, stickers and regulatory information. A full review with performance benchmarks will be presented next week, so present any questions you'd like to see answered.



Where to Buy



Below is a table of iMac prices from leading Apple Resellers that was extracted from AppleInsider's MacPriceGuide. Currently, ClubMac is offering the lowest prices on the new all-in-one desktops, with savings of between $135 and $208 after a mail-in-rebate and an exclusive 3% discount available only to AppleInsider readers. However, this discount coupon expires at midnight (Oct. 31) and is unlikely return until some time next year.







To see the 3 percent discount and achieve the final prices listed in the table above, you must first add an iMac to your shopping cart after clicking through the links in the table (above). The 3% discount is reflected as "Instant Discount(s)" during checkout at ClubMac, after the items have been placed in your shopping cart.



For similar offers on the remainder of Apple's Mac product line, please see our full-fledged Mac Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 244
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Error type 11
  • Reply 2 of 244
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Is that the mic I see on the aluminum top surface?
  • Reply 3 of 244
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    You have lost a lot of respect from me withyour pimping the product you're reviewing at the end of the "review." (I know this is the first look, and not the real review, but you do it for the real reviews too).



    So you write a story and tell us how great the computer is, and oh by the way, we can get a special deal if we order it through a link on this page, and doing that makes money for Apple Insider. That turns your entire "review" into an advertisement.



    The least you could do is write "advertisement" across the top.
  • Reply 4 of 244
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    This iMac should finally shut people up about the iMac not being "pro" enough or ignoring the pro market (Note I said "Should" - we can only hope people will be reasonable but I don't count on it)



    My mom had the original white Intel iMac and while it would normally be more then adequate, she is starting to get more in to Aperture with her digital photography and sadly that box just doesn't have the umph to keep up even with basic use. We visited a local Apple store to check out the new 27" and were simply blown away. The new screen is absolutely GORGEOUS and I am very jealous - I wish Apple would hurry up and update the 30" or make that 27" panel available in a stand-alone display.



    Needless to say, I helped her back her system up, we erased it and sold it Since the i7 upgrade is pretty reasonable, even though it's probably overkill we still picked it - it's not like you can add it later and I've never regretted oversizing a system It's on order and will hopefully be shipped closer to the beginning of November rather then the end. She's getting by with her MacBook for now.



    This machine, even when fully tricked out, is an incredible value. I still wish Apple would make the video modular so you can upgrade it, but with the CPU choices and the ability to go to 16 gigs of RAM it just got that much harder to justify getting a Mac Pro. I still love mine, but this iMac would have been very hard to pass up, especially with the awesome display. If you are a student or living in a small apartment, the ability to feed in whatever video signal you want for a display is huge - one minute it's a computer, the next it's a TV - awesome feature and long overdue for the iMac's.



    If i were to bet nit-picky, my final two complaints are the aforementioned video not being upgradeable, and for storage an eSATA port would be a real boon - esp. if it supported port multiplication. Then you really wouldn't need a Pro for all but those that require additional expansion cards. I also wish they would have offered matte as an option. Not that I want it, but just to shut up the inevitable whining that will now plague this thread and others for what is otherwise an incredible machine.



    $100 cheaper then the 30" display - wow....
  • Reply 5 of 244
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    $100 cheaper then the 30" display - wow....



    And the SAME price as a Dell 30? display! Which is much lower quality (no LED, no aluminum, no glass, no camera, no speakers) and only has a few more pixels. (And no Mac thrown in.)
  • Reply 6 of 244
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Error type 11
  • Reply 7 of 244
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elroth View Post


    You have lost a lot of respect from me withyour pimping the product you're reviewing at the end of the "review." (I know this is the first look, and not the real review, but you do it for the real reviews too).



    Give me a break. This isn't the New York Times (and they even screw up as far as the "purists" are concerned). Like it or not this site (and many others) are supported by ad revenue. I was just on three other photography sites earlier this morning and every single one of them have affiliate links to various resellers at the end of their reviews. If you like "free" content, this is how it works.



    It you enjoy a site like this, it's how they stay in business. If you are going to go all ultra-legalistic then stick to consumers reports (which you will have to pay for). Otherwise we need to cut the moral indignation crap.
  • Reply 8 of 244
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    Glass is reflective material . And the glossy display is stunning.



    Stunning only in the dark. Were it not for the reflections, I'd buy a new iMac. \
  • Reply 9 of 244
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    And the SAME price as a Dell 30” display! Which is much lower quality (no LED, no aluminum, no glass, no camera, no speakers) and only has a few more pixels. (And no Mac thrown in.)



    Now here's a thought. I could get a 27" iMac, use it as a display for my Mac Pro and let the iMac essentially be a headless rendering node...



    An office full of high end displays that also double as headless rendering nodes. Where's that Homer Drooling icon?!?!?



    Ack!!
  • Reply 10 of 244
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post


    Stunning only in the dark. Were it not for the reflections, I'd buy a new iMac. \



    Sigh - and it begins....
  • Reply 11 of 244
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Sigh - and it begins....



    Steve Jobs wears a black turtleneck so he doesn't have to see the reflection of his shirt in his iMac.
  • Reply 12 of 244
    Gorgeous. All Apple had to do was tweak the same desgin, and BAM, it looks so much better.
  • Reply 13 of 244
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Give me a break. This isn't the New York Times (and they even screw up as far as the "purists" are concerned). Like it or not this site (and many others) are supported by ad revenue. I was just on three other photography sites earlier this morning and every single one of them have affiliate links to various resellers at the end of their reviews. If you like "free" content, this is how it works.



