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Reviews

Apple iMac 27in review

Apple's iMac can now be had with a large 27in diameter display. We see how it performs.

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Price
£1,173

With the iMac, Apple has come to define how an all-in-one PC should be made, but in recent years it's faced real competition from others such as Sony. As such it needed to do something to set itself back on top of the integrated pedestal and the answer is this massive new 27in iMac.

Somehow, Apple has stretched the silver machined curves of the iMac without it losing any of its allure. It really shouldn't work, but it absolutely, emphatically does.

The giant enclosure is gorgeous to behold, with edge-to-edge glass across the front and silver aluminium elsewhere. A single power socket is perfectly positioned for its cable to thread tidily through the rear stand, and there's little else to interrupt the seamless finish - just a smattering of ports, a crisp black Apple logo on the front and another behind.

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The centrepiece is that 27in screen, and what a screen it is. It uses an LED backlight and an IPS panel for near-perfect viewing angles and vibrant, punchy colours, and even its resolution is a step forward. Every 27in monitor we've yet seen has used a standard 16:10, 1,920 x 1,200 panel, but the iMac moves that to a more consumer-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio and opts for 2,560 x 1,440. The difference is tremendous, with a sharpness and clarity you just don't get from blowing up a 24in resolution to that size. Yes, it's a monster to sit in front of on a daily basis, but in minutes you'll be utterly sold on its merits.

At that size you'd expect a fair amount of power as well. The base 27in option at 1,349 inc VAT comprises a 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a fast 7,200rpm 1TB hard disk, and ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics, which is what we tested here.

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You can also choose to upgrade to a Core i5 at either 2.66 or 2.8GHz, and this model also ships with a more powerful ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB. If you're so inclined fit up to 16GB of RAM, turning this into a workstation lite - though if you choose this little upgrade option on its online store Apple will lift another 1,120 from your wallet.

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