IMac with Retina dis­play

The great­est desk­top Mac ever?

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - £1,999 Man­u­fac­turer Ap­ple, ap­ple.com Dis­play 5120x2880 5K Retina dis­play Pro­ces­sor In­tel Core i5 quad-core 3.5GHz Graph­ics AMD R9 M290X 2GB GDDR5 Mem­ory 8GB 1600MHz Stor­age 1TB Fu­sion Drive

Ever since we saw OS X run­ning in 4K on the Mac Pro last year, we’ve been dream­ing of a 4K iMac – a Retina-level dis­play on the desk­top. Turns out, we weren’t think­ing am­bi­tiously enough. Ap­ple’s first Retina iMac is bet­ter than 4K, and the re­sult is truly as­ton­ish­ing.

The stand-out fea­ture is ob­vi­ously the dis­play – oth­er­wise, this iMac is no dif­fer­ent out­wardly to the other 27-inch mod­els, in­clud­ing its se­lec­tion of ports. At a res­o­lu­tion of 5120×2880, the screen is eas­ily the high­est res­o­lu­tion dis­play Ap­ple has ever used, yet doesn’t com­pro­mise on bright­ness, view­ing an­gles or colour ac­cu­racy to get there.

There are over 14.7 mil­lion pix­els here, and the level of de­tail that of­fers is sim­ply mind-blow­ing at times. With the screen be­ing nearly 15 megapix­els, the pic­tures from many cam­eras (and even some high-end com­pact sys­tem cam­eras) might be lower res­o­lu­tion than the screen is.

We’ve been throw­ing up 36-megapixel images to test it, zoom­ing and pick­ing out things like the li­cence plates in cars in wide city shots. It of­ten leaves you shak­ing your head – it feels ridicu­lous.

You might ask, in fact, if it isn’t too ridicu­lous. You might ask if it isn’t for you – how many peo­ple will ac­tu­ally make use of that kind of res­o­lu­tion, after all?

The thing about the 5K iMac is that it’s not just great for in­spect­ing the won­der­ful pic­tures taken on a £20,000 cam­era. An eight-megapixel iPhone photo takes up less than two-thirds of the screen even at full size – which leaves screen space for other things. If you’re work­ing in Pho­to­shop, those things are pal­ettes and tools, or even two large pic­tures side by side. In Fi­nal Cut, it means you have enough space to be watch­ing 4K video at full size in the can­vas, with enough room for the clip viewer and time­line around it.

More pix­els doesn’t just mean more de­tail. It means more space. Be­ing a Retina Mac, Ap­ple makes

An 8MP iPhone photo takes up less than two-thirds of the screen, even at full size, leav­ing screen space for other things

sure that most in­ter­face el­e­ments ac­tu­ally ap­pear at roughly the same phys­i­cal size that they would on the non-Retina 27-inch iMac, but ev­ery­thing is much smoother and more de­tailed. (And this alone is hard to go back from once you’ve been us­ing the 5K iMac – we never would have though the 2560×1440 res­o­lu­tion of the pre­vi­ous iMac would ever feel low-res.) But when ev­ery­thing is higher-res, it’s eas­ier to read, or to view, or to what­ever you need with it. If you do any kind of work where com­puter space is valu­able to you, the Retina iMac is a bor­der­line revo­lu­tion, even over Ap­ple’s Retina lap­tops.

Dis­play of power

Still, while the Retina iMac def­i­nitely isn’t all about pro uses, it will surely at­tract those who had been look­ing at a Mac Pro. If you wanted desk­top 4K support be­fore, you had to spend

View­ing 4K videos on this screen still leaves you with a por­tion of the desk­top to utilise!

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