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Apple iMac 27in 5K review

Apple has finally renewed its iMac desktop PCs, after the all-in-one range was last updated in 2015, and the actual design hasn't changed since the year before that.

Thankfully, this is an all new series of iMacs, with speedy Kaby Lake internals and an even better 5K display.

The iMac range is a favourite of designers and artists, so an improved screen and beefed-up GPU will be warmly received by its core fanbase. But is it enough to maintain Apple's place at the top of the pile?

Design

If there's one thing Apple is known for, it's the iPhone maker's exquisite product design. Say what you like about the technical merits of the company's hardware - you can't deny that it looks incredible. The exterior design of the latest iMac hasn't changed since its previous incarnation, and yet it's no exception to this rule. In three years, it's hardly aged a single bit.

That's hardly a surprise; by this stage, the sleek, machined-aluminium iMac is a bonafide classic, gracing office workspaces the world over. It's subtle, elegant and minimalist, and we're absolutely in love with it.

One thing we're less in love with is the fact that the screen is still bordered by substantially chunky bezels - 27mm, to be exact. In a world where manufacturers like Dell are offering monitors and displays with razor-thin, barely-there bezels, it's the one details that makes the iMac feel just ever-so-slightly behind the times. We'd also prefer it if the iMac had an adjustable height, rather than just tilting.

Both of these are minor gripes, though, and don't do much to detract from the fact that the iMac isn't merely one of the best-looking all-in-ones we've used, it's one of the most attractive machines we've tested, full stop.

Display

There's no surprises when we move to the display, either; it's another absolute cracker. The previous iteration's 5K panel was already impressive, but the 2017 model is even better. Brightness rises to a ridiculous, retina-searing 527cd/m2, and the contrast ratio is 960:1, which makes for an amazing viewing experience. The display covers both the sRGB and DCI-P3 colour gamuts, and reproduces both to frankly staggering levels of accuracy.

If you're at all familiar with Apple's iMac range, none of this will be news to you; the company is renowned for packing its hardware with some of the best screens around, and the newest iMac does not disappoint. It's bright, vivid and clear as a bell, with images appearing sharp and flawless. It's perfectly suited to editing and design work.

The only slight issue we have with it is that it can't be used in Target Display mode, which would allow you to use it as an external monitor. This is especially galling given that the two USB Type-C ports on the back actually support the Thunderbolt 3 standard.

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