Re­views

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS -

Ap­ple iMac 21.5 inch 4k, Xiaomi Mi A1 Nokia 6

Why tinker with some­thing that is per­fect? While that’s a valid ques­tion for Ap­ple, the new 21.5inch iMac with 4k Retina dis­play is stun­ning. It has a sleek alu­minium uni­body, which is 5.5-mm thick at the edges lead­ing to a deeper cav­ity at the cen­tre where all the hard­ware com­po­nents are placed. The power but­ton is still at the bot­tom left of the rear; there are four USB 3.0 ports, two Thun­der­bolt 3 (Type-C) ports, a head­phone port, an SD card slot and a gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net port also at the rear (bot­tom right). Al­though high on aes­thet­ics, the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the con­nec­tiv­ity ports has been com­pro­mised.

The de­vice’s 4,096x2,304 res­o­lu­tion with 500 nits bright­ness makes ev­ery­thing look as close to re­al­ity as is pos­si­ble. By de­fault, the au­to­matic bright­ness has been turned on for the dis­play set­tings and 4k res­o­lu­tion can be se­lected from the sys­tem pref­er­ences. Ap­ple claims that the new iMac is 43 per cent brighter than the pre­vi­ous mod­els. It comes with a sleek key­board (the Magic key­board), which is com­fort­able to type on, and a Magic mouse with multi-touch sup­port that en­ables switch­ing be­tween run­ning app win­dows and

web pages for the Sa­fari browser.

Hard­ware

Our re­view unit was the top-ofthe-line 21.5-inch iMac with 4k Retina dis­play pow­ered by In­tel’s 7th gen­er­a­tion Kaby Lake Core i5 pro­ces­sor with 8 GB of RAM, which can be con­fig­ured to upto 16 GB or 32 GB. Based on feed­back from gamers, Ap­ple has in­tro­duced higher power graphic cards – AMD Radeon Pro 560 graph­ics with 4 GB of VRAM – that of­fers higher pro­cess­ing power for gaming, 4k video edit­ing and run­ning 3D graph­ics. The 1-TB Fu­sion Drive that comes ex­clu­sively with this model in the 21.5-inch range is part flash drive and part hard disk drive (HDD). The most fre­quently used apps and files are au­to­mat­i­cally stored on the flash drive, while the rest are saved on HDD, re­duc­ing the startup time and mak­ing app launches faster. The com­pany prom­ises a speed of up to 40 gbps through the two Thun­der­bolt 3 ports.

macOS

iMacs still run on macOS Sierra. With the Sierra up­date launched last year, voice as­sis­tant Siri was in­tro­duced. It does a good job of recog­nis­ing In­dian ac­cents. The Sierra OS en­ables seam­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion among Ap­ple de­vices, al­low­ing any­one us­ing an iMac and/ or Mac­Book along with an iPhone and/or iPad to ac­cess files and doc­u­ments across an integrated ecosys­tem. But for this to work, all de­vices should be logged in us­ing the same Ap­ple ID.

The new macOS High Sierra sched­uled for re­lease later this month is ex­pected to fur­ther en­hance iMac’s pro­duc­tiv­ity by op­ti­mally uni­tis­ing the pro­cess­ing power from the Kaby Lake se­ries. On­line brows­ing is a far more pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence – Ap­ple has done a good job of dis­abling cross-site track­ing and ad­verts on Face­book or on the Sa­fari browser. Sa­fari also stopped videos from auto-play­ing. High Sierra al­lows chang­ing the en­tire macOS lan­guage to Hindi. For peo­ple work­ing on con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments, the new Ap­ple File Sys­tem brings in a new level of data se­cu­rity with built-in en­cryp­tion, crash-safe pro­tec­tion, and data back-up.

De­sign­ers, pho­tog­ra­phers and de­vel­op­ers, who con­stantly grap­ple with limited data stor­age space, can re­joice. The new macOS High Sierra of­fers more stor­age within the same space by us­ing its High Ef­fi­ciency Video Cod­ing stan­dard that com­presses videos by upto 40 per cent more than the cur­rent stan­dard. The Pho­tos app, too, will re­ceive an up­date with an ex­panded side bar mak­ing ev­ery­thing easy to search. There are new edit­ing tools such as Curves for fine-tun­ing and Se­lec­tive Colour for mak­ing colours look more sat­u­rated.

Per­for­mance

From set­ting up the iMac us­ing my Ap­ple ID to us­ing it as the pri­mary work ma­chine, the ex­pe­ri­ence was smooth all the way. The iMac comes with a set of pre-in­stalled apps – Pages, Num­bers and Key­note for cre­at­ing word doc­u­ments, spread­sheets and pre­sen­ta­tions – elim­i­nat­ing the need to in­stal third party of­fice apps.

It is an ideal ma­chine for cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als as it comes loaded with apps such as Pho­tos, iMovie and GarageBand for edit­ing images, videos and cre­at­ing a fully equipped mu­sic stu­dio, re­spec­tively. Other apps such as Affin­ity Photo, Adobe Pho­to­shop Light­room 5 and Pin­na­cle Stu­dio can be in­stalled from the App Store. Ap­ple claims that the new iMac is pow­er­ful enough to edit 360-de­gree videos in apps such as Fi­nal Cut Pro and for cre­at­ing 3D VR con­tent as well. The iMac is quick to load heavy images and videos.

Bag it or junk it: Best- in- class spec­i­fi­ca­tions make it an ideal buy for cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als

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