Apple's iMac With Retina 5K Display: Features That Stand Out

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-10-24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Apple's iMac With Retina 5K Display: Features That Stand Out
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    Apple's iMac With Retina 5K Display: Features That Stand Out

    By Don Reisinger
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    That Is One Serious Display
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    That Is One Serious Display

    The iMac's new 27-inch Retina 5K display is nothing short of astounding. The screen has a resolution of 5,120 by 2,880 pixels. That means that the device has 14.7 million pixels packed into its 27 inches. To compare, a regular HD display has 2 million pixels, and 4K screens have 8.8 million pixels.
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    A Nice Processor That Gets the Job Done
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    A Nice Processor That Gets the Job Done

    Out of the box, the iMac comes with a 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. While that's not the top-end of the Intel processor line, it should do the trick for the vast majority of users who simply want to get some work done and handle some mid-level graphics work. Those who need more power should look to the next jump up and add the 4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 to the computer.
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    The Graphics Power Is Surprisingly Impressive
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    The Graphics Power Is Surprisingly Impressive

    Apple didn't skimp on graphics. The iMac comes standard with the AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Again, that should be more than enough for the majority of users, but designers who would use the Mac for Photoshop or Final Cut Pro might want to consider bumping it up to the AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of memory.
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    Lots of Ports for Users
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    Lots of Ports for Users

    Apple has come a long way in allowing users to connect accessories they have sitting around the house. The iMac comes with an SDXC port, four USB 3 ports and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. There's also a Gigabit Ethernet port for those who would rather be wired when running the computer.
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    The Latest in Wireless Technology Is a Must
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    The Latest in Wireless Technology Is a Must

    Apple has smartly brought the latest wireless technology to the iMac. The device works with 802.11ac wireless networks, as well as legacy protocols, like 802.11n and 802.11g. In addition, the iMac comes with full support for Bluetooth 4, which should allow for even more accessibility.
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    Apple Is Boasting About Sound
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    Apple Is Boasting About Sound

    While the iMac's screen is its most important feature, Apple has made a lot of noise about the device's sound capabilities. In addition to dual microphones, which should help with FaceTime calls, the iMac comes with stereo speakers that Apple claims sound great. It might be a small feature, but for those who are constantly working on design-related activities like video editing, it's an important one.
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    Yosemite Will Come With the iMac
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    Yosemite Will Come With the iMac

    Apple makes one operating system available to those who are buying the new iMac: Yosemite. Apple's latest launch includes a design refresh that makes the Dock much cleaner and provides updates to a wide range of the company's built-in apps. Yosemite is a nice improvement over Mavericks, so it shouldn't be a bother to anyone that it's bundled with Apple's new all-in-one PC.
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    It's Not a One-Size-Fits-All
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    It's Not a One-Size-Fits-All

    Although the customization options are relatively light, Apple does allow customers to boost the capabilities of the iMac, should they want to do so. As noted, the iMac's processor and graphics can be upgraded, as can its memory. The device comes with 8GB of on-board memory, but that can be boosted to 32GB. Users can also choose to go with Apple's Fusion Drive storage options or opt for flash storage.
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    All of Apple's Built-In Apps
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    All of Apple's Built-In Apps

    Apple is a master at getting people hooked on its applications. That's why the company bundles Yosemite with its products and why the built-in applications that come with Yosemite will be sitting on the Dock as soon as users turn the iMac on. Everything from iTunes to iPhoto to iWork is available on the iMac out of the box, so users shouldn't be surprised if they start using Apple's software simply because it's there and, in most cases, it works quite well.
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    It's Not a Cheap Device
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    It's Not a Cheap Device

    Don't expect to save much cash investing in the new iMac. While Apple tried to argue that 4K televisions go for more than the iMac and they don't even come with a computer, the iMac is still expensive. The device starts at $2,499 for the standard build and adding a better processor is $250, boosting to 32GB of memory will cost $600, and 1TB of flash storage is $800. It won't be too hard to find ways to seriously increase the price of the iMac if the consumer wants better features.
 

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple made waves recently when it announced the launch of the iMac with Retina 5K display. Apple claims that its device packs more pixels into a single inch than any other product on the market, including 4K screens. And, at $2,499, the company argues that its screen-and-computer combination is a great value for anyone seeking something special to do work on. Apple has a tendency to speak fondly of its products, even when critics believe the laudatory comments lack depth. Even so, the iMac with Retina 5K display has been receiving rave reviews for its screen and is becoming a hot item among those who are considering buying a new Mac and want to see what all of the hype is about with the screen. The iMac has, in some ways, become one of the more important products in Apple's entire lineup. In the following slides, eWEEK takes a deep dive into the iMac with Retina 5K display and looks at the features that make it stand out from the crowd. Sure, there's a high-quality screen, but there's much more to this device that many consumers and even enterprise customers might like.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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