Apple iMac 2019 review
The iMac is one of the most iconic computers Apple has ever made.
This all-in-one PC changed the way the world saw boring desktops and it continues to be one of the most striking machines you can have in your home.
Now, these popular devices have had a reboot with Apple recently refreshing its iMac lineup with more brawn and improved graphics.
This upgrade makes these slimline computers more powerful than ever before but is the iMac still worth your money and should you consider one of these latest premium desktops over its cheaper rivals?
Express.co.uk has been putting the smaller 21.5-inch model through its paces and there’s still plenty to like about the iMac – here’s our full review.
OUT OF THE BOX
One thing that’s always impressed us about the iMac is just how easy it is to set up.
Out of the box, you’ll have things up and running in minutes with one power cord plugging into the rear of the machine and the minimalistic wireless keyboard and mouse instantly linking the moment you push the button and hear the famous chime as it powers up.
Apple has made things so easy even the biggest technophobe should find it relatively simple to begin enjoying this computer and that’s a feature that should definitely not be ignored.
This has long been a huge selling point of the iMac and there’s no question that this is one of the best user experiences you’ll find on the market.
If you have an older Mac and are upgrading to the latest model there’s also the option to make a seamless transition from old to new via the clever Time Machine software.
This basically allows you to switch everything from your current PC without having to go through the laborious task of doing it manually.
Apple iMac 2019 review
THAT ALL-IN-ONE DESIGN
The whole concept of the iMac is to have an all-in-one machine that offers plenty of power in compact and clutter-free design.
Since the first iMac stunned the world back in 1998 there’s been numerous updates with it continuing to evolve and get more desirable with each iteration.
The current design is still the best Apple has created with the aluminium case and super-slim form factor oozing class and you’ll actually wonder how the US technology firm has crammed such impressive specs into such a thin machine.
It’s really hard to fault its appearance and this is still one of the most drop-dead gorgeous desktops you can buy.
However, despite it still looking good enough to sit in even the grandest of homes we can’t help thinking it’s a real shame Apple hasn’t tweaked things in this latest 2019 upgrade.
The bezels around the screen seem in desperate need of a reduction in size as these thick black bars are starting to look more than a little dated.
This annoyance has been emphasised by the recent upgrades to the iPhone and iPad Pro which now include almost totally bezel-free designs.
The ports on the rear of the machine can be frustrating
There’s also the issue of the of all the USB, SD Card and Thunderbolt ports continuing to be placed on the rear of the case.
Apple has always tucked these sockets on the back and we understand why as it makes the look of the iMac much more aesthetically pleasing.
However, reaching to plug in an external hard drive or your camera’s SD Card can be frustrating at times and it’s certainly not the ultimate option.
Other than these small niggles you’re going to struggle to find anything that looks as impressive as the iMac and the style continues to impress with the keyboard and mouse.
These classic and fully rechargeable accessories not only offer a brilliant experience but also allow your desk to remain free of cables.
The sleek keyboard and mouse offer a good user experience
POWER AND PRICE
One of the biggest changes to the new iMacs is the extra grunt that’s been added under that aluminium body.
Apple is boasting that their new machine is up to 60 per cent faster than its predecessor and we don’t think they are exaggerating.
The iMac has always offered slick performance but with the latest Core i3 and 6-core Intel Core i5 processors powering this new model, things are fast, smooth and hugely improved.
For our tests we placed the iMac in family environment which we felt most suits this smaller 21.5-inch machine.
There’s very little this iMac can’t and won’t do and it will easily power you through video and photo editing along with all the usual demands placed on desktop computing.
You’ll also get a much better gaming experience with the new iMac offering a Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics option which boosts the performance by up to 80 per cent.
Apple iMac 2019 still features the stunning 4K Retina display
What makes this extra power more impressive is that Apple has managed to increase these speeds without producing any excess noise from the cooling system.
This means these latest machines are so silent you’ll wonder if it’s actually switched on.
So it’s all good from the performance perspective but we do have one criticism.
If you want this iMac you’ll find it’s very hard to upgrade after it’s been purchased so you must make sure you add everything you need before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
And, if you do begin upgrading things on the Apple Store you should be aware of the price as adding extra RAM and internal storage starts to make things pretty expensive.
The starting price for the 21.5-inch iMac is £1,249 but begin squeezing in more power, extra SSD storage and RAM and you’ll soon be faced with a bill of over £3,000.
For most people, the standard machine should be perfectly capable but if think you’ll need that extra boost then make sure you spec your iMac up before you order.
The latest 21.5-inch iMac arrives with a stunning 4K Retina screen and it’s absolutely stunning.
With one billion colours and 500 nits of brightness, all of your content will burst through the screen with a vibrancy that’s hard to beat.
Colours are also super accurate with Apple using new technology that shifts away from standard white LEDs to advanced red-green phosphor LEDs.
This basically means all three colours – red, green, and blue – are more equally represented and show off real-world colour with more balance and precision.
Finally, there’s a crisp finish to the image without things looking horribly oversharpened.
Apple has always created devices with excellent displays and the new iMacs continue to offer an experience that doesn’t disappoint.
As we mentioned earlier in this review, the only thing that slightly lets things down are those chunky black bezels that surround the screen.
It’s no deal breaker but it would have taken the look of this computer to an even higher level if things had been reduced.
If you want a computer with an exquisite design and performance to match then the iMac is very hard to beat.
This computer continues to lead the field and this 2019 update makes things even better with that added boost in performance a welcomed addition.
It’s a shame Apple hasn’t tweaked the styling slightly or reduced those black bezels around the stunning 4K Retina screen.
It can also get pretty expensive if you begin adding all the bonus extras such as more RAM and internal storage.
And there’s the niggle of not being able to upgrade things once it ships from Apple’s warehouse.
However, despite those minor annoyances, this is still one of the most striking, easy to use and powerful desktops you can buy.
Apple is the master of making the humble PC a desirable object and the new iMac 2019 continues to offer all that style and plenty of substance.