    It you enjoy a site like this, it's how they stay in business. If you are going to go all ultra-legalistic then stick to consumers reports (which you will have to pay for). Otherwise we need to cut the moral indignation crap.



    Very well said. I actually consider the links and price guide a pretty good service cause it helped me save about $300 on my MBP a few months ago, which was about $150 more than the cheapest prices on price grabber and other compare engines at the time.



    MRG
  • Reply 14 of 244
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post


    Stunning only in the dark. Were it not for the reflections, I'd buy a new iMac. \



    I have a matte iMac Core 2 Duo (the old white style) and I prefer the look of matte displays, despite the nice contrast of glossy.



    But I?d give a LOT to have glass instead. The glossy look is second-best to me, but still very good?and CLEANABLE. My matte iMac has fingerprint smudges, scratches (some from rags used to clean smudges) and if anyone ever pokes it too hard it will even have a dent or pixel damage. There is no really good way to clean it.



    I?d LOVE to have glass that is protected from damage and wipes clean. It would be worth the reflections.



    And the reflections are not as bad as some people think?there IS an anti-glare coating on Apple?s glossy screens. And you don?t even notice unless you intentionally look through a dark screen. (Watching movies in a room with lights behind you would be annoying.)



    My Air has a glossy screen and it bothered me a little at first?but not as much as I thought, because even bright lights reflect only in a muted blue thanks to the coating. And after a week I never even noticed anymore.
  • Reply 15 of 244
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post


    Steve Jobs wears a black turtleneck so he doesn't have to see the reflection of his shirt in his iMac.



    And yet here I sit in front of a glossy display wearing a white shirt with two large windows to my right and no reflections to speak of. Yes, if I had darker images on the screen there would be some noticeable reflections but I can either just overlook them, move my screen or adjust the windows. I realize there are some for whom reflections really are an issue, just like for some people Cilantro tastes like soap (thankfully I'm not one of them - I love Cilantro and can't imaging not being able to enjoy it). But for most, I have found that when pressed (and actually being able to have them use a glossy display rather then just read about all their faults on the Internet) the issue is way overblown.



    Do I want reflections? Of course not, but here's the bottom line - there is no perfect display. I find it ironic that matte people who act like any reflections are just an absolute deal killer conveniently forget that even on a matte display reflections happen - they are just diffused! I would much rather have the excellent color and ultra-crisp text of a glossy display and occasionally get distracted by a reflection on a dark screen, then have the always muted color and soft display you get from a matte coating.



    As I said it's just too bad Apple didn't offer matte as an option, but I'm sure companies will offer matte films that do the same thing as a factory matte coating. There is nothing intrinsically special about a matte display from the factory and people who refuse to put a matte coating on a glossy display to achieve the same result are just being obstinate. For years anti-glare coating or screens were the norm on glossy CRT displays - even the flat color Sony Trinitron displays that Apple used to sell back in the day. Thank god the Internet wasn't as prevalent in those days or I'm sure the shadow mask wires that were faintly visible in the lower and upper thirds of those displays would be the ultimate deal killers
  • Reply 16 of 244
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Give me a break. This isn't the New York Times (and they even screw up as far as the "purists" are concerned). Like it or not this site (and many others) are supported by ad revenue. I was just on three other photography sites earlier this morning and every single one of them have affiliate links to various resellers at the end of their reviews. If you like "free" content, this is how it works.



    It you enjoy a site like this, it's how they stay in business. If you are going to go all ultra-legalistic then stick to consumers reports (which you will have to pay for). Otherwise we need to cut the moral indignation crap.



    Spot on! (Perhaps AI should offer a non-ad-supported subscription version: let's see how many of these 'morally indignant' types would sign on).
  • Reply 17 of 244
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Spot on! (Perhaps AI should offer a non-ad-supported subscription version: let's see how many of these 'morally indignant' types would sign on).



    Now I would be all over that. Question is, how much for a monthly/annual subscription to AI? $2.95/month or $29.95/annually? More, less?
  • Reply 18 of 244
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    The sales pitch at the end is tacky !!



    The rest of the article is spot on correct.

    The real truth is if you can buy an education discount.

    They don;t check >>> i got my MBP w/a touch at full discount but i paid full tax also .



    Yet my MBP15 was special made w/the 3,02 ghz chip < a 2 week wait and shipped direct from factory to my house >>>>

    And avoid try to taxes by internet shopping << i missed that one >>

    Also apple updates and refines its products endlessly 'so special order it and it will be made to order fresh and you may get a free boost or improvement as opposed to a warehoused imac,



    I would opt for the apple w\\ the quad core which give a 70 percent video boost according to C W

    a late november wait by the way.

    >>> http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...3&pageNumber=5 <<<

    This article also points out a sweet spot price model that allows a you to get a full bang for your buck imac but you give up little in the way of power .



    No matter where you buy or what you buy this uni body imac equals any hd tv set on the market .



    peace 9







    Doesn't really matter if it equal the best HD set on teh market bacause it doesnt really have the ability to playback HD content for the expection of trailers. Which is really a waste for this screen.
  • Reply 19 of 244
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Undo Redo View Post


    Stunning only in the dark. Were it not for the reflections, I'd buy a new iMac. \



    And you have used one (a glossy display) for more than a few minutes in your normal environment?
  • Reply 20 of 244
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    It's a great machine in so many ways, except one - no blu-ray. I will not pay so much money for a system with a 10 year old optical drive.



    Add a blu-ray burner, and I buy. Until then, I have Windows 7 to keep my old PC running for as long as it takes.
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