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Apple iMac with 5K Retina display (27-inch, late 2015) review

With more colours, Apple's iMac now puts everything on display

iMac front

Apple's latest 5K iMac makes subtle refinements that keeps its nose ahead of the (admittedly, scant) competition. Its display is improved, it's faster and now comes with improved accessories that won't force you to buy batteries year-in-year-out. (Or rechargable ones, at the very least.) It's a slicker machine, for sure, but it's disappointing that the top-end option stops short at a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

We liked

Crisp, bold and beautiful are just three words that could be used to describe the 5K iMac's IPS display. It's more attractive to look at (and useful, if you work with media) too thanks to DCI P3 colour support, which marks a subtle but noticeable improvement over non-P3 color space supporting displays.

Whether you're using the expansive space on the desktop, streaming YouTube video in glorious 5K or playing (lesser demanding) games at full resolution, all those pixels make a huge difference to the experience, all while being easier on the eyes. The iMac still sports a big chin, but it's worth putting up with for the impressive, albeit bass-light sounds that come out of the speakers.

While its processor's performance isn't miles ahead of the Haswell chip in the 2014 4K iMac, Apple's latest all-in-one is fast and responsive under daily use, capable of handling whatever is thrown at it.

We disliked

What, no Target Display Mode? Again? We're still waiting for Apple to let us plug consoles and other machines into our iMac, and unfortunately that day has yet to come.

It would be churlish to say that the new iMac is unattractive, as it's clearly not, but it wouldn't hurt for the display's bezels to be made thinner.

Our biggest gripe is that you'll have to shell out extra to bump up the configuration to a Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, which is likely what you'll be pining for if you're already spending this much money on a 5K iMac.

Final verdict

The 27-inch iMac remains a product of beauty, one that's now more practical too. Featuring an excellent display, a sleek design, capable speakers and rechargeable accessories, Apple has given you fewer reasons to wait for more 5K displays to enter the fray.

In the Windows camp, the only option worth checking out is the Asus Zen AiO 4K Touchscreen, which mimics the 5K iMac's design. Unlike the top-end iMac (before bumping up the config), it comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card as default for a more palatable €1,499 (about £1,100, $1,700, AU$2,500).

Of course, unlike the iMac, the Asus machine doesn't feature a 5K display. But then, very few do.